I HAVE been following your coverage of last weekend’s Festival of Light and related letters to your postbag with interest.
As I said in your article on Monday this year’s festival was fraught with difficulty compared to last year’s event, given that we were unable to use the much larger space of St George’s Square.
To put it simply, we were faced with the choice of doing nothing at all or accepting that there would have to be an inevitable compromise on the type and scale of show possible.
Considerable works being carried out around the town centre ruled out an overhead show, while limited space for our ever-increasing audience meant a two-night event; to split the audience, ensure safety and improve people’s chances of getting a better view.
Every year we strive to bring something different, and judging by some of the comments I have seen we certainly did that this year! As many of your readers have commented, different is not always better. However, I do hope your readers can understand that it is not always possible to appeal to everyone’s tastes. Many look back on last year’s show with fondness, but I can tell you that it, too, prompted some criticism.
I can see why many felt that this year’s show was not as spectacular as in previous years, but I hope they can be reassured to hear that planning is already underway for next year’s event, when we plan to return to St George’s Square with a bang.
While I would not want to give too much away at this stage I am sure many will be excited to hear that we are in discussions with Transe Express, who transfixed crowds with their gravity-defying antics in 2006.
We do not always get it absolutely right, but this is the only place in Yorkshire brave enough to host this type of activity and try something different. We learn from our experiences, but always look to new challenges and providing people with new and different attractions.
Clr Robert Light
Leader of Kirklees Council
Road closure disruption
WHETHER or not the Festival of Light was “a damp squib”, what I objected to was the closure of town centre roads from 5.30 onwards when the procession was not due to start until 7.45.
On a busy Friday evening at prime time for people returning home from work, buses were massively disrupted, with apparently very few of the drivers themselves knowing what routes were open.
What does Kirklees Council have against public transport users? The railway station is currently a nightmare for access. Anyone attempting to arrive on Friday other than by car or on foot would have gained an extremely negative view of Huddersfield.
Well done Kirklees
I ATTENDED the Festival of Light on Friday night with my wife and three children. Having read all the negative comments in the letters page I feel that I must write in to say that we all had a wonderful evening and say well done to Kirklees for putting on a good show.
Although the view was not the best, we still enjoyed our evening out and spending time with my family. The whole show was based around art and if one takes a look at an art gallery they will see some of the most bizarre and interesting pieces of work. That is the whole point; if you want to see jugglers go to the circus!
The music was uplifting and enjoyable and the drummers did very well considering the freezing weather; they kept everyone entertained.
So to all the moaners out there, next year stay at home in front of the telly and don’t bother. It just seems to me that to be British is to moan about everything even if it is free. Well done Kirklees!
David & Wendy Taylor
‘In the circumstances’
WELL done to Emma Davison for the article on the Festival of Light (Examiner November 24). I did not attend but find the reading very interesting.
I think council leader Robert Light has nothing to defend in saying: “It was the best that could have been staged under the circumstances.”
It is Kirklees Council’s fault that St George’s Square has been dug up in the first place, especially when there was nothing wrong with it.They appear to have created “the circumstances”. Because of this revamp the only thing the council has achieved is more expense to the taxpayer by stretching a one-day event into two.
If St George’s Square had been left alone how much money would have been saved? I now live in Calderdale, where the council seem to give a bit more thought into their annual budget.They have still got the old Market Hall,The Piece Hall,The Corn Exchange and cobbled streets all of which adds character to the town.
(EX KIRKLEES RESIDENT)
HAVING looked forward to the Festival of Light I took my daughter expecting a good event. We were very disappointed as we were unable to see anything at all.
There was very little crowd control or organisation and as my daughter was in her wheelchair we were soon surrounded by crowds, which sometimes was quite intimidating for a wheelchair user.
Next year how about some special areas for the disabled so we can all enjoy the show?
The one area provided this year was so far away we still could not see anything. Other people that we spoke to all agreed it was a mess. We did enjoy the fireworks and the atmosphere around town and thanks to the Examiner photographs we saw what we had missed.
Thanks to Thespians
AFTER the disappointment of the Festival of Light it was an absolute treat on Tuesday night to be part of the audience in the Cellar theatre watching the Huddersfield Thespians’ production of Teechers by John Godber.
I have seen this play several times before, but this production was refreshing and superbly directed. It was pacy and extremely funny. The three young actors, Rachel Elsley, Kristina Boothroyd and Dean Robson, should consider giving up their day jobs.
They displayed enormous talent, managing to play several characters in quick succession without a hitch. All in all it was a great night out and not to be missed. Thanks to the whole production team.
THERE is no way that any parent, or indeed adult, can begin to comprehend the suffering of the little mite, Baby P or what is in the minds of the monsters responsible for inflicting it.
The strength of the public opinion shows that at least the majority of the population would move heaven and earth to stop a similar thing ever happening again. Lessons must be learned by every outsider involved who could have prevented this tragedy.
However, the outcry should also be great against the intention of the authorities to make sure that millions of pounds will be spent on preserving the anonymity of those responsible when they are freed from prison. This of course will be when they have served half their sentences.
They will be given protection for the rest for their lives and can go on to have other children.
Compulsory sterilisation has to be the answer, for both men and women found guilty of such atrocities. We all have a duty to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
Elaine S Short
TWO lovely people stopped their car down Church Street, Paddock at 6pm on Friday, November 21, got out and helped my son to pick me up after I had fallen and took me to the nearby doctors’ surgery. Thank you very much. I am OK now, but with two lovely black eyes.
Litter blamed for rats
I WAS interested to read Mrs J Marsden’s letter on November 12 when she says she is a town centre worker and starts work at 6am.
She says that during her journey through town she sees rats all over the place, in flowerbeds, crossing Kirkgate and running around in St Peter’s Street.
It’s obvious all the litter and food is the cause; big fines should be imposed on all those caught dropping litter.
Mrs Marsden’s letter says it all, and something must be done to clean up our town.
Not next year, but starting next week.
No need for ID cards
WHY do we need ID cards? Isn’t there already enough surveillance on everybody and everything?
Orders appear all the time as to what we can do and what we can’t do. Of course if we don’t do there will most likely be a heavy fine at the end of it.
It is already reported that ID cards will be extremely invasive and expensive, as if we hadn’t already guessed as much. Just another way of getting money out of people. And for what? As soon as they are issued no doubt a scam will have been devised within hours.
Coupled with that there are likely to be more incidents of laptops being left on trains, plus highly sensitive information going AWOL in other ways. This absolute farce is said to be costing £5bn and probably will become just another expensive botch-up which will solve nothing.
When will the so-called powers that be ever learn?