Monday, 18 October 2021

Village preparing for fan invasion... in case

LANDOWNERS in Goring will be asked to let visitors park on their fields during what would have been George Michael’s birthday weekend this summer.

Thousands of fans are expected to flock to the village on Sunday, June 25, when the singer, who lived at Mill Cottage, off High Street, would have turned 54.

The parish council fears this will create congestion, so it is to approach landowners to ask for the use of their land so that it can direct visitors there with signs.

Chairman Kevin Bulmer told a council meeting on Monday: “There have been various reports on social media about what may or may not happen that weekend and it’s hard to know how it will actually turn out.

“People have tried to organise events through Facebook groups and we’ve made them aware of the responsibility this entails, such as the need for public liability insurance.

“This has happened a couple of times and the groups have swiftly disappeared but that doesn’t mean discussions aren’t still taking place under the radar, as it were.

“We’re concerned that the village could grind to a halt if it gets out of hand.

“If we can just keep on top of the parking situation, it should be easier to look after any other problems.

“A lot is still unknown at this stage but we’re still planning for the worst contingency.”

The council is still consulting on a possible memorial to the singer, who died at home on Christmas Day.

So far it has received 250 replies from around the world.

Cllr Bulmer said: “There are two schools of thought on the matter.

“It has been suggested that it would be good for business but we don’t want to present a ‘Disney-fied’ version of his life. It wouldn’t be good for the village, nor particularly respectful to Mr Michael’s memory.”

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