Donkey Derby is an annual event that takes place last Bank Holiday Monday in May on George V Park in Farnborough.
I have only known one year when it did not take place and that was when the field was waterlogged. There was one year when it should not have taken place and heavy vehicles got bogged down and churned deep ruts in the field.
Donkey racing, stalls, fairground.
I have not been for several years. I used to go to pick up plants for the garden, but the stalls changed, too many commercial stalls, too many rubbish fast food stalls.
My only reason for going this year was because Save the Tumbledown Dick group had a stall. An excellent idea, as it gives the opportunity to communicate to a lot more people.
I found the stall, but rather late in the day, as I was talking to a friend. I arrived as they were packing up.
They had had a good day. Many people talked to, many people signed petition, many more people made aware of desire of McDonald’s to destroy an old pub for a Drive_thru McDonald’s. More people to visit the websites, more people to spread the word, boycott McDonald’s.
The group has achieved more than anyone else to highlight the threats to local heritage by greedy developers, certainly more than the useless Farnborough Society, and certainly more than the local council that gets into bed with developers and pushes their agenda.
So far, the pub is now listed locally as a building of local historical and heritage value (this means it cannot be demolished), it is listed as an asset of community value (which means local people have the opportunity to buy it should it come on the market).
The local listing means the councils now has to advise the owners on its upkeep. Are they doing so? It does not look so, as it is in a poor state of repair.
More now needs to be done.
A pub protection policy needs to be in place. That in Cambridge is ideal.
It is not only The Tumbledown Dick that needs protection. Yet another pub in Aldershot is facing closure.
An enforcement notice needs to be served on the owners of The Tumbledown Dick to deal with the poor state of disrepair. If neighbouring councils can serve notice on pubs in serious disrepair, why not Rushmoor? If Hart can serve an Urgent Works Notice to make the Swan Inn at North Warnborough watertight, then why are we not seeing the same for The Tumbledown Dick in Farnborough?
Having chatted for some time, everything was now packed up, or packing up.
This year still too many fast food stalls. There is no excuse for any. At the Staycation free music festival in Godalming last year, there was not a single fast food stall. Yes, there were food stalls, but not low quality tacky fast food stalls.
Looking around the site, this would make an ideal site for a free music festival, a main stage, an acoustic stage. Maybe once The Tumbledown Dick is taken out of the hands of a greedy grasping developer and back up and running as a live music venue and community pub, they can co-host an event with the help of the West End Centre in Aldershot.