Rain stopped battle

THE almost unthinkable happened on Sunday when the annual Battle of Hastings re-enactment was cancelled - because it was too muddy.

Heavy rainfall on the Saturday lead to English Heritage taking the unusual step to halt the Saxon and Norman armies hours before the event was due to be replayed on Sunday.

It is not clear the last time the re-enactment was cancelled, although one lady said she can’t recall it happening once during her 20-plus years working for English Heritage.

English Heritage declined to answer how much money it lost when it took the decision to cancel Sunday’s re-enactment and offer free admission to pacify disappointed ticket holders.

But at hefty £41.50 for a family ticket with 4,000 spectators turning out for the event on a Saturday, the losses must run into tens of thousands of pounds.

And after Battle Abbey’s winter opening hours were dramatically slashed in a cost-saving exercise last year, is it really a loss the Abbey can stand?