The annual Mini run will not be returning to North Devon this August bank holiday after organisers reluctantly cancelled it due to ongoing Covid restrictions.
Hundreds of ‘little cars with big hearts’ was a hugely popular sight each year as they made their way through the region’s towns and villages over the weekend, raising money for Children’s Hospice South West as they went.
But what would have been the 25th year of the Legendary Grand Tour this August 29 to 31 is no longer happening, after organiser Terry Baker took to Facebook on Sunday, July 19 to say they would not go ahead.
With all places fully booked and despite huge efforts from organisers to ensure the event was Covid-19 compliant, Mr Baker said too many enforced changes would have made the tour a shadow of itself.
The final straw was an email from one of the tour’s regular stops saying they could not help out this year, which he said was fully understandable.
He said: “What with all the other problems the Grand Tour had, it would no longer be worthy to be called the Grand Tour.
“It has taken us 25 years to turn the Grand Tour into the legend it is, one of the best Mini runs in the world but what we have now is nothing like the Grand Tour.
“This year we were oversubscribed and for many of the participants it would have been their first time but they would not be the only ones going home disappointed this year, we all would.
“So with a sorrowful heart, I have to say enough is enough and we can no longer organise an event that does not resemble the LGTs of the past.”
He said it would have been impossible to plan a new event under the new restrictions in such a short amount of time.
Mr Baker added: “We have to say we have tried and tried again and we came so close.
“Sadly now we have no option but to put the LGT under lockdown until next year when we hope it will be safe to bring it out again.”
He hoped that by cancelling now, those who had booked accommodation would have a chance to cancel it.
All tickets for this year’s tour will be transferrable for next year and Mr Baker hoped that any sponsorship money raised so far could be passed along for donation to the hospice.