With considerable regret, I have decided that the next NLHF will not be in March, as we had planned, but will be in November 2013, probably (!) the 9th & 10th.
Because of the issue over the timing of confirmation of dates for March 2013, Onley Grounds EC had already accepted a firm booking for an equestrian event that requires both their Indoor Arenas.
A huge new Arena is being built, but with the ongoing wet weather, the venue can’t guarantee that they will have the new building up and ready for March.
We have explored possible ways around this involving the hire of Marquees, Portaloos, Generators, Lights, etc. but this would need to be sited in a field which is a considerable way from the Shower block and Bar and still the ongoing wet weather could lead to vehicles getting bogged down and the whole thing losing support from traders and customers.
Although giving March 2013 a miss may mean some loss of the momentum gained from having a great event in November 2012, we will benefit from the considerable improvements taking place at Onley, which should all be in place for November 2013. There will be the new road, (hopefully!) the huge new Arena (which will mean we won’t ever again have the double-booking issue), tarmac parking areas, revamped catering, and a roof over the roadway between the existing Indoor Arenas.
On a more positive note, we are currently looking at needing to use both of the Arenas because of all the bookings coming in from traders unable to be with us last time around. There is now a superb Log Burner in the Bar, and footings, kerbstones, and drains are going in around the Arena which we used in November in preparation for the resurfacing and the new road.
I am very sorry to disappoint everyone, but I want this to work in the longer term.