Weymouth and the Olympics!
We went to Weymouth last night. It’s something we do on a fairly regular basis as for both me and hubby it is a place that holds good memories (see ‘Another Era’ for his memories) Last night’s trip was all part of the trying to reduce the anti-climax of the end of the school year. (I know I’m retired but…!) It takes us a couple of hours but we like the drive and the chance to spend some time together. We often do a crossword along the way.
Anyway, walking along the promenade, I was struck by how much work has been done in preparation for next year’s Olympics. Weymouth and Portland are hosting the sailing events. The road system has had a major overhaul that has gone on since it was announced that the Games were coming to town. Local residents were expressing concern about the parking situation and I’m not sure what has been done to remedy that. Thank goodness there is no sign of massive multi-storey monstrosities!
However, there has been a steady increase in tidying and general fru-fruing! For instance the Shelters that line the Prom have all been repaired and painted. On the beach we noticed a number of new cabins all sporting the same corporate colours of cream and blue. You can smell the wood and paint as you walk past. It is good to see that the old favourites like Punch & Judy are still there. I wonder what the foreign visitors will make of that?! There is definitely a feeling of ‘Dress rehearsal’ in the air.
All around the place there are pubs, shops and guest houses getting spruced up all ready for the great event which is just a year away. I suspect there will be other changes and preparations before the gun goes on 29th July 2011 to signal the first race off the coast of Portland. I did like this very polite bin notice again in the corporate colours!
It made me wonder though. Has money been provided to towns like Weymouth to get ready for the world to descend on them? How much has had to be paid by the Council tax payer and how far have they gone for contributions. Visitors won’t restrict themselves I’m sure to just staying in Weymouth so the whole of the ‘Jurassic Coast’ should benefit. Have those other towns paid? How much is this about civic responsibility do you think?
If your town was part of the biggest sporting happenings in the world, what would you need to change and would you be happy to pay for it?