Farm machinery show cancelled due to new ‘social gatherings’ rules
PUBLISHED: 12:42 09 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:48 09 September 2020
A major farm machinery show, expected to draw up to 4,000 people to a west Norfolk field next week, has been cancelled following the tightening of government restrictions on social gatherings.
The biennial Norfolk Farm Machinery Club (Normac) demonstration day was due to become the “only agricultural show in East Anglia this year” following the cancellation of similar industry events amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Organisers had introduced new social distancing, sanitising and “track and trace” measures in a bid to stage the event in the 200-acre field near Downham Market on September 16.
But last night’s government announcement left them with “no choice” but to postpone the event until next year, to ensure public safety.
READ MORE: Coronavirus restrictions Q&A: What are the new rules on social gatherings?
Chris Thomas, county organiser for Normac, said: “It is very disappointing – but as much as we were looking forward to the demo the safety of our exhibitors and attendees is of utmost importance.
“The way this pandemic is going it seems to be getting worse before it gets better. The government is doing their best to keep it down and we must do our best to help them. We felt that we had no option but to cancel.
“It was going to be a very big show, and we had sold out all the working plots several weeks ago.
“One piece of good news is that we have been able to secure the same site for next year – but we couldn’t do anything more this year.”
The Normac demo event aimed to show cutting-edge new machine technologies and agricultural techniques at work in the field alongside the A10. It has traditionally also become a social event where farmers could meet each other and talk to machinery suppliers.
Organisers had hoped this year’s event could would have been bigger than ever due to the pent-up demand from both exhibitors and farmers, with many manufacturers expecting to launch new products at the show.
Normac said an announcement will follow in due course for the new date which is “likely to be next year”.
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