All events cancelled in Waveney due to coronavirus

The Bungay Festival of Running. PHOTO: James Bass

The Bungay Festival of Running. PHOTO: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

The coronavirus outbreak has wreaked havoc to planned events across the region and beyond, with a spate of cancellations across Waveney announced.

The popular Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Picture: VistaViews

The popular Marina Theatre in Lowestoft. Picture: VistaViews - Credit: Archant

With concerns surrounding mass gatherings and self-isolations continuing, a number of events, including annual showcases, falling victim to the pandemic.

To keep readers up-to-date with closures and cancellations in Waveney, this page will be updated throughout the week.

Marina Theatre

The Lowestoft theatre announced their temporary closure on Tuesday, March 17.

The Seagull Theatre in Pakefield. Picture: Nick Butcher

The Seagull Theatre in Pakefield. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Theatre bosses confirmed no date for their reopening had been set, saying their policy will be reviewed in-line with government advice.

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Anyone with tickets for upcoming events will be contacted by the theatre’s box office team.

Seagull Theatre

Like the Marina Theatre, Pakefield’s Seagull Theatre announced their closure on Tuesday, March 17.

The Bungay Festival of Running 2019Setting off for the 10kByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 201

The Bungay Festival of Running 2019Setting off for the 10kByline: Sonya DuncanCopyright: Archant 2019 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

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It is hoped to reopen on April 6, with the closure aimed at safeguarding performers, staff, volunteers and audience members.

All events, including hiring of the venue, have been cancelled.

A spokesperson said: “Ticket holders of events which have been cancelled during the closure period will be dealt with in the following ways: You may ask for a credit note so that the value of your purchase can be used for a performance at a later date; You may simply wish to donate the value of your ticket to the Seagull to support us in this financially challenging situation; You may request a full refund from us.

“We appreciate this situation may cause financial hardship to some of our patrons and we therefore are happy to issue full refunds if this will support you.”

Crowds in the Market Square at Southwold Arts Festival 2018. Photo: Ian Lomas

Crowds in the Market Square at Southwold Arts Festival 2018. Photo: Ian Lomas - Credit: Ian Lomas

Bungay Festival of Running

The Bungay Festival of Running will not take place this year, the Bungay Black Dog Running Club have announced.

The event was due to be held on April 19, with a marathon, half marathon, 10k and 5k races scheduled.

Race director Karen Gedge said: “Following government COVID-19 guideline with regard to sporting events and mass gatherings, and in consideration of the health and safety of the 1,000 runners, as well as the many marshals and event staff who would have taken part in the multi-race events, we believe this is the right decision.

Crime thriller novelist Peter James gives a talk during a previous 'Slaughter in Southwold' festival

Crime thriller novelist Peter James gives a talk during a previous 'Slaughter in Southwold' festival. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

“Unfortunately, the autumn 2020 race calendar is rather busy and it has not been possible to find an empty alternative slot to reschedule this year.”

Slaughter in Southwold

The Southwold Library Crime Writer’s Festival, Slaughter in Southwold, has been cancelled, Suffolk Libraries have announced.

The event was due to feature author talks by Stephen Booth, Louise Candlish, Rory Clements, Alex Gray, James Henry, Cara Hunter, William Shaw and Lesley Thomson.

A murder mystery dinner and quiz night were also due to be held, with the festival originally scheduled for Saturday, June 13 and Sunday, June 14.

The library has also cancelled their Meet the Minidonks event set for April 7, and Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s Marsh on the Move roadshow, due to take place on April 15.

Southwold Arts Festival

The Southwold Arts Festival has also been cancelled due to the outbreak, with the event now due to return in 2021.

In a statement, organisers said: “It is with great regret that we have decided to cancel the 2020 Southwold Arts Festival.

“Coronavirus presents a unique challenge and we feel that cancellation is the most responsible action to take in these extraordinary circumstances.

“Please contact ticket source for refunds.

