Martin Kirby Column; No Stopping, Roman Around and a Dry Pub
WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE KIDDING, MR HITLER?
Some Citizen readers say Jeff Payne, the taxi driver fined 35 quid for dropping-off a passenger in Clarence Street, should pay up and shut up.
If he was travelling towards Argos at the time, perhaps so, as there is clearly no stopping allowed on the east side of Clarence Street. But having had a bad experience on the other side of the road, I feel some sympathy for Jeff.
As I pulled-up to let the indomitable Mrs Kirby into our car she was being shouted-at aggressively by a parking enforcement operative, telling her to "go across the road into Russell Street". When she opened the car door to tell me what was happening, he yelled – "right, if that's how you want it, you can have a ticket". Suffice to say Brenda quickly convinced the chap that screaming at her in such a nasty way was not conducive to his wellbeing, but what exactly is the situation in Clarence Street?
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The signs on the west side are yellow with a red circle and diagonal band across a blue background inside the circle which, according to a government leaflet published online; www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@motor/documents/digitalasset/dg_191927.pdf, means 'Drivers may stop to pick up or set down passengers and, where not prohibited, load and unload'.
How I miss Lizzie and her mates – the old-style traffic wardens who used a bit of common sense and only issued tickets when there was no alternative. Yet they still managed to keep the streets clear.
But as I've said many times before, these days it's not so much to do with traffic control as providing extra revenue for the council.
HISTORY WAS ROMAN ALL OVER THE CITY
Many thanks to everyone involved in the Gloucester History Festival and in particular, the two parades which took place last Saturday. Not only were the parades bigger and better than ever, but the support from the crowds lining the streets was brilliant.
The new Mayor of Barton, Delroy Ellis, enjoyed his first taste of the role and from the number of young people who called out to him, it's obvious that Delroy is hugely respected and will use his post to do a massive amount of good.
The Cathedral grounds were home to groups of people representing soldiers from almost every century but my personal favourite of all the living history groups is the Ermine Street Guard - local blokes who provide an insight into what made the Roman Army so successful.
All of the members' armour, weapons, equipment and uniforms are as authentic as it's possible to make them, and their demonstrations of battle tactics bring history to life in a way that no book or film ever could.
The History Festival really is Gloucester at its best.
MEET THEM HALF WAY
Although it's seriously ill, the tradition of the Village pub clings precariously to life at Box, near Nailsworth, even though the village has been deprived of its watering-hole since early July. The Novalis Trust, which owns The HalfWay Inn at Box, closed the pub after claiming there was too little demand for its services, but an online petition which has attracted almost 1,000 signatures calling for the pub to be reopened, indicates otherwise. With so many pubs having no alternative but to close, it seems pretty daft to close one that is so well supported. What's going on?