Get Ready…Gromit Unleashed starts next week!

Not long to go now until Gromit is unleashed all over the city of Bristol!

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Photo courtesy of Destination Bristol

Bristol has always been a city with a great sense of fun, and following the success of the WOW! Gorillas trail last year, and other inventive installations like Watershed’s Playable City Award comes the next cracking adventure in the form of Gromit Unleashed!

From July 1st – September 8th, eighty 5ft fibreglass sculptures of Britain’s most recognisable and loveable mutt will pop up all around Bristol. Painted by an eclectic mix of local, national and international artists and celebrities, the Gromit Unleashed trail is set to bring thousands of tourists to the city over the summer, as well as keeping us locals entertained!

Led by internationally renowned Aardman Animations in order to raise money for Bristol children’s charity The Grand Appeal, Gromit will be placed in various locations all over the city, and auctioned off after the event to raise money for the charity.

Nicola Masters, director of The Grand Appeal said:
“Wallace & Gromit are famous around the world so Gromit Unleashed will help shine an international spotlight on Bristol and encourage people to visit the city, as well as raising much-needed funds to help sick children at Bristol Children’s Hospital.”

Bristol Web Design Agency Element78 has been working with The Grand Appeal for years. Having put together the Grand Appeal and Gromit Unleashed websites, they have just completed the ‘Detect-O-Gromit’ phone app which lets you unlock achievements as you discover and log in the Gromits you have found around the city. It also gives you exclusive information on each Gromit and the artist who painted him as well as audio and video clips.

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The team at Element78 say they fully enjoyed the whole process “We have supported The Grand Appeal for a number of years, from participation in fundraising events through to the design and development of their websites. It’s been fun, creative and for a very worthy cause – all the things we love. Continuing our involvement with the Gromit Unleashed event was an easy decision!”

Element78 will also be sponsoring Isambard Kingdog Brunel (painted by Tim Miness) which will be located outside Temple Meads train station. Confirmed artists include some really high profile names including Kath Kidson, Quentin Blake, Harry Hill, One Direction’s Zayn Malik, and of course, Aardman’s own Gromit creator, Nick Park!

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Element78′s Gromit, Isambark Kingdog Brunel by Tim Miness

There will also be a ‘Gromit of the Day’ every day during the instillation, which you can view on the app and unlock extra achievements if you visit the dog on the day, as well as having the chance to win fun freebies at the location.

In addition to raising funds for The Grand Appeal, Gromit Unleashed is set to be a real boost for Bristol’s tourism and it’s fast growing reputation as a hub of artistic creativity.

Bristol based Icon-Films have also produced a series of short slapstick films (commissioned by Destination Bristol) to support the trail. The main film ‘A Grand Tail’ tells the tale of two hapless delivery men – Bristolians John and Geoff – following them on a much hindered mission to deliver the giant Gromits around the city.

Chris Warren, writer and director of the series of short films explained; “Our brief was to promote Bristol as a destination and Gromit Unleashed showcases how Bristol is a rewarding place to get hopelessly lost in.”

The whole thing should be a really fun event, and I for one am looking forward to seeing the cheerful sculptures when the get unleashed next week!

You can learn more about the event and how to get the app on the Gromit Unleashed site and keep up to date with the Gromit Unleashed facebook page.

Gromit Unleashed will take place from July 1st – September 8th… all over Bristol, so keep your eyes peeled!

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The Gromits arriving in Bristol – on a train driven by Nick Park himself!

Natalie

How Good Goal Setting can Support Teachers and Boost Morale

There have been many reports in the press recently about teacher morale being at an all time low, and about many teachers leaving the profession all together. I wrote this article which looks at the ways in which good performance management could help boost morale and help teachers. You can read my article here – written for Carbon360 who provide a great goal setting package for schools. 

Bristol News – Take a look at the weird and wonderful shortlist for Watershed’s £30,000 ‘Playable City’ Award!

Taken from ‘Hello Lamp post’ one of the projects shortlisted for the Playable City Award.

If you have an interest in interactive art and a playful side, then take a look at the shortlisted artists in Watershed’s Playable city award.

Having launched the £30,000 Playable City award in October, Watershed received 94 entries from 24 countries – a testament to the growing global recognition and international appeal of one of Bristol’s most pioneering cultural spaces.

The artists shortlisted each provide wonderfully varied and imaginative ideas on ways to make Bristol a playable space – ranging from 3D printing, to robots, to talking lamp posts!

