Once upon a time, although not so long ago, a few people sat around a table up at the Big House. They discussed ideas for making it easier for visitors to find their way around. A Visitor Information Board seemed like a good idea. It could display a map with places to visit around town; where to get a meal; where to find a bed for the night. “Great idea”, they all said and the plans were sent to a faraway place where all the big decisions are made for Brigadoon.
Time passed. Weeks became years. The people at the Big House moved on to pastures new. More years passed and local people forgot the plans that had been agreed. Until one day in the town square there was the sound of pneumatic drills as workmen cut holes in the paving blocks. “What can this be?”, people wondered. “It’s a sign”, they said. “What do you mean? A sign of better times perhaps”. “No it’s a sign board. It was sent by the people from the faraway place. But no one can remember what it was to be used for.”
Up at the Big House, people scratched their heads and for long enough the lovely new sign board sat empty despite proudly declaring “Welcome to Brigadoon” in English and in Gaelic. Part of the problem was that having been installed no one could find the key. Eventually, it was found in a dusty cupboard. But the people in charge at the Big House had no idea what the information board was meant to be used for. “Why don’t we just use it for public notices?” they thought. “That’s a good idea - but who will look after it and place new notices and take out the old ones?”. “It’s got to be someone local. Why don’t we ask one of the River people to take charge?”. That seemed a good plan as the board is in the area belonging to the River people. There are various groups of people in Brigadoon who keep a watchful eye on their own areas: the people of the West lands and others living in Suburbia.
And so it was that the key was given to one of the River people. He regularly went up to the Big house to collect new notices and place them in the shiny new noticeboard. Notices began to appear telling local people about Coffee Mornings; the odd community event; charity fund-raisers - in fact the same old notices that regularly clutter the windows of local shops. But the notices now display events that have long since passed. Perhaps the new River people didn’t know they were custodians of the key. “What key?”, “Who has it anyway?”.
So despite the ”Welcome to Brigadoon”, does the visitor information board offer any useful information for visitors? Not really. Apart from a small map, people don’t know where they are, what they can visit, where they can eat or where they can sleep.
In a town to the east where the people of the Forest live there is also a visitor information sign. It provides lots of useful information for visitors; tells them where they are on the map and suggest lots of interesting things to see and do around town. Now that’s what I call a Visitor Information Board.
But I still can’t work out why they call this place Brigadoon!