Wet, but not beaten as crowds flock to Gosport’s big day

HOLD Alice Mayo, eight, left, and Morgan Steele, eight, right get to grips with top Judo player Gemma Bavister, 16, during a taster session by Holbrook Judo Club.     Picture: Steve Reid (112110-584)
HOLD Alice Mayo, eight, left, and Morgan Steele, eight, right get to grips with top Judo player Gemma Bavister, 16, during a taster session by Holbrook Judo Club. Picture: Steve Reid (112110-584)

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GOSPORT’S Big Day Out became a big day indoors as events planned for outdoors were washed away by heavy rainfall.

The day, now its fourth year, aims to showcase the best of what the borough has to offer, from a talent show, to museums and hands-on chances to try a range of sports and activities at more than 30 locations.

HAVING A BALL Ruby Tanner, four, left, and Isobel Turner, five, meet Cinderella Vicky Stewart-Croucher, 28, at the Thorngate Halls.     (112110-579)

HAVING A BALL Ruby Tanner, four, left, and Isobel Turner, five, meet Cinderella Vicky Stewart-Croucher, 28, at the Thorngate Halls. (112110-579)

And although events taking place indoors thrived, stalls and activities along the coastline battled the rain yesterday.

At Lee-on-the-Solent, stallholders on the seafront were calling it a day at 1pm.

Dave Hazelwood, from Eltikki jewellers, said: ‘We’ve had a few people through, but some of them might have been using us to stay dry. Despite the weather, everyone’s been very upbeat.’

And in the neighbouring beer tent, hot drinks flowed, as a band played, but few other drinks were being poured.

Mike and Lynda Mawby of Gosport Road in Lee-on-the-Solent were there having a coffee and Mr Mawby said: ‘We have been to a few other things. Explosion! was excellent and it was very, very busy there.

‘The previous days have been lovely weather, but you only get the one day, and it’s just unlucky isn’t it?’

At Brune Park Community College, Ian Mayo from Shearwater Avenue, Fareham, had cycled down with his daughter Alice and friend Morgan Steele, both eight. They were trying judo with Gemma Bevister of Holbrook Judo Club.

Mr Mayo said: ‘We’re trying to make a day of it, cycling from one place to another. This is the first time we’ve come along, but we’re working our way around and hoping to see quite a few places.’

And at the Alverbank Hotel, about 20 youngsters competed for the title in Gosport’s Got Talent. Emily-Mae Ridgley, 14, and her sister Charleigh, 12, showed off their dance routine.

Mum Nikki said: ‘We’ve come before to the Big Day Out before and it’s definitely good idea, it gets people out.

‘We’ll be going on to see some other things and catch up with a few of our family later.’

Council leader councillor Mark Hook said: ‘It’s always the problem where things are open to the elements and unfortunately the elements conspired against us.’