I’ve just got back from the Isle of Wight. I went there the Sunday before the occupation began but hadn’t been there since it started. I was helping to administer the blog and posting stuff up without really having a feel for the place so I’ve been to make amends.
The set-up is very interesting. The Vestas plant is one among many plants in a swish industrial park, all high-tech industries, very clean and white, in landscaped grounds with manicured lawns and water features. It is a far cry from the distinctly brownfield Visteon Enfield plant which I visited during their occupation.
If you go to visit Vestas you will see the Vestas plant, with the balcony familiar from the pictures, much further away from the campaigners outside than you might expect. How they get those tennis balls in there is a real feat!
In front of the now fenced off plant is a small roundabout. At some point the Assistant Chief Constable for Hampshire, a man called Pryde, has decreed that the protest in front of the plant, for reasons of public order, etc, must be no bigger than can be safely accommodated on the roundabout. So there is, literally, a small camp on a roundabout (the grassy knoll), with a gazebo containing food, an oil-drum brazier, and now a portaloo, and as many tents as can be fitted on there.
Of course, people do still mill about on the road, and the Vestas workers ‘reps’, with a campervan at their disposal, do sit down off the roundabout in front of the plant. There are banners tied to the fence outside the plant. It’s a lovely sight/site. It’s quite a trek from the centre of Newport, but you know you are getting to the right place when you see the ‘Police – slow’ signs. Well worth a visit, go on, you know you want to.
In case of an influx of visitors, more than can safely be accommodated on the roundabout, there is some camping nearby – check in at the the roundabout and ask for advice.