Scenes from last year's fair at the Tuesday Market Place. Picture: Paul Tibbs

This year’s Mart at King’s Lynn has been cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions, organisers confirmed today.

The popular event, which was set to take place next month, cannot go ahead after the country was plunged into another lockdown on Monday.

A joint statement was issued by West Norfolk Council and the Showmen’s Guild this afternoon.

Charles Barwick, chairman of the Norwich and Eastern Counties Section of the Showmen’s Guild, said: “This is a terrible blow for all our operators, not only because of the impact on their livelihood, but also because the Mart represents the start of our season before operators head off to different parts of the country.

“It has always been a significant and colourful occasion, supported by the local community, with the great and good going on the rides for the opening, and then our children’s days, and special day for children with additional needs.

“We are gutted that we won’t be their to provide some colour and entertainment to the people of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, but hopefully, when things return to some sort of normality, we will return next year.”

Elizabeth Nockolds, cabinet member for culture, heritage and health, said: “It brings with it a riot of colours and sounds, and brings the Tuesday Market Place to life. I am saddened that it cannot take place this year, and I know it will be missed by many.

“I do however thank the showmen for taking the health and well being of their operators and the people of West Norfolk into consideration.  It is the right thing to do during this lockdown to ensure that everyone does their bit to protect themselves, protect others and protect West Norfolk.

“We look forward to discussing with them, their plans for next year’s Mart and hope to be able to welcome them back to the Tuesday Market Place in February 2022.”