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Angus & The Mearns

Ending Facebook page appears too late to save Arbroath Seafront Spectacular

August 18 2011

A Facebook page that sparked the demise of Arbroath's Seafront Spectacular is being taken down. Shaun Sievwright has decided to delete the Against Seafront Spectacular campaign page that saw battle lines drawn. The shine was taken off the July 23 show when people complained about the £5 entry charge. The row escalated with the setting up of Mr Sievwright's Facebook page, which generated a number of comments but drew criticism from people who said their messages supporting the event had been removed. In response, a Support The Arbroath Seafront Spectacular page was set up. The tit-for-tat enraged Angus provost Ruth Leslie Melville, who labelled criticism of the small organising committee "shameful". The criticism became too much for the organisers of the show and they decided to pull the plug. Ann Birse, Jean Stewart, Howard Cargill and Wilson Robson released a brief statement, in which they said: "In view of the recent disparaging and somewhat libellous comments that have appeared on social networking sites and in the local press, we have had enough. "We have decided to call it a day and we will not be producing any further events." Mr Sievwright has now decided to delete his Facebook page in the wake of the controversial episode. In a statement on his page, he says: "I have decided to delete the page and it is scheduled to be deleted within 14 days. "No apology for starting the page will come with this because I back starting the page 100%, what I don't agree with is councillors getting involved and the comments they made in the papers on a misinformed basis." Continued... Mr Sievwright accused people of making assumptions as to what was being said rather than reading the facts. He said he was speaking out for the community by asking if there was something that could be done about the price. Mr Sievwright later said he did not feel the page needs to be deleted but "pressure from people has sort of forced it to be." On Mr Sievwright's decision to pull the page, Arbroath councillor Jim Millar said: "I very much welcome the news that Shaun Sievwright, who started the Against Seafront Spectacular campaign, has announced he intends to delete his site. "It is deeply regrettable that a number of people called the honesty and integrity of the hardworking committee of Arbroath Events into question, in one specific case using appalling language and abuse. "The fact is that there was never any need for this. Anyone who felt that they could help at the event, or wished to comment, had been invited to contact the organisers via the programme and the local press. "It's a real shame that this campaign was launched, instead of seeking to engage with the organisers in a positive and constructive way. "The result of this campaign is that Arbroath Events have now decided that they will no longer run the event, and I can't blame them after some of the appalling and unfounded statements that have been made by some people. "The result is that the town has lost an event that allowed up and coming talent to showcase their skills, gave local people a day of fantastic entertainment on their own doorstep, boosted the economy and raised thousands of pounds for charities and organisations. "Arbroath Events continues to enjoy the support and gratitude of the vast majority of people, and I very much hope that they will reconsider their decision and bring back the Seafront Spectacular." This year's Spectacular boasted acts such as motorbike stunt shows, helicopter rides and an aerobatic display and cost around £51,000 to stage, with £15,000 of that going on the acts. For the last eight years the show has packed the crowds into Victoria Park for a day-long presentation of entertainments, stalls, vehicles, sideshows and displays. The show has also generated cash that has been disbursed to local charities. Mr Sievwright accused people of making assumptions as to what was being said rather than reading the facts. He said he was speaking out for the community by asking if there was something that could be done about the price. Mr Sievwright later said he did not feel the page needs to be deleted but "pressure from people has sort of forced it to be." On Mr Sievwright's decision to pull the page, Arbroath councillor Jim Millar said: "I very much welcome the news that Shaun Sievwright, who started the Against Seafront Spectacular campaign, has announced he intends to delete his site. "It is deeply regrettable that a number of people called the honesty and integrity of the hardworking committee of Arbroath Events into question, in one specific case using appalling language and abuse. "The fact is that there was never any need for this. Anyone who felt that they could help at the event, or wished to comment, had been invited to contact the organisers via the programme and the local press. "It's a real shame that this campaign was launched, instead of seeking to engage with the organisers in a positive and constructive way. "The result of this campaign is that Arbroath Events have now decided that they will no longer run the event, and I can't blame them after some of the appalling and unfounded statements that have been made by some people. "The result is that the town has lost an event that allowed up and coming talent to showcase their skills, gave local people a day of fantastic entertainment on their own doorstep, boosted the economy and raised thousands of pounds for charities and organisations. "Arbroath Events continues to enjoy the support and gratitude of the vast majority of people, and I very much hope that they will reconsider their decision and bring back the Seafront Spectacular." This year's Spectacular boasted acts such as motorbike stunt shows, helicopter rides and an aerobatic display and cost around £51,000 to stage, with £15,000 of that going on the acts. For the last eight years the show has packed the crowds into Victoria Park for a day-long presentation of entertainments, stalls, vehicles, sideshows and displays. The show has also generated cash that has been disbursed to local charities.

