Traders call for rethink over “parasitic” Convention

Date: Monday 31st July 2017

KESWICK businesses are urging organisers of the town’s annual religious Convention to change the dates of next year’s event amid claims that it adversely hits trade.

The three-week event, which was first held in 1875 and is organised by Keswick Ministries, usually begins a week before the summer break, but it has been revealed that next year it will fall wholly within the school holidays.

A meeting of the town council was packed with angry traders, who said takings dropped between 20 and 90 per cent. during the Convention, and urged Keswick Ministries to have a change of heart for the benefit of the town.

They highlighted the importance of the summer holidays to the town’s takings, because it was traditionally the busiest time for visitors. But holidaymakers found it difficult to find somewhere to stay with so many conventioners in town.

Antique shop owner Brian Price said: "I've got nothing against people who are conventioners and I’ve got nothing against religion, but I do object to the event becoming a parasite on the town — it’s a parasitic event.”

Full story in Saturday's paper