Welcome to your Doncaster Voices forum. If you want to get involved, submit 150 words, name, title & photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and your views may appear next week when the subject is “ How important is Doncaster racecourse to the local economy?
MARGARET HERBERT, DONCASTER RESIDENT
I was born in Doncaster. Many of my family being business people and builders in the town, some involved in the Railways and in the Police Force. I have always loved Race Week and all the events taking place, the thrills at the Race Course, the people visiting the town and it is now seems very much on the up and up especially with the construction of the new hotel, this attracts visitors from all over the world. Doncaster Rovers played a big part in my family life, Granddad and Dad being lifelong supporters. I went to The Mayor’s parties at the Mansion House when young and now am a Friend and Trustee of this wonderful building. I go to local shows but would like to see the Grand Theatre open again to give the opportunity for bigger companies to visit the town and the fact that it is situated in the town centre. I love our market with fresh fish, meat, veg etc., Due to my husband’s work we lived in Leeds for a time but Saturdays we were back to Doncaster to shop and Fish and Chips at Rothwells. Most of all I love the people.
ALISON VAINLO, LOCAL RESIDENT AND HISTORIAN
As a local historian I just love the history of the Doncaster district. We have such a rich heritage here that we should all be proud of our town. Positioned as we are, on the main route between London and Scotland, Doncaster was always a very important stopping off point for travellers. Even the Romans recognized what a strategic place this was, and they put us on the map. Some pretty amazing things have happened in Doncaster, for instance, there was a major standoff between the Royal Army and a band of rebels during the Pilgrimage of Grace at the banks of the River Don, near the present Town End in 1536. Add to that our rich railway heritage, owning the oldest British classic race in the horseracing calendar, and having only one of three surviving Mansion Houses in the country. If you scratch the surface you will find many more wonderful and surprising layers of history, all of which should bring us all much pride.
ALAN ROBINSON, EXECUTIVE PRINCIPAL AT DONCASTER DEAF TRUST
What I love most about the Doncaster region is the people, I’ve always found that Doncaster folk are a very welcoming and friendly bunch, be it in business, where companies are willing to open their doors and work with you, in local government where people are willing to hear your views and discuss the challenges you face or in everyday life where people take the time to show kindness. Our Trust has students and pupils who face many difficulties in communicating when they are out and about either because they are Deaf or have hearing difficulties or because they have difficulty in communicating because of autism, it is always great to hear when they’ve had a positive experience when they travel, shop or spend time taking part in leisure activities, this is often down to people taking the time to listen and understand their needs.
COUN NIGEL BALL, CABINET MEMBER FOR LEISURE AND CULTURE
There is so much to love about Doncaster. Whether it’s the amazing people, fantastic events, or the huge regeneration taking place in the borough. “The people of Doncaster are some of the friendliest and welcoming in the country. They work together as a community to celebrate events and have the ability to face hardship together and bounce back and always come back stronger. We have some amazing community events like the Conisbrough Music Festival. Events that showcase our talented young people such as the iSing concerts, or international televised events such as the Tour de Yorkshire, which will be enjoyed by the thousands who will line the route and the millions who will watch it on TV.
Doncaster is also going through massive regeneration. The iconic Wool Market is being transformed and will be open at the end of the year and we’re building an innovative library museum that will see some of the world’s best art and museum exhibitions come to Doncaster. Doncaster definitely is a special place.
BILL MORRISON, EAST DONCASTER DEVELOPMENT TRUSTEES CHAIR
Doncaster a borough of 220 square miles and 300,000 residents what’s not to like. We have a very diverse borough, industry to some very fine rural countryside. Coupled with a good collection of local attractions such as grand houses filed with history and treasures of yesteryear, the finest of racecourses and the jewel in our crown the Mansion House, one of only three in the country. The lendour of our Mansion House needs to be seen to be truly appreciated. A fine market though lacking in atmosphere is still a good market with the potential to be great again. With something like a third two thirds split between over fifties and those under 50 we have a diversity of views and opinions, cultures and beliefs. We live and work in reasonable harmony a situation that needs to be
nurtured and grown for all. Whats not to like about our Doncaster.
ALISON HARRIS, PHARMACIST WITH WELDRICKS, WHEATLEY HILLS BRANCH
It’s got to be Doncaster Racecourse for many different reasons, both personal and professional.
The racecourse itself brings inward investment and employment with people and businesses from all over the world attending races, events, awards dinners and exhibitions every year. I love the buzz associated with world-famous events such as the St Leger. The town really comes alive when the races are on and, since my pharmacy is close to the racecourse, we see many visitors in race weeks and meeting their varied health needs is a challenge I enjoy.
It’s a venue that holds fond memories of great times spent with friends and relatives, many of whom travel to Doncaster solely for a race meeting. This
experience is made even more fun when you bet on the winning horse of course!
Doncaster Racecourse brings people together from all walks of life; it’s a real asset to the region and helps to place Doncaster firmly on the global sporting map.
JONTI WILLIS, DONCASTER RESIDENT
What I most love about Doncaster is it’s potential as well as its history and past achievements.
Doncaster undoubtedly has many future challenges to overcome but with improving civic management I trust that Doncaster has the potential to be a place worth visiting and a place worth living in.
From its earliest times as a Roman ‘castre’ or fortified settlement on the Don through its history of industry based on coal and trade, it’s locomotive ‘Carriage Works’, St Leger Classic, one of the first International Air Races in 1909 to our recent iport project there’s a lot to be proud of but also much to look forward to. We’ve even got a great international airport on our doorstep at Finningley. (Doncaster ‘Sheffield’? Airport. What IS that about? It’s ours. It’s Doncaster Airport!)
Doncaster was a great town in the past. In truth it’s an OK town now but I’m sure with good inward investment in its amenities and infrastructure, keeping a protective eye on what fine buildings we have left, it can be a great place to work, visit and live in the future. There’s immense responsibility to achieve this on our Local Authority so we should support our civic managers as they must prioritise the long term future of our town.
LYNDSEY PARRY, DEPUTY CENTRE MANAGER FOR LAKESIDE VILLAGE
There is so much that I love about Doncaster, it has been my home for many years and there are so many good things about the place. I love a day at the races, it is great fun every time and a fantastic excuse to get dressed up, I love the shopping, of course I love the shopping. There are some fantastic, quirky and independent places to eat and drink which is great as I love trying new foods. We have a constantly changing landscape and lots of new developments that are taking place and how many people can say that they live less than a mile from 12 lions and three polar bears, it is such a strange feeling, but in an amazing way. Oh and did I mention the shopping?
* If you want to get involved, submit 150 words, name, title & photo to email@example.com and your views may appear next week when the subject is “How important is racecourse to local economy?”