A TROUPE of upset majorettes launched an online campaign after being told they cannot perform at one of Portland’s biggest events.

The disappointment hit the troupe when they contacted Portland Steam and Vintage Show organisers and were told ‘arena events are full this year’.

Instead, the Portsmouth Wild West Association was booked to entertain visitors at Southwell Park on the weekend of July 17 and 18.

Melody Wilding, troupe leader of the Second Edition Majorettes of Portland, said: “It’s one of the biggest events for our group.

“We were told last year that we’d be coming back but then they let us down.

“I got an email back from the organisers saying ‘I am sorry to say that our arena events are full this year, we would like to thank you very much for your performance last year and we will recommend you if anybody inquires’.

“Our group was devastated because it’s supposed to be a Portland event so you’d think a group of Portland children would be welcome there.”

The Second Edition Majorettes of Portland currently has 37 members, all aged between five and 14 years old, and all the youngsters were said to be upset.

One mum set up a Facebook group called ‘Portland steam fair does not support us locals!’ that gained the rapid support of 204 members.

Melody added: “Our group helps to keep children off the street and all the parents give up their time to help out, but we need the support of people on Portland to let us perform, otherwise it’s not worthwhile.

“The girls don’t want to train for nothing.

“Last year we were quite badly treated at the show when beer tent staff wouldn’t let the girls finish doing their hair and make-up there – even though organisers had said they could.

“The event organiser Mick Mulley then came along to our training session and apologised for the behaviour and said he hoped we would come back in 2010.”

Since being contacted by the Echo, show organiser Mick Mulley has made a U-turn on the show committee’s decision to change this year’s arena programme and has pledged to find a space for the local majorettes.

He said: “We felt that we should get other people in this year.

“We try and change what we do every year.

“There’s limited timing for the arena events.

“We’re going to be having the Portsmouth Wild West Association who build a western village and do a re-enactment.

“Most of our arena events are all vehicles, tractors and steam engines but we will try and slot the majorettes in somewhere.”