Disappointment as bad weather cancels Portsmouth events over the weekend

WEEKS of glistening sunshine drew to an abrupt end at the weekend as Portsmouth and the surrounding areas were battered by strong winds and heavy rain.Â

Sunday, 29th July 2018, 9:50 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th July 2018, 10:09 pm
Martin and Karen Hayes from Oxfordshire with their granddaughter Ayanah Hayes, four, brave the driving rain on a wind swept Castle Field. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (180729-1)

The conditions meant a number of hotly-anticipated events were forced to cancel or relocate, with gusts exceeding 30mph ripping through the Solent area. 

Disappointment amid the adverse weather began on Saturday, when the day's Live at the Bandstand events in Southsea were called off. 

Thankfully for music lovers the fixture went ahead from the shelter of The Gaiety Bar on South Parade Pier yesterday, but other events were not so fortunate. 

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Thousands of people had no choice but to find other plans after the annual Rowans Hospice Summer Fete was called off on Sunday. 

The event '“ a vital part of the local palliative care charity's fundraising year '“ would have welcomed 70 stalls were it not for gales and heavy rain. 

After making the '˜sad but necessary' decision, Rowans chief executive Ruth White said: '˜After weeks and weeks of dry sunny days we had been worrying about people coming along to the fair being too hot '“ not this. 

'˜It's a great disappointment to have to cancel today, but all we can do is thank everybody for their support until this point.' 

The charity is now in talks with Portsmouth City Council to reschedule the fete for September. 

Despite staging events on Saturday, the would-be two-day Gosport Waterfront Festival had to be called off on Sunday. 

A spokesperson for the fixture said on Facebook: '˜With our most sincere apologies we have had to make the difficult decision to cancel today.

'˜With the bad weather the big top has developed several leaks which present health and safety issues.

'˜We apologise for any inconvenience caused.' 

Sunday also saw cancellations for the second day of the Castle Road Summer Fair, the Southsea Common car boot sale and Hovertravel's services to the Isle of Wight. 

As the weather raged on into the afternoon, resident Arthur Smith-Weston snapped a shot of damage it caused in Southsea, where a metal sign above Rowlands Pharmacy was torn out of place in Devonshire Avenue, pictured above.