Adverse weather forced Dickensian Market cancellation

ONE of the centre pieces of St Ives Christmas lights event had to be abandoned on Sunday as strong winds blew across Cambridgeshire. The Dickensian Market, a themed event with costumes for stall holders, was to be part of the Christmas switch-on celebrat

ONE of the centre pieces of St Ives' Christmas lights event had to be abandoned on Sunday as strong winds blew across Cambridgeshire.

The Dickensian Market, a themed event with costumes for stall holders, was to be part of the Christmas switch-on celebrations but was cancelled in a last minute decision on Sunday morning.

Angie Dickinson, chairman of St Ives Town Initiative, which organised the event, apologised to all of the people who turned up expecting to attend the event, but said the decision was a health and safety one.

"We would like to apologise to those people who turned up on Sunday expecting to find our Dickensian Market and who were naturally very disappointed," she said. "As you can imagine it was not a decision that was made lightly by those involved.

"Many hours of planning have taken place over the past 12 months for what has been in the past a very successful event."

She said when volunteers arrived to help erect the stalls at 6am on Sunday, it soon became obvious that it was going to be a very difficult job in the winds and torrential rain.

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And when parts of the first stall, which was being erected in Bridge Street, were blown away, the market was cancelled.

Mrs Dickinson said: "We had no option under health and safety guidelines but to cancel.

"As chairman I would much rather be in the position of trying to explain the reasons for the cancellation than having to justify why we went ahead and someone was badly injured or maybe even worse."

She added: "We would like to thank the sponsors of the event, the stall holders and the funfair for their support and understanding when being informed at 6.30am."

It is hoped the market will be run next year.

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