Chasewater Transport Show is saved at 11th hour

A major transport show that attracts thousands of people to a Staffordshire beauty spot has been saved at the 11th hour after new sponsors stepped forward.

The annual Chasewater Transport Show next month was at serious risk of being cancelled due to lack of funding.

But an appeal in the Express & Star prompted several offers of help – including a £500 donation from an exhibitor who dug into his own pockets.

Local companies have also come forward with offers of prizes. Cannock-based organiser Helen Borton said the event is now on track to be the biggest yet. "I'm overjoyed but probably more relieved than anything that the show can go ahead. Even as late as last week, it was touch and go," she said.

In fact organisers have had so many inquiries from would-be exhibitors that they have already had to close the category for single entry competitors. The show was dealt a blow in January when two regular sponsors were forced to pull out because of the continuing economic climate,

Now Wolverhampton exhibitor Ivor Ward, who shows a 1979 Leland Mini and a 1987 Bedford Box van, and Burntwood firm K & G Bodyshops have both stepped in to help.

Norton and District Funeral Directors and Need 2 Insure car insurance have remained as sponsors, with the funeral firm actually increasing its contribution by £100 in response to the story. Car care firm Autoglym has donated seven body care kits and a large hamper full of car shampoo, polishes, waxes and other products as prizes.

Burntwood-based Staffordshire Signs and Graphics have also donated signs and posters.

Miss Borton, of Walnut Drive, said: "It's gone crazy in the last few days. I'm really happy that I haven't got to disappoint a lot of people. There's been a fantastic response from people, I'm really grateful that instead of disappearing, the show looks set to be even better than ever."

More than 6,000 regularly attend the spring show. Last year, figures almost doubled previous visitor records, with 10,000 people attending.

Around 500 classic, vintage and modern vehicles take part in the show at Chasewater Country Park, with trophies in nine classes.

The event on April 21, costs £6,500 to put on, including £500 for public liability insurance and payments for the hire of the site, including car parking facilities, generators and portable toilets.

New attractions this year include a Victorian steam-powered popcorn maker and possibly a fly-past by a Russian First World War plane.

Entries are still being accepted in the commercial, military and steam engine categories. Those interested should call 01543 500926.

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