Yesterday they had a Medieval Fayre in town.
It poured with rain.
I walked past the few stalls they had, saw some people putting a brave face on things and noted the medieval bouncy castle, high on the list of attractions, languishing in a shop doorway. This is at least the second event turned into a virtual catastrophe this year. Huge numbers of enthusiastic people organise such events throughout the year and, with excitement growing, pin their hopes on a glorious outcome on their chosen day. And then it rains.
I am increasingly admiring a town that devotes so much time and energy to celebrating the various aspects of our community. There must be a dozen such initiatives each year supported by the majority (there are always one or two miserable characters that wish to put these events down) which bring tourists, locals and visitors into the centre. They are hugely important to some pubs. For us, by the railway station, we are on the route to town and get a significant trade from the passers by. Other back street pubs see little benefit but still put considerable effort into what happens. In almost all cases there is a sense that what is organised and happens is good.
It is the problem with the rain that is so saddening.
Pubs throughout the land organise events all the time. The organisers will make effort to create an opportunity for business, an event which will please the customers and an occasion which people will remember for a long time. Within that objective lie many obstacles; licensing restrictions, police, EHOs, neighbours, councils, parking wardens and so forth. In the battle necessary to develop such opportunities we must fight many opponents. And when we overcome them to be thwarted by the weather seems so unfair.
So I'll take my hat off to those who make the effort. Customers don't come to our pubs because they are open. It is because we offer them something they want. Let's hope the rain doesn't spoil it.