Freezing temperatures and snow means the Wisbech Mart is not opened by the mayor for the first time since 1993

PUBLISHED: 13:02 05 March 2018 | UPDATED: 13:02 05 March 2018

Wisbech Mart 2018

Wisbech Mart 2018

AdGarry Samuels

For the first time in recent history the Wisbech Mart was not given an official opening by the town mayor because of the bad weather.

Wisbech Mart 2018Wisbech Mart 2018

The onslaught of snow and freezing ground temperatures meant the Showmen’s Guild were not able to make definite plans for the civic ceremony.

Donald Gray, 66, chief steward of the event, who follows a long family line of organising Wisbech Mart, said: “It was unfortunate, we have had an official opening every year since 1993 and more before that.

“We were supposed to open on Friday and we tried to re arrange everything for the official opening on Saturday but it was not to be.

“The weather conditions on the ground were not safe enough to open on the Friday, once we got the thaw then we could press on. but it took a long time to clear the ground.”

Wisbech Mart 2018Wisbech Mart 2018

Susannah Farmer, deputy clerk of Wisbech Town Council, said: “The Showmen could not guarantee the opening and so did not wish for the council to turn up unnecessarily.”

One person said on social media they understood why the opening was delayed: “If anything happened because they opened in the snow it would kill their trade forever.”

The first charter for the Mart in Wisbech was drawn up in 1549 by Edward I and was updated in 1611 by James I.

In 1681 it was updated by Charles II

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Held during the first two weeks of March each year the fun fair rides occupy the whole of Chapel Road Car Park, part of Somers Road Car Park and the western half of the Market Place for two weeks.

• The Mart is open every day at 6pm. Children’s day with reduced price rides is Thursday 8. Saturday it opens at 2pm.

Wisbech Mart 2018Wisbech Mart 2018

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