Worrying news reaches me about the current management of Chasewater as an events venue. Helen Borton, organiser of the brilliant, and very well attended annual Chasewater Transport Show has contacted me expressing concern over what seems to be a very peculiar attitude from the current overlords of the park. It seems that the previously co-operative and helpful disposition of Lichfield District Council to the Transport Show has evaporated, and this year’s show will be the final event in Brownhills.
This year’s event is scheduled to take place on Sunday, 15th April 2012, and I commend it to all readers as a fine, fun day out. Please do attend if you can.
Losing the show – which attracts more visitors to Chasewater than any other annual event – is a terrible thing. Everyone on the park benefits from it; the punters get a great, free show on their doorstep, the exhibitors get a huge audience. The cafes, railway and businesses at the innovation centre all pick up increased trade, and overall, the park gets a chance to show it’s considerable worth and wildlife to a wide cross section of the public. The loss of the show over what appears to be petty jobsworthing by the management seems silly, shortsighted and careless.
With Chasewater in the doldrums with chaos caused by the dam works resultant lack of water and still suffering access issues, one would think that Lichfield District Council – still managing the facility until 2014, when it transfers to Staffordshire – would welcome with open arms anything that encourages visitors.
Helen wrote to me with the following tale of woe.
Bring back Kevin Yates!
Since the birth of the Chasewater Transport Show in 2009, the Park Manager Kevin Yates and Ranger staff at the park have always been very helpful and supportive of my event (even helping during setting up days). The event attracts thousands of visitors to the park and I believe it has put Chasewater back on the map.
Towards the end of last year, it was announced that Staffordshire County Council would be taking ownership of the park, however Lichfield District Council would be managing it on their behalf until 2014.
Kevin Yates is now no longer working for the park and his role as Park Manager has now been taken over by Mr John Smith.
John has been less than supportive of my event and in my opinion, has treated the show with a very flippant, complacent attitude.
We have previously used one of Highfield farm’s fields as an overflow car park. This was originally organised in 2010 by Kevin Yates to try to alleviate public parking issues. This field was a godsend for us as it gave us much more space for parking. We then used it again in 2011 and planned to use it again this year.
Firstly, John told me that the field was not available and I would not be allowed to use it, although Kevin allowed us to use it for 2 consecutive years!
Then, lo and behold (as if by magic) John changed his mind, thus allowing us use of the field.
One Problem remained…
The grass is too tall there and is currently unsuitable for parking of cars. John has refused to allow his rangers to mow it, a job which Kevin always helped with. John told me he had far more important things for his rangers to do!
Overall, the attitude we have experienced has not been helpful and we’re at our wit’s end. It doesn’t seem like our event matters to the park management.
The Chasewater Transport Show 2012 will be the last one on the park as we have now potentially found an alternative, bigger venue.
Next year look out for the ‘Chase Transport Show’… yours truly will be organising it.
Thanks for the rant.
Surely some resolution can be found? I, and many other folk, adore this show and appreciate the very had work that Helen and Co. put into it. It’s a very well attended, immensely popular and well run attraction. I’m saddened to hear of the apparent lack of co-operation – I knew Kevin to be an excellent, helpful chap with a hands on, can-do attitude. It seems we need to regain this spirit and attitude in order to save what is a very valuable thing.
If Lichfield District Council or Mr. Smith would like to respond, I’d only be too happy to put their side of the story. Please sort this out, for the sake of Chasewater and the thousands of attendees who spend their money in your park.
[Edited 3rd April: I have been contacted by Helen Borton last night who informed me that Mr. Smith has now agreed to get the grass mown for the overspill parking. This is good news indeed, and I’m very pleased that the management team at Chasewater have finally seen sense. One can only speculate as to what caused such a remarkable about-turn. Perhaps Mr. Smith has realised the folly of alienating groups who use and care for Chasewater and decided to start building bridges. – Bob]
HI, I do hope this problem can be sorted, as it will be a sad loss to us all and to Chasewater Park.
They might as well begin a landfill project at Chasewater! i am disgusted in the ineptitude shown by its owners.There appears to be little or nothing in place for the future. There should be a 10 year plan in my opinion, at the end of which Chasewater should be a thriving venue for shows on the water and on the shore. it should be an all year around visitor attraction bringing much needed jobs and income to the region. The steam railway should be center to the plans.
Chasewater once held the national predator fishing championship, i wonder how long it will be before a national event is held there again? with the current attitude it will never happen.
if they just put a little effort into helping these events along, they would surely snowball.
Come on Mr Smith, get with the program.
Thank you for your support everyone.
We used to visit Chasewater at least once a week, I’m now sorry to say we rarely bother going there. We will be going to the Transport show as usual but if it goes then thats one less reason to bother visiting. Its really gone downhill lately
I’ve got a strimmer, anyone got an extension lead?
We’ll probably go along anyway, but Warren (above) is right.
For an attrcation of that size and importance you’d expect a local, sub-regional and regional strategy and you expect the local council to at least cut the effing grass for an event that has a regional audience.
check this out:
I have just spoken to John Smith….and the field will now be cut for us….YIPPEEEEEEE.
Lets just hope everything goes to plan on the day xx
Thank you for all your support.
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Nothing suprises me about Lichfield Council. They allegedly reneged on agreements and moved the Toll Motorway nearer to homes thus increasing noise and light pollution to the residents. They allegedly turned blind eyes to the contractors reneging on THEIR agreements NOT to work after 1pm on Saturdays and all day on Sundays. I wouldn’t trust them to tell the truth and respect anyone if their lives depended on it
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