THE STRATFORD Herald today took the very first spin on the town’s new Big Wheel which is up and ready for its first paying customers tomorrow, Saturday 1st April.
The controversial 35-metre structure has divided opinion in town – love it or loathe it – but now the talking is over for the time being and the wheel turns for the first time at 10am.
As final preparations took place on a sun-blessed Friday afternoon on the Recreation Ground a small number of curious passers-by gathered at the foot of the construction as it prepared to turn its first revolution.
Herald editor Amanda Chalmers and photographer Mark Williamson were officially the first to ‘give it a whirl.’
Find out Amanda’s verdict in the Herald Viewpoint column next week.
“I think it’s very tastefully done, I thought it was going to be quite gaudy but it’s not,” Kate Bishton of Stratford said.
Her mum Jean Watts – also from Stratford – said the wheel was a nice way to see the sights of the town.
“I’ve been on the wheel in Weston and it was fun. I think it will draw people to the town,” Jean said.
Seventy-nine-year-old Robert Wilcox said he thought it looked all right but didn’t think he would be going for a ride because of his age.
However, even as the clock ticks down to the first ride, the wheel continues to draw stinging criticism from some quarters.
A resident who lives nearby to the wheel’s location said: “I am speechless about it. We opposed this from the start and thought we would win and while it might look OK during the day at night it’s going to be lit up. I still object to it.”
The big wheel is in place for six months and is a temporary structure.
if you plan to take a ride on the wheel this weekend – or have an opinion on how this latest addition fits into the Stratford skyline – let us know what you think at: firstname.lastname@example.org
See next Thursday’s Herald for a full report and reactions.