Firstly, to repeat what was announced on our web sites and in social media on 15th August:
- The show planned for Saturday 14th November 2020 will not go ahead
- The next National Garden Railway show will take place on Saturday 26th June 2021
I am writing this on the evening of Monday 11th January, against the backdrop of the current severe restrictions, which have amongst other things seen indoor events suspended, as Covid-19 infections surge out of control. Dark though these times are, the Association still needs to plan for a future which isn’t hostage to the current pandemic, for bad as it is, it won’t last forever.
My conviction that this is the right thing to do is reinforced by the UK government’s Covid-19 vaccines delivery plan, announced in a press release today, signalling its clear intent to have offered Covid-19 vaccination to tens of millions of people by Spring. England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty said today, “the next few weeks are going to be the worst weeks of this pandemic”, but at the same time, the government’s ambitious immunisation plan, to have vaccinated all those over 50 by the end of April, offers guarded confidence that the current surge in infections will have been overcome and be in decline by Spring. If this happens, we can anticipate gradual relaxation of the current restrictions and that the National Show will still be able to go ahead as planned, albeit with significant changes to its pre-Pandemic format.
The basis on which indoor events take place will continue to evolve and change, just as they do for most aspects of Covid-19 life, but at this stage we can anticipate that our show will need to change in various ways. These are outlined below – clicking on each of the headings will reveal the detail. Please recognise that these are preliminary and subject to ratification by the Peterborough local authority which will licence the show to take place in June.
Alan Regan, Chairman & Membership Secretary