History Festival and Little Gransden Air and Car Show cancelled due to virus concerns

The 2020 Gransden Air Show has been cancelled

The 2020 Gransden Air Show has been cancelled - Credit: Archant

An air show which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity has fallen victim to the coronavirus.

It is the first time that Little Gransden Air and Car Show has had to be cancelled, apart from last-minute bad weather problems, since it started in 1992.

Dave Poile, a founder of the event, said: “It is disappointing, but I would rather have that than someone catch the virus.”

He said organisers could not take the risk that the lockdown would be lifted in time for the highly popular show to take place in its usual slot in the August bank holiday.

The Little Gransden event is just one of a series of air shows scheduled to take place this summer which have been cancelled because of the lockdown put in place to combat the coronavirus.

Mr Poile said it would have been impossible for the crowds to meet social distancing requirements if they were still in place at the time of the show.

He said most of this summer’s main air shows had already been cancelled but understood that the annual Battle of Britain show at Duxford in September was still scheduled to go ahead at this stage, along with some of the events at the Shuttleworth Collection, near Biggleswade, although others there had been called off.

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“We are looking to come back in August 2021,” Mr Poile said.

The show, at Little Gransden airfield, started as a small fly-in and classic car event but has grown to attract thousands of aircraft and vehicle fans.

Its best year was in 2014 when it was fortunate to be selected for one of the displays featuring the world’s last two flying Lancaster bombers as the Canadian heritage aircraft toured the UK.

The show, which features an afternoon of flying and a display of hundreds of classic cars, has raised around £320,000 for charity, most of which goes to the BBC Children in Need appeal.

Huntingdonshire’s history festival, which was to have taken place over the summer, has also been called off because of the coronavirus alert.

Mike Addis, chairman, said it was “no surprise” that the event had been cancelled in the circumstances but that they hoped to run it again next year.

He said organisers would have to wait over the next few months to see what happened before making a decision.