LETTER: Saddened by the state of Chesterfield

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I wish to pass on my comments after my experiences on Bank Holiday Monday.

My daughter and I are fond of completing treasure trails, and on the last bank holiday we decided to do a trail around Chesterfield. We downloaded the clue sheet and set off to town to follow the clues. I chose to park near the railway station and we had to make our way to Rykneld Square for the start.

What an awful first impression of our town must visitors have. A derelict hotel is the first sight to greet you, then heading up town via Corporation Street to be greeted by dried vomit on the pavements.

Upon crossing and climbing the steps at the rear of the Crooked Spire we were greeted by the sight of people sitting on the church stairs drinking and smoking and more sprawled out on the grass areas doing the same. The Carved Bee in front appears to have been vandalised and Rykneld Square was equally unappealing.

We followed the clues and reached West Bars and our directions took us through the passage under the post office buildings towards Queen’s Park. I can only assume this area had been sponsored by McDonalds judging by the enormous amount of rubbish bearing the logo. There was a fair on Queen’s Park, and our destination was the bandstand. More vomit and lots more rubbish liberally scattered over the park. Delightful.

Next we headed toward the old magistrates courts, which could do with a lick of paint or more, and my daughter ran across the grass toward a blue plaque commemorating Lady Baden-Powell. I winced as anything could have been discarded in the grass itself, we stuck to the paths after that.

Up now to the memorial opposite the town hall. I noticed a hedged area on the right towards the top, which had clearly been taken over as an al fresco drinking area (unofficial) containing again a large amount of intoxicated folks. We completed our trail, arriving back at the Crooked Spire churchyard just in time to see a paramedic and ambulance arriving to scrape up someone clearly under the influence of something or other.

I came to Chesterfield 17 years ago and was delighted to live here. I always found people to be friendly and welcoming, I liked the town centre, particularly the market, and felt privileged to live in such a nice place. 
I have very different feelings now though, If I had been showing someone around my town, I would have had to apologised for bringing them to such a place, and felt embarrassed by the state of it.

Where is the pride? Why can’t people use a bin? Where is the law enforcement of the “Alcohol Free Zones” which I saw signage for? I saw one police officer and he was heading along West Bars seemingly not looking right or left in case he saw anything he might need to deal with.

Come on Chesterfield, have some damn pride in yourself. The powers that be in the town hall should be ashamed of what this town has become and be encouraging less anti -social behaviour and promoting Chesterfield dragging itself out of the gutter and back to its former glory, and if they can’t or won’t then the fine people of this town should.

G. Watson

Chesterfield