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Friday, 21 October 2011

THE TOWN CENTRE AT FESTIVAL TIME

Photo: Geraldine Williams
Here's another excellent example of a picture being worth a thousand words. In this posting we were talking about the redevelopment of Middlewich Town Centre and the building of the 'Roman amphitheatre' in the Bull Ring, making the point that the area attracts 'huge' crowds during the Middlewich FAB Festival in June. This was no idle claim, as is dramatically illustrated in this picture which has been kindly supplied by Geraldine Williams.

She writes:
I couldn't agree more with your observations about present-day Hightown and the first impressions it gives of the town when approached from the Chester Road end of St Michael's Way. This is precisely why I took this photograph a couple of years ago. G.W.


For some reason I could never fathom there was a certain element among the people of Middlewich, now, thankfully, almost extinct,  which was openly hostile to attempts to attract visitors to the town, notably during the heady days when the Folk & Boat Festival was being established in the 1990s.
These were the people I dubbed the 'Keep Middlewich Miserable Brigade'.
One such Moaning Minnie told me one day: 'You can tell me about the thousands of people going to concerts on Market Field until you're blue in the face. I don't believe you. It doesn't happen.'
I offered to show him some photographs of the huge crowds of people attending our concerts, but he simply refused to even look at them.
I loved the Saturday morning processions through the streets, not only for the colour, excitement and spectacle, but also for the boot up the bum it gave the KMMB as we brought the festival right into the heart of town, making it impossible to ignore. 
I'd see some of them skulking around Wheelock Street, desperately trying to pretend that the procession wasn't happening and I always made a point of giving them a smile and a cheery wave. 

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