Volunteers arrived on Sunday morning, after spending a very wet and windy Saturday at the show to raise awareness for local cats in need. Despite 13kg weights, additional sandbags, guy ropes and pegs, we found the two brand new gazebos collapsed with bent legs and irreparable damage.
“We decided it was so windy on Saturday that our Branch Co-ordinator, Kate, went all the way back to Blandford to fetch some additional sandbags” says Deborah Wheeler, a volunteer for the Branch. “It rained so heavily that people were leaving early, some arena events were cancelled and the Red Devils couldn’t parachute due to the wind”.
“When we left, we covered all our goods with large sheets of plastic and struggled to zip up all the panels around the gazebos in the wind. We arrived early on Sunday as the weather forecast was for a better day.
As we turned the corner into the row we had the stall in we saw a couple of collapsed gazebos – and then the penny dropped they were ours! We got out of the van in shock and surveyed the scene – two brand new gazebos collapsed with bent legs and buckled over our tables – luckily for us there were a couple of other stall holders who helped us remove the remains and fold the mangled wreckage as small as possible.
Other stall holders had tried to stop the gazebos collapsing during the evening by tying our guy ropes onto some scaffolding poles on the next stall that had set up a solar panel, but the weather was too windy.”
“We got to work salvaging what we could and had an alfresco tombola and some CP bits and pieces for sale in the one remaining gazebo and by 9am we were up and running and ready for business. Luckily there were lots of visitors to the show and we managed to raise a little bit of money before the rain came again!”
The branch are appealing to the public to help them with the cost of new gazebos.
“It would be lovely if we could raise a bit of money to help us purchase a couple of new gazebos” Says Deborah. “They are desperately needed as we need to attend events to raise money for the cats in need that come to our branch, as well as awareness of the work we do. We have set up a Just Giving page for people to donate online, or they can help us by sending a cheque. We will be very grateful for any help we receive”.
The photo shows the gazebos at another event earlier this year.
To donate please visit www.justgiving.com/gazebos