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Security measures marred the Queen's visit to Salisbury
5:33pm Thursday 10th May 2012 in Salisbury Letters
I WOULD like to express my absolute disgust at the complete and utter disorganisation of the celebrations for the Queen’s visit to the Cathedral Close on Tuesday.
It was a complete shambles, with total confusion among the organisers regarding security resulting in various “lock downs”
which stopped people from entering The Close at one point and also the movement of people from one side of The Close to the other.
My daughter was one of the maypole dancers and was not allowed in because of such an elusive “lock down” and was left crying outside the cathedral gate worried sick about letting her dance teacher and the Queen down.
Is this any way to treat a child at a time of celebration?
And then, what topped it all, was after waiting for two-and-half hours in front of the marquee where the Queen was to sit for the unveiling of the commemorative plaque somebody made the most inconsiderate of decisions to move all of the military wives right in front of the marquee thereby totally obscuring the view of the Queen to everybody else.
What about the children? And what about the maypole dancers who had been training since November to perform for the Queen?
Where was the respect for all those little children who had just danced their hearts out and who were waiting patiently to see her?
Whoever made this totally inconsiderate and disrespectful decision ought to be ashamed and, moreover, should be sacked for such an unexpected and thoughtless decision.
They should be made to publically apologise to all the people and children who were left feeling completely bereft as a result of their careless and insensitive behaviour.
What a total let down Salisbury.
PAULA LANCHBURY, Salisbury
MAY I, through your Postbag, write to protest at the shambles of a security operation within The Close during the Queen’s visit?
Clearly, we need to keep Her Majesty safe, but the plan to do so was so over the top as to have been comical if it were not so annoying.
In the interests of security, apparently: * None of the policeman or marshals (I spoke to) had been properly briefed on the Queen’s route or timings * Roads and paths were closed, unnecessarily, for ages before Her Majesty arrived * And, most bizarrely, once she was in The Close we were not allowed to move about to any extent and, worse, were not allowed to leave The Close until Her Majesty had finally departed.
The only good thing about the operation was that the Queen brought the sun with her.
Goodness knows how it would have been if we had been locked in, in the rain.
JOHN CATER, Quidhampton
IT was wonderful that the Queen came for a Jubilee visit to Salisbury, but what a shambles the arrangements were for the public.
There was terrible crowd control and people penned into areas and not allowed out.
There was no entertainment between noon and 2pm in the main areas where the crowds were waiting to see the Queen pass.
There were no refreshments in the main areas. There were no apparent signs to help people with mobility problems. The police closed the cathedral gates ages before she left and would let no one leave.
Shame on the event organisers for such unrehearsed and chaotic arrangements on such a lovely day.
AVRIL GAUVAIN, Salisbury
WHILE I appreciate Wiltshire Council’s free park and ride into Salisbury for the Queen’s visit, I am concerned at the safety aspect.
With my daughter and two grandchildren, we were jam packed into and out of Salisbury. The driver was unable to close the bus doors as people crammed in. In the event of an accident, is the council prepared for possible death and injury claims?
The buses were seriously overloaded bearing in mind children and adults need safety belts and seats for children in private transport, free standing, even if impossible to moved, is outrageous and downright dangerous.
Sorry, but I won’t be risking my family’s lives again.
L STANLEY, Pitton
I WONDER whose idea it was to make the Salisbury Plain Military Wives Choir stand in front of the Queen’s party during the closing event at last Tuesday's Royal visit, thus obliterating any view for people who had been waiting there for two hours.
Not the choir’s fault, I know, but very disappointing for many, especially children, who could not see anything at all.
MRS D SHAW, Codford
I WANT to thank the whole of Salisbury for the organisation that went behind the wonderful Queen’s visit on Tuesday. A group of us got there by courtesy of park and ride.
We stood by railings right in front of the north door of the cathedral from 10.30am to 2.20pm to see the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. We were entertained the entire time, in pouring rain and boiling sunshine, throughout the long wait and it could not have been more fun.
What a marvellous slick event the whole day was and what a truly thrilling atmosphere we all experienced, not to mention the thrill of the royal car arriving in The Close then the Queen and Duke leaving the cathedral to unveil the plaque, receive another posy and, as it happened, for the Duke to come right up to and talk to three of us.
Thank you Salisbury for such a brilliant event.
We now look forward to watching the Olympic torch rush through the streets in mid July.
PENNY O’BRIEN, Salisbury
THE Queen’s Jubilee visit to Salisbury was a great success. Crowds of people came in their thousands to greet this great lady and her noble husband.
Efforts were made by Salisbury City Council to provide welcoming flags and bunting and not least, garlands of bunting and flags in Fisherton Street. The latter were all provided by shopkeepers and restaurants in Fisherton Street and Bridge Street at their own effort and expense. But look at the rest of the city: High Street, New Canal, The George Mall - little or nothing in the way of celebration or festivity to mark this auspicious anniversary of 60 years service to the United Kingdom by Her Majesty the Queen.
The Jubilee continues until the end of the year and the flags and bunting will remain up until after the Olympics - weather permitting.
Can we now look to the rest of the city’s shops and other commerce to be proud to be British in this Jubilee and Olympic year by adopting a more festive appearance to their shop fronts? Such an excuse for celebration is unlikely to occur again for a long time.
PAUL DAUWALDER, Dauwalders Stamp Shop