Archive for June, 2010

Heritage Wrecker Award: Martin Harmon for Bulldozing 17th Century Gridley’s Cottage

I feel those who destroy our landscape and  heritage should get their own award. Society doesn’t make their lives easy, with its restrictions and laws and general peskiness about preserving history. Few people understand that it’s hard work ruining our heritage, so let’s show those who have committed their lives to this difficult task some love and recognition, I say! And let’s start with Mr. Martin Harmon.

Langham villagers furious as house is reduced to rubble

A picturesque thatched cottage has disappeared from a village street scene – just one day after developers gave planners four weeks’ notice of their intention to demolish it.

Rather than starting small and flattening some old wall in his garden, Mr. Harmon reached for the stars and bulldozed down 17th century Gridley’s cottage  in Langham. Well, he didn’t do it himself, so we have to deduct some points, but he did so without waiting for the approval of his application by Colchester Council, and so he really deserves this award.

Outstanding work, good Sir, bravo! Look at the result  – how could anybody deny the positive impact of Mr. Harmon’s actions?

BEFORE

Gridley's Cottage in 2009, picture by Andrew Stacy

AFTER

Residents in front of the pile of rubble

Unfortunately Mr. Harmon, like most great visionaries, was greatly misunderstood by local authorities who blocked his ambitions and threw out his plans:

Langham: Gridleys’ developer must think again

They criticised the road-facing position of Mr Harmon’s chosen design, its “block” form, proportions and visual impact, adding such a property would “undermine the historic, cultural and local associations with the site and the historic character of the location”.

Our hearts go out to Mr. Harmon. Maybe he could set up a tent on the rubble for the time being…?

Neither Mr. Harmon nor his agent in this matter, Mark Perkins of Mark Perkins Partnership in Langenhoe, wish to comment on the incident. How unfortunate. We would have loved to give them their award personally.

19 June, 2010 at 8:54 pm Leave a comment

Act Now: Pepys’ favoured Georgian Sheerness Dockyard in Danger!

SAVE Britain’s Heritage‘s work is, unfortunately, never done, and this time they fight side by side with The Georgian Group and World Monument Fund Britain for the Georgian Sheerness Dockyard in Kent. Samuel Pepys was very fond of the place, and I feel like he’s frowning mightily at the moment!

Please take a moment to read this entry and also the full information on the SAVE website HERE; the more people know about this and protest, the bigger the chance that not yet another part of our Naval heritage is going down the drain.

WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

“The area at risk is a spectacular Regency residential quarter hidden within Sheerness Dockyard in Kent. The enclave includes a Regency Terrace – five Grade II* listed houses, Dockyard House – an elegant mansion, and a series of other buildings all dating from the 1820s. It is believed to be the largest group of vacant II* listed domestic buildings in the south of England.”

Sheerness Dockyard House, picture courtesy SAVE Britain's Heritage

“This site, which holds the key for the regeneration of the entire historic dockyard as well as the wider region, is
subject to a massive development proposal, involving the breaching of the listed dockyard wall and the construction of 3 new blocks of flats. The entire dockyard hit the headlines in October 2009 when it was included in the World Monuments Fund 2010 Watch, an international call to action on behalf endangered heritage sites worldwide. The dockyard was nominated by SAVE with the backing of a number of leading heritage campaigners including Dan Cruickshank and Gavin Stamp.”

Please click here for more information.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

There are many ways you can help:

You can support SAVE financially

You can write to the authorities in charge and hey, why not start at the top? Since the last elections, the MP in charge is Gordon Henderson. You can find his contact information here. Mr. Henderson is a member of the Conservative Party, so he might as well help conserve what we have… Miss Collingwood, so I heard, is already reaching for paper and quill to voice her concerns.

Spread the word! This is the age of the internet, my friends – tweet / retweet and facebook and journal and blog about this till your keyboards and iPhones melt! The more voices, the bigger the chance of being heard:

SAVE on Twitter

THE GEORGIAN GROUP on Twitter

SAVE on Facebook

THE GEORGIAN GROUP on Facebook

17 June, 2010 at 10:04 pm Leave a comment


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