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Events that have you smiling through gritted teeth…

We’ve had an exciting few days in my neck of the woods. The Tour de France came through the region yesterday, and it was a great opportunity for local businesses. Thousands of people flooded to the very pretty nearby villages, including the place where my parents live. As I wandered through their picturesque little hamlet at the end of the day, when the crowds were thinning out and the spectacle was over, it got me thinking. The main street was strewn with litter. The stragglers who still remained had clearly enjoyed the excuse provided by the event for sustained daytime drinking. As I gazed about me, I immediately wondered where all these folk had come from and if they would ever feel compelled return to our quaint little corner of Essex again. I even dared to question if we would really want them to. It’s undeniably thrilling when a national event literally passes by your doorstep, but sometimes we might find ourselves smiling upon the occasion through gritted teeth – like one of the residents I know who woke up to find a line of portaloos directly outside her house. The residents of Glastonbury have long grumbled about the noise and mess that the music festival inevitably brings to their beautiful part of the world.
These spectacles bring press coverage and a feel-good factor which are all great for business. But can we be forgiven for letting out a huge collective sigh of relief as we watch these talented sportsmen and women ride off into the distance, taking the spotlight of nationwide interest along with them, hoping it will be a good few years before our region is chosen to host a similarly amazing and thrilling event once again…?

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