Washout vintage show faces a loss

HEAVY GOING: The churned-up showground before more torrential rain turned it into a safety risk, forcing its closure

HEAVY GOING: The churned-up showground before more torrential rain turned it into a safety risk, forcing its closure

First published in News

A charity fundraising extravaganza that over the years has raised more than £300,000 is facing a loss for the first time.

The annual Bronte Vintage Gathering (BVG), which supports Oxenhope Sue Ryder hospice Manorlands, was washed out last month.

Activities went ahead as planned on the opening day of the weekend at the showground in Haworth Road, Cullingworth.

But after a night of torrential rain, which turned the site into a quagmire, distraught organisers were forced to abandon the following day’s programme.

BVG bosses said £638 raised on the Saturday had been presented to Manorlands but they warn that negotiations are ongoing with some trade stand and craft stall holders over fees and it is possible the event – first held 16 years ago – could subsequently suffer a loss.

“We are trying very hard to raise money for Manorlands and at the same time support local traders by listening to what they are telling us –and doing our best to reach a compromise and be fair,” said spokesman Trish Wood.

“The majority of stall holders and other vendors have been extremely supportive and accept that the weather is a hazard of their trade and not something we are able to control.”

She said the event had been hit by bad weather before but they had managed to continue with the timetable. This time, however, the field had become unsafe.

“The decision to cancel on the Sunday was a challenging and difficult one to make but it was made purely on safety issues to protect everyone on the field,” Mrs Wood added.

“Safety has to be paramount for everyone, not only exhibitors and the public but also the people trading there.

“Everyone was removed from the field, along with goods and belongings, by our tremendous team of tractor driver volunteers.

“We apologise to all those who were going to attend and trade on what is usually the busiest day of the event, but regrettably it was totally out of our control and no one was more upset than we were.”

She said the organising team had received many messages of support and some further donations from people upset at the cancellation.

Due to the damage caused to the field during the weekend, a harness-racing event planned at the site on June 29 has been cancelled.

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