All the suggestions are designed to really capture the imagination of Bristol’s residents and visitors, and to encourage them to get involved with and immerse themselves in the creativity and sense of fun that the project is designed to inspire.

Visitors are invited to explore, rearrange and interact with the proposed projects, and to look differently at city spaces they may see every day. The project is geared toward sparking involvement and interest from Bristol residents, and that is why Watershed is asking for your comments.

They would like to know which of the ideas and suggestions appeals to you and why.

What is it you would like to see happening in Bristol?

Clare Reddington, Director of the Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio and Chair of the Playable City Judging Panel says;

“I see this desire to reclaim public spaces in action in Watershed’s Café/bar, in the way that people make themselves at home here. How comfortable they are moving the chairs around, reconfiguring the space to fit their needs, playing with the infrastructure. This and brilliant examples of playfulness from around the world, have inspired us to launch the international Playable City Award.”

The judges will meet on Monday 14th January to decide the winner, who will receive £30,000 plus support in order to make their playful ideas a wonderful interactive reality on the streets of Bristol.

If you would like to learn more about the artists who have been shortlisted and their plans for the city, visit the site and leave Watershed your comments.

I’m really excited to see what will be chosen, and with interesting and innovative projects like the Playable City Award and Gromit Unleashed well underway, 2013 looks set to be a great year for Bristol in terms of art, interaction and cultural engagement – and of course, above all, fun!

Natalie

Watershed & the British Film Institute encourage young film makers

Image taken from the Watershed website

Bristol’s Watershed has done it again – flexing its artistic muscle and encouraging emerging talent and artistic flair in young people, this time in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI).

The BFI have announced today that Watershed is one of twenty-four film academy partners who will, from March 2013, run intensive masterclasses, practical workshops and live projects aimed at talented 16 – 19 year olds. Other partners include Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

The project will provide valuable experience to help them in their first steps toward working in the film industry. It aims to mentor and develop local creative talent by teaching them the skills necessary to become the next generation of local film industry professionals.

The screenings, workshops and projects will give budding film makers a complete and holistic knowledge of the world of film, from production to exhibition.

Always an organisation that can be counted on to strike while the iron is hot, Watershed have already confirmed an impressive line-up of industry leaders for involvement with the project including Bristol’s well-loved Aardman Animations, director and critic Mark Cousins and local-BAFTA winning filmmaker, Emma Lazenby.

They also have a great deal of support from distinguished and critically acclaimed industry fans including Bristol born Oscar® winner Iain Canning , producer of the King’s Speech and Shame who said;

“Watershed was central to my understanding of the history and possibilities of cinema and without it I wouldn’t have been inspired to produce the films that I have made.”

What better reference could they ask for!

Applications open on Fri December 7th, and the Watershed encourages any ‘talented, committed 16 – 19 year olds with a passion for film’ to apply.

Places are free, but are no doubt going to be in high demand.

Watershed’s Engagement Projects Producer, Hannah Higgson said;

“The Film Academy builds upon Watershed’s strong history of identifying, empowering and supporting local young talent. I’m looking forward to working in collaboration with Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, who will also be running an Academy, to help give the next generation of Iain Cannings the skills and experience they need to maybe one day collect an Oscar® themselves.”

So once again, congratulations to Bristol for continuing to prove itself as a hub of artistic and creative talent – a city that encourages emerging talent and repeatedly and open mindedly provides opportunities for young people.

Natalie

Bristol News – Hello Ma’am! Royal visit to Bristol – Thursday Nov 22nd

Well I never – Bristol is full of Surprises!

Start making the cucumber sandwiches and get practicing your courtesy…

Her Majesty the Queen will be visiting Bristol tomorrow with HRH The Duke of Edinburgh as part of a Royal tour. They are expected to spend the entire day in the city.

Her Maj. and Prince Phillip will spend the day visiting some of Bristol’s historic and cultural venues including the newly refurbished Bristol Old Vic Theatre and will be having lunch at harbourside museum and event space, MShed Bristol.

The couple will be welcomed to the city by newly elected Mayor, George Ferguson - not too much pressure on his first high profile duty then!

Thousands of people are expected to turn out to catch a glimpse of the monarch, and plans are already in place to ensure as little disruption in the city as possible.

If you would like more information about the royal tour of Bristol, visit the British Monarchy website. 

Natalie

Bristol News – Watershed Launches £30,000 international ‘Playable City Award’ – Fun!

