Essex Christmas fair cancelled as cars stuck in the mud

Entertainment at Christmas fair
The organiser said the fair was going well until cars started getting stuck in "the swamp" in the grounds

A three-day Christmas fair has been halted after cars became stuck in the mud in the car park on the first day.

The Essex County Christmas Fair at Layer Marney Tower, near Colchester, was called off by organisers Prestige County Events.

On Facebook, they wrote: "We cannot let anyone else in... tonight, as the conditions in the car park are too boggy and we don't want anyone else getting stuck in the mud."

Ticket holders will be fully refunded.

At about 15:50 GMT Prestige posted on Facebook saying Friday's event near Tiptree was sold out and no tickets were available on the door.

By 16:20 they had posted again to say: "Do not arrive, event cancelled tonight. Cars stuck in mud."

Shortly afterwards, they said: "We are extremely sorry to say that we cannot let anyone else into the Essex County Christmas Fair tonight as the conditions in the car park are too boggy and we don't want anyone else getting stuck in the mud."

People at Christmas Fair
Friday's event was sold out - but the rest are cancelled

Darren Perry, owner of Prestige County Events, told the BBC: "Unfortunately after a year of hard work, huge financial investment and thousands of work hours, we have had to take the incredibly tough decision to cancel the Saturday and Sunday fairs, purely due to the weather.

"The field at the back had become a swamp, with rescue cars being stuck in the mud.

"With more rain forecast I have made the decision to cancel the event."

He added: "We will be giving all ticket holders full refunds, as well as compensating our fantastic stall holders who went to so much effort. Whilst it was on we had some great times... but it's in everyone's best interests that we stop now, as the overnight weather reports look terrible.

"We apologise to everyone, and hopefully future events have better weather."

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