Glendale Show committee responds to criticism following huge traffic jams on A697

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Thousands of visitors attended the Glendale Show as it made a post-pandemic return on Bank Holiday Monday.

However, getting there in the first place proved a major headache for many as a car fire near the showground entrance caused long tailbacks.

Among those caught up in the queues was Steve Elliott, from Alnwick, who slammed the ‘shambolic and amateur’ parking arrangements.

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"The A697 was at a complete standstill in both directions whilst the ill-prepared and clueless officials attempted to disperse vehicles into the fields surrounding the showground,” he said.

Crowds at Glendale Show.Crowds at Glendale Show.
Crowds at Glendale Show.

"It took me almost two hours to complete the 18-mile journey from Alnwick to Wooler.

"Had it not been for the fact that I had already prepaid the grossly overpriced £15 entrance fee to the show I would have turned around and gone home.

"Upon eventually entering the showground and having seen the further queues at every food and drink outlet, we instead decided to call in at Chatton for lunch - where we found the pub full of people who had similarly given up on the Glendale fiasco. Never again!”

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Ian Murray, chairman of Glendale Agricultural Society, responded: “We are sorry that a major traffic incident on the public road 200 meters from our car park entrance caused problems for people arriving by car to Glendale Show on Bank Holiday Monday.

“This was caused by a vehicle fire which effectively blocked the public highway and main access road into the event during the peak arrival time for traffic.

"Emergency services were quick to attend, and there were thankfully no casualties.

"As a consequence of this incident the road was blocked for over 40 minutes, which resulted in considerable tailbacks and delays on the A697 and the smaller roads leading to the main car park.

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“We responded quickly by opening a second emergency car park, and many vehicles were able to gain quicker access to the showfield as a result.

“The situation of parking this year was not helped by the loss of our north car park, as going forward the field is to be used as part of the fish pass project managed by the Tweed Forum, which will see major work on the adjacent river to remove weirs and manage flooding.

“We will certainly be reviewing parking plans and contingencies for next year’s show and would like to thank everyone involved for their good humour, patience, and understanding

“In spite of this incident, the 2022 Glendale Show was a huge success, and it was great to see the crowds return after an absence of two years.”

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The show brought together every aspect of life in the countryside – skills, activities, and way of life – mixed with the finest livestock, fruit, flowers, honey, garden produce, baking and country crafts.

There were also lots of food and drink stalls to enjoy.

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For many the main ring and the numerous displays taking place throughout the day were a highlight, including the amazing Atkinson Action Horses, a team of highly skilled horses and riders from East Yorkshire. Giant tortoises were another popular attraction.