Elephant at Igfest. Photo by Andrew Molyneux.

We all know that Bristol (us residents anyway, mind) is a city that refuses to grow up. From Zombie Walks to Urban Games  to Flash Mobs to celebrated Street Art, Bristol is a playful place.

Further than that, is it full of wonderful creative and artistic cultural events. For these reasons among many, Bristol has remained my favorite city.

In order to reward and celebrate the city’s dedicated willingness to remain playful and to encourage further open minded artistic experimentation Watershed, one of the most unique and forward thinking artistic spaces in the city (or in my opinion, anywhere) today launches the call for The Playable City Award.

Playable City is a £30,000 international award which aims to encourage and promote the city’s penchant for pushing creative boundaries. Watershed is encouraging applicants from all creative backgrounds and inclinations, wherever they are in the world, to apply for the opportunity to take over one of Bristol’s public spaces, before they go on to tour internationally.

According to Watershed’s press people, the idea of ‘a playful city’ is an aim to encourage “a city, where people, hospitality and openness are key”.

And where better to apply that inclusive sense of fun than Bristol!

The Playable City Award aims to give us all the permission to be playful in public, and with the many stresses and irritations of modern living, what could be bad about that?

Watershed’s Clare Reddington says;

“The award is being co-funded by a network of creative and technology companies from Bristol to champion the city as an international hub for cutting-edge creativity. This unusual approach to sponsorship and support typifies the collaborative nature of a city where companies find a networked and open approach leads to creativity and competitive advantage.”

The event is being sponsored by, among others Aardman Animations and IMDb with funding from the Arts Council England.

For more information about this event, and details of how to apply, visit watershed.co.uk/playablecity, and keep your eyes and ears open for unexpected and creative fun around the city.

Natalie

Occupy Bristol! The movement is still going strong, but can we really change anything?

On Saturday 15th October the Occupy movement set up it’s camp in Bristol, on College Green – right in front of the Cathedral. As with other similar occupations in various cities around the globe, the news was spread via social networking sites, and the local authority has obviously (politely so far) requested that they move on. The site has received regular visits from both the councils gypsy and traveller representative Ian Holding and the police representative Sargent Amanda Frame.

However, so far the only real problems either of them have had to deal with have been the lack of organisation concerning use of public toilets (Bristol City Council have refused to provide a portaloo) and the city’s Friday and Saturday night revellers who, after a few two many, have tried to get inside the tents on site. Not the first issues that spring to mind when most people contemplate a fairly large scale act of civil disobedience. However, the Occupy movement (which began on Sept 17th with Occupy Wall Street and has now stretched to over 1500 cities around the globe) has been unlike other protests. There have been fewer of the usual protest staples – violence, noise, disruption to public services, and more notably, this movement seems to have lasting power, and so far shows little sign of dissipating. Instead, the Occupy movement seems to have gathered pace, determination, and more importantly, organisation since its start. And each localised movement seems to be in support of the others. It’s a global phenomenon uniting people who feel genuinely let down by a powerful few.

When I heard that Bristol West MP Stephen Williams had not only addressed the protesters, but had after an impromptu phone call from one of them, taken time out of his busy schedule to visit them at the camp, it occurred to me that this really may be something different. Maybe politicians are starting to take notice. I ventured down to the site to see what was going on. I turned up on a dark and cold thursday evening for the agenda meeting, which was being held around a fire in a wheelbarrow, and to be honest, I was a little worried about it. I didn’t know anyone, and I was concerned that wandering into the middle of a field on my own to tell a group of angry protesters I was a journalist was not going to go down well. Firstly, I stood out like a sore thumb, i.e., I don’t look at all like a revolutionary, and secondly, some of the members were pretty riled up and clearly drunk. I decided to blend in for a bit and see what the meeting was about before saying anything. However, my concerns were completely ill founded. The drunk and rowdy contingent were immediately and politely removed by the other protesters, who made clear that drink and drugs weren’t welcome at the site – that wasn’t what this was about. What followed was avery well organised and democratic debate, and after confessing my journalistic intention to the group around the fire, they gladly agreed to meet me for interviews in the morning. Although, with no one in particular in charge, simply a group of people with shared concerns, I agreed to return in the daylight, and just wander round and speak to people about why they were here and what they hoped to achieve.

