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Monday, 01 September 2014

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‘Correct decision’ to cancel Georgian Fair say organisers

Organisers of Cockermouth’s Georgian Fair say they made the right decision cancelling this year’s event because of major road works.

Georgian Fair photo

Main Street closed two weeks ago and is expected to be shut until August while a £1.7m improvement scheme goes ahead.

Before the work started, the Cockermouth Georgian Fair organising group announced that this year’s event – which was due to be held in May – was cancelled and would be back in 2015.

Now seeing the impact that the road closure has had on the town, marketing and publicity co-ordinator Stuart Wiltshire said it would have been impossible to stage the event while works were ongoing.

“The feeling within the organising group is that we made the right decision to cancel, and thank goodness we had sufficient time to make that decision,” added Mr Wiltshire.

At the time of cancelling, the committee said that because of the major repair works, combined with legal the complications of road closures, there would be “insurmountable difficulties” in staging part of the event on Main Street, as usually happens.

There were suggestions by the county council’s traffic management team to hold the fair at alternative locations, but Mr Wiltshire, said there was nowhere else suitable.

“The organising group believe it is important to put on a top-rate event and we feel that to change location or to reduce the scale of the event would be to compromise the quality and scope of the fair,” he added.

“The Georgian Fair will be back with the morris dancing, entertainment in the street all the fun and games and with everyone dressed in Georgian outfits next year.”

Even though this year’s full event will not go ahead, there will be a performance from Lucy Adlington of The History Wardrobe, of Oh, My Poor Nerves: Health and Hypochondria in Jane Austen’s England.

The production was booked before the decision was taken to cancel the fair and will go ahead at The Kirkgate Centre on Friday, May 2.

The Georgian Fair was first held in 2005. Last year’s four-day event attracted 15,000 to the town.

Work to Main Street will include improvements to bring the road up to the standard it was before the 2009 floods. The northern pavement will be re-laid in sandstone, and drainage and street lighting improved. There will be a new layout for parking, loading bays, taxi ranks and bus stops.

JBarwise@cngroup.co.uk

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