You'll be aware from a casual reading of this blog that the town is undergoing a make-over, a renovation , a transformation from ugly duckling to, well, we'd better wait and see. A large wodge of cash has been found to pay for all this. Included in the first stage plans was a facelift for Queen's Gardens which involved taking the place back to its 1950's redesign (down come those trees), a central performance stage (for what?), a removable stage over the above pond (again why two stages?) and more space to play 'sport' (just plain why?) and a memorial to some guitarist, Mick Ronson (who he?), from the 1970's whose appeal was and remains limited in the extreme. All of these bizarre ideas are, thankfully, now on hold, and officially won't start until 2018; that is to say after the year of the City of Culture (if ever). I don't know the reason for the delay but the suspicion that the Council bit off more than it could chew seems a reasonable one.
In the meanwhile, this place, which on a pleasant day should be an enjoyable peaceful haven in the centre of town, is suffering from neglect and decay by contractual cock-up. Being a park you'd think it would be looked after by the park services company, wouldn't you? Well the contract with that company mysteriously does not cover Queen's Gardens, so it is left to the overstretched street cleaners (or possibly the Council secretaries, dog wardens or whoever is free that day) to maintain this place and that is failing. The paths are cracked, litter is accumulating and anti-social elements, drunks and druggies, roam the place making it not as welcoming as it should be. The Council continues with its unrealistic, unnecessary pipe-dreams while the place is falling apart around it; nothing new there then.
More tales of woe from this lovely place tomorrow.
Weekend reflections are here.