Angus & The Mearns

Angus provost attacks critics of Arbroath Seafront Spectacular

August 10 2011

The provost of Angus has launched a blistering attack against critics of Arbroath Seafront Spectacular as an online war continues to rage over the event. The shine was taken off the July 23 Victoria Park spectacular when people complained about the £5 entry charge. The row escalated into cyberspace with a Facebook page called Against Arbroath Seafront Spectacular which generated a number of comments, but drew criticism from people who said their messages supporting the running of the event had been removed. In response, another page called Support The Arbroath Seafront Spectacular was set up. The tit-for-tat has enraged Angus provost Ruth Leslie Melville, who labelled criticism of the small organising committee "shameful." She said those attacking the Seafront team should work with, rather than against, the committee, for the good of the town and Angus.'Beggars belief'Mrs Leslie Melville said, "It beggars belief that people could denigrate the hard work done by four individuals to bring something spectacular and exceptional into the town, when they themselves don't get off their bottoms and do anything to help. "What I would like to know is where those people are and where they will come from. "Arbroath is no different from any other burgh in Scotland it always comes down to a handful of people who are prepared to roll up their sleeves and get on with the really hard work of putting together events in the community." She added, "These people who are making such damaging criticisms should either keep quiet or offer their help. "I hope that they will draw a line under the whole thing and give the committee their support for this wonderful event."

Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Angus & The Mearns

Online row over Arbroath Seafront Spectacular intensifies

August 8 2011

The internet row over charges at this year's Arbroath Seafront Spectacular has rumbled on, with a new online group set up supporting the organisers. A page called Support The Arbroath Seafront Spectacular has been set up on Facebook, with 29 members 'liking' it so far. Its creator said the page was set up without the knowledge of the organising committee, as a show of support for their efforts, which see around £5000 donated to charity every year. A statement read, "The page has been created to show appreciation to the volunteer organisers of the Arbroath Seafront Spectacular. "Recently there has been a minority of people on Facebook complaining about the organisation of the event. "This page has not been created by anyone associated with the event, it has been created by a group who simply enjoy the event and appreciate the effort involved in organising it. "We're not looking for a debate we'd just like you to like the page to show your support, thanks." The move follows criticism of the organisers of the annual show, Arbroath Events, on another Facebook page called Against Seafront Spectacular.Comments removedAt the root of the disagreement was a decision to charge £5 entry to the festival held at Victoria Park on July 23. The Spectacular boasted acts such as motorbike stunt shows, helicopter rides and an aerobatic display and cost around £51,000 to stage, with £15,000 of that going on the acts. Despite Arbroath Events raising substantial funds for charity each year, some locals were unhappy at being made to pay a fee, when previous years have been reduced or free entry. The creator of Against Seafront Spectacular, Shaun Sievwright, said the points on his page are "extremely valid," claiming the costings do not match up to the overall £51,000 that was spent creating the day. Facebook user Sandy Kippling claimed he had posted several comments on Mr Sievwright's site which had now disappeared. "I posted around 15 comments on the Against Seafront Spectacular Group, largely in support of the event and the organisers," he said. "These comments were removed without warning or comment, one is assuming, by the group organiser, this Shaun Sievwright, and I have subsequently been in contact with other people, including Mason Storm, who also tell me that their comments were removed without explanation." He added, "It appears to me, from what I can see, that the group is being moderated in such a way as to remove positive comments about the event and present an entirely negative viewpoint."'One-sided'Mr Kippling said, "What the casual observer looking at the group sees is being manipulated by the group administrator to make it so very one-sided. "I have spoken to one user who said they removed all of their comments, in part due to the way what they were saying was being manipulated." Arbroath Events must pay for health and safety costs such as hiring toilets, barriers, insurance and cleaning-up, in order to stage the show each year. Charges from Angus Council included £31 for a public entertainment licence, a public notice in The Courier to advertise road traffic arrangements on the day and a charge for waste management of approximately £90. There were also two occasional licences granted in relation to the event at a charge of £10 each and there was no charge for the use of Victoria Park. Tayside Police also charged an agreed fee to cover the show with around 10 officers.

