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In Full . . .

Reclaim festival for our villagers

Posted on October 26 2006 at 2:55:04

So the 10th Alvechurch Alight has come and gone. Hard work and planning went into another village celebration and there was much to enjoy. However, I am left wondering whether it might be time for a change.

When I think back to that marvellous procession in 1996 my  memory is of  excited local children proudly carrying  their candle-lit lanterns. There was a feeling that we were witnessing something very special.

Compare that to this year’s  procession. A few lanterns with dismal glows and  our village taken over by teenagers from Redditch, Bromsgrove  and elsewhere.

Who would have thought 10 years ago that it would be necessary to check for drink and drugs before our young people were allowed into the football club?

We even had young people from the surrounding area  camping in our village, high on drugs and drink. Is this what we want to celebrate?

The following morning the streets were littered with food, broken glass and discarded chip wrappings. Flowers had been destroyed and fences damaged.

So what should be done? My feeling is that we need to keep what is good about the weekend and to accept that the procession has grown out of control.

We could have music sessions instead  in the various pubs, and dancing in the village hall on Saturday evening, ticket only.

We could invite street entertainers, storytellers, a brass band maybe during the day, if suitable venues could be found.

And perhaps enough volunteers could be found to hold the craft and produce show once again.

Perhaps now is the time to reclaim our celebration for the people of the village. 

Name and address supplied


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