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Events called off as rain waterlogs venues
Dangers of revellers slipping in mud and injuring themselves have forced organisers to pull the plug on plans for many of this weekend’s ‘summer’ events.
Torrential downpours have seen a month’s worth of rain fall in just 24 hours, leaving some organisers with no other option.
And with the Met Office issuing an amber warning urging the public to be prepared, its advice has not been ignored.
The unrelenting deluge saw the fifth annual Born in Bradford (BiB) teddy bears' picnic at Lister Park become the first victim of the extreme elements yesterday.
A Games in the Park event planned for today in Bradford’s City Park was also rained off – it was supposed to be one of a network of 100 Cultural Olympiad national events encouraging people of all ages to indulge in nostalgic activities such as hopscotch, blind man’s buff and hide and seek, as well as take part in more modern activities like free running and wheelchair rugby.
An arts festival at Bradford’s Undercliffe Cemetery has also been hit. Supporters of the cemetery with its 23,000 graves had hoped to draw in crowds today to raise awareness and funds. Visitors had been encouraged to bring along their camera, find the Cottingley fairies, write poems, help paint a cemetery map, listen to music, trace their family history and enjoy refreshments in the festival's Promenade Cafe under a marquee.
On a larger festival scale, thousands of disappointed ticket holders due to head to MFest at Harewood House this weekend have now been promised their money back after the festival was abandoned.
An extreme weather warning issued by the Met Office meant the public’s health and safety was of “paramount concern,” said its organisers who added it would have been “irresponsible” of them to continue.
Acts billed included Bob Geldof, Cher Lloyd and The Human League.
About 15,000 people a day had been expected at the first foray into the music field by Bradford supermarket giant Morrisons who were its lead sponsor.
A Morrisons spokesman said: “We are not in the space of thinking about money we may have lost. Our priority has been to make sure everyone knows it’s off and no one sets off on long journeys to get there.
“It was going to be a family event, not a Glastonbury, and there’s no way families would have been able to enjoy themselves. Safety also had to be a priority.”
Details of how to get ticket money back will be on the Mfet website on Monday.
The rains also put paid to Yeadon Carnival after its field was left looking more like a paddy field than a carnival site.
Carnival committee chairman and councillor Nigel Francis said: “The whole of Yeadon looks forward to this day, but after the heavy rains the field was more suited to planting rice than staging a carnival.
“We felt that not only would the field cut up very badly, but there was the added danger that someone could slip, and break a leg or worse still, when you are putting 100 plus vehicles onto a very wet field, there is the danger of skidding and some child or adult been killed.”
Now the committee is looking at the possibility of putting it on in the Town Hall on Saturday, July 21 and urging everyone to look out for posters.
“This cancellation has cost us over £1,000 and we desperately need funding for next year. We can hope that our City Councillors will look favourably next year and make us a grant, otherwise we will be in big trouble.”