THE Wirral Show has been axed after its organisers, the Rotary Club of Wallasey and Wallasey Lions Club, pulled out.
In a statement, the organisers said: "The Rotary Club of Wallasey and Wallasey Lions Club have determined that they will not be continuing to organise the annual Wirral Show.
"Volunteers from Lions and Rotary, together with Wallasey Round Table, which ceased to operate in May this year, have run the Wirral Show for many years, for much of the time with support from Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council.
"Over the past 33 years the event has grown to become one of the UK’s biggest free-to-enter summer attractions, drawing thousands of visitors each year to the New Brighton promenade showground."
Michael Emberton, chairman of the Wirral Show, said: "Given the way the show has grown over the years we have now reached a point where the complexities of such a huge operation are beyond what a group of committed volunteers reasonably may be expected to accomplish."
At a meeting of the Wirral Show Committee, resolutions submitted by the Lions and Rotary clubs were considered resulting in the decision that – with great regret – both clubs are unable to plan and organise the Show in 2010 or in future years.
The committee’s decision was conveyed to Steve Maddox, Chief Executive of Wirral Council, in a letter from Michael Emberton, chairman of the show committee.
The committee expressed thanks for the council’s continued support, over the years, for the Wirral Show.
The show started in 1977 as a community project of the Rotary Club of Wallasey who decided to mark the Queen’s Silver Jubilee by reviving the Wallasey Carnival with a procession of decorated floats through the town.
The parade finished on New Brighton promenade where a number of stalls had been erected.
In the following years, the number of floats decreased while the number of stalls increased, becoming the main attraction.
Entertainment was introduced to add to the occasion.
As the event became too large for Rotary alone to organise, the Lions and Round Table clubs were invited to help in what became a unique venture uniting three service organisations working together on one project for the benefit of the community.
As the show became a two-day event, it attracted very large crowds from Wirral, Merseyside, the North West and North Wales to enjoy spectacular entertainment, all provided with no charge for entry to the showground.
Highlights have included the Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry, the White Helmets Motorcycle Display team, The Royal Horse Artillery, many famous stunt acts such as the Garard Naprous horsemen and the Lings Motocross team and a huge variety of aircraft displays ranging from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight to the gentle giant of the skies, the A380 Airbus and the Red Arrows.
Over time the showground has extended to cover the entire area of open land, known as The Dips, between New Brighton and Harrison Drive.
A Wirral Council spokesman said: "It was with great sadness that we learned of the committee’s decision.
"We would like to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of all those volunteers involved over many years. It is simply not possible, at a time of significant financial constraints, for the council to take over the running and funding of the show.
"We will continue to work hard alongside all those people organising events in the area to ensure that Wirral continues to have a successful programme of events for both residents and visitors."