Licensing setback for Eye Show

Organisers of this weekend's Eye Show have pledged to put on the best show possible, despite a licensing mistake that means they will not be able to serve alcohol or play live music.

The setback follows the withdrawal of the Red Arrows this week as investigations continue into a crash that killed one of the display team's pilots last weekend.

But the show's director pledged the show, which takes place tomorrow and on Monday at Goodrich Park, Palgrave, near Diss, would still be able to offer a packed programme of entertainment.

It has emerged that applications to serve alcohol and to host live music were submitted too late and, despite talks with Mid Suffolk District Council and the police, a solution could not be found.

Organisers have warned visitors the bar area will not go ahead and have replaced live music with a children's roadshow.

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The council said the application form and �21 fee for the licences was received on August 16, whereas the final date by which it was needed was August 12.

Council spokesman Jonathan Free said: 'The licences for live music and sale of liqueur have to go through certain processes and, unfortunately, there wasn't time for the various public notices.

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'We did try to help and accelerate it through the system, but it is a statutory process and you cannot cut corners.'

Nicholas Gowrley, the council's corporate director, added: 'We have held joint discussions with Suffolk Constabulary and the show director to try to identify a way forward and unfortunately we cannot.'

Tim Seeley, show director, said: 'It was a technical problem with the licence application and a genuine mistake.'

Visitors can take their own alcohol on to the showground for their own consumption but are asked to use plastic glasses for safety.

Another concern for the organisers is the current wet spell, with heavy rain falling on the showground yesterday.

'We know from experience that the Eye Show has real family appeal with constant favourites such as the flower show and sheep racing often drawing the biggest crowds on the two days,' said Mr Seeley.

'We are just hoping for two days of good weather so people can come along and enjoy the variety of everything the Eye Show has to offer.'

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