In the daylight, it was clear that it just short of a week, the protesters had achieved something very impressive indeed. Having initially no funds, and having never met each other, they had kept the green immaculate, kept the tents moving around in order not to damage the grass, set up a media centre, an information tent for passers by, a creative area where they were painting banners and a cooking crew. And it clearly wasn’t simply a bunch of hippies either. The people I spoke to, both just lending a hand, or camping permanently varied hugely in their background, personality and the skills they were lending. However, they are all bonded by one thing – disillusion concerning the elected few who are supposed to represent us, and more importantly, the unelected few who so greatly influence them. In short, those gathered were simply a disgruntled sample of the public who had chosen to betray that truly British trait of grumbling a lot but taking little action, and instead had made a stand to be heard. I spoke to people running various parts of the site, who were happy to tell me why they had decided to join the protest, but all were very keen to point out that as a gathering of people with common interests, they all had slightly different reasons for joining the occupation, and that the opinions they expressed were theirs, and theirs alone.

James – Originally from Salisbury, teaches English as a foreign language both at home, and abroad. He has been camping at the site since the protest started a week ago.

‘I hope this type of political action creates a space for a public forum and a new style of political discourse – because at the moment, no one is listening. I heard about it through Facebook. I see this as a way to implement change. Basically, the government is elected in to represent us, and at the moment, they simply aren’t doing that. Voting for a group of people, none of whom really represent you is a poor substitute for getting directly involved yourself. But at the moment, what choice do we have? We need to change the structure from the bottom, we need to move outside the normal political framework, and formulate a new way. I think if enough people can come up with a better process, and consolidate those opinions, we can take our suggestions to the government, and I don’t see how they can then deny the need to change. It’s going to be incredibly difficult, but that’s why everyone is here.’

Polly – Studying a masters in international political economy, and currently studying political finance, which is what made her join the occupation.

‘It’s not a protest. It’s not a case of we will go if these things change. The problem is too big for that. We need a space to voice our differing concerns. One of mine is the monopoly that first bus have in Bristol, if they didn’t have such a monopoly, the fares would be much more affordable. The Council are being fairly amicable, but they simply aren’t addressing what we want. We’ve set up a communication and networking centre, and we are trying to keep in touch with all the other occupation sites, to gather their views. I believe in the movement in general – there needs to be some kind of change. I’m not a revolutionary, there are people here with much more extreme views than mine, but we are all united in feeling that something has to be done. We need accountability in politics, and a change concerning lobbying – that money needs to be taken out of politics. I think a lot of people have been waiting for something, and this seems to be it. We need a proper investigation into what happened with the banks. It’s fraud, and thats a crime. The parliamentary watchdogs are a joke. The bankers, the government and the regulators are all involved.We need independent scrutiny of that. If people in government commit a crime, they should go to jail. If we commit a crime, we go to jail. We want to show the government that we aren’t stupid. We can see whats going on, and we aren’t happy. We’ve been printing leaflets, building mailing lists, setting up social networking accounts. We want to show we are rational, organised people who are ready to implement a change. And it’s not just the people camping here, the public and local businesses have been really supportive.’

Sasha Patterson – Previously a public servant in London who now runs community projects.

‘None of us knew each other, I heard about it on Facebook, and just turned up, and now I’m running the information tent! I was aware of occupy Wall Street, and people kept sending me information about Occupy London Stock Exchange. When I heard about Occupy Bristol, I wanted to show my support. It’s all getting more organised as we go along. There was hardly anything here when we arrived, and now there are all these sections working together – it just show what you can achieve when you try. It’s like a real democracy should be! We’ve had agenda meetings, we’ve come to consensus agreements, and we’re getting on with it. At the moment British economics and cooperations are questionable to say the least. There are solutions available to the economic crisis, but the 1% at the top keep ruling in their own favour, and thats why we’re in this mess in the first place. People aren’t stupid, the public simply aren’t given the information to understand whats going on, and if they were, they would get more involved. For me this is a movement. It’s not a protest which is going to last for a week, a month, it’s a movement against something that has been very wrong for a while. It’s not just a bunch of people in a field, it’s a meeting of people who have debated, raised issues, and are trying to make a difference in an informed way. It’s really exciting. I just want to say to people come here and have a voice, or even just come along because it’s a moment in history – this isn’t going away. People are genuinely worried about where we will be in two years. I worked for ten years in a very well paid senior service job. But I got fed up of dealing with bureaucracy and people who didn’t care, fed up of hearing about Blair’s targets all the time. People don’t realise how corrupt public services are now. That’s why I decided to run community projects. People there are honestly trying to come together to achieve something, they support each other. People are ready for change, good news, hope. Personally, I want to know how long it will take us to get into the general British public’s consciousness an understanding of the real issues. People know the economy is in a mess, but many don’t know why. All we need is a clear explanation, and time for it to seep into public understanding. I really think there are solutions to these problems, and for me, this movement is about raising awareness. The government need to realise we’re in for the long haul, and this is just the beginning.’

