Todmorden Agricultural Show will no longer be held in town

Todmorden Agricultural Show, Centre Vale Park, Todmorden
Todmorden Agricultural Show, Centre Vale Park, Todmorden

Todmorden Agricultural Show will return in 2017 – but at a new out-of-town showground in Cliviger after more than 100 years of being held in the town.

The 2016 event was cancelled after 11th hour limits on vehicle weights and other restrictions were placed on use of Centre Vale Park, Todmorden, following reinstatement of flood alleviation drainage by the Environment Agency, recently handed back for management to Calderdale Council.

The event has been run by Todmorden Agricultural Society for more than a century, at Centre Vale since 1912. The society’s management committee said it had reluctantly decided to move as it is the only way an event of the size and scope the public have come to expect could be staged.

Over past weeks they have spoken further with Calderdale officers about restrictions which would have left the society liable to some degree for damage caused to the park’s drainage pipes by heavy vehicles and poles and spikes, and the effect of re-drawing the showground.

Additionally at wet weather shows protective matting would have to be provided.

On Monday evening, following a site visit to the new showground on Sunday, committee members agreed to proceed with the 2017 event at a site on the main Burnley Road at the Todmorden side of Cliviger, next to the Ram Inn.

Society secretary Rob Goldthorpe said: “We were reluctant to move but it is either that or we have a show at Centre Vale nothing like the extent that people are used to.

“For example, the scaffolding poles for cattle have to go four or five feet into the ground and you couldn’t help but hit the drainage system. We are not criticising the EA as the park is part of the town’s flood defences.

“We want to keep the event accessible to local people while enabling us to retain its size and scope. The Cliviger site is on a regular bus route and we are exploring the possibility of putting extra buses on,” said Rob.

There is ample car parking and, following some access road and drainage work by the society, the site is half as large again as space traditionally used at Centre Vale, he added.

Talks have taken place with the land’s owner, tenant and Cliviger Parish Council, with Burnley Borough Council to be approached to discuss likely traffic movements on show day, Saturday, June 17, 2017.