In response to last week’s article about the Streat food festival, I have to say that the report is very one-sided.
By stating “it was a huge success” I can only assume it to mean commercially. If your features editor takes a look at the Valley Gardens today he might think differently.
Unless, like Harrogate Borough Council, he thinks that the destruction of the Gardens is a price worth paying for thousands of people coming to the Gardens to spend money, which is the sole reason for the traders to hold such events (of course HBC received revenue for the renting of the Gardens).
I do not think that people who enjoy the Valley Gardens as gardens feel that it was a success when whole areas around Bogs Field are now fenced off due to the grass being turned from beautifully manicured turf and trim edges bordering the paths into muddy, trampled and tyre-rutted bogs.
In the entire half page article there is only one oblique reference to the damage done which was a quote from the organiser “...if we can rectify a few minor issues we will be back for another three years”. The damage inflicted to the Bogs Field area cannot be dismissed as a minor issue.
It will take a long time to put the Gardens back to how they were. Is this what will be called the Streat Festival legacy?
The Valley Gardens was a wholly inappropriate setting to hold such an event.
HBC really should not be sacrificing the Valley Gardens on the altar of Mammon.
As a last point it is worth noting that the Britain in Bloom judges were in the Valley Gardens just prior to this event.
I wonder whether it would have gone ahead if the judges were due just after it?