Sophia Collins – Runs a science education project

I heard about Occupy Bristol through Twitter. I think social media is the way most people find the news they trust now. People no longer trust the mainstream media. I came down on my own because I believe in what’s being done here. It’s such a positive thing. I was amazed by what a diverse and interesting group of people had joined forces. There’s a sense of people being united. It’s not just extremist political people, it’s just normal members of the public who have a sense that what is happening to them is unfair. I’ve never done anything like this before. One of the most interesting things about this for me is that Steven Williams (Bristol West MP) actually came down to talk to me, a trainer in non-violent communications has been down to run a workshop for the occupiers, and members of the public who aren’t involved in the camp come over just to talk. They’re really happy that we are here as it provides a space for conversation. People can discuss the things they care about – they have somewhere to discuss their frustrations with whats happening to them and to hear other peoples experiences. The government need to recognise that we have a lot of support. The important thing is that this is only the visible part of Occupy Bristol. It’s so much more that just what you can see here. So many people stop at the welcome stand and donate money, blankets, food – they just want to show support. We’ve been deciding between us how best to use the resources to keep this going. Interestingly, there seems to be more of a democracy here that there is within the government who are trying to criticise it. What we need is more consensus decision making and a move away from playground politics. We’re getting more organised all the time, we’ve set up a bank account with the credit union, there’s someone at the camp employed as treasurer, we agree on the amount of money we can spend on what – and that’s all been achieved in a week between a group of people, most if whom have never met before. It’s not just a bunch of wasters – it’s a group of committed people, and there are so many people around the world doing the same. There’s a real sense of being part of something bigger. ‘

So it seems Occupy Bristol is not just a bunch of hippies shouting about capitalism. And despite the objections of the council, there appears to be a dogged determination to stay put. The very different thing about this movement is that the vast majority seem happy to let them. In this case, no matter what they think about it, the government have been outvoted, and their decisions seriously called into question by an electorate who really appear to have lost the faith. It simply remains to be seen wether the unelected members of the community can call their elected representatives to account. They should be accountable for their actions – after all something is very wrong if people cannot trust elected officials ability to govern to the extent they feel they have to take matters into their own hands. At the very least the government must now know that their people are watching.

Bristol – Drug Problem?

Trippy

Picture taken from Trippin’ Daisy Blog

 

With two universities and a massive student population, Bristol has been named one of the coolest cities in the country. People like Banksy have made Bristol’s street art infamous (did anyone manage miss the unfeasibly massive queue outside the museum during his exhibition?) and areas like Stokes Croft have worked tirelessly to drag themselves from rough and run down to become ‘Bristol’s cultural quarter’.

Like any other large city, Bristol has a ‘drug problem’. What’s arguably different here is that many of Bristol’s inhabitants don’t consider it a ‘problem’. The people who enjoy the cities seedy affair with drug use are as varied in their habits as the range of drugs on offer.
The selection is huge – and available in most areas of Bristol (although you need to head to places like St. Pauls to get crack or heroin apparently). This may well be the case in many cities. However, the thing that sets Bristol apart is the commonality of drug use.
So, is the scene is simply part of Bristol’s character? Drugs usually link with music, fashion, art and culture – so which came first, the street art and the music, or the drug use? I spoke to a few people involved in the scene (whose names, for obvious reasons I have changed here) about Bristol’s habit.

After becoming homeless aged 12, Mark began stealing drugs to sell on, and has been a dealer ever since.
He explained ‘I’d break into houses and take drugs and money. I wouldn’t take goods because you can get into trouble with the police. You can’t phone up the police and say, oh sorry officer, but someone has taken my drugs, so it was just safer’.
He hasn’t taken drugs himself for around 5 years.

‘I’ve got lawyers that come in three times a day, and still hold down a job. I don’t know what it is about Bristol, but everyone is just so laid back about it. People look down on the crack and smack, but weed, coke and pills, everyone is doing it. It’s just looked at like drinking in the pub really. And I personally don’t see there’s much difference’.