Angus & The Mearns

Seafront Spectacular organisers hit back at Facebook critics

August 2 2011

Organisers and supporters of an under-fire Angus show are preparing to hit back at online critics. Arbroath Events, the group behind the town's popular Seafront Spectacular, will today break its silence on what has been branded a "petty" attempt to smear the reputation of the well-established festival, via social networking website Facebook. More than 100 people have signed up to a protest page under the heading Against Seafront Spectacular, where it was claimed an unfair fee was charged to gain access to the event held at Victoria Park. Arbroath Community Council chairwoman Pat Millar said the criticism was unfair and branded the setting up of the online group a "kick in the teeth" for the "honourable" members of the organising committee. She added, "I have known the people who organise the Seafront Spectacular for a number of years and their raison d'etre has always been to provide entertainment for local people and visitors. "They are not trying to make big bucks out of it for themselves, or get their names in the paper it has always been simply to put on a show for the people of Arbroath. "There are ways of putting your point across other than setting up an online site, and we must remember that nobody is being forced to go to this event if they don't want to." The Seafront Spectacular cost £5 for adults and £2 for children and the organisers stressed it took more than £51,000 to stage the extravaganza this year, with acts including stunt riders, aeroplane displays and helicopter rides. A percentage of the total is taken up by health and safety costs, such as hiring toilets, barriers and insurance, with the acts themselves costing around £15,000. Although the show took place on July 23, site members yesterday continued to post comments, with some putting the blame for the costs at the door of Angus Council. Charges from the council in relation to the Seafront Spectacular included £31 for a public entertainment licence, a public notice in The Courier to advertise road traffic arrangements on the day, and a charge for waste management of approximately £90. There were also two occasional licences granted in relation to the event at a charge of £10 each, and there was no charge for the use of Victoria Park. The council provided support and advice to the organisers on issues such as statutory health and safety provision. To support the event, the local authority has provided community grant funding of £5000 in 2008, £3100 in 2009 and £1180 last year. The money was handed over in line with the community grants policy for such initiatives, which sees a boost granted over three years on a decreasing basis, with the aim of enabling events to become established and self-financing. Police confirmed they had arranged a fee with Arbroath Events for covering the show however, only part of that was charged for. Around 10 officers were deployed, with the usual flat rate for such festivals set at £38 per day for a constable and £45 for a sergeant.

Angus & The Mearns

Arbroath Seafront show is a Spectacular success

July 25 2011

The Seafront Spectacular was hailed a huge success after thousands of visitors from Angus and beyond packed Victoria Park in Arbroath to enjoy a day of thrills, spills and excitement in glorious sunshine. The event attracted around 15,000 visitors and was one of the most action-packed to date. The Purple Helmets motorcycle display team from the Isle of Man thrilled the crowd. World champion stunt bike rider Steve Colley returned for a second year to demonstrate his skills. Also returning was Kevin Carmichael, who brought his Triumph motorbikes and new stunt car. An aeroplane balloon bursting act was also on show in addition to circus performers, magicians, and inflatable slides and bungee runs. The event was swelled by stalls, car club and dog agility displays, a funfair and live music, while helicopter pleasure flights took place throughout the day. Organiser Howard Cargill said, "I'm absolutely over the moon with the attendance the weather has obviously helped massively. Everything is buzzing and people seem to be enjoying themselves. "It's a great day out for everybody and we've tried to cater as much for the children as well as the boys and their toys. There's lots of different accents going about and we find with the Spectacular we get a lot of visitors from outwith the town. "Everyone's been having a great time and it just seems to get better year on year." Every year organisers manage to give around £5000 to local charities and organisations and the rest goes back into the pot for the next year. Even with the huge turnout, the park and ride system ensured that traffic delays were kept to a minimum. Visitors entering the town from the south were able to park at Inchcape Park and be taken to the show ground at Victoria Park on buses to ease congestion. Arbroath councillor David Fairweather paid tribute to the organisers for putting on such a terrific show. He said, "This year's event is costing over £50,000 to put on and without these volunteers the Spectacular would not happen and all their work is appreciated." The Royal Marines Association ran a tombola, with the money raised going towards the Woodlands Garden Trust at Condor home of 45 Royal Marine Commando Group. The trust hopes to raise the money needed to construct a memorial garden for the injured and fallen of the unit within the ground. Chefs at Condor baked a cake for the event, with people asked to guess the weight. Businesses and organisations donated prizes and the stall was kept busy as visitors dug deep. A display by Tayside Classic Car Club was also extremely popular with visitors.

Angus & The Mearns

Arbroath ready to welcome visitors to Seafront Spectacular

July 22 2011

Arbroath will welcome visitors from across Angus and beyond to the annual Seafront Spectacular on Saturday. It has cost over £50,000 to stage this year's event at Victoria Park, with a variety of stalls and entertainment on offer, from acrobatic aeroplane displays to motorbike demonstrations and helicopter rides. Howard Cargill of Arbroath Events which organises the fun day promised a fun day out for all, and added, "Every year we manage to give around £5000 to local charities and organisations and the rest goes back into the pot to give us a start for the next year. "The event is becoming expensive to put on and we have to make sure we cover our costs even if there is bad weather." A variety of student bike riders will perform for the crowd. An aeroplane balloon bursting act will be on show, in addition to circus performers, magicians, and inflatable slides and bungee runs.See www.seafront.org.uk for more information.

