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Devon County Show cancellation is not a "knock-out punch" but doubts surface over its future

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: May 24, 2014

Devon County Show was cancelled due to health and safety fears

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Questions have been raised over whether the Devon County Show can bounce back from the "heart-breaking" decision to cancel its busiest day.

Organisers said they had no option but to call off Saturday's event after heavy rain turned the car park into a quagmire. They cited health and safety concerns following several accidents.

More than 100,000 people were expected over the three days with Saturday by far the busiest.

In addition to the loss of ticket sales, stalldholders have also raised the issue of compensation with many saying the cancellation had left them with "significant losses."

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Show secretary Ollie Allen said in a statement: "The board of the Devon County Aagriculture Association will be meeting in due course to consider all implications of this decision including the financial implications. Further announcements will be made in due course.

"We will be considering the long term implications of this and the lessons that need to be learnt in due course. For the moment our thoughts are with our visitors, exhibitors, trade stand holders, sponsors and our army of volunteers for whom this will come as a bitter disappointment."

One stallholder said: "It his a disaster. Because of this we are now at a significant loss. We have no choice as a business to look at ways we might be able to try and recoup some of these losses.

"There has to be doubts and questions over whether the show can recover from this. I do have sympathy for the organisers and this must be financially crippling for them."

But Ian Johnson, from the National Farmers' Union, said he was is confident that the show would "bounce back".

He said: "They're a resilient bunch and they have lot of ingenuity and a lot of talent on that team that put this show together.

"I have every confidence they will get up, they'll bounce back. This is a setback but it's not a knock-out punch."

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  • preloved  |  May 25 2014, 9:43PM

    A major local event in a busy traffic area .......chaos in the M5 and surrounding areas . Mmmmm cant wait to see what happens when Sandypark hosts the rugby world cup games .

  • DevonEagle  |  May 24 2014, 11:13PM

    Who made the decision to use fields for parking after the wet winter we have had? It was a disaster waiting to happen. This was far too early in the year for the location. Fetes should keep to the summer.

  • Dpope  |  May 24 2014, 1:48PM

    They were warned not to hold it on the bank holiday weekend ... If only they'd listened to the Police and County Council and held it last weekend!

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  • Shaynerer  |  May 24 2014, 11:54AM

    Mud. We've never had that in Devon before have we? Pathetic.

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