TANGMERE’S first world war commemorative event this weekend could have to be cancelled after travellers moved into the area it is set to be staged last night.
Up to 1,000 people are expected to attend the event, which marks 100 years since the start of WWI, but organisers say it is currently under real threat after around seven caravans rolled in near the airfield at around 7.30pm on Wednesday.
The commemorative event is being held by Tangmere Aviation Museum, and its chairman Dudley Hooley said: “It’s our annual open day, our main fundraising day and biggest event of the year but as it stands it’s in real doubt.
“Police were down there this morning taking names so we’re now waiting to see what they’re going to do about the situation.
“The event is in just two days and we’ll have to make a decision tomorrow morning because if it is called off we’ll have to let so many stall holders and VIPS know in enough time.
“We’ve been organising this since Christmas, we’re expecting at least 600 people and it’s cost thousands to put on so it would be a great shame if we do have to cancel it.”
In the last hour West Sussex Council is understood to have made a formal application to Police to evoke Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.
That grants the police the powers to remove travellers without having to find a suitable pitch for them to move to first.
Sunday’s event is expected to see air displays of Spitfires and Tigermoths from Boultbee Flight Academy, helicopter rides from Elite Helicopters (both Goodwood based), a number of stalls and several presentations relating to the Great War.