Horncastle Fest could benefit from business aid

EDITOR - Whilst MP’s, media moguls and ex-News of the World employees attempt to play a game of ‘pin the blame on the phone-hacker’ in the Houses of Parliament, it seems that similar, albeit scaled-down, hi-jinks are afoot in the town of Horncastle, no less.

I am of course referring to the rather embittered letter published in last week’s edition of the Horncastle News by Mr Will Hawkes, who appears to be have taken a call to arms by a member of the public, Mr Tom Mumford, rather literally and appears to be on the verge of pulling up the drawbridge, as it were, in a vein not too dissimilar to that of Rupert Murdoch himself.

I must take this time to clarify that I am not accusing of Mr Hawkes of hacking into the voicemails of celebrities. I would not want to offend someone who does not have a sense of humour, as he stated last week.

I myself attended the Horncastle Festival that this spat appears to have originated from, and whilst it provided a pleasant diversion, I certainly felt that the event seemed to be significantly lacking in participation from some local business who could, as Mr Mumford pointed out, do themselves a favour by getting involved.

As someone who has lived in the town his entire life, I have seen countless businesses arrive in the town, and open with much fanfare, only to fall by the wayside because they simply didn’t engage with the community enough.

Whilst this is not a criticism I am levying at Mr Hawkes’ business, which must be commended for getting involved, I feel that his letter somewhat jumped the gun with regards to the sentiments Mr Mumford expressed a few weeks back.

Perhaps it was ‘some of the best coffee in Horncastle’ that stimulated one too many brain cells, I’m not sure, but it seemed to me as though Mr Mumford’s letter was merely requesting for a bit more help in the ‘planning’ stages of the event.

Mr Hawkes appears to have taken this request on a direct attack on himself, which is most unfortunate.

Though I whole-heartedly agree with the rhetoric “If a paid up member of the festival cant voice an opinion, who can?”, which was delivered by Mr Hawkes in his letter, he then goes on to say that Mr Mumford should go for a run instead of expressing his thoughts. Quite the turnaround.

Sadly, I don’t quite possess the same business acumen as, say, Lord Alan Sugar, but my take is that if you want to make a difference, to both your own business and the community, you start by laying the foundations (attending meetings) and then reap the rewards(increased volume of custom at future festivals).

Whilst it appears regrettable that Mr Mumford, in his letter, mentioned one of the few businesses that did eventually get involved in the event, surely a man who professes to reading the Financial Times, and indeed, owns his own business and is a supporter of such local initiatives as the Horncastle Festival, understands that a bustling market would be of great benefit to himself and others?

The way that the community reaches this stage is to help each other out, not to throw wild accusations around about creating ‘enemies’ and the like.

I can only hope that both men can put their differences aside in the future and work together for the good of the town, as it seems a shame to put a willing business partner such as Mr Hawkes and a creative, willing mind such as that of Mr. Mumford’s, to waste. And to the rest of Horncastle’s businesses: in the words of Delia Smith - let’s be havin’ you!

Nathan Hildred,