For a few days earlier this week, Chesterfield found itself at the centre of a media storm - because of a well dressing.
The Derbyshire town’s floral tribute to the late Princess Diana hit headlines across the world after being criticised as ‘disrespectful’.
The furore saw the maligned memorial trending on Twitter, featured on BBC and Sky News and the subject of a ITV This Morning outside broadcast.
Chesterfield Borough Council was inundated for days with media requests, with former Mayor Steve Brunt appearing on TV screen across the country.
Councillor Brunt, who is also the Borough Council’s cabinet member for town centre and visitor economy, said: “This year’s well dressing has obviously attracted more attention than usual but when I look at it I see the 120 hours of hard work that went in to it by everyone involved.
“While much of the coverage has focused on negative comments we have had lots of messages from around the world saying how much they appreciated the well dressing and its well-meaning intentions to commemorate a much loved person who visited Chesterfield in 1981 to open the visitor information centre.
“A lot of the people contacting us had never heard of well dressing before and are now interested in finding out more about it.”
After the display was mercilessly mocked on social media for days, others sprang to the tribute’s defence.
The jibes were criticised as mean-spirited and cruel, with many suggesting those criticising the artwork might like to try themselves next year.
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‘When I look at it I see the 120 hours of hard work that went in to it by everyone involved.’Steve Brunt