Packer's Field

News: May Day 2006 Report



May Day on Packers Field and despite forecastspredicting a down pour it’s dry when we arrive at 10 am for the morning clean up. The nine of us who have turned up each grab a bin bag and walk round the field searching for litter. In general, it’s surprisingly clean: a far cry from the ‘toilet for dogs’ that some newspaper articles would have you believe. In fact, we find hardly any dog poo to speak of. And absolutely no drugs paraphernalia. Instead there’s plenty of the sort of detritus you’d expect on a school playing field - empty crisp packets, sweet wrappers and the like.

By about midday, various Easton Cowboys arrive with nets, balls and the acroutements to get the event underway. The Kebele crew turn up with their sound system and cafe and we’re rolling. One by one, a whole load of familiar faces appear - including some I haven’t seen for years. Events like these prove that - contrary to the report that rejected the Town Green application - there is a vibrant community here centred around Packers.

Looking around the field there is a stall selling bits and bobs, one with information about the campaign to keep the field open, another with info on the proposals about the future of the Chocolate Factory. Zoe is sitting under the tree working with the kids, encouraging them to paint giant balloons - piñata. Gradually people arrive and change into their football kit, or if they’re not playing loiter around, chat, pop into the pub for a pint or gently shake a leg to the reggae and soul blasting out of the sound system.

The woman from the Evening Post turns up and darts around taking photographs of all the activity. Eventually she gets what’s she’s been looking for - a set piece shot of some of the organisers with the ‘Community Under Construction’ sign. Thankfully, they don’t use it when it’s finally published.

On the pitches, the football is running smoothly. By four in the afternoon, the can can dancers turn up and perform you might describe as a ‘fertility dance’. They explain that since they were unable to obtain a maypole from anywhere, a nearby tree had to suffice instead. Needless to say, the crowd are momentarily diverted from the football.

While all this excitement is going on, Kev’s team, Electric Youth, are performing wonders on the pitch. They brush past the topically named No Metatarsals in the semis to face the Cowboys’ Sunday team in the final. In a tightly fought game, da’ Youth edge it 1-0.

Kaz and Otan, the landlords of another local pub, The Plough present the trophies and then it’s time for a final boogie to the DJs and a beer in the Kings Head before we head home. Miraculously despite all the forecasts AND the fact that it’s a bank holiday, no rain fell on the third Packers Field Fun Day. Someone up there must like us. Let’s hope we get to do another