Organisers ‘difficult decision’ to cancel popular rally

PUBLISHED: 17:37 03 July 2020 | UPDATED: 17:37 03 July 2020

The Grand Henham Steam Rally is a popular event for all the family  Picture: Mick Howes

The Grand Henham Steam Rally is a popular event for all the family Picture: Mick Howes


Organisers of a popular annual event, which regularly attracts thousands of visitors, have made the “difficult decision” to cancel this year’s rally.

The 44th Grand Henham Steam Rally. Pictures: Victoria PertusaThe 44th Grand Henham Steam Rally. Pictures: Victoria Pertusa

The organising committee of the Grand Henham Steam Rally has cancelled the 2020 event due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

The 46th Grand Henham Steam Rally was scheduled to take place on September 19-20 at Henham Park, near Southwold.

However, Government restrictions currently prohibit large events and these are likely to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

In anticipation of the restrictions on large gatherings being eased by September, the organising committee has spent the past few months considering all the options necessary to make the rally as safe as possible.

This included cashless payments, increased cleansing, and one-way wider aisles to allow social distancing.

However, as the situation has progressed, it has become clear that the rally will simply not be possible this year.

A spokesman for the event said: “Although this is incredibly sad, the safety of visitors, exhibitors, volunteers and the organising committee is paramount and the decision not to go ahead is taken with their best interests at heart.”

Chairman Helen Walker added: “This has been a difficult decision and we have never cancelled a rally in 45 years, despite many tough situations.

“However, the coronavirus outbreak has been the toughest yet and the safety of our visitors, exhibitors and volunteers is of the utmost importance.

“We will certainly miss the rally this year however we are already making plans for 2021 and look forward to welcoming everyone back.

“As always, thank you for your support during these uncertain times.”

As a charity, the rally raises money each year for local organisations and following a successful 2019 event, donations were given to Wangford and District Community Council, Southwold (Sole Bay) Lions Club and the parochial Church Councils of Sotherton, Wangford cum Henham and Uggeshall, as well as Lowestoft and Waveney Samaritans, National Trust Dunwich Heath and Beccles and District Guides.

The 46th Grand Henham Steam Rally will take place on September 18-19, 2021 at Henham Park.

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