Last Rising

So, will that really be the last Widcombe Rising? It was certainly one of the best, so why not end on a high note? It’s a lot of work just for one day and I forone amtired of checking the weather forecast every half an hour for the three weeks preceding! Is there such a thing as meteorological stress syndrome?

And with only two people in the team until the day, it can get mighty tedious ordering those portable toilets yet again!

We have now been promised our bypass, so in a way our work here is done, to misquote the famous super-hero. The original point of Widcombe Rising was to prove a bypass could work. And now we’ve done that, bought the tee-shirt (literally!).

The character of our little High Street is going to change. No lorries means wider pavements, easier access, new businesses, a thriving café society. Perhaps it’s time to think again. Maybe use our perennial street closure order for an Easter parade or a Christmas market. Or maybe my co-organiser Nick and I should simply close all traffic off for a day, set up a dining table in the middle of the road and get served a slap up al fresco lunch. Just because we can! And, may I say without a hint of modesty, because we deserve it.

About seven thousand people had a really jolly time, with street theatre, bands, a camera obscura, cream teas, stilt walkers, fairground rides, fabulous food, a farmers’ market, a palm court tea room, a mosh-pit disco, games, sports and a lady who could keep fifty hula hoops going at the same time. There was a brass band from Jaipur, mayors and muscle men, trapeze lessons, trumpeters, candy floss, contemporary dance and a dog show. Blimey!

And although I was ready at the end of the day with an array of brooms, nobody came to use them. The whole street was as clean as a whistle and ready for some lorry action just two hours after the event finished. A miracle.

Anyway, the answer to the question asked by hundreds of happy Rising-goers is we simply haven’t decided. Now, where did I put the number for those toilet hire people…?

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