A COMMUNICATIONS blunder left Hallowe’en revellers believing an open-air ‘pumpkin party’ in Weymouth had been cancelled.

Children in ghoulish costumes and their parents were expecting a day of spooky fun in Greenhill Gardens.

But after arriving to find no stalls set up outside, lots of families left again without realising the activities had been moved indoors.

Organisers had chosen to move some of the activities under cover at the last minute for fear that the weather would be too bad to hold them in the open air.

Notices were put up around the gardens informing visitors that some of the events were to continue indoors but many parents and their children still left early in the belief that the event was cancelled altogether.

They said they did not see the notices and there was no sign of any of the organisers in the gardens to inform people of the change of arrangements.

Father of two Andy Helms brought his six-year-old daughter Sharla, dressed as a witch, and son Jamie, 14 months, from Portland for the event.

He said: “We arrived to find a lot of other families milling about and we were told, or the general consensus seemed to be, that the event was cancelled. All the kids were disappointed because they had got dressed up in their Hallowe’en outfits.

“Me and my children had got there slightly late in a bit of a rush from Portland but we ended up going to Lodmoor for a few rides just so they weren’t too disappointed.”

Andy added: “It’s fair enough that the organisers moved some of the events indoors because of the weather but it would have been nice to have been told, rather than having to rely on word of mouth.”

Another disappointed parent, Amanda Smith, went to the gardens with her husband Simon and daughter Blossom, eight, and almost left before discovering the activities had been relocated.

Amanda said: “We arrived and were told by other families that it had been cancelled.

“My husband tried to phone the Friends of Greenhill Gardens to see what was going on but we just got an answer machine.

“We also tried calling tourist information but they didn’t know what was going on either.”

She added: “Unfortunately, by the time we found out where to go, a lot of other families had left and missed out on it all.”

Organiser Michelle Downham, who runs the Greenhill Beach Café in the gardens for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, said signs were put up around the gardens notifying visitors that activities would take place in the café on the advice of the council.

Michelle said: “We waited until the last minute before making the changes but by noon the weather was still raining and blustery.

“It would have been dangerous to have held it outdoors because the ground was slippery.”

She added: “Perhaps the signs notifying people of the changes could have been up more prominently but unfortunately some people were already running around saying it had been cancelled and I can’t help what members of the public were saying.”

A spokesman for Weymouth and Portland Borough Council pointed out that the authority was not involved in organising or running the event but did help the Friends of Greenhill Gardens publicise it.