No Happening ‘11

FOR the first time in its 23-year history, last weekend’s Midsummer Happening in Victoria Park was cancelled because of the weather.

Organisers from Ilkeston Rotary Club were forced to pull the plug on the event, which attracts hundreds of visitors and raises thousands of pounds for charity every year, while they were setting up on Saturday.

Heavy rain meant that only a quarter of the stallholders booked turned up and parents of some of the young performers in groups like the popular Dance Divas, were ‘anxious’ about safety, according to Rotary junior vice-President Mike Perry.

“I am disappointed but it’s just one of those things,” he said. “We had to consider the youngsters performing – it was just too dangerous.

“A lot of people did turn up but generally they understood. We gave them a bacon butty and a cup of tea.”

There were also fears that the classic cars and buses on show at the event would damage the grass at the Erewash Borough Council-owned park.

“It would have cost us far too much to clean up afterwards because of the mud,” he said.

The move has lost the club between £300 and £400, which Mike said will have to be paid for out of members’ contingency fund so cash is not taken from the good causes the club supports.

He said the club will put extra effort into raising funds at the Ilkeston Community Hospital garden party on Saturday August 6.

Midsummer Happening will be back in June next year so it will fall under newly elected President Colin Ware’s Rotary year in office.

Last year’s event raised £1,400 for the club, a share of which was given to Ilkeston-based charity Ben’s Den, which send terminally ill children on caravan holidays amongst others.