Tanks for the wrong bit of history
Iconfess that I thought I was being provocative when I said to a muchmedalled army man (an officer who had served for many years and in many places in defence of our country): “It really is time someone removed that wretched tank that sits like a metal toad opposite the Prince of Wales pub”. To my surprise, the old soldier agreed with me. “It should be in a museum,” he said, “and not just left for kids to crawl over.” He also mentioned another wartime relic, an armoured troop-carrier that sits on a roundabout at the end of Godinton Road, and said that it, too, should be in a museum. It appears that the REME people who care for these vehicles agree that they should be removed to a more suitable accommodation.
But this is, after all, Ashford – a town that in recent years could never be held as a model of good taste. A market town with a history that goes back centuries, it had brief fame as a construction site for locomotives, which is the only part of its history that the council can call to mind. If they really had belief in the value of that part of the town’s claim to fame, why, instead of a couple of sad war-relics, haven’t they replaced them with locomotives (a couple of Thomas the Tank Engines, perhaps)?
One chap with imagination and determination is Edward Lockett. He is a great believer in miracles and has, for some years now, performed the nearmiracle of presenting the free Festival in the Park. Imagine if you will how you would feel if, after a year of trying to coax some sponsorship for the event, organising performers, arranging the covered stage with professional lighting, press-ganging a team of marshals, litter-pickers, programme sellers, uncle Tom Cobley and all – imagine if you then heard that, on the very day of your festival, the Create festival, along with Revelation St Mary’s, had organised performances in the town centre.
As it happens, there will only be three singer-songwriters in the town. It would be a great pity if anything should happen to conflict with this weekend’s Festival in the Park, which is free but, if I remember correctly, will accept contributions in return for a programme of events.
‘It should be in a museum, and not just left for kids to crawl over’