Friends respond to the Kentish Express’s Stuart Barton

Copy of Stuart Barton ColumnThe Friends of Victoria Park have responded to comments by columnist, Stuart Barton, in the 1st August edition of the Kentish Express:

"I am writing in disgust regarding Mr Barton’s comments about the revamp of Victoria Park, Kentish Express 1st August 2019.

Victoria Park, as is the case with most open public spaces, suffers some problems. Most recently there have been 2 out of the ordinary attacks. Mr Barton's assertion that it is one of Kent's hotspots is unfounded; as would be shown by a quick reference to Kent Police crime statistics, which in recent months show significantly higher figures for both antisocial behaviour, and violent and sexual crime in the area around the Kentish Express offices than in the vicinity of Victoria park.

Mr Barton is also factually incorrect in the assertion that the fountain was white when made. The Hubert fountain is a cast iron structure and whilst it is possible to produce white cast iron, this certainly wasn’t the case for our Hubert Fountain. None of the pictures available from either the 1862 exhibition or from its installation in Victoria Park show the fountain as white. Alongside this the photograph from the presentation souvenir, the fountain colour is clearly shown as darker than the surrounding white wall. The most recent ‘refurbishment’ was not only a couple of years ago, but 12 years ago, with all this information readily available on the internet.

Perhaps rather than throwing around random assertions, Mr Barton would like to visit the park occasionally and enjoy some of the great community spirit which can be experienced in the park with many people enjoying the wildlife, fitness opportunities, and generally creating a sense of community on a daily basis. Not to mention the very successful celebrations which have taken place recently in the park with no incident: Armed Forces Day, Sausage and Cider, Create, Mr Harper’s Birthday and a number of successful running events which have been enjoyed by people of all ages.

Simon Howard-Smith
Chair - Friends of Victoria Park"

Posted in News.

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