Noisy events at the Quarry in Shrewsbury- one resident moved home!

This email was sent to the SeeRed author in September 2006. It is largely self explanatory, criticising both the content of the SeeRed website (page folk95) and the attitude of the local council - who are perceived as being too much in favour of events being held irrespective of the effect on local residents.

Apart from minor corrections to spelling, grammar and punctuation the email is 'as received'.

Dear Steve,

You take a rather snotty tone about local response and seem to think that the very idea of something like this (the 2006 folk festival) happening in 'their beloved local parkland' must have come as something of a shocking new idea to local Salopians. Well, it doesn't.  It comes as an all too familiar idea.

The Council's policy, for some time now, has been to 'maximise' the 'utilisation' of the Quarry. The Flower Show is an unassailable Shrewsbury Institution and - by the by - can claim some sort of right to close the suspension bridge once a year as the Horticultural Society put up the money to build it. The Flower show preparations take over the Quarry for a good month and more beforehand making it a great big building site and downright uglifying one of the handsomest parks in England.  In some years, the get-out and clean-up has taken even longer than the get-in, with truck loads of galvanised barriers still there amid the autumn leaves.  The weekend of the flower show has an events arena with a booming PA system and two nights of fireworks.

In the last year or two, 'advantage' has been taken of the Flower show infrastructure to put on pop concerts.  Will Young one night, Jules Holland the next it was last year. Jules Holland might at least have been musical, but what you mainly get is a scramble of noise and the terrible thud of the super-amplified bass notes all night. These events involve not just the hugely amplified evening concerts but the even more irritating sound-checks for an hour of the morning. In a few weeks time, a funfair will arrive.  That will bring the noise not only of the stalls - each with different amplified music and the general ruckus of a fun fair but the constant noise of the big generators needed to power and light it all.  The fun fair will be paying a return visit.  It will already have been there for a week in the spring.  As the Quarry is one of the pleasanter venues the fair visits, many of the showmen, with their kit and their trucks and their generators, are slow to leave the place, having no immediate call to be anywhere else towards the end of the season, presumably.

No, big noisy over-amplified events with all their ugly apparatus and disruption are not a novelty but, rather, all too familiar to people living within earshot of the Quarry.  I used to be one of them, until I couldn't stand it any more. It is the main reason I sold up and moved. Oh, and by the way, I too walked to work across the Quarry because, funnily enough, I'm not a millionaire.

If you were to say that the Dingle is a less than tasteful floral extravaganza, I'd agree with you, but all the same it is a place that many people go to pass the time in peace and quiet: pensioners, mothers and their children, ordinary people, not the cashmere-coated rich bastards you seem to think of as Salopians.

The Quarry is one of England's most beautiful parks and, though you obviously don't realise it, is one that is remarkably well used by a wide variety of people. It is a few steps away from the sixth form college, for instance, and is full of students most lunchtimes, especially when the sun shines  It's where they eat and meet and laugh and kick a ball and play with Frisbees, and each other in various predictable ways, and leave an awful lot of litter to prove that they were there.  But at least they were there making good and rightful use of the place.  As many others do in their different fashion. It is not just snotty but foolish of you to think that because it's in Shrewsbury it must only be people with their noses even higher in the air than you who use or value the Quarry. (Did I really say that Sue??)



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