CIRCUS organisers have issued a public apology after they turned a city park into a sea of mud.
Residents near Sighthill Park said they were shocked and angry at the state of the ground as the performers of Gandey’s Circus packed up and moved out yesterday.
And one community leader compared the 3ft-deep mud to the trenches of the First World War.
The circus was based in the park on Broomhouse Road for ten days from Friday, March 30 until last Sunday.
As the departure got under way, Gandey World Class Productions issued “an open letter to the people of Edinburgh” apologising for the “damage and disruption”, blaming the bad weather and promising to work with the council to reinstate the park.
But Carol Munro, a committee member of Sighthill, Broomhouse and Parkhead community council, said: “I’m absolutely disgusted, disappointed and shocked at the condition our public park is in.”
She saw the circus trying to leave yesterday. “Lorries and trailers were getting stuck, so they had a caterpillar tractor and an ordinary tractor having to push and pull the lorries out.
“The mud was about three feet deep in places. It’s all round the play park, right up to the fence, and round the pavilion.”
She said the park had played host to funfairs in the past. “But they never caused anything like that. People are very angry. It’s a park that’s very well used. It’s very well maintained. The locals look after it. A lot of people are really upset.
“As a community council we will do everything in our power to stop them coming again.”
She said she had been told new topsoil would be put down later this month and grass seed sown, but it could take about six months for the park to get back to normal.
Community council chair Betty Milton added: “It breaks your heart. It reminds me of the First World War and the trenches. It’s absolutely dreadful. Everyone is furious.”
In the open letter, Gandey’s said: “We have been bringing productions to the wonderful city of Edinburgh for over 70 years, including the Chinese State Circus, Spirit of The Horse , and The Lady Boys Of Bangkok.
“This year we brought the Greatest Showmen tour of Gandeys circus to Sighthill Park and have just finished.
“Unfortunately the weather was against us and we have had problems with the drainage, causing some disruption,
“On behalf of Gandey World Class Productions I would like to apologise to the residents and the people of Edinburgh for the disruption and damage. Rest assured we will work with the council to get the park reinstated back to its condition as quickly as possible and apologise again for the damage. We hope to be back with an all new production next year.”
The council said the reinstatement work would be carried out as soon as possible and at the organisers’ expense.