ORGANISERS of Bromyard's popular hop festival say they have been forced to cancel this year's show.

Those behind the annual event say they have struggled to recruit enough volunteers and have found it difficult to agree a time to close roads for the hop pocket race - often the focal point of the weekend.

But despite the setback, organisers have vowed to return with a "bigger and better" event in 2017.

In a statement on the festival's Facebook page, the organising committee said: "It is with regret that the Bromyard Hop Festival and World Championship Hop Pocket race committee announce that this year’s festival and race will not be taking place.

"However, the committee are very aware of the popularity of this event and will endeavour to ensure that the festival and race will be back, bigger and better than ever, for 2017.

"The reasons behind the postponement are primarily the lack of suitable venues for the Rural Crafts and Craft Fair, a lack of volunteers to run the event on the day and difficulties in finding a suitable time for the road closures.

"The committee would like to sincerely thank those businesses and locals who have supported the event over the last five years, either by buying advertising space in the programme, making a donation, helping on the day or participating in the races.

"Without your support we could not have run such a great event."

The annual show has been running since 2011 and was due to be held on Saturday, August 27 this year.

The festival has previously boasted traditional rural craft demonstrations, historic displays, memorabilia, a craft market and a parade featuring vintage vehicles.

Last year's festival drew large crowds with 14 teams tackling the highlight of the day, the hop pocket race, which took competitors around the town before finishing at the Market Square.

Other attractions included a classic motorbike, car and tractor display.

There were also performances of a hop play called Hop in a Pocket which was performed at the town's Conquest Theatre.