Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
Dub Aid closes gates after rain pours down in Malmesbury
Mandy and Dexter Pidgeon, Nobby Viana-West, Claire Krauss, James Pidgeon and Lawrence Purser make the best of conditions at Charlton Park.
Dub Aid will be back, pledged organisers after torrential rainfall dampened their original plans.
But the next fundraising event may be moved to a later date in a bid to avoid such bad weather again.
Dub Aid started in 2011 to unite Volkswagen owners and celebrate the return of troops to Royal Wootton Bassett.
And this was the second time that Volkswagen owners from across the country descended on Charlton Park, Malmesbury, for the weekend.
But spokesman Chris Redford said they had no option but to turn others away at the gate after rain poured down on Friday.
Mr Redford said: “When we arrived on Wednesday to put everything in place, pitches for traders, marquees and toilets, it was fine – and the ground was solid on Thursday.
“We opened the gates at noon on Friday and at 1pm the heavens opened.”
Once the ground had become slippery the organisers had no option but to close the gates to anyone else arriving in their camper vans on Saturday and those who were expecting to enjoy a day out.
“We had so much difficulty moving around the site, having to tow vehicles around which were already there, that it wouldn’t have been safe for those arriving, those already there and us,” said Mr Redford.
Behind the closed gates the show went on as normal, with performances by bands and awards for best vehicles.
But there were only about 200 camper vans on the site compared to the 380 advance tickets which had been sold.
And normally 1,000 day visitors would have been expected on the Saturday and Sunday.
In previous years Dub Aid has raised about £15,000 for charities. And proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital, Wiltshire Air Ambulance Appeal and St John Ambulance.
Mr Redford said: “The advance ticket sales covered our costs so all the day visitors’ admissions would have gone to charity – we would have raised about £10,000 from those alone.
“There will be some money to go to the charities but we haven’t been able to work out how much yet; I only got home from the site and cleaned up on Tuesday.
“We will talk about what we can do to avoid a similar situation again but so far we’ve been very lucky with the weather.
“It might be that we move it nearer June but rain can come down at any time, of course.”