A Statement from the Chairman, Councillor Nigel Francis

Monday 13th April 2020

This is one of those letters that you don’t want to write, but you know you will have to write it, so here goes!

This years O.V.T.E. would have been the 25th one had they all taken place, but as many of you will know, we had to cancel the event twice before, once due to Foot and Mouth, and once due to a cloud burst which flooded the fields after a very wet summer. It is always very difficult to decide what to do, so at the end of this statement there is a section on frequently asked questions which should cover most things. If you still have any problems please contact me at [email protected] .

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To stage the O.V.T.E. costs between £4,500 and £5,000, we keep it as a local Community event which is why we don’t charge any entry fee for vehicles to enter and the brass plaques are offered at less than cost price, our stall rents are some of the lowest in the U.K. and our entry fee to the public are again one of the lowest in the U.K. Why do we do this? The answer is that we want everyone to come along and have a great day. We don’t want a family of four to pay £30 plus as many shows charge. It is and will always be a Community event for everyone. Our profits, after expenses, go to ‘Hang on to a Dream’ and other charities and organisations. Two things which you might be interested to know is we take nothing out for personal expenses, and we get no grants from either the Town Council or the City Council. My family (Callum, Diane and myself) form the backbone of the Committee along with a couple of other members of the public. Our helpers do not get paid a fee but might get a t-shirt or something as a small ‘thank you’.


We have to keep a tight ship, which is how we have survived. The plus point is that we have raised and given away thousands of pounds over the years.


As you all know, we are in the midst of a pandemic, Coronavirus is something which must be defeated. It is a silent killer. Thousands have died, and at the time of writing this statement, many more are likely to succumb to the virus before we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We cannot say let’s wait another couple of months and see what happens, likewise we cannot book everything and hope that, if we have to cancel the event, that no one will charge cancellation fees.

What we must remember is that many people bringing along a vehicle or many attending the event are of an older age! My Committee and I feel that it is too bigger risk to carry on with this year’s event, in view of all the information we have to hand.

We have therefore decided to cancel the 2020 Otley Vintage Transport Extravaganza.

We will carry forward all the bookings of stalls and vehicles for 2020 to 12th September 2021 and re-issue all the passes, etc updated to 2021. We shall send all the up dated paperwork out after September 2020. Our forms for stalls and vehicles for 12th September 2021 will appear online mid-September 2020. The money for the brass plaques will also be carried forward, unless you notify us that you either want to donate it to ‘Hang on to a Dream’ or that you want a refund, and your cheque returning. Each year we spend around £500 on postage, so if we can save some funds we will try and do that.

Once again, if you require any other information, please feel free to contact me via email: [email protected]


Please take care, stay indoors and don’t go on unnecessary trips.


I hope to see you all on 12th September 2021 when we shall stage the 25th Otley Vintage Transport Extravaganza.


Regards and Best Wishes


Councillor Nigel Francis - Chairman O.V.T.E 

FAQs Regarding the Cancellation

Why do you not postpone the O.V.T.E. until later on in the year?

It is not a simple matter of changing the date and everything will fall into place. I would think that most events will be cancelled this year unless they are staged in November or December. As I have said, it costs around £4,500 to stage the O.V.T.E. If we cancel and have to pay that out then we will be short of funds for the 2021 event. If we rebook the event, we might have a job to get all our entertainers, catering vans, bands, organs, etc to come on the rearranged day.

Might it be better to wait and see what happens?

Many people have lost family, friends and people they knew from the virus. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all these people. To risk staging this event with around 7,000 in one place on one field is something we just cannot risk. You only need a few people to have the virus and to pass it on. People then go around spreading it and we would be back to square one.

We ALL have to help to fight the virus and protect our N.H.S. as well as our police, firemen and ambulance workers, add to that everyone from the supermarket staff to the post workers. It is a small sacrifice to make to not have a O.V.T.E. this year and to know that by doing this, we are doing a small bit to stop the spread of the virus.

Why don’t you stage a smaller event?

As one of the largest one day shows, we have a reputation to maintain. How would we sort out who can come along and who cannot come along. Same with all the support parts of the show. It has to have everything in place to make it work.

What will happen to my entry?

All vehicle and stall entries for this year will be carried forward to O.V.T.E. 2021 (Sunday 12th September 2021) unless we hear from you before the end of May 2020, informing us what you want us to do with your payment (where applicable).

In future, can I help or sponsor the O.V.T.E. ?

We have a small band of helpers, many of which are in the (slightly?) older bracket and these people are like gold to us. They work hard through out the day. They would be the first people in contact with our visitors and would be at the highest risk. We would not ask them to risk their lives for the O.V.T.E. Perhaps some of you reading this might like to help next year 2021. The more helpers the easier it makes staging the event, even if you can only do an hour. 

Also, we have to thank this years sponsors who were committed to helping on the field or donating help beforehand. B&TS Builders Merchants Ltd., Harrogate Timber Ltd, Direct Tyre Service, Leeds Road, Otley and B. Houldsworth & sons, Otley. Next year we promise to promote you all again and ‘thank you’ for your commitment to this year’s event. 

Will there be anything different at next years O.V.T.E. ?

Yes. To start with we hope to add a number of new things to celebrate 25 years of the O.V.T.E. We shall also be offering a number of free pitches to Charities many of which have suffered due to the virus. We shall start with 25 pitches and see how that goes. If we need more pitches, then we will look into that.


To everyone I would like to ‘thank you’ for your support over the years. We will come back next year with your help and support and have our greatest show ever. If you work for a Charity or know of a Charity, then tell them about our free stall offer.

If you would like to contact us, please email [email protected] or click one of the email us buttons on this page


Please take care, stay safe, stay in doors and protect our NHS and other workers.

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