It’s proving to be quite a year! What with the Comedy Festival, Party in the City, the Torch Relay, the Jubilee and the Olympics, we’ve just about managed to squeeze in a Widcombe Rising. For those of you that don’t know what the Rising is, it’s a great big street party with theatre, music and café society which for a few hours replaces the roaring traffic of Widcombe with a roaring good time!
June 17th sees the fifth and possibly last outing of this glorious event. The original point of holding the party was to promote the idea of a permanent bypass for this long-suffering village-within-the-city. Now the bypass is to become a reality, it might be time to think about holding a series of smaller events throughout the year in the newly traffic-calmed environs of Claverton Street.
This year however, it’s business as usual, with the Widcombe Eye once more towering over a plethora of family oriented attractions, including hula hoop workshops from Australia, a brass band from India and a mobile cabaret from Splott (Google it!)
The whole thing takes a year to plan, five hours to set up and an incredibly fast three hours to take down and clear up. Litter picked up, flags lowered, tables folded, traffic roaring once more.
My co-organiser Nick and I recently attended a health and safety meeting at the Guildhall. Although we have never had a crime, reportable accident, fight, poisoning, fire, lost child or someone locked in the portable lavatories, it is better to be safe than sorry. Communications between site management and staff have to be worked out, along with a list of possible trip hazards, evacuation plans and emergency vehicle routes.
One thing we didn’t mention at the meeting was my Lady Margaret’s Dog Show. A perennial favourite, this event is the part of the day when I feel most vulnerable. Some of those Chihuahuas are quite nippy, and a disappointed bulldog who hasn’t won a certificate can be rather threatening. Last time a Jack Russell sank his teeth into little mongrel’s ear and wouldn’t let go. But I don’t think dog on dog violence is of interest to the health and safety department.
Not sure if the St John Ambulance crew on duty come equipped with anti-rabies serum. I’ll have to put it on my ‘to do’ list to ask