Letter in Sidmouth Herald 20 December 2013, concerning John Braithwaite and his Mercedes!

Although the writer is merely 'having a go' at John Braithwaite there is a serious point in that many directors of folk festivals and people who call themselves 'events organisers' seem to drive 4x4 or other 'upmarket' cars and may not appreciate the difficulties of driving far older or less 'capable' vehicles up steep inclines whilst towing an old caravan. One of the exceptions here may be Bob Berry from Chippenham festival - he can often be seen riding a bicycle!

The people who are best able to advise on the practicalities and likely risks associated with (for example) Salcombe Hill in Sidmouth are the residents - and those of us who attend many folk festivals, have a long history of towing and maintaining older cars and caravans and (occasionally) get other folkies out of trouble.

The writer also fails to mention the extra 10,000 awarded to FolkWeek for 2014 by Sidmouth Town Council within a 'closed session' - one to which mere taxpayers of the parish are not admitted. This extra 10,000 brings the total grant for 2014 to 30,000 - or is it 35,000?


Whilst naturally being very disappointed at the decision made by EDDC licensing sub-committee regarding the folk festival move to Salcombe Regis, I would like to share with your readers one pertinent observation.

The director of Sidmouth Folkweek Productions Ltd was noted to have parked his big, shiny, top of the range Mercedes car in, of all places, the reserved car parking space for the ‘Leader of the Council’. (This can be verified by your on-site reporter.)

This showed complete disrespect for the council which does so much to promote his cause.

Remembering as well that Sidmouth Town Council also supports him to the tune of 100,000 (over a period of five years) of council tax payers’ money (see Sidmouth Town Council minutes of the meeting of December 3, 2013, item 191).

Alastair Letty (via email)

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