24 September 2011
Marchers walking up the now pedestrianised St Albans Road that used to run through Hatfield Town Centre.
Marchers reach White Lion Square, Hatfield Town Centre. The White Lion was the name of an old pub in the Hatfield New Town built after the arrival of the railway in 1850. It was demolished in the 1950s to make way for the current (and now sadly run down) Hatfield Town Centre.
Marchers attend the meeting at White Lion Square.
Another view of the White Lion Square crowd.
Crowd view looking towards The Arcade. The placard in the background reads: "Dust to Dust, Ashes to Ashes, Is that our future? Thanks to Veolia, RIP". The one in the front has politely resorted to using French to get its point across.
Leading the crowd in song with an adapted version of 'John Brown's Body'.
Another section of the crowd.
Placard condemning Hertfordshire County Council. Increasingly questions are being asked about quality of decision making and the conduct of Hatfield representatives on the county council – Clare Berry (North Hatfield), Stuart Pile (South Hatfield), and Bill Storey (Hatfield Rural). A LibDem bid to exclude New Barnfield on the grounds that it was next to a special needs school was defeated by the Conservative majority in 2009. The local press reported that Cllr Berry actually spoke against the motion. While Cllr Pile is reported in 2010 as saying he was 'not convinced' the incinerator posed a health risk.
One of the many homemade and heartfelt placards. A belching incinerator behind a road-sign-style barred marking.
A more 'adult' themed placard with matching costume.
Save Our Newt placard. Refers to the discovery of endangered Great Crested Newts at Bunchleys Pond in 2009 (hopefully, more than one otherwise its future isn't bright even without an incinerator). However, a multinational corporation prepared to spend hundreds of millions (and presumably get much more in return) with 'tame' local authorities to deal with isn't going to be put off the scent easily.
No to the Incinerator placards.
The four political party speakers on stage. Left to right: Grant Shapps MP (Conservative); Dr Paul Zukowskyj (LibDem), Jill Weston (Green Party) and WHBC South Hatfield Councillor Kieran Thorpe (Labour). The dilapidated state of the building behind shows the rather dire state of the town centre.
Grant Shapps, Welwyn Hatfield's Conservative MP and frontbencher, was booed when he took the microphone. Not entirely surprising, given that Hertfordshire County Council, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council and Hatfield Town Council are all Conservative controlled and are either actively promoting the incinerator in Hatfield or appear to be doing very little to prevent it. However, as befits his status as a high ranking Conservative party member, he soon appeared to win most of the crowd over (and even stayed on to take part in the Zumba dance display at the end).
The crowd gets ready for the balloon release (although as can be seen from the earlier pictures some were early).
Balloons at the ready.
First balloons away.
More balloons get underway.
Balloons rapidly getting smaller.
Balloon release completed – now only visible as small specks.
The most of the crowd begins to disperse.
Some stayed to either take part or watch the Zumba display.
Others stayed for the face painting or to find out more about HAI's campaign.