THE Neilston Show has been axed for a second year running due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers have made the decision to scrap the annual farming fair because of continuing government restrictions on people gathering in public.

However, Ronnie Melrose, president of the Neilston Agricultural Society, said he hopes the popular village festival, which is normally held on the first Saturday of May, will make a triumphant return in 2022.

He told the Barrhead News: “All the other shows in Kilmaurs, Beith and Kilmacolm which are held about the same time have already been cancelled and we were left with no option but to follow suit.

“Even if we had permission to have the event on May 1, there would still have been issues about people wanting to come out.

“Every show is in the same position. If we don’t get people coming in through the gate and paying their money, then we are going to make a massive loss.”

Mr Melrose revealed organisers lost thousands of pounds last year as the 2020 show was cancelled just seven weeks before it was due to take place.

“If we had cancelled on the week of the show, we could have lost between £25,000 and £30,000,” he added.

“Everyone is disappointed not to be able to get together for a great day out. However, this is the right thing to do to protect the future of the event.”

Mr Melrose said the Neilston Show is an eagerly-anticipated event in the village’s social calendar and can attract up to 5,000 people.

He added: “It’s also an opportunity for local farmers, artists and craftsmen to showcase what they have to offer.

“However, it was inevitable that we would have to cancel this year, as you can’t socially distance at a cattle show.

“We can’t put on the events that are required and people wouldn’t be able to wander about, which is part of the attraction.

“It’s also the 200th anniversary of the cattle show in 2025 and we are already putting a lot of effort into that.”