Rupert Cox: Come rain or shine
PUBLISHED: 12:17 24 October 2017
This month our columnist Rupert Cox focuses on Brits' favourite topic of conversation; the weather
Well, what a scorcher! The 2017 Somerset summer will be remembered for some truly scrumptious weather occasionally interrupted by refreshing dust-damping thunder storms. Even the notoriously unreliable Glastonbury Festival weather was reveller-friendly, much to the surprise of my good friend Michael Eavis who always teases me by suggesting a dry Bath and West means a wet Glastonbury - not this year.
Now, without being accused of being a weather bore, the weather is important. It is important to our farmers who need a balance of the right weather at the right time, with the nightmare scenario being the exact opposite with no crop or ruined crop. Holiday makers and tourism businesses thrive on hot, fine weather, as of course do the ice-cream vendors (with Style’s Ice-cream achieving record sales) and Somerset’s array of cider and beer producers.
However, I take a view that we all benefit from hot sunny weather, although the 30 plus degree levels are pushing the realms of comfort. We all feel more content and jolly with the sun on our backs; we all feel more sociable with barbecues in full flow, cider in one hand and the delights of a delicious burger or sausage sandwich with, for the benefit of the female observers of my diet, a smattering of fresh lettuce and cucumber therein, in the other hand.
The British thrive on weather. It is the greatest talking point when we meet anyone, especially someone we don’t really know - it’s safe small-talk. However, if we are not careful it can take over our lives with the activities of the coming week dictated by the week-long forecast provided by shows like Countryfile. If Matt Baker’s or Adam Henson’s meteorologist say it’s going to rain - it’s going to rain, so we won’t go out.
This is the big challenge for those of us who host outdoor events on whatever scale. With the exception of Glastonbury Festival which sells out of tickets before the customer knows what the entertainment will be, we are all slaves to the weather and quite literally ‘in the lap of the gods’.
This autumn at the Bath and West Showground we have a host of great events with most of them using the vast expanse of undercover space, but when you sit down to watch Countryfile to see the weather for the week, spare a thought for those organising motorhome shows, antiques fairs and car auctions. Event organisers can’t do anything about the weather (too hot, too cold or too wet) so if you are in any doubt about attending the event, please support them and just do it.
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Rupert Cox is the CEO of the Royal Bath and West Society. For more from Rupert, follow him on Twitter! @rupert_rbw