Roman Road Festival 24th July


Local legend has it that when they were digging the foundations for The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, they came across a whole cohort of Roman Centurion skeletons, but because deadlines were pressing and the stadium had to be finished in time for Usain Bolt, the contractors just chucked the bones in a skip and sent it off to some landfill site.

The Archeologists didn’t get a look in.

How the ‘local expert’ who told me that story was able to identify the remains as ‘Roman Centurions’, as opposed to ‘Plague Victims’, ‘Iceni Warriors’ or just plain ‘Poor Folk’ is a little beyond me. Maybe they were interred in a traditional Roman self storage facility (Atticus Selfus Storagicus) complete with their own Latin name badges; or perhaps they were buried in a square formation with their shields linked and those long pike things sticking out of the chinks; or maybe I’m just overthinking things.

But there is a reason for my Roman-themed blog.

This coming Sunday, the 24th of July (the month named after Julius Caesar) sees the return of The Roman Road Summer Festival – which Attic Self Storage are proudly sponsoring for the third year running.

Looking at the flyer, it promises to be a vibrant street party full of fun and games for the whole family. And although the road is Roman you may be relieved to hear that the entertainment won’t be.

Instead of a Bacchanalian feast with writhing naked bodies, wine on tap and a slave orchestra, there’s street food and DJs.

Rather than Gladiators hacking chunks out of one another or Christians being fed to lions, there’ll be children’s workshops and street games.

Sadly there isn’t a spectacular chariot race planned, even though there are enough mobility scooters in the E3 area to run a very interesting OAP event with knives on the wheels and everything.

You can, however, look forward to a Designer Maker Market, Music, Bingo, Guided Walks and a Cockney Corner. (I have no idea what a Cockney Corner is but I’m assuming it some kind of stall manned by Pearly Kings and Queens where you can buy jellied eel with a Gregory or flash a Pony and get a Godiver in change, gawd bless ‘em).

I might even join one of the guided walks along the Roman Road that’s on offer. I’ve got this theory I’m working on, you see.

They told me at school that the Romans built straight roads because it allowed them to get from A to B quickly and defeat their enemies by virtue of their increased manoeuvrability, superior weaponry, carefully drilled tactics and pasta-fuelled bravery.

However, if you’ve ever tried walking up the Roman Road on a blustery day, you’ll know how this theory has one huge flaw: the wind.

The Roman Road wind blows stalls over, airlifts empty plastic bags and inside-outs umbrellas on a regular basis. There’s no way a bunch of Italian guys carrying heavy shields, swords and helmets would be able to walk straight into that gale force. They’d go down like skittles, while the skinny dude holding the SPQR banner would be blown all the way back to The Forum.

Which is when, I guess, Boudicca and her Celtic tribes-people would rush out of the woods and put them all to the sword.

Which might explain all those skeletons in the Olympic Park.

There. My historically dubious story has come full circle. All that’s left for me to do now is to wish you a pleasant weekend. If you are planning on coming to The Roman Road Summer Festival I hope you have a lovely time and that the weather stays positively Mediterranean.

And even if it doesn’t, you know what they say – Carpe Diem!

Your Friendly Local Self Storage Manager and Latin Scholar,

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