Popular Bedfordshire Steam fair on hold after row over money with Shuttleworth

A popular event on the Bedfordshire diary has been abandoned over a row about money.

The annual Bedfordshire Steam & Country Fayre, will not be held this year, organisers announced this week.

b11-1076 Bedfordshire Steam & Country Fair at Shuttleworth College, Old Warden. ENGPNL00120110918174428

b11-1076 Bedfordshire Steam & Country Fair at Shuttleworth College, Old Warden. ENGPNL00120110918174428

The Bedford Steam Engine Preservation Society issued a statement saying: “Due to a large increase in the financial terms and conditions placed upon us by the team at Shuttleworth this year, the Officers & Committee of the Bedford Steam Engine Preservation Society have decided it is time to move the annual Bedfordshire Steam & Country Fayre to a new venue.”

They told disappointed fans there was not enough time to get plans in place for a new venue for the event, which was due on the weekend of September 13.

The committee said: “We thank you for your continued support of the Society.

“The last 22 years at Old Warden have seen us grow into one of the premier events on the preservation calendar and hope you will join us again on the 18th, 19th & 20th September 2020 at our new venue.

“Further details of the 2020 plans will be released in due course.

“In the meantime, come along and support the Society at our summer event, the South Beds Country Show at New Manor Farm, Harlington on the 29th & 30th June 2019.

“Follow us on social media to keep up with our latest news and other events, search for #bedfordsteam.”

A spokesman for Shuttleworth said: “Shuttleworth and Old Warden Park has had a long and successful association with the Bedfordshire Steam & Country Fair and are disappointed to lose it for the 2019 season. It’s been a very popular local event that fits very well with the history of the Shuttleworth estate, and the Trust respects the work that Bedfordshire Steam & Preservation Society undertake to encourage interest in steam preservation through their events and steam apprentice activities.

“Significant works are being carried out on the Trust’s Grade 2* Listed Parkland, which has contributed to the Trust having to look carefully at event costs for this year. It is hoped that there will be opportunity to discuss future events with Bedfordshire Steam & Preservation Society, and wish them very well”.