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Society forced to remove its show banner

A crackdown on banners at Maryport’s Netherhall Corner has forced the town’s amateur dramatics society off its key “advertising” site after 30 years.


John Slater, president of Maryport Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, said it had been told by Allerdale council to move its banner from railings.

He said it was a “sad day” for the society, and especially its junior section whose banner advertising next month’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie had been ordered off.

The sign was moved just three weeks before the children’s show.

He added: “After the efforts they have made, I really don’t know what the kids will think.”

He called on Curzon Street residents to help by offering railings there for an advertising banner.

Allerdale council formerly turned a blind eye to banners on the railings outside St Mary’s Church but took action after complaints and a one-man campaign by town resident Donald Leighton.

Many people considered that the banners, which included people’s birthday greetings, were an eyesore at the busy junction.

Kevin Kerrigan, Allerdale council planning manager, said: “Since the council received complaints we have taken a consistent approach in requesting the removal of unauthorised signs promoting events of this nature.

“The council has provided advice to the theatre group to help them comply with the regulations.”

Mr Leighton started removing signs when he thought necessary last year and was eventually threatened with arrest by police after complaints that he had destroyed banners.

Mr Leighton, of Sycamore Road, said last night that he had not complained to Allerdale council about the amateur dramatics banner and that they were not the target of his campaign.

He said: “I was concerned about birthday banners that were put up and left to tear and become unsightly, and the number of commercial signs that were being put up.

“I noticed that the amateurs’ sign had been put up and although I noticed that it was several weeks before the production I certainly did not complain about it.

“It is fascinating to see that Allerdale council is now taking action.”

Next year will be the centenary of the society, and Mr Slater said he hoped that by then the group would be able to advertise again at Netherhall Corner.

Have your say

this is another example of why Allerdale Council's reputation is so bad. They took over parking from the County Council and caused havoc, they took over licensing and have been as bad e.g. Maryport Blues and persecution of the Lifeboat landlord, planning is a joke, e.g.their failure thus far to protect Maryport from the threat to it's biggest asset, Deer Park Field, look at the mess they made of the Cloffocks and the threat they pose to allmost every event proposed by community groups and others trying to give all of us something to enjoy and appreciate. It may seem I have a down on Allerdale Council but I have to explain that it is not the Councillors themselves I blame because I do admire them for their unselfish contribution to society, it's their officers who seem to me to be penned into such small specialist jobs with no facility for applying a human touch or even logic that they have to be seen as troublesoeme to justify their employment. This action over a professionally made sign which inconveniences no one and helps the society to promote its good work and in any case is for such a short period is surely an example.

Posted by Bill on 27 March 2012 at 18:59

I first arrived in Maryport in august 1969, and one of the first things I saw was the ad lib signs at netherhall corner, I though it was a good way to advertise local events, and I have enjoyed reading them over the years. Yes some of them were left to long, and some were tatty, but some were also very well done. I think they should be allowed to stay.

Posted by john mack on 24 March 2012 at 06:35

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