Major events fall victim to bad weather

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A steam rally set to take place this Bank Holiday is the first major casualty of the downpour of rain which has drenched much of the region this week.

Rushden Historical Transport Society was forced to cancel the annual Rushden Cavalcade of Historical Transport and Country Show for the first time in its 34-year history.

Organisers made the “difficult” decision after inspecting the ground, which was mostly drenched or under water, yesterday lunchtime.

The society had already put up marquees and written programmes in preparations for the show, which provides the town’s transport museum with up to £30,000 a year.

The decision was made as weather experts announced that rainfall during April had been two-and-a-half times the amount usually expected for the month.

Society chairman John Sugars said: “We’re extremely disappointed to make this decision – it will be a massive blow this year for the museum.

“But because of the constant rainfall, except on Monday, we could not take the risk of vehicles and people turning up for a cancelled event.

“Following the dry weather we were confident it was going to go ahead as normal, but the recent wet weather has hit us back.” The show attracts more than 25,000 visitors each year and brings together more than 1,000 exhibits of traction engines and vintage vehicles from across the country.

There is also craft, military and model tents as well as fun fair rides, a real ale bar and a variety of stalls.

The society, which has so far spent £10,000 on this year’s cancelled show, is unlikely to hold the event later in the year.

As well as the steam rally cancellation, many of the region’s attractions have also been affected by the rain downpour.

While Stanwicks Lakes in Irthingborough is open, yesterday the car park, adventure playground and some paths were flooded.

Wellingborough-based canoe hire firm Canoe 2 has had to turn customers away because of strong currents down the River Nene.

Kettering Ise Skate Park was also closed yesterday because of the weather.

The British Falconry Fair, which was set to take place in the grounds of Althorp House in Northampton on Sunday and Monday, has also been cancelled.

Organisers said yesterday they were looking at the possibility of rescheduling the event.

One good bit of news was water was now trickling through water channels to the meadow at Wicksteed Park Nature Reserve for the first time since they were dug up more than a year ago.