THE popular Great Dorset Steam Fair scheduled to take place in August has been cancelled for a second consecutive year.

Organisers said, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it became “unfeasible” to host the event as planned in Blandford Forum from August 26 to August 20.

Steam Fair managing director Martin Oliver said: “We have continued to closely monitor the coronavirus pandemic over the past few weeks and whilst the ongoing vaccination programme is progressing well and should be commended, it has nevertheless become increasingly evident that it is unfeasible to run the GDSF event again this year.

“This has been a very difficult decision to make, however, as our pre-planning for the 2021 event has now reached a critical stage, we have no other option than to make the decision now to not continue with the event this year and focus our efforts on the 2022 show.

“The ongoing problem the GDSF board of directors face is that of uncertainty as to what statutory Covid restrictions will still be in place in August for large scale, high-capacity mass gatherings like the GDSF.

“Sadly, the risk is simply too great for us to run this year, it would be an enormous health and safety, operational and financial gamble which we cannot justify. Our priority therefore has to be to safeguard the viability of the event for future years and by not risking running in 2021, this will enable us to return in 2022. 

“Ultimately, the safety and wellbeing of our visitors, exhibitors, traders, staff and contractors is always our primary concern, combined with the effect to the local area, towns, parishes and residents.

“We are also very conscious of the impact that the event would have on the NHS, emergency services, local authority and partner agencies, and we do not want to unnecessarily stretch their resources any further this year. 

“We offer our sincere apologies to all involved and I can assure you that we at the GDSF are equally as disheartened and disappointed that for a second consecutive year there will be no show. However, not running the show again this year is the right and responsible thing to do on all counts.”