He also used to deal in London and believes dealing in Bristol isn’t so rough. ‘I lived in London for a couple of years and people are much more likely to beat you up to score…I know less people here that don’t take drugs than do, but that might just be because of the work I’m in!’

Joe, a dealer from Sheffield,comes to Bristol for nights out – ‘there’s a lot more drugs here, and they’re easier to get hold of. In Sheffield, if you don’t know those sorts of people, you’ll struggle. Down here you can ask anybody on a night out and chances are you can get what you want. There seem to be a lot more young people and students into drugs in Bristol. The Sheffield scene is more isolated…in Bristol it’s everywhere’.

Rightly or wrongly, it seems Bristol has a more tolerant attitude to drug use, or at least to some drug use, than other cities, despite the problems it brings.

Mark also said ‘People kick off on coke, and skag and crack bring no end of problems. Regeneration of places like St. Pauls and Stokes Croft will just spread the problem further. And it’s not like drug use is only confined to deprived areas anyway, it’s just what drug people take that differs. St Pauls for example is a place where you’d sell more crack or heroin, but I sell there because people need to buy the coke so they can turn it into crack, and that’ll mix now that the richer people are coming’.

So maybe the drug scene here is constantly changing, as is the music, art and culture. What drugs different people take and why is also obviously inextricably linked to affluence and area, and effected by social problems and forces. But for the time being at least, Bristol still seems set on getting high and enjoying the ride.

Oh no, not another Tesco…

My day was put out when I spent ten minutes waiting for a bus outside Somerfield on Gloucester Rd before I realised that all the busses had been diverted – the road through Stokes Croft was closed due to some kind of ruckus. So, only slightly miffed as it was such a sunny day, I set off to walk into town. As I got into Stokes Croft I thought there had been some horrific accident. The scene was chaotic. Police vans, a cherry picker, a lot of noise, and a couple of TV camera crews… and what was all this chaos about? ‘The Say No to Tesco’ campaign.

Squatters had taken over the site (previously Jesters comedy club which is due to be turned into the new Tesco) and ingeniously cemented themselves into barrels and super-glued themselves to poles in protest. The obvious way to encourage change I‘m sure you’ll agree. The street below was full of the usual crusties who turn up at demonstrations shouting at police about ‘behaving themselves because they have an audience’, about ‘the residents right to defend their area from the evils of capitalism’, and an array of chants, music and generally irritating noise blaring from a loudspeaker which was probably having the biggest effect on the neighbours who must have been hoping the police could get the lot of them moved on asap, whatever their views on Tesco.

The first thing that occurred to me was the massive police presence. Who was watching the rest of Bristol, and ensuring no proper crime was taking place? I’m sure the police were happy to get out of the office and out in the sunshine in any case. The prospect of another Tesco popping up in a rough area like Stokes Croft is firstly, surprising, and secondly, something which will undoubtedly damage business in what is currently a famously independent and vibrantly characteristic area. However, all this being said, is cementing yourself in a barrel on a roof top with your mates the best way to go about changing the minds of the chaps who grant planning permission? I doubt it. And, yes, they received a lot of attention, and given the sunshine, a lot of supporters who were more than happy to while away an otherwise boring Tuesday milling about to see if the bloke was successfully dislodged from the bucket. But sorry guys, despite the fuss and the general disruption, I fear your efforts wont amount to diddly squat in the way of persuading the powers that be to change their plans.

I agree that another Tesco is going to be damaging to local independent business. It’s also unnecessary – there are more than enough in the area already. It’s also great that people are willing to stand up for their beliefs, making themselves (blaringly) heard over the ever dominant soulless behemoth corporations that invade every corner of modern life . But focus your energies at the right people. Yes dipping your limbs in cement shows dedication, but this, like all other hippie type protests about all manner of other concerns will be forgotten this time next week, and the evil and mightily powerful Tesco will continue its plans to take over the consumer market and capitalise on everything, one little area at a time.

Appeal the bad decisions. You’re much more likely to get somewhere, and it looks a bit more professional. It also means you don’t have to spend most of the day stuck in a barrel of concrete or sitting in the road waiting to get removed one by one by the old bill. If you’re going to do that, at least exhaust other avenues of complaint first. Wait till the day they start building. Even the mighty Tesco doesn’t have the brass balls to concrete over you, even if you’re quite happy to concrete over yourself. Although they probably would if they could get away with it. What’s the slogan again? Every little man crushed on the road to total market domination helps. Or something similar.