Howard's Way - 25 August 2005

Contributed by editor on Aug 28, 2005 - 08:59 PM

HOWARD'S WAY.... a weekly column from Michael Howard MP

Last Wednesday saw one of the events which made Shepway such a special place.

The Hythe Venetian Fete was a spectacular success. It seems to get better every time it takes place. This year the floats were particularly imaginative and the fireworks were breathtaking. It was all helped by the perfect weather and a bumper attendance.

One of the things which makes the Venetian Fete so unique is its timelessness. In essence it does not seem to have changed much for decades. Indeed it is easy to imagine sitting on the canal bank a hundred years ago and enjoying a very similar spectacle.

So the Fete, rather like other local events such as Lydd Club Day, strengthens our links with the past and our bonds with history and our local heritage.

None of this is easy to achieve. The Committee, under the tireless and dedicated chairmanship of John Schoner, will soon begin the work of preparing for the Fete of 2007. And the Committee need new blood – especially young blood! So anyone wanting to play their part in keeping this bit of Shepway’s heritage alive should get in touch with John Schoner.

On Thursday morning I attended a very different kind of event – the turf cutting ceremony for the mains drainage scheme in New Romney. This is something the people of New Romney have been waiting for for a very long time indeed. At last it is to become a reality and the new drainage system is to be installed. There are, inevitably, some issues still to be resolved but this was a very important day for New Romney and I was delighted to be there.

Finally, a word of congratulations to all Shepway’s young people who did well in their A level exams this year. They, and their teachers, can take great satisfaction from their achievements.

Debate on the nature of the exam and the extent to which it meets the rigorous standards which are desirable, will continue. But that should not detract in any way from the success of those who sit their exams under the present system. It is, after all, the only system available to them and they have, rightly, made the best of it. So very well done to them and their teachers.