Hack writer

Hack writer

About this blog

This blog records occasional comments affecting hack riders' use of Epsom and Walton Downs, including reports from meetings of the Conservators and the Consultative Committee. See the downs web page for more information about riding on the downs.

Meeting, 19 June 2013

ConservatorsPosted by Hugh Craddock 21 Jun, 2013 08:45:41

Arrived half an hour late owing to having absent-mindedly caught the wrong train at Vauxhall, ending up catching a 418 from Surbiton. Didn't seem to miss much: I'm told that the board was informed that discussions continue between the racecourse and the highways authority on Walton Road, and no news on the hack sand track.

Final accounts: recommendations on the accounts approved without discussion.

Downskeeper’s hut: this had been damaged during set-up for the Derby, but it was hoped to keep the hut going until replacement in September.

Issues arising from Derby meeting: the chairman said the downs looked ‘remarkably clean’ the next day. Another member commented on the report on broken glass. The contractor, CSP, had been slow to respond initially on this, but once problems had been identified, had got on with the job. The Derby meeting had been quieter than in 2012 (the racecourse had announced 120,000), although paid attendances were about the same. Part of the Lonsdale area had been unusable following rain earlier in the week. One member said the appearance of the marquees on the Tattenham Straight was aesthetically improved following the flattening works.

Saddling boxes: the racecourse had sought approval for permanent saddling boxes north of the Queen’s Stand (even if granted, 1984 Act consent and planning permission would still be needed from the Council). At present, the racecourse erects temporary boxes for the racing season, which are near the end of their life, and unsightly, and not favoured by trainers. Work would be done in time for the 2014 season if permission were given. The new boxes would be no taller than the present temporary boxes. Rules required that one-quarter of the boxes should be equipped with doors. A member described the finish facing the road as ‘horrible’, and asked about the render finish, suggesting that it should be natural timber. The chairman asked whether anyone was supporting that member, but it appeared not. The chairman said that the details of the finish could be discussed later, although it seemed that she had the planning committee in mind. The racecourse agreed to review the question of the finish, and the proposal was recommended to the council under the 1984 Act.

Round the Borough walk: permission had been sought for this event on the downs to take place on 7 September, which was agreed. A late application had been made for a sponsored treasure hunt on behalf of the Riding for the Disabled Association: the RDA had been unaware of the new procedures. This was also agreed.

And that was it. Finished at around 1900: except that the meeting continued with the public excluded (I almost said 'press and public', but it's a long time since the press can have attended these meetings) to discuss encroachments along Rosebery Road in Langley Vale.



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