I’m sure that, like me, you’ve been agog to see the line-up of exciting events promised for the Mayor’s Story Of London Festival . For the past month or so I’ve been collecting leaflets from various museums and other London attractions which have featured events with the Story Of London logo, and every couple of days I’ve been checking the Story Of London website in the hope that all the forthcoming events would be available to view. No such luck – until today, four days before the festival starts. Still, better late than never.
So, what delights can we in my own borough of Hounslow look forward to, as part of Boris and Munira’s pan-London festival? Oh. Nothing. So much for taking Boris’s version of culture to the outer London boroughs.
Not to worry, I see TfL’s London Loop in my in-box and I’m slightly surprised to see there’s a two-day Polish Festival in Trafalgar Square this weekend. I don’t remember seeing that listed on the GLA events calendar when I’ve been checking it every couple of days. I know, the GLA’s Trafalgar Square website will have full details…oh. Well, let’s try the link from the London Loop site. Nothing except the dates and the venue.
I remember Ken Livingstone was supportive of the Polish community and said in 2007 that he could see a Polish Festival in Trafalgar Square in a few years’ time. Last year, Boris Johnson spoke to the Federation Of Poles in Britain and the understanding was that the GLA provided the venue and the publicity for the proposed festival and the Warsaw Mickiewicz Institute would provide the content.
Now, no publicity on the GLA website or the venue website is bad enough but having been up and down to central London several times this week I can also say that, as with Boris’s previous events such as the St George’s Day concert, I have seen no posters in Underground stations or elsewhere and no leaflets at stations, as was the norm for any of the events sponsored by the previous GLA administration. It would seem that, as indicated during last year’s Mayoral elections, Boris Johnson is unwilling to fund all the community festivals sponsored by his predecessor and when he reluctantly agrees to continue with a reduced programme, he won’t spend money on publicising the events which inevitably results in under-participation by the public.
UPDATE: johnny v of the freelondlistings website informs us in the comments below that the Polish Festival isn’t happening, according to the Mayor’s Communications Officer.
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