Well done Mr Amateur – whoever you are.

Every so often an event takes place which is generally useless, but very nice. Such an event took place last week in my home town. For those of you who do not know this, I live in Hastings a wonderful town on the south coast. Not only is it beautifully located, it is also a very active town with lots of parades, carnivals and other celebrations. For example, did you know that 10,000 bikers of all shapes, sizes, types and makes gather on Hastings on the first May bank holiday every year? It is absolutely fantastic!

The first week of August is always Hastings Week, where more people do more silly things than I have ever encountered anywhere. I am not going to go there though, that is not the purpose of this blog – visit Hastings in the first week of August and discover what you have been missing.

No my blog is about one particular event, which could meet the opening line of being ‘generally useless, but very nice’. This was an attempt to break the world record for the most people dressed as pirates in a single place. The previous record was set at 1,800 last year, I believe in Germany.

So someone decided it would be fun to break the record. I have no idea who this person is – I hear he (I am told it is a bloke) has only been in Hastings for a couple of years and thought this was the thing to do. Not wanting to be a party pooper I joined in along with about 10 other members of the extended family – I hate dressing up!

All in all 6,166 people participated – it was fantastic! For the rest of the day there were pirates everywhere in Hastings. People who normally only growled at each other were suddenly smiling and talking. It broke down all kinds of barriers. The atmosphere was wonderful and even the weather cooperated.

Of course where would we be without the moans? There was not enough police or marshal coverage – true! There was no first aid to be seen – true! This had been organised by amateurs and they not only blew the world record out the window, they more than tripled it – too b….y true! 

The concerns are quite legitimate – had something happened, all kinds of blame would be thrown around. Fortunately nothing happened and it gave the local economy a much needed boost.

My concern is different. My concern is that had the risk assessments been done, had the organiser tried to involve all the ‘right people’, the event is unlikely to ever have taken place. It would have been pointed out that the whole idea was ridiculous – true – and then by the time all the forms had been completed the organiser would have been suicidal. So getting that balance right is difficult. It is a balance which generally has swung too far the wrong. way.

Whoever these amateurs are, I hope they keep the spirit up. Hastings needs some support to forge ahead, more than most areas of Britain. The positive spirit they managed to create with this one event, on top of a fantastic Hastings week coupled with the large numbers of people drawn to our great town, will do more to push the economy ahead than anything else.

Well done Mr Amateur – whoever you are!

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