annual Civic Parade has either got to be better advertised or it
should be accepted that most residents are not interested. It is disappointing,
but apathy was today’s most noticeable feature.
The 229 bus took a full hour (almost half of it waiting) to get me from Abbey Wood to Bexleyheath Clock Tower and when I arrived with fewer than five minutes to spare before the parade was scheduled to start my first thought was that I had got the day wrong. There was nobody there.
It wasn’t a lot better outside Christ Church (Photo 1) where spectators were massively outnumbered by participants. Nowhere along the route to the Civic Offices were there any more than sporadic handfuls of shoppers who took time out to gawp.
This is very unfortunate as a great deal of effort goes into getting the show on the road each year and it is pretty well organised.
As may be seen from the photos above, the streets were virtually empty from Christ Church through to the Civic Offices. This is probably because unlike in previous years no focal point had been erected in the town centre which would have caught the attention of passing shoppers and been a more fitting terminating point than the Civic Offices’ car park.
Moving the conclusion to the service area behind the Civic Offices had the unfortunate effect of discouraging the few members of the public who had watched from the sidelines from following through the security gates and the only people there were either parents of the young participants or otherwise related to the older ones. The fact that the service area was full of parked cars (Photo 20 below) did nothing to assist arrangements.
The new Mayor, councillor Sybil Camsey made a speech, short and sweet, her words of thanks to the organisers well chosen, delivered and sounded sincere. I mouthed “well done” as she passed another test with flying colours. She went on to speak to many of the participants, young and old.
Elsewhere in town traffic was widely disrupted. Probably more people stuck in stationary cars than lining the streets. Many of course deliberately stayed away. My outward bus journey passed through Northumberland Heath where councillors Philip Read and Peter Reader were accosting passers by with a stack of blue leaflets in their hands. In fact most councillors boycott the Civic Parade. Are the sermons at Christ Church so very bad?
Whilst running from one site to another a BiB reader caught up with me to say he had been speaking to a Bexley council official, quite a senior one, and he was told that “everything you read on Bexley is Bonkers is wrong”. Even allowing for a degree of loss in translation I do wonder if so much is wrong why they never contradict it. It would also be interesting to hear them explain away the documentary evidence that suggests that BiB is far from being usually wrong and how they know it is since most of them deny ever reading it.
Later today a link to Brian Barnett’s (Photo 5 in blue shirt) website will appear here. I imagine his photos will be very different to those above. He likes to get in close.
112 photos now available on Photo Bucket.