In search of answers on mystery stag
The stag mystery we highlighted in last week’s Nuts and Bolts has been solved. We reported how unaccounted for stag sculptures had been included in artist’s impressions of the development for 660 new homes, shared public spaces and a cafe near the town centre – on the former Powergen site.
The stags featured in computer generated images from developers U+I and Quinn Estates, who have now secured planning permission for a mix of flats and houses on currently vacant land off Victoria Road.
At the time we were unable to ascertain whether the idea was to have a big stag sculpture as a feature of the development or whether whoever created the artist’s impressions was just having a bit of fun.
Well we’ve now had a response from the developers who tell us that Guy Holloway Architects, who are designing the scheme, are indeed hopeful that two stag sculptures will form part of the scheme, designed by renowned artist and sculptor Jonathon Wright.
And why stag sculptures you may ask?
Well there is a historical link which makes it all very interesting.
The landmark Hubert Fountain in Victoria Park, which is adjacent to the development site, once included stag sculptures on either side of its base, but these were melted down for the war effort.
So the idea is to reinstate similar stag sculptures – one red and the other coloured gold – back to this location by incorporating them into the scheme.
Although the suggestion has not been definitely confirmed yet we reckon it’s a great idea.
A press release arrived late last week from Ashford Borough Council (ABC) crowing about how it is introducing free parking in select town centre streets after 6pm, Monday to Saturday, in a bid to boost the “night-time economy”.
So now visitors will be able to park for free in pay and display parking bays in the High Street, North Street and Bank Street in the evenings.
Cynics might argue as to exactly what “night-time economy” there is to boost in the town centre and also why it has taken ABC so long to come up with this revolutionary idea when many have argued for years that the way to boost trade in the town centre is to offer car parking concessions.
A member of the Nuts and Bolts team who frequents The John Wallis occasionally has been amazed to watch hunting pairs of traffic wardens (ABC probably calls them parking enforcement officers) ticketing cars in the bays in that part of the High Street on evenings when the only other thing in the road has been bits of tumbleweed blowing past in the breeze.
The after 6pm free parking is on a six month trial basis apparently and will be introduced permanently if “successful”. Let’s hope so because you only have to contrast the number of people in the town centre on any given evening with the crowds who flock to Eureka Park (where parking coincidentally is FREE all the time) to see where Ashford’s “night-time economy” is actually located.
The KE occasionally gets sent CCTV images – usually from the police – seeking help in tracing ne’er-do-wells who have some kind of involvement in crime.
Sadly, despite massive advances in new technology in recent years the images that CCTV cameras take are not always the best.
They frequently show blurry faces and the best clue to who the person or person involved might actually be is the clothes they are wearing.
A pair of distinctive trainers are often more distinguishable than stubble on a mystery face.
But we were very intrigued at this CCTV image sent to us last week in connection with a duo being sought over the robbery of a man in the alleyway that runs from Elwick Road through Victoria Park to Jemmett Road. The incident is reported elsewhere in this week’s paper but we doubt that detectives will get much response from this CCTV image.
We don’t want to depress you unnecessarily but we’re already on the slippery slope towards winter!
Yes, Tuesday was the longest day of the year (the summer solstice) so pretty soon the nights will start drawing in and we can all relish the start of autumn, before we’ve even had any summer. Oh joy.
The stag takes pride of place in this artist’s impression of the Powergen site - but the idea originates from the fountain in Victoria Park
Would you know these people from the CCTV images?