My Festival: A Stroud view
The Cheltenham National Hunt Festival attracts tens of thousands of visitors every year, but if you stopped people in Stroud, would they be lovers of the event or not? We find out.
As the event itself virtually takes over Cheltenham for a week, we want to find out how far the ripple spreads around the rest of the county.
In Stroud itself, it's quite easy to find those who share in the excitement of the National Hunt Festival...
"I think it's a great thing. It brings lots of people into the area, gives people in the area lots of business...I'm all for it."
"It's just a fantastic meeting. It gets people together, they all have a great time and it's good for the area."
"It brings lots of people into the area. Everywhere's much busier - all the restaurants and bars and things and it brings a lot of money into the area. I'm not a great fan - I have been to the races but not the Gold Cup."
"Doesn't affect me"
But you can also find those who don't care for it...
"Well I don't really know much about it. I've been here for nine years and don't really notice it."
"I don't go near Cheltenham because I live in Stroud and I don't go to the races so it doesn't affect me at all."
But how does it actually affect the lives of those who live in the Stroud valleys? One lady shared a problem she'd encountered...
"We've got people coming down from Spalding to put in a potato grader and we can't find anywhere for them to stay! Everywhere's fully booked."
Whilst we also heard about the impact on the lives of a set of parents..
(Husband) "My son goes over there, wasting his money!" (Wife) "It's his birthday so that's how he always celebrates."
But there are those who just love to stay in and watch it all from a distance...
"I quite enjoy the races but I don't go over there, I just watch it on television. It's quite enjoyable and brings in the crowds."
"I watch it on telly but I don't go there. I think it's a great thing for the county - brings in a lot of visitors from abroad, Ireland especially."
Finally for David Ireland, who runs the Stroud Vintage Fashion Fair, it's a great time of the year for fashion...
"We have people coming in buying fabulous twenties dresses to look stunning in the enclosure; waistcoats for the chaps, cravats, tie pins - you name it, they love it!"
What is 'My Festival'?
It's a BBC Gloucestershire series, on the radio and online, reflecting how the annual Cheltenham National Hunt Festival impacts on the rest of the county.
How does it affect you? Whether you're planning on going or not, we'd love you to capture a snapshot of what it means to you and email that photograph to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or simply just tell us in words by filling in the form below...
last updated: 11/03/2009 at 14:57