Chichester should look to Winchester to see how to run Priory Park ice rink

Winchester Christmas Market
Winchester Christmas Market

Should we be offering thanks to CDC for ‘improving’ the Park view for everyone? Here are the current improvements.

My wife and I are fortunate to have a ‘bolt hole’ in Portugal, so will be off tomorrow [Wednesday last week] – forced out of our own home before the inevitable ‘noise’ adds to the already ‘picturesque’ view, which we can’t avoid being forced to look at from our house.

This completes the wonderful vision CDC appear to have for the once beautiful Priory Park and for Chichester as your city.

Pub in the Park, ‘fast food heaven’, ‘Party Central’ and oh yes, somewhere in the mix is hidden an ice rink. What an amazing achievement.

Perhaps only to be expected when such unashamedly alcohol fuelled events as gin, beer and rum drinking (last mentioned cancelled thank goodness) accompanied by disco level volumes of recorded and live music to ‘rev everyone up’, has been the limit of vision displayed by CDC for 2018 in ‘our’ park.

Actually if you want to see what an ice rink should be like, I suggest taking the 45 minute car ride to Winchester (or by train).

Set beautifully in the precincts of the cathedral, it’s well away from people’s homes (causes no offence to anyone) and surrounded as it is by the wonderful Winchester Christmas Market with its authentic carved wooden huts (voted one of the best markets of its kind in all Europe including Bavaria and Germany) and the pretty ‘Ice Café’ adjacent (no pub needed here, though you can get a beer or glass of wine when buying food – ie a restaurant licence). It’s very successful, being completely self-funding, so needs no vulgar alcohol fuelled party events to sustain it. There is a lovely atmosphere as well, with Christmas carols playing at moderate sound levels in the rink itself, on the day we visited. All in all, let’s be honest, it’s everything that Chichester’s ‘shabby, vulgar and inconsiderate ‘side show’ could ever be.

What’s even more important, the profits don’t go into some private promoter’s pocket, but directly towards the ongoing maintenance of the lovely Cathedral. Brilliant! Well done Winchester – shame on Chichester.

John Stanley, St Martin’s Square, Chichester