Brook St, famous for its eclectic mix of shops , cafes, and pavement parking…and the annual Carnival
Very late with this one, but a few thoughts on the successful Brook St carnival of 2 weeks ago. Its been a busy time keeping up with all the events in the city as well as working full time, sorting out T shirt printing, lego planning etc etc. Things have taken a toll on me over the last few weeks following some abusive tweets and a bizarre message from an associate of Cllr Jones who went on an instant message rant about why I was so negative. I tried arguing the point with him but when he mentioned that I was trying to post defamatory material about Mike I wished him all the best and reached for the block button… Even so I was quite shaken by this uncalled for hostility having strived for well over a year to build up a positive account and made so many positive contacts along the way. .. back to the point anyway
Arrived to an already packed Brook St and met up with a few friends. Immediately could see all the hard work that had gone into organising the carnival, from the start it was great to be a part of the day and a real testament to Cestrian community spirit. From dee106 camped outside Funerals from the heart to local hero Russell Kirk leading a parade featuring a dalek (later took up guard duty outside Bowling Green court), a giant Scout and a military convoy, to a guy playing guitar atop the comic store. There was a good range of street cuisine and stalls and for most of the time the sun was shining.
Long term friend of the account Cllr Sam Dixon opened the musical stage, dedicated to the late Cllr David Robinson, a nice touch from the organisers. Next to her on stage as she gave the speech was Matty from The Jigsaws, proudly showing off his “follow @ShitChester” T shirt. The drummer Harry was also wearing the team shirt , and this was another surreal moment to me. I passed another 2 people wearing our shirts on the day and there was a full rail on display in Becnicks. The story is well known by now, but nowhere in my wildest dreams did I expect any of this to happen. I’m still flattered by all the support I’ve had and the goodwill from so MANY people. The Jigsaws were an energetic opening act , look forward to seeing them again at some point.
At that point we left for a quick drink in the olde cottage- amazingly never been in before, and plenty of quirky material to be found in this friendly local. Theres a jar of “Shitto” on a high shelf above the dartboard if anyones visiting and a number of amusing posters. Bumped in quite a few people I knew in there, and also out on the street. Felt like the carnival was bringing lots of people in the community together. After a brief chat to the guys from Frack Free Upton, went to watch the Queens Minions perform. Also great friends of the account and all great performers- the guitar work on “Rock Hill farm” in particular was outstanding. Other acts performing on the day that I enjoyed were the break dancers, the Chester gang show (really funny ) and the Swing Stompers. As the rain started to fall the crowd enjoyed the laid back dance moves of a local resident who had climbed over the fence. Looking aroynd everyone had a smile on their face and it felt like a watershed moment for the account and the end of another chapter in some way. To me this was the real Chester and not the drunk excesses of the races, or the emptiness of “having no cinema or theatre” etc etc
We escaped the rain and failed to enjoy a coffee “this tastes like soil” my friend commented in an establishment I wont name. It was at this point Lionel Jones chose to send his facebook rant to me and I felt like going home after that. Had a quick wander over to the Northgate, also running a festival on the same day for some reason.. but didn’t hang around, the quarter seemed deserted. Always wonder why there has to be a clash of festival dates, but maybe its a good sign with so much going on around the city.
All in all a great day and great to play a small and anonymous part in the event, having missed it last year. I believe that early talks have taken place over a similar event in Hoole at some point. Meanwhile theres loads going on over the weekend, the canal festival, D Day event at the war museum, D day family event at Regal Pawn in Sealand, Chester Rocks, Chester Fringe … that’s all in one day and I will be trying to attend as much as I can. Over the summer we have the Garden festival remembering World war one, a full programme of Northgate festivals etc etc. Keeping up with everything is tiring, with only me running things, had to decline numerous invites to the Ashley Fayth gig last week, only because of being so tired. The point is there is always something going on in this city and always something new to discover. So I’m ending on a positive note