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Hoppings to open this lunchtime

The annual Hoppings fair in Newcastle will open to the public at 1.30 pm today, two days later than planned.

For only the second time in its history, the start of what's billed as Europe's largest travelling fair had to be postponed because of the wet weather.

Heavy rainfall in the days leading up to the event left the Town Moor site waterlogged and muddy, making it difficult to set up rides and stalls, and potentially dangerous to visitors.

Organisers say they've now dealt with the problems.

"We brought in massive machines to even out the surface.

"We have also brought in large quantities of bark chippings and straw to soak up some of the water as well as drafting in two submersible pumps to collect water which can then be moved off site."

– David Wilson, Newcastle Freemen vice chairman

Hoppings to open on Sunday

Organisers of the Hoppings in Newcastle have announced the fair will open to the public on Sunday 24 June at 1.30 pm.

It had been due to start on Friday, but was postponed after heavy rain caused the Town Moor site to become muddy and waterlogged.

The event claims to be the largest travelling fair in Europe, with more than 100 rides and attractions. It dates back to 1882, and this year is only the second time in its history that the start has been delayed.

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The Hoppings is postponed

More inspections will be carried out on the Town Moor in Newcastle this afternoon to see when the postponed Hoppings will be able to go ahead.

The Hoppings in 2008
The Hoppings in 2008 Credit: ITV

The 130th year of the annual fair was due to be opened by the Lord Mayor at lunchtime today. But the Freemen of the city, who organise the event with the Showmen's Guild, say the wet weather and muddy conditions have made it too dangerous at the moment.

It's the 130th anniversary of the first Town Moor fair in 1882. Over the years it's been dogged by bad weather and 1998 had to be postponed for a week for th e same reason.

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