So as promised....5 weeks prior to our proposed alternative September show date, we have had to make a big decision.
The opening of markets and car boots a few weeks ago, was a very welcome step forwards, in what is called “Phase 3” of the opening of the economy & I’m absolutely delighted, for all those who can now get out & about with their stalls.
However, things.....as we have seen from recent quick change holiday restrictions, localised lockdowns and the cancelling of the public participation in the big “test” event, at Goodwood Racecourse today....less than 24hours prior to the actual event.....remain delicate and subject to change without much notice at all. “Phase 4” is not looking imminent.
I have spent some time, studying the new (July 2020), 15 pages of advice & good practice, for event organisers, written in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), to see if we could implement all of the required regulations & guidelines (some of which I’ve photographed below).
My conclusion is, that as we are basically just a very small group of willing & extremely dedicated volunteers....not an events company....we have far more to lose putting on a Rally, should we fail to manage the event, to the high Covid-19 protection standards required and to the satisfaction of the local authorities and H&S.
The main points for this decision are;
1. We are not set up for online bookings & tickets, therefore controlling public entry numbers and taking the names & contact numbers, of pay at the gate visitors, for the track & trace system would be arduous and pretty impossible to control. If one person had a positive test after the show, we would be under an obligation to pass on this information and I feel that is far too much pressure to place on our lovely ladies on the pay gate..,all of whom volunteer.
2. On the showground social distancing would be mandatory and compulsory at all times. There are guidelines on Marquees (no sides, or mechanically blown fresh air ) We would also not be allowed to have crowds gathered around an arena, neither the main arena or the tractor pulling .....and at the time of writing “live” performances are still not allowed......there are rules for commentators & sound equipment & microphones....so if Smallwood Rally had no arenas & no entertainments....it wouldn’t be “our” Smallwood Rally, the crowds who pay to enjoy the full “show time” that we put on each year , wouldn’t come through the gate and we would have simply wasted some of the important financial security, that we have built up over the last few years to protect this Rally into the future.
3. Local licensing restrictions and insurance obligations.
4. Whilst we acknowledge exhibitors, traders, caterers, demonstrators and our fairground friends, are very keen and positively enthusiastic about returning to events; we have to weigh up all the additional covid-19 restrictions and feel that our small Smallwood team, cannot, at this particular time, take on the responsibility for everyone’s personal safety & protection, the mountain of paperwork and new regulations, the work required to obtain additional risk assessments, required by all the exhibitors and traders and after all that, to produce a safe, socially distanced event in 5 weeks time.
So it’s with a very heavy heart .....but definitely for all the right reasons; to protect all of you and to protect our wonderful Smallwood Rally.....we will not be having a 2020 event.
Let’s all hope, that the next 6 months, brings much more positivity, as we carry on & work towards our May 2021 event as normal and everything we had planned for 2020, is carried forwards.....Arena acts, Foden’s Band, flypasts etc etc....
Everyone who asked for a 2020 refund has had one, all private campers were also refunded. Traders, you truly are a fabulous bunch of people , we are delighted that nearly all of you have asked for your bookings to be carried forwards to 2021. A really massive thank you for that. Anyone who does now want a refund and to cancel their 2021 pitch, please, just get in touch.
Exhibitors: the forms on the website will be updated over the weekend to the 2021 dates.....a new booking in form will need to be submitted to your section stewards.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for such loyal support, at what has turned out to be, the most difficult of years and challenging circumstances for all of us.
Thank you from The Smallwood Rally Organisers and the whole Team
New dates; our usual Bank Holiday weekend
29, 30, 31 May 2021
Smallwood Vintage Rally welcomes you to our established family fun show, on the A50 near Sandbach, Cheshire (Junction 17 of the M6).
We have a big variety of trade and autojumble stands offering everything from: Tweed Handbags to Workwear, Tools, Hats, Antiques, Footwear, Collectables, Cakes and much, much more...
A craft marquee, children's amusements, arena events (see the Event Timetable for details), vintage classic and modern vehicle exhibits including: commercials, cars, military, motorbikes, fire engines, a great selection of steam engines and a great display of tractors.
On Saturday 29th May, Hinson & Parry will be holding a collective & vintage auction at 10am. Entries Telephone: 01782713444
The popular tractor pulling will be held over the whole weekend, including night time pulling, a fabulous spectator event.
We have nightly beer tent entertainment from 4pm on Friday 28th.
A wide variety of hot food, snacks and drinks are always available on site all weekend!
Saturday is our family fun day, with lots going on, with our regular Calypso Steel Band creating a happy atmosphere. New attractions for 2021 include Zoo2U, a local educational facility bringing Meerkats, Skunks, Reptiles and other small animals for children to see and learn about, Cheshire K9 dog team will be holding displays and hosting their first Smallwood Fun Dog show, on both days of the Rally, entries taken each day at their stand, for every type of dog and rosettes to all winners. Lots of other children’s entertainment including our famous sand pit, donkey rides along with the return of the fairground.
We are delighted to welcome FODENS BAND on the Sunday, one of the most famous brass bands in the country and surely the most appropriate for our show, being held right by the birthplace of Edwin Foden. The band will be playing throughout Sunday and we thank HASLINGTON HAULAGE for sponsoring the band stand marquee. The Giant Tortoises will be back on Sunday and Monday, along with Birds of Prey.
The highlight of our arena entertainment will be a thrilling display from BROKE FMX, motorcross stunt team, on both Sunday and Monday.
We also thank our existing show sponsors; HAMPTON’S SCRAP METAL DEALERS, TIDYSITE SKIP HIRE, ASHBROOK’S AND SIBELCO SAND for their continued and generous support.
Lots of fun for all the family at just £7.50 entry for adults and under 15s free. Weekend camping for the general public is also available at £60 per pitch for two adults children free!