Echo comment: Our Monster Walk will take the threats away from Halloween
THE celebrations that take place every year at Halloween have often been the subject of contentious debate.
Some Christians have always been concerned at its links with Pagan celebrations and the occult.
But for most of us, it has always been harmless fun. It's a night, as the darkness of winter starts to bite, for getting out the pumpkins and getting in to fancy dress.
Unfortunately, the adoption of trick or treating from America has damaged that.
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When it is organised by parents with small groups of children going door-to-door, it can be a civilised event. Well-prepared residents are happy to give the children sweets or similar treats in a friendly exchange on the doorstep.
But it certainly isn't always like that. Older groups of teenagers can be threatening to householders, with the so-called trick quickly becoming an out-and-out threat.
That is why the Echo has joined up with Total Star FM and other partners to promote the Monster Walk 2012.
We want to show youngsters of all ages that it is possible to have far more fun at Halloween by really dressing up for the occasion and taking part in a community event.
At the same time, we'll be raising money for the Mayor of Cheltenham's charities.
We're hoping for a fun night and a profitable night. So join in, and get your tickets from Cheltenham's Tourist Information Centre and Banners and Balloons from Friday.
THE work being done at Arle Court roundabout is clearly going to cause some disruption.
Even if, as the county's highways department has promised, the work is done outside rush hours, there will inevitably be some delays.
But the short-term pain involved has got to be worth it.
With the new "intelligent" traffic lights in place, the junction will work as it should always have done.
When traffic is particularly heavy from one direction, the traffic lights will change accordingly.
The only surprising thing is that it has taken so long for the work to be done.
Some will also say that the very best way to make traffic lights more efficient on any roundabout is to switch them all off – all the time.