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Organisers of Swaffham car rally event vow to press on despite Covid-19 'uncertainty'




Organisers of a town’s annual car rally will continue to discuss plans with a view to potentially staging the event in August.

Swaffham town councillor Colin Houghton said plans for the rally at the market town's Recreational Ground are faced with “general uncertainty” due to Covid-19 but organisers have already put in “50 per cent” of the preparatory work needed.

Mr Houghton said: "We have been in contact with car clubs and we have spoken to some past participants in terms of stalls, and it seems some are willing but there is general uncertainty."

A previous classic car rally and family fun day at Swaffham Recreation Ground. Pictured are some of the many cars lined up on display at the show
A previous classic car rally and family fun day at Swaffham Recreation Ground. Pictured are some of the many cars lined up on display at the show

During a town council meeting this week, councillor Paul Darby said the event should be cancelled due to late notice and suggested concentrating all efforts into next year’s rally instead.

But councillor Stewart Bell said social distancing would not be a problem as it is “still fresh” in people’s mind, so he argued the rally should go ahead.

This view was echoed by councillor Lindsay Beech who said: “We need to do something for the town as no-one else is doing much.”

She also emphasised the event would be outdoors "unlike churches and theatres".

Mr Houghton said he would get the group of organisers back together this week to look at it fresh. He also hopes the government guidelines will be relaxed, which currently makes it illegal to have gatherings of more than 30 people.

"If we can, we will forge ahead if that is okay with everyone," the Conservative councillor said. "We will pursue our efforts but if it hits a brick wall then fair enough."

Councillor Ian Pilcher said he was an "enthusiast" who would support the event in normal circumstances, but admitted he was "nervous" about the parameters surrounding people gathering together.

Mr Pilcher added: "Inevitable focus will see people gathering around massive displays so I am wondering if it's fair for you as organisers."


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