Angus & The Mearns

Arbroath fireworks campaigner fears Facebook fury was all just noise

November 19 2014

The Arbroath community will be given a final chance to prove it wants to rekindle its Bonfire Night display. Karren Cuthill set up a Facebook group entitled Fireworks for Arbroath to garner interest from the community and there were more than 400 members within a day. She organised a public meeting on Monday to form a committee and take the plans forward but just 15 people turned up, despite 60 confirming they would attend. Karren decided to take action following complaints about the lack of a large-scale event in the town this year. She had called for people who were disappointed by this year’s lack of events to put their energy to good use. However, the poor turnout has left the mum-of-one questioning whether it is worth the hassle. Now she has organised another public meeting for this Monday at the Meadowbank Inn at 6pm but stressed it will be a short meeting if she gets the same numbers this time. Karren told The Courier: “The turnout was quite disappointing. Sixty people said they were attending but only 15 actually turned up. “If the community want this then they have to get behind it or it’s a waste of time.” Karen praised the people who did attend Monday’s meeting for coming up with some good ideas about how to proceed. But she does not think it is viable to organise an event unless they get much bigger numbers at the next meeting. “We want to get more people involved and give the community an event we can be proud of,” she added. “I really hope to see as many people as possible at the meeting on Monday. Use it or lose it.” Last year’s Arbroath Seafront Fireworks Spectacular was Arbroath Events’ sign-off and they decided to pour their remaining funds into a display to remember, delivered by the team from 21CC Fireworks. The seafront was packed as people from across Angus watched the finale light up the skies in a £30,000 display of pyrotechnics. Although displays such as Edzell and Dundee offer spectacular events, Karren believes families would far prefer to have an event run by their own community.

Angus & The Mearns

Arbroath Seafront Spectacular ‘a complete success’

July 26 2010

The seventh Arbroath Seafront Spectacular was voted one of the best ever, with more than 14,000 people flocking to Victoria Park to see top-class displays on land, sea and in the air. Organised by Arbroath Events, the show drew families from all over Angus and further afield for a feast of transport-themed action. On the ground, and both visiting Arbroath for the first time, there were thrilling displays from trials motorcycle stunt rider Steve Colley while Chris Doney of the Zero Gravity mountain bike display team showed that an engine is not needed for a jaw-dropping routine. The Royal Regiment of Scotland's Golden Lions freefall parachute display team dropped in on the showground while a Royal Navy search and rescue Sea King helicopter put on a joint display with local RNLI lifeboats. Fans of biplanes were thrilled at the precision flying of the famous Team Breitling Wing Walkers as well as less formal but equally impressive display by two privately-owned craft towards the end of the show. Around the park itself there was plenty to see and do, with stalls from the emergency services, armed forces and many local charities and organisations. Taking part for the first time were Kerr's Miniature Railway, who did a roaring trade all day ferrying children around on their scaled-down bus and fire engine. Vehicles of all kinds were on display, with car and motorcycle enthusiasts from all over Scotland keen to share their passions with the crowds attending. Music helped maintain the party atmosphere and one of the undoubted highlights of the day-bringing the sights and sounds of the Bavarian bier kellar all the way from west Fife-were Kolonel Schnapps' Oompah Band, who proved such a hit that they stayed on to play a guest gig at the packed Millgate Bar. Howard Cargill of Arbroath Events said, "Although the attendance was slightly down on last year I think we can still say that the Arbroath Seafront Spectacular 2010 was a complete success. "There was plenty to see and do and the weather stayed warm and dry, which is all you can hope for during a Scottish summer." He added, "We would like to thank everyone who came along and helped make the event such a great success and look forward to starting planning for 2011."To view a full gallery of photos, click here.

Angus & The Mearns

Retired marine Roddy Campbell is plane fearless

July 9 2010

A retired Royal Marine is set to swap terra firma for terror of a more vertical nature when he takes to the air above Dundee later this month for a wing-walk on a biplane. Roddy Campbell, who works for Angus Council and is also the chief steward at Arbroath's Gayfield ground, will be taking to the skies on July 23 in aid of a good cause. He hopes to raise as much money as possible in aid of a new memorial garden at nearby RM Condor. He had hoped that the stunt would coincide with Arbroath's Seafront Spectacular on July 24. Unfortunately, the insurance will not cover such exploits during the Spectacular's massively popular wing-walking displays. But the wing-walking team have been able to come to the rescue with an alternate date, the day before. A delighted Roddy said, "The reaction to the news of my planned wing-walk has been brilliant. "The Royal Marine Association gave me money, the lads at the council yard chipped in and the local public have been brilliant." If you wish to sponsor Roddy's aerial exploits call him on 01241 871 512.

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