County Show Makes A Loss
The organisers of the Kent County Show say they are expecting to have made a loss of around £300,000 after having to turn away thousands of visitors over the weekend.
The three day event fell victim to the weather, with torrential downpours leaving the car parks a muddy mess.
Officials took the decision to close the gates to vehicles at lunchtime on Friday. Staff and volunteers worked late to repair the parking areas, and they were reopened the next morning for the second day of the show, but had to be closed again mid morning when more rain arrived.
It was a similar story on Saturday night and Sunday morning too.
In all two hundred tons of bark chippings and more than 100 tons of road plainings in the form of crushed bitumen were used to help create firm surfaces, particularly around the gateways and around the showground itself.
Most planned events and exhibits went ahead.
Roger Moore, executive manager at Kent Showground, said: "Visitors who did make it to the show were determined to have a good time despite the weather and ground conditions. Sunday was the best weather-wise and attracted the largest crowds.
"While the show stayed open, we had to close various sections of the car parks on each day to ensure public safety. Unfortunately, this prevented some visitors from attending. However, many people did use public transport or made other travel arrangements."
The show is organised by the Kent County Agricultural Society, and its chairman George Jessel said: "We know that many people would have been disappointed not to be able to enter the show, and we would like to apologise for any inconvenience but public safety was of paramount importance.
"The safety precautions taken by the society ensured the show passed without any serious incidents."
Pre-booked ticket holders requiring a refund will be offered equivalent tickets for the 2013 show. They should send this year's tickets to the Showground Office with a covering letter.