Monday, 7 May 2012
LMHR Final Day
As it coincided with the Sweeps Festival in Rochester just down the road, also the second (last) day of "the Rocket" Ronnie O'Sullivan's world snooker final, and the weather here was dreary with some rain, it didn't seem to have the best of chances.
Indeed, it was quite a lot smaller and also quieter (visitor-wise) than, say, last year, which had benefited from warm sunny weather.
Because of the wet conditions outside, I decided to duck into the RAFA Club and see ace local blogger Alan W Collins, who was running the bar there as usual during these events.
It was strangely quiet in the RAFA Club, where in previous years some acts had performed in there during this event, as a kind of secondary stage. Today that was not so, apparently owing to a sudden and almost last-minute change of attitude by the police regarding the strict interpretation of the venue's licensing specifics.
Now, I have no objection to the folks in blue doing their job; but waiting until a few days before an event to notify the Club that they weren't allowed live performances this year meant that there was no time to apply for a temporary licence. It all seems rather odd! It will not be allowed to happen again in future years, I was told.
Note the gazebo and what it was about: it's a regular feature of these events to have this or something very similar, as well as at least one political party of easily-guessed leanings. It is a clue to the real purpose of these events...
As for me: I had originally intended to go to the Sweeps Festival myself after this, but didn't fancy what is really an entirely outdoor event in the prevailing weather conditions, so headed for home instead.
On my way home I was approached by a (slightly tipsy!) army veteran who clearly wanted someone to talk to, and mentioned my camera. He turned out to be six years older than I am, had served twelve years in the Army, and now has a similar heart condition to mine so also finds it a struggle going up Ordnance Street as I have found during this past year, ever since my incident of April last year.
He headed into Chatham Station and I proceeded home, but I was pleased to have had the brief encounter – something that tends to happen to me quite a lot, often with people I know but sometimes – as on this occasion – with complete strangers.
It's all part of Chatham life!