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Crawley bandstand set to re-open with performance from local band

The Crawley Millennium Concert Band will play on the bandstand from 1-3pm for the re-opening on Saturday.

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After being moved from Queens Square to make way for the regeneration works in 2016, locals have long been awaiting the comeback of the town’s Victorian bandstand.

It now looks as though that wait is over as the bandstand will be reopened on Saturday (16 June) with a performance from the Crawley Millennium Concert Band.

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The bandstand, which has been relocated to the Memorial Gardens, has been refurbished and restored to its former beauty by Leander Architecture, a specialist decorative blacksmith.

The work, which has been funded by Crawley Borough Council, West Sussex County Council and the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, includes:

  • Repairs to the columns, arches and roof
  • Repairs or replacements of decorative castings
  • Three new balustrade panels to match the existing ones
  • A new feature for the apex of the roof
  • Fresh paintwork.

The Crawley Millennium Concert Band will play on the bandstand from 1-3pm on the day and chairs for spectators will be available on a first-come, first served basis.

A spokesperson for Crawley Millennium Concert Band said:

“We are delighted to be representing musicians of Crawley who will make use of the historic bandstand for years to come. Community music is a big part of the Crawley culture and our bandstand is the perfect place to share this musical legacy.”

The bandstand was first constructed for Gatwick Racecourse in 1891 so started its life in green surroundings – before being moved from Queens Square in 2016.

Councillor Chris Mullins, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said:

“The restored bandstand looks wonderful in its new setting.

“I’m really looking forward to the opening event on Saturday; the Crawley Millennium Concert Band always give a fantastic show and it’s fitting that they will be giving the first performance.”

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Crime

Two jailed after attempt to smuggle 8.5kgs of cocaine through Gatwick

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK”, says Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South.

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The drugs, which had been wrapped in plastic and hidden inside boxes marked ‘rum’, weighed approximately 8.5kgs.

Two men from Barbados are facing a total of 13 years in jail after pleading guilty to attempting to smuggle an estimated 8.5kgs of cocaine into the UK.

On 1 September, Border Force officers stopped 62-year-old Grantley Herbert Thompson, and 30-year-old Jamal Ricardo Walcott, in the customs channels at Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal. Both had arrived on a flight from Barbados.

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During a search of their baggage officers discovered a white powder, wrapped in green plastic, and hidden inside boxes marked rum. The powder was subsequently tested and gave a positive reaction to the field test for cocaine. The cocaine had an estimated street value of £535,000.

Chris Capel, Assistant Director of Border Force South said:

“This was a deliberate, if unsophisticated attempt to smuggle dangerous Class A drugs into the UK and I commend the Border Force officers whose work ensured that Thompson and Walcott are now behind bars.

“Illegal drugs have a significant impact on our society, being the root cause behind countless burglaries, thefts and robberies. They are also used as a commodity by organised criminals linked to violence and exploitation of the vulnerable.

“We continue to work with our colleagues from the National Crime Agency (NCA) to do all we can to stamp out this despicable trade and bring those responsible to justice.”

The case was referred to the NCA and Thompson and Walcott were charged with importation of a class A drug.

62-year-old Grantley Thompson.

On Thursday, 11 October the pair appeared at Croydon Crown Court where they admitted the smuggling attempt. Both were sentenced to six years and six months imprisonment immediately.

30-year-old Jamal Walcott.

The Government’s Serious Violence Strategy, which was launched in April, aims to combat the devastating impact drugs have on levels of serious violence.

It also highlights a strong link between drugs and serious violence and the related harm and exploitation from county lines. The Government has set out the action it will take to tackle this violent and exploitative criminal activity. The action of Border Force to stop drugs before they get into the country forms a key part of this work.

Border Force officers use hi-tech search equipment to combat immigration crime and detect banned and restricted goods that smugglers attempt to bring into the country.

Nationally, they use an array of search techniques including sniffer dogs, carbon dioxide detectors, heartbeat monitors and scanners – as well as visual searches – to find well-hidden stowaways, illegal drugs, firearms and tobacco which would otherwise end up causing harm to local people, businesses and communities.

Anyone with information about activity they suspect may be linked to smuggling should call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or go to https://www.gov.uk/report-smuggling

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