Letters: Newbury stand hit the right note with me; Lord Lloyd-Webber sings the praises of the new stand at Newbury.
WHEN I was writing the food review for The Daily Telegraph, one of the causes I took up was the then almost universally appalling standard of catering and facilities at racecourses.
So it was with particular interest that I snooped around the new stand at Newbury last Friday, the same day as your reporter, whose views and those of a few other misanthropes appeared in the Racing Post last Saturday.
My experience could not have been more different than your reporter's. At least three people came up to me to say this was the first time that a facility of this standard had been built for the ordinary racegoer.
The building is a marvel. Technically, to create three vast spaces without interruption by structural columns is, in itself, enough to inspire anyone remotely interested in architecture.
Then there is the use of light. The upstairs restaurant is vast, but even on the grey day of the Hennessy the quality of the light literally energised the bustling, vibrant room.
It must be remembered that this wonderful light would have been destroyed if the roof had extended further over the steppings. Frankly, the roof would have had to extend halfway across the racecourse to stop the horizontal rain that caused the punters you quoted to complain that the roof was not adequate.
On Hennessy day the word was out in posher parts of the racecourse that the new stand was the best place from which to watch the day's action. So I returned. Time and again people were saying that the combination of good, ordinary food and the general comfort and service (you can keep a table for the whole day) was unprecedented in a Tattersalls stand. In particular, people commented on the children's menu.
My wife is, of course, a fairly newly appointed director of Newbury racecourse but, frankly, if I hadn't liked this stand I would have simply kept shtoom.
As it is, I write because I would have hoped to see the Racing Post applaud a racecourse which was losing money only a year ago and which has had the balls to produce a facility for the ordinary punter that is among the best in the leisure industry.
Editor's note: The Racing Post did not express any opinion on the Newbury grandstand. Our reporter (no misanthrope he) merely did his job in a detached and professional manner by reporting the `mixed' views of others on the stand.
We, of course, accept that, although his wife is a director of the course, the delight Lord Lloyd-Webber expresses over the facilities is founded upon a similar detachment.
Lord Lloyd-Webber - "Light energised the room"
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|Publication:||The Racing Post (London, England)|
|Date:||Nov 30, 2000|
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