ONE OF Hampshire's biggest summer shows has been cancelled after falling victim to the pandemic for the second year running.

Organisers of the Netley Marsh Steam and Craft Show have announced that the three-day event - due to have celebrated its 50th anniversary in July - will not go ahead.

Last year's show was also cancelled, with villagers staging a virtual event instead.

The decision to scrap the 2021 event has sparked fears that other shows will also be cancelled, with committees anxious to avoid the time and expense involved in organising attractions that might not take place.

Billed as the biggest event of its type in the county, the Netley Marsh show was first held 1971.

In a statement the organisers said: "It is with heavy hearts that we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 Netley Marsh Steam and Craft Show.

"The committee take our duty of care for the public, exhibitors, volunteers, and committee members seriously and, due to the current coronavirus pandemic, we feel we have no alternative.

"We must of course follow the government guidance, and do not wish to put further strain on the NHS and other frontline services.

"We look forward to welcoming you all to our next show, to be held on the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th July 2022. Cancelling this year's show will give the committee time to prepare a bigger, better show.

"We thank you all for your support you have all given us over the years.

"Your continued generosity has allowed us to donate to local charities, thanks again to all our friends far and wide and of course the local communities who have made this show what it is today.

"Finally we would like to thank the landowners for their understanding, along with all our suppliers and the entertainers."

People have taken to social media following what they describe as the "sad but understandable" decision.

Totton councillor David Harrison said: "Nobody can be sure exactly how things will be with people mixing in large numbers when we get to July. Of course, a huge amount of planning and preparation has to go in for many, many, months beforehand.

"It leaves one wondering whether other big events that we all look forward to will follow suit."