Friday, November 27, 2009

An off-licence closure too far - spontaneous protest erupts on the streets of Nairn!

Almost one year to the day when Nairnites took to the streets in their thousands to protest at the closure of their beloved Woolies, the people of this retaily deprived town let their feelings be known again. Let it be a lesson to the powers that be that this community will not take the shift to a co-opoly lying down. The protest was good-natured but how long will the patience of the townsfolk last. The Scottish Government will turn down Sainsbury's coming to town at their peril.
This time Nairnites blocked both ends of the High Street, one group near the latest victim of closures (Victoria Wines) and the other up in the High Street's toxic banking district. Already sensing trouble perhaps the Northern Constabulary were on the scene early but they were not needed as the protesters' own stewards kept order. Things have now returned to normal but a strong police presence remains.
Here you can see two police officers watching as the block paving is ripped up to make barricades (and parking spaces) on the brae.

The protest crowd was much bigger up the other end of the High Street.


Anonymous said...

Just back from the Winterfest
bit of a disappointment compared
to the past parades, speaking to
some of the crowd who were of the same opinion & also the non appearance of The Nairn Gaelic Choir in protest[you kindly show
the letter published in the local
press]even the fireworks display at
the end was a bit of a damp sqib,
would be interesting what other
Gurnites thought of the show so far???

Graisg said...

I didn't get a look at everyone going on stage but I think members of the Gaelic choir were there. They were mentioned in the credits by the MC and they did say in their letter that they would be going.
In the wider sense of what was it like for you will always be hard to follow the act of Peter Pan flying through the air but well done everyone that took part it was a good show and delightful free entertainment. What ever we think about the politically correct issue a lot of hard work went into the show especially from the Children and they deserve to be congratulated.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the kids really.What
a Winter Washout Fest.Even some of the props were third generation.As for the MC,where did they find him.?

Anonymous said...

OK, so it may not have the razzamataz of previous years but, as Graisg mentions, there was still a lot of hard work and organisation put into the parade.

Welcome to Winter!

Winter Dim said...

Maybe it,s the organisers that are wrong then.Stroll On Summer.

Anonymous said...

How is the festival organised?
is a very good question, who makes
the decisions & why are the the props third generation, is funding the event now a problem. Even to mark the end of The Winterfest i counted no more than 5 fireworks
let off. As this has been an annual
event hope things improve for the
year 2010 for the sake of the children.

Graisg said...

Memo to the Man in the moon,

Two of the third generation lights already given up this morning.

And a good question from anon, 'How is the festival organised,' Perhaps someone could tell us? If people were to get involved would they have a say in the decision making?

You got the feeling from the Gaelic Choir that they didn't have much chance to input their views into the rationale behind the show.

In the end though if the event is to use new props or even new lights then perhaps we should all put our hands in our pockets and not depend on hand-outs from all the agencies involved, that way the town could call its festival what it liked and could even expand it right up to Christmas.
Does the subsidy culture eventually drag things down?

Anonymous said...

OK it wasn't Hollywood but all the participants had obviously put a lot of work into it and it certainly brightened up a cold evening. I was just amazed how many people couldn't even be bothered to clap when asked to by the MC, who I thought did a good job in the circumstances. It looked like: 'Well I've bothered to turn up, now entertain me if you can.' Carping is easy and seems to be the default attitude; making things happen is a lot harder.

Anonymous said...

You know what they say folks."If you want it done right,do it yourself"

Any volunteers for next year.?Lets get talking.

Graisg said...

@ anon 11.59.
Can you give us some more detail on the Cheerleaders issue you mention. You will appreciate that apart from the Gaelic choir issue the Gurn knows nothing about who was supposed to perform or not.
If you would like to send an e-mail with further information that would help.

click said...

Is that a local sniper at the window,
on Gurn Pics.?

Graisg said...

Not Gurn pics but no shortage of folk taking a pot-shot this year :-)

jjgittes1973 said...

Oh cheer up you shower of humbugs, you & sing-a-long with me, my
Credit Crunching Christmas Carol wot I wrote, er-hem!!:

God rest your Visa credit cards,
Buy nothing else today,
For Christ’s sake don’t exceed your limit before Christmas day,
We’re mashed up by the credit crunch,
Recession’s here to stay:
Oh warnings of bankruptcy and debt,
Very bad debt,
Oh warnings of bankruptcy and debt!

God rest ye merry Repo Man,
We know you’re on your way,
But please don’t take our telly mate on bloody Christmas day,
We’d hate to miss the queen’s speech,
What would the neighbours say?:
Oh rather them than us,
Them than us,
Oh rather them than us!

God help us sell our houses off,
For more than we paid,
Don’t hold your breath though, cos there are no profits to be made,
And if your assets on the line,
Apply for crisis aid!
Oh how much worse can it get?
Can it get?
Oh how much worse can it get?

Don’t book that fancy holiday,
Though you feel you must,
Cos by the time that summer’s here the airline will go bust!
And it will be impossible,
to earn an honest crust!
Oh the worst is yet to come,
Yet to come,
Oh the worst is yet to come!

Now cheer up merry gentlefolk,
It’s not so bad you know,
‘Cos thanks to Global Warming it probably won’t snow,
We might even get sucked up inside a big black hole!
Oh what a comforting thought,
Comforting thought,
Oh what a comforting thought…!

Des said...

Hi I have been reading this thread with some measure of disappointment. I am a parent of two of the kids who have been involved with this and the previous years lighting up ceremonies, and I find it rather saddening that once again Anonymous feels it is his civic duty to criticise the community activity of young people in Nairn.

‘Inspire’, the youth group behind the event, is led by young people and only has adults on the committee as a requirement of law. Indeed the Chairperson is a student at Nairn Academy.

Once a theme for the pageant has been decided, the Inspire committee and the festival director have to jump through hoops to source funding, this can of course mean having to comply with whatever PC requirements the funders insist on.

The street band only have about 5 or 6 meetings to come together, get to know each other, learn the pieces, rehearse and perform on the evening.

The young people who make the props (including some of those in the street band) are not professional craftsmen. They also only have a week or two of evenings (Bearing in mind homework, revision etc) to make the props used for the pageant, which they do exceedingly well, under the guidance of project leaders.

Some of the props will indeed be reused, but they are repaired and freshened up and this gives the kids the time needed to build and decorate new props. Wolf head, Christmas star and Eagle banner to name but three.

There are parents and community conscious individuals who help out, but it would be nice if others got involved, helping to make it an even bigger and better event.

I imagine the Inspire committee will welcome constructive criticism, from whatever quarter and they can be contacted through the Festival blog:

There is also a properly organised survey which you are invited to take part in.