Danson Festival has been cancelled, allegedly because of the poor ground
conditions which I am not sure I believe because there were several hints in
council a year ago that the 2013 Festival would be the last.
I am personally ambivalent about the whole thing. I went last year for the very first time and reported it in glowing terms, but then I didn’t have any youngsters with me in need of entertainment at £4 a ride. That would probably have taken the smile off my face. And then there is the annual trickery employed by Bexley council to boost parking fines. Their website said one thing and their parking attendants did another.
Local residents must be seriously inconvenienced, I live two and a half miles as the crow flies from the site and shielded from it by the biggest hill in the borough but the noise from Danson Park comes in loud and clear.
On a personal level, whether the Festival is cancelled or not does not bother me greatly, my interest extends only to whether cabinet member Don Massey was being truthful when he said the reason for cancellation was ground conditions.
I must shamefully admit that I had never walked around Danson Lake before I went there in February 2011 to check on the absence of life belts. It proved impossible to get to the water’s edge because it was pure mud and I managed to fill my shoes with the stuff before I was able to extract myself. While at the 2013 Festival I thought I would make another attempt to get to the lakeside but it was again solid mud. The Festival itself takes place on higher ground as visitors to the park will know.
On that evidence the park is constantly muddy and that has not stopped the Festival going ahead in previous years. Comments on the News Shopper’s report confirm the mud situation. I doubt it is any worse than usual.
Whilst the start of 2014 had a reputation for rain we got off surprisingly lightly in this part of the world. My solar panel installation recorded 55% more sunshine in January 2014 than in 2013, 54% more than in February 2013 and 67% more in March. Less scientific is that I only had to use my car to pick up the morning paper once this winter and last year it was three or four times! The ground conditions may be poor, but they have always been poor, and the long range forecast is not at all bad.
In all the circumstances it may have been the right decision to cancel the 2014 Festival but presumably Don Massey lacks the honesty to provide the real reason. It’s the cuts stupid! It was forecast a year ago.