“Thank you so much for your support and we hope that we will see you in 2021.”

The festival was due to be held from June 20 until June 28.

Suffolk Libraries

All library events and activities have been postponed. The Home Library Service has been suspended until further notice.

Saxmundham Library and Southwold Library are currently closed due to staff shortages.

At this moment the other libraries are open, but there is a possibility some or all will close.

In terms of renewals, reservations and charges – all overdue charges incurred from March 17 onwards have been suspended.

To renew books due back before March 17, login to your online account. Reservation collection dates have been extended in case libraries are closed or people have self-isolated.

Lowestoft Town Cricket Club

A Lowestoft Town CC spokesman said: “There will be no Adult or Junior Practice sessions until further notice. We are waiting for an update from the ECB regarding the 2020 season.”

RSPB Lowestoft Local Group

The RSPB Lowestoft Local Group is to cease all indoor and outdoor activities with immediate effect until at least September 1.

Easter Circus in Southwold

The Southwold Circus planned for April 10 and 11 will be postponed indefinitely until a new date can be arranged.

Sam Culwick (aka Pippi Ribbons), said it was a shame that the Monkey Business circus had to be postponed, but added: “This is merely a postponement and we will have more information when things start looking up, fingers crossed!”

Beccles Food and Drink Festival

The return of the Beccles Food and Drink Festival has also been postponed.

Despite plans being in full swing, organisers have announced, “with great regret”, the decision to postpone the festival until 2021.

Paul Parravani, on behalf of the organising team, said: “Planning was in the advanced stages, we had the first draft of our 32 page programme, and we were excited about the increased number and variety of stalls, new venues, new Fringe events and a fresh and diverse cookery theatre line-up.

“However, the health and safety of all of our helpers, stall holders and visitors must always be our top priority, and with the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK expected around the date of the Festival, we believe postponement is the right decision.

“Early postponement allows all involved to plan accordingly, minimises business disruption and ensures we do not incur unrecoverable costs that would jeopardise the running of future Festivals.

“In order to support those businesses who have booked and paid for stalls, adverts and Fringe events, full refunds will be made as soon as possible.

“We would like to thank those organisations who had agreed to assist with our Festival this year, and without whose support we could not run the event: Beccles Lions, Helping Hands, Bungay Area Community Transport, Beccles Business and Tourism Association, St Michael’s Church, Hungate Church and Hall, the Waveney Centre, East Coast College, Beccles Town Council, Beccles Farmers Market, Andrew Elvin Removals, and of course the businesses in Beccles and the wider area who have stalls, host Fringe events, take programme adverts, and donate competition prizes.

“We hope you understand the reasons we have taken this difficult decision, and we look forward to coming back bigger and better in 2021.”

Lowestoft Lions Easter Egg Trail

Over recent years thousands of excited young children have descended on a Lowestoft park on Easter Sunday to search for the answers to clues that will earn them the reward of a chocolate egg.

However this year the event, in Sparrow’s Nest Gardens, has been cancelled in line with government guidelines to combat the spread of coronavirus by reducing social contact.

The Lions had already made vouchers available to guarantee children a place on the trail.

But now they have sadly halted the distribution – after 80 per cent had already gone out.

With the chocolate eggs having already been bought for this year’s event, sponsored by Nicholsons Solicitors, the Lions are working hard to try to find a safe, approved method for those families who already have vouchers, to exchange them for the chocolate treats on Easter Sunday.

Lion President John Swatton said: “We are sad that we will not be able to go ahead with this very popular family event, that is specifically aimed at children aged 10 and under.

“But we are working out a way to reduce the disappointment for them by making sure they still get an egg – and ask people to please keep an eye on our Facebook page for further updates.”

Halesworth town council postpones all meetings

The schedule of all council meetings during the coronavirus emergency is “under review”. The council say they will only hold meetings if it is “essential” to do so and “will make every effort to limit the number of attendees pending further advice from the government.”

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