Coronavirus: Ellingham Show set to go on - for now
THE Ellingham Show committee is carrying on with its planning for this year’s event on 8th August but will continue to monitor the coronavirus situation.
The much larger New Forest Show, due to have been held at the end of July, has already been cancelled, as have a number of other events over the summer.
The chairman of Ellingham Show, Steve Thompson, told the A&T: “Our first thoughts in this crisis are of course for those affected, whether by illness or by social and financial uncertainties, both in our own local community, and nationally.
“At all times, we are 100% following advice and guidelines from health care professionals and from national and local government in relation to any planning and preparations for the show.
“But, as the trustees of the Ellingham and Ringwood Agricultural Society, which stages the show, it’s our responsibility to do as much as we can to deliver against our charity’s two aims: to stage our annual show; and to donate as much as we can to local charities and good causes.”
Mr Thompson said they were particularly keen to go ahead at Somerley after last year’s weather-enforced cancellation deprived local beneficiaries of the annual donations that have been made by the society for over 70 years.
“But we also have to ask ourselves: should we put at risk our future financial security - when so much doubt surrounds public gatherings into the late spring and summer of this year?”
Mr Thompson continued: “The decision we have reached, and which we will continue to review over the next three to four weeks, is that we should continue with our planning while taking precautions to mitigate risk of financial loss – to do as much as we can with as little expenditure as possible.
“Our fantastic, unpaid volunteers have already laid down much of the groundwork for a show to be staged. And we are all committed to trying to make this happen.
“We’re having our meetings on video and we are working closely with our suppliers in this planning stage, recognising that these are very tough times for all of us. And together, in partnership with our ever-loyal members and sponsors, if we can, we will make our show happen at Somerley on August 8th.”
He urged anyone who would like to get involved with staging the show, either this year or beyond, to contact the show secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.