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Fireworks and profits

From Nicola M

Thursday, 17 November 2011

As ever the firework display was amazing and the park well-'an aged for the event itself. However I was totally appalled at the state of the marina the following day. The Railway and Moyles need to take their duties responsibly. It is surely one of their most profitable evenings of the year, if not most profitable. Glasses, bottles and rubbish everywhere - long after the park had been cleared and relatively restored to normal.
Amidst the debris, the resident geese (who have already had their eggs disturbed by thoughtless kids this year) were trying hard to dodge the mess, as well as us residents.

From Jenny B

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Nicola, why do you assume the mess was from the two nearest pubs? Both Moyles and the Railway were serving drinks in plastic 'glasses', so any bottles, cans, glass etc are more likely to have been taken on by those drinking it. Yes, I am sure both pubs profitted as did most Hebden Businesses- hooray. However, the clean up was organised by the organisers, maybe you need to approach them with this issue? Or as many on here persist in saying- do it yourself?

From David Telford

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Why particularly the Railway & the hotel? There are other places selling drink and items in packaging? I'm sure they don't want their glasses taken off the premises but the public surely take some responsibility over and above the pub & hotel. Both businesses pay a huge amount of business rates, is it not reasonable to expect to get a service back by way of the council clear up?

From James Baker

Friday, 18 November 2011

I mentioned the mess at town council. It looked awful on the Sunday with every bin in town overflowing and rubbish strewn everywhere. Calderdale cleared up the mess on Monday, but it needs to be done the next day on the Sunday. Normally when you put on an event you help ensure your event doesn't leave somewhere a complete mess.

The firework night is a fantastic part of the event calendar that raises money for charity, but when planning we need to think about how we can work together to ensure it doesn't cause too much disruption.


From Paul D

Saturday, 19 November 2011

It's been clear for some years that the bonfire is turning into a street drinking festival. The purpose of the event itself is being lost in a sea of alcohol, and this is not only inconvenient to local residents but gives the town a reputation it can do without. When this happened before they gave it a rest for a while, perhaps it's time to do the same again? I went on the field and it was excellent, a real credit to the organisers, but around town the behaviour of many to be honest it was quite shocking, the language and drunkeness made me wonder whether we've created a monster.

From David Telford

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Paul D, don't you think you are being overdramatic. HB is not getting a reputation for anything rowdy.

For me, I'd prefer my council tax kept a bit lower and wait for a day for the final clear up. If it was so bad, wouldn't the big society suggest you do a bit of clearing up yourself?

From Graham Barker

Sunday, 20 November 2011

I don't think Paul is being overdramatic. I agree with him that the experience on the field tends to be fine but around town things get pretty ugly pretty quickly, and it certainly isn't a happy environment for families. The litter is just one manifestation of the ugliness.

I agree with him too that maybe it's time for another moratorium. The event doubtless raises a lot of money for charity, but I wonder how much of that benefit is offset by the cleanup and policing costs, which presumably come from a different budget.

From Stan M

Monday, 21 November 2011

Please don't blame the bonfire for the general mayhem and frankly disgusting anti social behaviour in Hebdens town centre.

The vast majority of guilty parties are non resident day trippers who visit the town 52 weeks a year rain or shine for the sole purpose(sic) of having fun anywhere other than their own backyard.

Over the last 25 years of my residency I have seen many, many changes not all for the better but let's not forget how dead the town was before the promotion of its tourist image.

Proper policing might be a better idea.

From Paul D

Monday, 21 November 2011

I wouldn't blame the bonfire for the poor behaviour around it, but it does act as a magnet for people behaving badly and this is of genuine concern to local people, including those with children walking to and from the event. Where the event itself is brilliant, what was always taking place on the periphery is now much more in the foreground, i.e. the excessive street drinking, loutishness and litter that was always a feature of the event was kept contained and was marginal but it now appears quite extensive. That was my point really, that the success of the event has brought with it some unintended consequences that cannot be laid at the door of the organisers, but perhaps need some thought in case they ruin the actual event. And I think the point about costs is well put, because what is the use of making thousands for local charities if the rest of the population of West Yorkshire has to pay even more thousands in extra policing costs?

I also feel that the assertion that those concerned with things like litter should get out and clean up rather than comment about it is becoming almost like a 'hebweb' reaction nowadays. I have more than once walked that field early in the morning and cleaned it up, just as I've walked in the river, along local footpaths and roads to keep our town tidy. This assumption that anybody drawing attention to litter in one arena isn't actually engaged in dealing with in another is a bit lazy. So, before we tell those expressing a concern with the quality of the local environment to get off their backsides and do something we might consider the possibility that they do and have done for some time. Even if they didn't and never had, people still have the right to raise concerns without also having to physically address the issue of concern, or should the housebound reserve their comments to wallpaper and to general household affairs?

And can I just remind anyone interested that the town was not 'dead' before the arrival of mass tourism and that inward migration didn't save it from some cultural decay, although it has certainly revitalised and refreshed many aspects of the community. An example of what has been culturally lost is plot singing and mumming, neither of which is practiced anymore, but we do have people willing to adopt (some mighty say appropriate) other cultural events like the pace egg play and 'professionalise' the delivery. The town remains a rich, diverse and interesting place to live, those people who have moved here have contributed to the diversity, but it was here before they were. This is another quite lazy assumption and is like an attempt to rewrite the history of a town after a degree of ethnic cleansing has taken place. People came here (and continue to come here) because of the tolerance and non-conformity, they didn't just bring it with them and reanimate a cultural corpse. And that's my point about the bonfire, it's here, it's great it's of huge benefit to so many people, but the extent to which the negatives are beginning to outweigh the positives is something worth considering.

From Neil Smith

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Apologies for not entering into this discussion sooner.

Whilst the favourable comments concerning the running of the Bonfire are greatly appreciated, the discussion about the state of the town outside of the Park are obviously important to Hebden Bridge Round Table members.

For your information, Round Table itself pays for about a dozen Policeman to help on the Park and gates (together with 20 or so stewards) ? something in the region of £2000. The Policing in the town centre is not something we can control, only advise on. It was particularly busy this year (which must have been good for the local pubs and restaurants) but, in fairness, I did see a considerable Police presence on the streets ensuring safety for everyone. There will always be mindless idiots who insist on getting drunk no matter what.

Alas, we are but a small & hardy group of volunteers who put the event on at our own risk for the good of the community at large. Any surpluses from the evening are ploughed back into a range of good causes and charities in our locality. Necessity dictates that our manpower resources are and always will be primarily concerned with the safety and good management of activities on the park itself, for obvious reasons. The Park clean up the following day currently involves all RT members plus several Rotary Club personnel plus an entire troupe of Scouts from Mytholmroyd!

However, there is nothing to stop the cleaning of the Marina the following day if we can find additional volunteers to help us do it. Would anyone here be interested in supporting such an enterprise? It can certainly be more fun than it sounds plus it offers everyone an opportunity to contribute to the overall success of the event and put just a little something back into our community. Why don't I put a little note on here in the lead up to next years event and see if we can get a working group together? I'll also invite the local pubs to lend a hand as well.

Finally, I can't comment on what the Railway Pub does or does not do regarding wastage as they refuse point blank to help with the Bonfire in any way and therefore we keep well out of their way.

Best regards to everyone and thanks again for supporting Hebdens' Bonfire.