February 11, 2013 16 Comments
I have been accused of duplicity in my views of cruising. I do not think I have been deceptive or have engaged in double-dealing. I think my line here has been pretty steady. Whilst I may not written on this subject before I really haven’t changed my views over the years.
I recall my teenage self wandering down to Pier Hill to take a peek at the fortnightly cruise nights we had then. These were occasions when young people (and some not so young) and their fancy automobiles cruised up and down the seafront. I do not recall how often I went there, perhaps only two or three times. I remember that my curiosity gave way to boredom after ten minutes or so; it just was not my ‘thing’. Then again, I doubt the cruisers would have enjoyed my then twin pursuits of political debate and music making.
I also recall being caught up in the cruises on a couple of occasions in later years when using the seafront as a route home from a night out somewhere. I liked to take the children along the seafront to see the bright lights of the Golden Mile, and being stuck in slow moving traffic was my reward. The cruisers seemed well-behaved and good natured, and not especially noisy – although I do not doubt reports that some could give way to high jinks.
The cruises struck me as a type of teenage carnival. Young men impressing girls with glitzy and well looked after cars, often with noisy sound systems and flashing lights.
These gatherings must have brought pleasure to the seafront traders. There were as many spectators as participants, and many bought food, candy and drink.
In any large gathering (and not so large if you are posh boys at Eton) there is bound to be some trouble. Is this a reason for banning? – well if it is then we would have no more classical concerts in Priory Park. This is where adequate policing and conversations with organisers is so important. The town is happy to host large noisy gatherings when it wants to, but is very po-faced if these are likely to see large numbers of youngsters enjoying themselves.
My previous posting was about by exasperation with the poor behaviour of two Conservative councillors. The email they like to misquote me on included this:
I think we should encourage cruises. I accept that they must be properly organised, but it is about time this town thought about its young people.
Nowhere have I mentioned the injunction or criticised officers. My comment was about cruises in general. I have no problem with them disagreeing with me but if they are going to out my private correspondence they could at least attempt to get the facts right.
And I repeat: I think we should encourage cruises.