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BEAULIEU'S FAMOUS INTERNATIONAL AUTOJUMBLE, the event of the year for 1000s of traders and enthusiasts from all over the world, and planned for September 5 & 6, was today cancelled in the face of the unprecedented pandemic crisis.

But organisers have held out a glimmer of hope for a "simpler version" of the event if there is a demand and should regulations allow.

In an email to exhibitors, Charlotte Mountain, Beaulieu's Events Manager Designate, said: "We are sorry to have to tell you that we have made the difficult decision to cancel International Autojumble for 2020. Over the last few weeks, it has become increasingly apparent with social distancing requirements and the quarantine on international travel that holding large events like the Autojumble will not be possible this year.

"As our biggest event of the year we are sad to not see it go ahead as planned, but under the current circumstances we do not see how we can hold the show in the manner in which you all love. We have been monitoring the latest Government advice and our priority remains the wellbeing of our visitors, exhibitors, suppliers, staff and volunteers. We have only made this decision after a good deal of consideration and are sorry for any inconvenience or disappointment this may cause.

"Whilst the International Autojumble cannot take place in its current format, we are hoping we may be able to host an alternative simpler version of the event if there is demand, to allow motoring enthusiasts to trade. This will however be dependent on Government advice and being able to do so safely. We will communicate any decision on this as soon as possible."

James Knight, Executive Director of Bonhams - auctioneer to Beaulieu - said: "As true motoring enthusiasts we are naturally disappointed not to be holding a sale at Beaulieu this year, but fully support the difficult decision taken by Lord Montagu and his team. Bonhams continue to offer an auction platform for our clients - our next Sale taking place on 25 July - then throughout the autumn and winter. We very much look forward to returning to Beaulieu with vigour in 2021."

Ms Mountain told exhibtors: "As a booked exhibitor, we would like to give you the choice to roll your payment over to the International Autojumble in 2021 (dates TBC) or receive a full refund. Post-dated or un-banked cheques will be voided and destroyed, you will be notified by email in due course if your cheque/payment has not been processed for your booking.

"As a standard, bookings will be rolled over to the 2021 event, if you would prefer to have your booking refunded please email the Events Office on [email protected]

"Due to office closures we are no longer able to process refunds by cheque but we are able to arrange a refund via alternative methods, details of which will be given upon request of refund.

"In the current circumstances we will only have a skeleton staff dealing with a high number of enquiries across multiple events, so please bear with us as we process those transactions.

"We look forward to welcoming you back for an even bigger and better event in 2021, and would like to thank you for your continued loyalty and support."

The Covid-19 pandemic halted the 2020  Beaulieu programme when the attraction had to close its doors to visitors in late March. The Spring Autojumble was cancelled in May, and subsequent events have been postponed whilst awaiting Government guidance on mass gatherings.

John Hodson, editor of Classic Motor Monthly, inc. The Autojumbler said: "This is a massive blow for enthusiasts and autojumble traders in particular; for many it's the highlight of the year, and a major source of revenue. But, to be honest, the news is not entirely unexpected; though a few smaller autojumbles are starting to make a reappearance, it's proving an almighty headache for the bigger events - the cancellation of the Spring Autojumble earlier this year was a sign that Beaulieu would  struggle to mount the September event.

"Beaulieu, as we know it, is hugely dependent on it's sheer size, and an international audience; a smaller event - if it is at all possible in 2020 - would be some consolation."

As well as the International Autojumble, Beaulieu today cancelled the Hot Rod & Custom Show, which was originally intended as a Fathers Day event and the Beaulieu Supercar Weekend (August 8/9) .

Russell Bowman, Managing Director of Beaulieu Enterprises Ltd told CMM: “We know how popular these three events are and their importance to both car enthusiasts and the local economy, so we are sorry to have to make this difficult decision. We would like to thank everyone, including the event sponsors, for their support and patience over the last few months and look forward to welcoming them back when these events return in 2021.”

On a positive note, Beaulieu has confirmed that the popular 'Simply' car rallies will likely be continuing over the remainder of the year. It has reviewed the arrangements for these smaller events to ensure they can take place safely for both participants, visitors and staff. As a result, all participants will need to pre-book their tickets, and there will be a limit on the number of cars that can take part. A revised schedule and new booking details will be announced before the end of June. Existing ticket holders will not need to rebook.

Beaulieu reopened its grounds and gardens to visitors in early June and is hopeful of reopening the National Motor Museum, Palace House and other indoor areas of the attraction in early July. For further information on Beaulieu’s event programme, please visit https://www.beaulieu.co.uk/events.



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