The biggest event in Chorley’s calendar was a triumph on Saturday but rained off on Sunday, much to the disappointment of organisers and visitors.
The Chorley Flower Show was cancelled on its second day amid safety fears as a result of heavy rain which left the Astley Hall site sodden and marquees at the mercy of high winds.
Despite organisers Chorley Council saying it had hoped to be able to open on Sunday and carry on Saturday’s success, the event was called off following an intense morning of on-site checks and just minutes after saying they were trying to make the site safe enough.
Coun Alistair Bradley, leader of Chorley Council, said: “Thousands of people enjoyed a great day at the show on Saturday and it was a real shame we had to cancel the event on Sunday.
“We did all we could to get the show on but the strong winds and heavy rain meant we took the decision to cancel the show for the safety of visitors and people taking part in the show - something which traders and exhibitors were in agreement with.”
Rumours the show was cancelled had circulated on social media after people were turned away on Sunday morning, and the council had previously took to Facebook to tell show goers to come “dressed for the weather”.
It came as a huge shock following two months of glorious weather that has baked Lancashire and the country as a whole, leading to comparisons to the summer of 1976.
After the cancellation, the feeling among show attendees on social media was one of great sympathy.
Peter West said: “I feel for you all after all this nice weather we’ve had; it must have been a hard decision to make. I attended yesterday and was coming again today, keep up the good work you do for the community always something on somewhere.”
Helen Fairweather said: “After three years of being lucky with the weather, it’s a shame that it’s the opposite this year but never mind we’re happy to support the event and will buy tickets for next year.”
Stew Benson added: “A brave and polarising decision, but probably the right one. I went yesterday and was very lucky to meet Adam Frost and we as a family had a great time, so thank you for that opportunity. Looking forward to next year’s show.”
Coun Bradley added: “On the Saturday we had people visiting Chorley from right across the North West and beyond with many people commenting upon how impressed they were with the show and what we have to offer here in our borough.
“It was great to see so much support for the show and we unveiled the new Garden of Reflection, which is a new permanent garden and performance area in Astley Park.”
Coun Bradley explained that insurance should cover any losses: “As you’d expect with an event of this nature we have insurance in place to cover the cost of having to cancel the event due to adverse weather conditions. We’re just working through the detail of that so we won’t know the exact cost until that is all sorted.”
Even with the rain, a hosepipe ban is still due to come into force on Sunday across the whole of the North West.
And a 55-mile stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool canal between Wigan and Skipton was closed yesterday, and is set to remain so for all of August, due to drought concerns.
A spokesman for the Flower Show confirmed that everyone who had a ticket for the Sunday will be refunded and details of that will be shared in due course.