I decided to volunteer to help at the Torchlight Procession in Goring, which takes place every year on Christmas Eve. What it showed me, not for the first time, is that in every organisation, there are always people who say “it can’t be done”.
Going along to the first/only marshals’ meeting, the first point raised was how bad the mud track to the field was and could be dangerous to let people go along there in the dark. Second point was then “So we should probably cancel it!”. I was amazed, I must say. The Torchlight Procession has been going on every year for at least as long as I have been in Goring, 11 years, so to say we should cancel it because of a bit of rain and mud was ludicrous!
So my intervention was clear, and those of you who know me will wonder how I managed to stay quiet as long as I did!
“The question is not whether, but HOW we can make sure it takes place. What do we need to do to make it safe?” Unhelpful comments about the meadow was “uneven”; the entrances were too narrow and too muddy; it was too cold; no-one was coming anyway, etc., etc. The normal doomsayers.
But by reminding them of “HOW”, we were able to thrash out contingency plans for the evening and it passed off perfectly, with only a couple of minor incidents.
After my stand in the meeting, my friend Jules gleefully informed me “That’s another thing you’ll be running next year!”.