3:00pm Saturday 7th June 2014
By Rachel Bayne
ORGANISERS of this year’s cancelled Banbury and District Show have vowed next year’s will go ahead.
The show, scheduled to take place tomorrow at Spiceball Park, was called off only three days beforehand due to much of the site being water-logged.
But organisers say next year’s show will definitely go ahead and stallholders have pledged their fees to book for next year.
Chairman of Banbury Town Council general services committee Colin Clarke said: “Lots of the stallholders and charity stall holders have all been very supportive and they all understand why we have had to cancel it.
“A good number of them have already said we can hang to the funds for next year’s show. There definitely will be a Banbury show next year.
“It is not going to cost the town council at all. We will be having a meeting in the next couple of months where we will be starting to talk about the show.”
This year’s event could not be re-arranged due to there being no other weekends free at the park, and so the council has agreed to refund the acts set to appear in the Arena nightclub in the town. This is the first time the town council has had to cancel the event since it was launched in 2000.
Mr Clarke said: “As far as the artists appearing in the Arena, we have contracts with them. We accept the fact that we put money aside for this show and in a number of cases, they are happy for us to hand it over to next year.
“We had a lot of rain last week and Spiceball Park is absolutely sodden. On the second field, a third of it is under water.
“There are a tremendous number of people involved and a great number of stallholders and they all have to be contacted. It is very disappointing.”
Experts at the Met Office said the area around South Newington had seen almost double the average amount of rainfall in the month ahead of the event.
Spokesman Dan Williams confirmed that 116.6m of rain was recorded in South Newington – the nearest weather-monitoring site to Banbury – between May, 1 and June 4. The average rainfall for May is 61.5mm and for June is 49.4mm.
The organisers have spent 10 months working on the fair and it was hoped that thousands of spectators would turn up to Spiceball Park.
Mr Clarke added: “It is about the biggest event that the Town Council has organised. But unfortun-ately, you can plan for everything, but not the weather.”
Town mayor Sean Woodcock said: “I feel really sorry for the people that have been involved. It is a shock, but we would only do this if it was absolutely necessary.”
The council’s recreation amenities officer Mike Hall said: “After the continued rain on Wednesday the ground has become too sodden, and taking vehicles on to the site could cause serious issues that would ultimately affect the safety of participants at the event and visitors to the show. ”
The free event had been organised by the Banbury Town Council, the Banbury Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Banbury Cherwell. Planned events included a dancing with the DJ show compered by Radio Horton, steam engines, ferret racing, archery, falconry and go-karts.
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