Some Harrogate events cancelled as coronavirus precautions take hold
A trickle of Harrogate events are starting to be cancelled as caution over the growth of the coronavirus starts to spread closer to home.
The move to cancel live shows, including big name tours, which has been hitting the rest of the country has shown no signs of arriving here - until now.
While both Airecon analogue gaming festival and a Harrogate Film Festival headlining appearance by legendary actor Brian Blessed did go ahead successfully at the weekend, two events in Harrogate scheduled for this Wednesday have both been postponed.
And political parties and groups in the Harrogate area are also starting to react to the coronavirus outbreak by cancelling meetings.
Harrogate Convention Centre, which hosted Airecon from Friday, said turnout had been good.
Harrogate Film Festival said its event with Brian Blessed, who is 83-years-old, at the Royal Hall on Sunday night had shown what a legend the larger than life British actor was.
Although there was some drop-off from ticket holders, more than 400 audience members did turn up to see the film and TV icon talk about his career in person.
But two monthly Harrogate arts events which had been set to take place this week have now been called off.
Today, Monday, Poems, Prose and Pints literary event due to take place at North Bar in Harrogate on Wednesday was cancelled by organisers who said: "Just to confirm that regrettably we are having to cancel Poems, Prose and Pints with Matt Nicholson on Wednesday. We will keep you posted on future ones via our FB page. Take care and stay safe everyone."
And this week's Vinyl Sessions event about rock band REM at Starling Independent Bar Cafe Kitchen for charity Friends of Harrogate Hospital has also been postponed by its organisers.
Neither can be classified as "large gatherings" attracting attendances of between 30 and 70 on average.
Harrogate and Knaresborough Labour Party has announced that it is cancelling all meetings until further notice under guidance from its national party.
And North Yorkshire for Europe put out a statement this morning saying: "Due to the coronavirus outbreak we’ve reluctantly decided to cancel our planned AGM and strategy meeting which was scheduled for this Saturday, March 21. We will let you know as soon as we have a new date."
The tone of the times and the delicate nature of the decisions now being made can be judged by the announcement by Vinyl Sessions' team about the cancellation of this week's REM event for charity.
A spokesperson for Vinyl Sessions said: "I am sorry to inform our valued supporters that the REM event is to be postponed, having solicited opinion from our reservations it was considered best to review when we understand the real situation we are facing with Covid-19 and the way potential infection is spread.
"Having elderly relatives ourselves we must do everything possible to protect them together with any others with compromised health issues for now.
"In the spirit of Vinyl Sessions remember people may well need help over the next weeks so please be at the ready to offer whatever you can however large or small as should the plan to protect the elderly be implemented isolation and loneliness will become a real issue for some.
"We will keep you updated via the website at www.vinylsessions.org.
"We have had a couple of suggestions we could do something on YouTube until events return.
"Simon and the team at Starling have made these events possible so if can support this amazing business please do so, good beer and food are still available and we will be back as soon as possible.
"My very best wishes to you all and your families, stay well and I hope to see you again very soon."