Shops and pubs forced to close in Somerset village after 100 caravans turn up for ‘festival’

·Freelance Writer
·3-min read
Almost 100 caravans, campervans and trailers arrived in Cheddar, Somerset, on Monday. (SWNS)
Almost 100 caravans, campervans and trailers arrived in Cheddar, Somerset, on Monday. (SWNS)

Residents of a village in Somerset claim to be the victim of threats after over 100 caravans turned up for what some claim is a ‘festival’.

Almost 100 caravans, camper vans and trailers arrived in Cheddar on Monday to the gathering, which authorities have said is happening all week.

Locals say they have been threatened by the large gathering of people in caravans on the edge of the village, while anti-social behaviour has also been alleged.

A number of local businesses have closed, at least one pub has shut early this week, and the local football club has postponed a home match because of what it says is "a situation in the village”.

Read more: Card shop owners who refused to close during lockdown fined £35,000

Bath Street Barbers announced they were closing for 'unforeseen circumstances'. (SWNS)
Bath Street Barbers announced they were closing for 'unforeseen circumstances'. (SWNS)
Almost 100 caravans, camper vans and trailers arrived in Cheddar on Monday. (SWNS)
Almost 100 caravans, camper vans and trailers arrived in Cheddar on Monday. (SWNS)

The gathering is happening on a field near to where a car boot sale normally take place, and caravans began arriving on Monday, sparking reports of traffic gridlock in the village and neighbouring communities.

The gathering has sparked a discussion on Cheddar’s community groups, with many saying the event is some kind of “rally”, or “festival”.

Read more: Fed-up homeowners use rubbish bags to form barrier around car

One local wrote on Facebook: "Who thought it was a good idea to hold the biggest caravan rally I’ve ever seen in the village?

"Traffic chaos in the village as badly organised traffic control and cars and caravans queuing to enter field! Watch our numbers sky rocket now!”

A second said: "The landowner was misled into agreeing to something far smaller and is currently trying to manage the situation.”

The gathering is happening on a field near to where a car boot sale normally take place. (SWNS)
The gathering is happening on a field near to where a car boot sale normally take place. (SWNS)
Local business Prickles put up a sign saying they were closed. (SWNS)
Local business Prickles put up a sign saying they were closed. (SWNS)

Another added: "Cheddar not a great place for gatherings, too small and tiny winding roads, what were they thinking!”

The Riverside Inn and Restaurant posted on its Facebook page just after 2pm on Monday that it was closing for the rest of the day "with immediate effect" due to "unforeseen circumstances”.

In a statement from Rachel’s Grill, a mobile street food business that normally operates at the football club, a closure was also announced.

Parish councillor, Christina Brown, told local residents on a community Facebook page that the parish council had no warning that the event was happening.

Many businesses have closed in Cheddar due to the gathering of caravans. (SWNS)
Many businesses have closed in Cheddar due to the gathering of caravans. (SWNS)

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said the gathering was an "authorised encampment" and confirmed that had received a "small number of reports of anti-social behaviour".

A spokesman added: “The neighbourhood team will be carrying out reassurance patrols over the coming days and engaging with those in attendance."

The festival is religious in nature and is due to end on Friday, according to local media.

Yahoo News UK has contacted Cheddar Parish Council for an update.

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