My civic duty score is increasing.
Last night I attended a Council Meeting on the subject of the Jim Clark Rally through our town. Clark was the local boy made good in car rallying and Formula 1 racing cars. Every year, there is a motor rally based in Duns. Quite unique as local roads get shut off for normal traffic to let the big beasties have a run at speeds up to 145 miles per hour. No 60 mph limit those days.
This years held a few weeks back broke new ground in having one section run through the middle of the town. Residents and visitors were strictly marshalled as to where and when they might be about in the hour or so prior to the start of the stage. I put my 'even Hitler didn't get to tell me what to do in my own home' hat on and felt pretty negative about the whole thing. In the event, my stroppiness was noticed and I was treated very well and properly.
One concern that did stay was safety. I live in the Market Square and the course came into the Square and then made a 90 degree right turn to go down a street leading off the Square. The Big Boys in the International class came up to this corner at about 100 mph and drifted sideways into the turn. A crowd of about 200 gathered on the outside of the bend and, whilst there were straw bales in position, the bales were not secured. A car hitting them would not be slowed but would merely slide on with the straw as a battering ram. Three cars that I saw did have difficult negotiating the corner but were brought under control without too much damage and no injury. Somewhat proved my concern for potential tragedy.
I wanted to comment and chose to go to the Council meeting. I was one of about 50 mostly middle aged men and women. I had expected it would be mainly boy racers with a sprinkling of coffin dodgers attending out of boredom with life indoors. The majority of attendees had notebooks and recorded the to and fro of the debate. Some had drafted what they wanted to say. I got to make my observation without it being seen as a complaint and had a full and constructive answer.
I was encouraged by what transpired. I'll do it again (so long as it does not qualify me as a 'coffin dodger attending out of boredom'). Just another sign of how we seem to have a very good community spirit up here.