We'll celebrate if we want to!
FURTHER to the letter you published from Dennis Goodwin, of Forsbrook ('Why must they close my road?' Sentinel, May 30).
We, as a group, are writing in reply to that letter.
We were amazed, flabbergasted and some were extremely angry. Certainly everyone was very disappointed by the letter regarding the closure of our street for a party to be held on Sunday just gone.
In writing his letter, we believe that Mr Goodwin has proven himself not only to be self-centred, incorrect and extremely misguided personally, but I think he has used another neighbour to make a point. And if actions speak louder than words, that neighbour actually disagrees with him.
Mr Goodwin referred to "my own street". There are 36 homes in our cul-de-sac, a place that is friendly, caring and safe.
We live as a community, even if it's a little disjointed – there's the bottom, the middle and the top of the road – and we all pay our council tax.
This is our street – Mr Goodwin included – and it was the hope of bridging the gaps between the three areas that two youngish ladies thought it would be nice to find out if people would like to get together for one day.
Mr Goodwin stated that he has "no interest whatsoever in the Queen or the rest of the royals".
We, as open-minded, well-rounded individuals who gathered together for the good of our community, say he is very entitled to his own opinion and we understand that not everyone is a flag-waving monarchist (including one of the two ladies behind the whole thing).
While organising this community celebration, every householder in the street was spoken to personally, including Mr Goodwin, and when he opened the door and was asked for his honest opinion he stated: "We won't be here".
Having never met the gentleman previously, even having lived in the street for four years, the individual speaking to Mr Goodwin – attempting to be friendly and engage in conversation – asked if he was "going somewhere nice", to which he replied: "We're on holiday in Tenerife".
We believe that he has since told others he was attending a wedding, all instead of just saying: "I'm not interested".
We would take this opportunity to advise Mr Goodwin that this street party was not only for the Diamond Jubilee but also the very first of our annual Community Big Lunches – events promoted by the Government and local councils in order to bring communities together.
Mr Goodwin considers a community celebration to be an "infringement of my right to come and go".
We would remind Mr Goodwin that we live in a democracy, and by making an official application to our local council and going through the appropriate legal channels, a democratic decision states that we have the right to hold our street party.
Similarly he still had the right to come and go as he pleased. No-one was stopping him.
Mr Goodwin complained that he would not be able to go out in his car. How short-sighted. Although we had permission to close the whole street, we arranged to use only half of the cul-de-sac.
By walking less than 250 yards, Mr Goodwin could leave his car safely and come and go as he pleased. Simple.
As for his suggestion that we celebrated on the pub car park or in a park, why should we? This street party and all it entails was for us as responsible adults, our children and grandchildren.
We are not adolescents looking for a quiet corner to drink in illegally.
The most saddening aspect of Mr Goodwin's rant was the fact that he drew into his argument our mutual neighbour who is, all we would say, less able than some.
Who gives him the right to discuss her age, medical situation or even her assumed opinion about the street party?
If Mr Goodwin had bothered to ask for this lady's opinion, he would have been aware that although she was not attending, she was encouraging both verbally and in writing from the outset.
In fact, as his letter went to print, she gave a member of the organising group a monetary donation on finding out that each household taking part had paid a little something towards the cost of 400 metres of bunting.
Despite Mr Goodwin's condemnation of our efforts to build links in our community, we all wish him well.
We hope that he will be able to join us next year at our Community Big Lunch, as one thing is for certain, he will be invited.
STEPH BATES, SHARON BARTLETT AND MORE