Press release – Thursday 23rd April 2020
It is with great regret but after very careful consideration of all the facts, we have decided to postpone the IW Classic Buses, Beer and Walks Weekend until 2021.
Cancellation of this year’s event was an extremely difficult decision to reach. We will make every effort to inform all involved as soon as possible.
Under normal circumstances, the event takes some 9 months to plan, and we have now lost vital planning time at a crucial stage of the year, as the unprecedented current situation continues. Cancellation was decided as the only option, as with very high running costs, we could not commit a large sum of money to arrange services, pay for programme printing etc, only to potentially be forced to cancellation at short notice. We understand that the event is just over 5 months away, but many of these decisions and financial outlay would be made in the coming weeks.
The IW Bus Museum is currently experiencing major difficulties in carrying out maintenance work on their own vehicle fleet, due to the current lock-down, with many owners experiencing similar issues with vehicle preparation, obtaining MOTs etc. Some will also be suffering financial hardship and maybe unable to afford a trip to our event this year as a result. We must remember at this time that all vehicles attend the event without remuneration; all costs are covered by the owners themselves, usually running well over a 4-figure sum per vehicle.
We cannot expect the ferry operators at this stage to be able to confirm that they will be operating at the level of service required. We know from previous experience that we need the full timetable on all three vehicle routes to be able to cope.
There is also the unlikely but still possible situation that there may still be some form of social distancing in force which would make the event impossible where the event is very popular. Last year an estimated 18,000 attended. This year, with the scarcity of other events, it could be much more. We feel it would be foolhardy to go ahead if there is a possibility that we would not have enough buses to cope.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have already worked hard to prepare for this year’s event, particularly the CAMRA pub liaison officers whose work was carried out largely before any lockdown became lengthened.
We hope you understand why we have come to this decision and why we have taken it at this time.