I WRITE to offer my opinion on the ‘Live n Deadly’ event at Horsham Park on Sunday September 11, after having heard nothing but complaints from so many people.
What a fantastic day! My daughter Rosie, aged seven, is a huge fan of Deadly 60 and so this was her ultimate day out. We were fortunate to get tickets and then a few days later an email followed which listed FAQs.
It was VERY clearly stated in this information that there WOULD be queues and also that wristbands (which granted access to the Live n Deadly arena) would be issued on a first come first served basis. Consequently, we left early and arrived at the park at 8am.
Yes, we had to queue and they did not open the gates until nearly 9.30 but we got our wristbands and went straight in and over to the arena for the show with Steve Backshall which was just as fabulous as we could have hoped for - animals that gave the children the ‘wow face’, Steve explaining everything in his usual amazing and genuinely enthusiastic way that held every child in silence and then there was an opportunity for children to ask questions. Brilliant!
Yes, you did have to queue for everything and I heard so many people complaining that each tent and activity should have been much bigger and that they should have had Steve on a big stage. These people have, in my opinion, completely missed the point of the experience - if you do an event like this for children on a grand scale with a huge stage, it will not work - only the first few rows would have been able to see anything at all.
Also, by making each area much more intimate, the children really were able to be up close with their idol and the animals. They were able to sit down and take instruction on how to draw a deadly doodle in the deadly art tent and in the nature tent they could rummage around in leaf litter looking in magnification boxes at creepy crawlies, use computers to look at animals and handle hedgehogs, ferrets, snakes, lizards and do worksheets outside.
‘Deadly’ staff were walking along the queues bringing animals out to see the children while they waited and were very knowledgable in answering the children’s questions and there was the display area in the centre which did several shows throughout the day. The bushcraft area over by the skatepark was fabulous also and my daughter greatly enjoyed learning to make nettle cordage.
I think people who felt hard done by would also do well to remember that this was a completely FREE event. They did not have to put their hand in their pockets at all to do any of the things on offer there. How many events can you go to nowadays where you can say that?
Well done and thank you Live n Deadly and Horsham District Council, in my opinion a job really well done.
VICKI WHITING (Mrs)
Quarry Way, Southwater