Annual Pageant of Transport under threat

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 February 2019 | UPDATED: 13:06 07 February 2019

Paul Stamps with his '57 Chevrolet.

Paul Stamps with his '57 Chevrolet.

Archant

Organisers are 'battling to save' one of Weston-super-Mare's longest-running events, as council fee increases have meant they can no longer for to run it.

Gary Ball with some vintage trucks owned by his employer Harris & Miners.Gary Ball with some vintage trucks owned by his employer Harris & Miners.

The Pageant of Transport, which has been running for more than 40 years sees hundreds of classic and vintage vehicles converge on the town’s Beach Lawns every Easter.

However, the two-day charity event, scheduled to take place from April 20-21, has run into trouble as organisers claim North Somerset Council has increased the cost to rent the Beach Lawns, as well as, impose additional regulations and charges which will make holding the event more difficult.

This year’s event was going to raise cash for Weston Sea Cadets.

Organiser Keith Palmer said: “The council can’t seem to get it into its thick skulls that we have never made a penny out of these shows, it all goes to charity.”

Ray Melluish in his Sunbeam Talbot Alpine from 1953.Ray Melluish in his Sunbeam Talbot Alpine from 1953.

“I suppose the times we live in it’s rare for someone to do something for nothing.”

However, the pageant could still be saved as many of the car clubs involved in the show have stepped in to try and save the event.

Former sea cadet chairman, and organiser, George Coles said: “We had our usual meeting with the council and we were told they have increased costs, and have decided to impose additional constraints that meant we could not afford to go ahead with it.”

“There’s still some hope at the moment as some of the car clubs were so disappointed to hear the news, they have decided to step in to try and save it.

Easter Pageant of Transport.Easter Pageant of Transport.

“Last year we had more than 1,000 cars there. it was an amazing spectacle.”

A spokesman for North Somerset Council said: “When an individual or organisation approaches us and wants to hold an event on our land there is a fee to pay.

“There are costs incurred by us to administer, facilitate and support these events and we do need to make sure that the assets we have generate an income.

“Different rates are charged depending on the type of organisation holding the event and the numbers expected to attend.

Gary Ball with some vintage trucks owned by his employer Harris & Miners.Gary Ball with some vintage trucks owned by his employer Harris & Miners.

“In discussions we’ve had with the organiser they told us they weren’t able to pay for the lawn space they use, or meet the documentation or traffic management requirements which we ask of every organiser for an event of this size.”

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