Park runners are a nuisance
I AM really disappointed that ‘Park Run’ has set up in Hesketh Park, Southport.
Paul Sinton-Hewitt had a wonderful idea to set up the not for profit runs in the vast London parks more than a decade ago.
However, in my opinion, it is now an overblown company whose ‘not for profit’ title and emphasis on reliance upon volunteers does not reflect the huge sponsorship deals and paid staffing levels that are really involved.
The company now has ‘partners’ and CEOs to satisfy and so expansion is a must.
Even so, who on earth decided that it was sensible to have upwards of 150 people running at speed around the comparatively tiny Hesketh Park with its blind bends and corners?
At 9am, as the race starts, others are arriving too.
Young and old, some with dogs some without, those who pass through for a peaceful walk on their way to work and some who simply sit and look at the lake on a beautiful morning.
The Park Run newsletter smugly reported that ‘a few dog walkers were surprised on Christmas Day.’ Why not report honestly? The little community of elderly dog walkers and their companions were run off the paths, couldn’t stop to chat with their neighbours and had their walks spoilt.
On the whole it’s the fast runners trying to improve their PBs (personal best times) that are the real problem, elbows out and side by side with their speedy buddies everyone is obliged to make way.
Why not keep the family groups and find somewhere more suitable for the fast runners?
It is really charming to see the beginner joggers, parents with children and those pushing buggies as the pace is generally steadier and they weave in and out of the usual park users.
What about utilising the municipal golf course more?
Some days half the town seems to be shoehorned into Hesketh Park whilst the nearby course stands relatively empty.
I am sure there are other equally suitable large open spaces.
Parks need to remain shared space with no group considering that their activity is somehow more important or worthwhile than their fellow park users.
Name and address supplied OVER the holiday of Christmas and New Year I watched a TV romcom about two window dressers who were competing to be the ‘head window dresser’.
Each was given a window and whichever window attracted most people, thus making them stop and enter the shop, would be the winner.
When was the last time you looked in a shop window, except to check the opening times? I am just as guilty. We are too busy looking at our phones because for many people our shop window is online.
To rejuvenate our high street we need window designs that make us stop and stare.
When was the last time your local chamber of trade held a window dressing competition? BJ Powell, Southport
KEEP ASSETS IN TOWN
I AM dismayed to see that the YMCA trustees have closed the Community Centre on Hoghton Street.
Only last month, they announced an ambitious strategic plan and a merger with Liverpool YMCA.
The YMCA’s strategic plan appears to have been somewhat deceitful by an ‘irresponsible charity’ which has no consideration of its impact on the lives of young people in Southport.
Southport YMCA has provided a major leisure facility for young people in Southport for more than 100 years and was breaking even on its operations until the new management team arrived