TORRENTIAL rain on Saturday put a damper on the annual Stroud Country Show held at Stratford Park.
Despite months of hard work by organisers, nothing could stop the wave of disappointment as the heavens opened on Friday night with downpours throughout most of the following day.
A host of fantastic activities were poised to thrill the potential crowds expected with rides, stalls, livestock classes, dog shows , a horticultural tent and a selection of vintage vehicles on display.
Organisers opened the show at 10am but were wondering whether to go ahead as the black clouds descended and a series of rumours began circulating that the show had been cancelled.
“Some of the exhibitors didn’t turn up because they heard it wasn’t going ahead,” said Edna Powell, chairman of the show’s organising committee.
“Others came but packed up early because they got very cold and wet,” she said.
“But the volunteers were wonderful and so were the people who turned up and decided to battle through the elements regardless.
“Everything was set up before the thunderstorm hit. I think everyone was enjoying the challenge.”
The Stroud Brewery team arrived and unloaded but rumours of cancellation and indecisiveness meant they were soon packing up again.
“We got caught up in a series of Chinese Whispers,” said Greg Pilley, owner of the brewery.
“We heard people were being prevented from coming on site and that the show wasn’t going to go ahead.
“Some said we abandoned them but I would have been happy to have put a smaller team in there and stay for the day.
“There was a lot of poor communication,” he said.
But judging of livestock and horiticulture went ahead as planned and a basket of knitted baby bootees was presented to The Samaritans Purse duty manager Carey Ratcliffe for Operation Christmas Child.
Edna who owns the Sewing Shop in Lansdown organised the pattern for the appeal and the Knit & Natter group who also meet at the shop raised more than £50 for the Pied Piper Appeal through the sale of knitted toys and keepsakes.
Undaunted Edna said that although the numbers were severely affected by the weather this year, those that were there ‘mucked in’ and ‘thoroughly enjoyed themselves.’
“That’s our British summer weather – we just have to get on with it rain or shine,” she said.
“We will bounce back next year.”