Updated: May 30
THE Leek and District Agricultural Show has become the latest big annual social gathering to be slain by the coronavirus pandemic - much to the despair of the event's newly-formed organising committee.
The show was due to make its return to Birchall playing fields on Saturday, July 25, after originally being wound up last year.
A costly reduction in income resulting in a fall in attendances over a two-year period caused the committee to pull the plug.
However, three local businessmen then came forward with a five-year rescue plan after pressure from show supporters.
Acting show chairman Rachel Torr said: In light if the coronavirus pandemic, and following the recent update from the UK Government, it is with great sadness that the newly-formed Leek and District Show Committee has announced the cancellation of the 2020 show that had been planned to take place on May 25.
"We have been continuously monitoring the situation and we've left this very difficult decision for as long as we could, in the hope that the show might have been possible to host again.
"However, due to the latest Government guidance and restrictions on large events, it's not possible at this time to host a safe event for all those involved.
"Our main priority is to protect the health and safety of our visitors, committee members and exhibitors.
"We understand this decision will be disappointing but he newly-formed committee hopes members of the public understand our decision.
"We would like to wish everyone well and we are very much looking forward to welcoming them all back next year on July 31 2021."
The Leek Show becomes the latest big annual social event in the Staffordshire Moorlands to be cancelled because of the virus, joining Leek Club Day and Cheadle Carnival.
Last weekend's big three-day May Bank Holiday attraction, Endon Well Dressing, was postponed because of lockdown social gathering restrictions
This latest cancellation casts doubts whether two more of the district's big events on the social calendar - Cheddleton Carnival and Ipstones Agricultural Show - will go ahead in August.