Wayland Show’s future secure despite last year’s 11th-hour cancellation
07:00 07 January 2013
Organisers who feared last year’s cancelled Wayland Agricultural Show could be its last have said its future is now secure.
The family event, which attracts 15,000 visitors and is one of the oldest one-day agricultural shows in England, was called off at the 11th hour last August after raw sewage flowed on to the site when lightning put a nearby Anglian Water pumping station out of action.
Organisers feared their losses, which they said could run into six figures, risked leaving their reserves below the legal minimum needed to put on future shows.
However, chairman Graham Shingfield said he will be writing to sponsors and members shortly to tell them the 2013 show, due to be the 140th in its history, will now take place at its usual venue in Watton on Sunday August 4.
He said: “The Wayland Show will go ahead and we are confident we have the necessary funding to have it go on.
“We have been in limbo a little bit for the last couple of months while we have sorted out issues with everything, but will tell our sponsors and supporters and members they have three options – refund their sponsorship money, or we will ask them to roll it forward to this year, or if they really want to help us they can make a donation to us.
“We might have some issues about how we formulate the show ground because we might have to move the livestock around because of where the pollution was, but as far as everything else is concerned it will still be the same show.
“It will hopefully be bigger and better than ever.”
While Mr Shingfield said discussions with Anglian Water about possible compensation were on-going, the water company said it had donated enough money to cover the show’s start-up costs.
John Clare from Anglian Water said: “We have been in talks with the show organisers and their solicitors to see what we could do to help them following the cancellation of last year’s event.
“As a goodwill gesture we have now donated £70,000, which the organisers say will cover the start-up cost for this year’s show.
“We wish the event every success.”
All profits from the show go to local charities and good causes, and £24,000 was raised in 2011.