Whitchurch Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Athelstan on September 24, 2007, 09:35:02 pm



Title: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Athelstan on September 24, 2007, 09:35:02 pm
Ok, here's an off the wall idea for our town centre.... Let's have a Dr Who style Police Phone box (TARDIS). Of course it has no practical function (except perhaps tourism) but it would be an unusual, imaginative landmark (perhaps located near the new library).

Certainly the kids would love it and could act as a springboard for other ideas and events in the town.

Athelstan   


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: thewhitorg on September 24, 2007, 10:18:27 pm
Do you know where to obtain such a device and where exactly would it be located?

Phil


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Athelstan on September 25, 2007, 12:28:15 pm
There are a number of places where a box could be obtained, Phil. It depends whether we try for an original (restored or otherwise) or a replica. If we aim for a replica then we have to consider the material (I believe the original boxes were constructed mainly from concrete, which gives them durability). If however, the box were to be kept on display indoors then ofcourse materials such as plywood could be considered. As an example, there is currently a full size replica on sale on ebay:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Dw-Who-Tardis-full-size-model_W0QQitemZ150164392836QQihZ005QQcategoryZ112482QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

A number of websites are devoted to the collection, restoration and/or construction of Tardi (plural of Tardis?) and there is even a Tardis rebuilders club. It is also possible to obtain building plans that, with the help of a friendly local builder, could enable us to construct our own.

A brief search on the internet revealed these examples....

http://website.lineone.net/~civildefence/cont1.htm

http://www.redphonebox.info/myk6.htm

http://tardisboard.proboards43.com/index.cgi?board=build&action=display&thread=1147967160

With all these alternatives, perhaps a good starting point would be to ask our local police as they may be able to point us in the right direction for obtaining an original. I recall that the police have a museum located, I believe, in Glasgow, where a number of these boxes have been restored and relocated around the city as tourist attractions. It seems these boxes attract a lot of visitors.

As far as location, several places spring to mind. As I mentioned, it could be located near the new library or perhaps in the playing fields near the kids swings or even in front of our Police Station (though that's a bit out of the way). I think the local council would be more competent than I in finding a suitable site.

I believe plans are afoot to prepare a heritage trail around the town, it would certainly be an unusual feature to have a Tardis as part of it! 

 


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Doctorb on September 27, 2007, 07:32:13 pm
I would rather have a mini/crazy golf course!  ;D

It would be great for tourism, nearest one I can think of is in Bath......


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Athelstan on September 28, 2007, 01:06:04 am
Crazy/Mini Golf - now that's a really interesting idea! And you are right, come to think of it, they are few and far between. I don't know if that's a reflection of their popularity or the cost of running them (I assume they need staff).

The last one I saw was 2 years ago in a Shopping Mall in Colorado Springs. Being indoors meant it could be played during winter evenings or, in the case of our recent Summer, out of the rain!

I suppose the nearest equivalent would be the Pitch & Putt in Basingstoke. I wonder what sort of running costs it has and if it is able to cover them from the entry fees.


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: thewhitorg on September 28, 2007, 04:11:49 pm
Athelstan,

I'll invite the new Town Centre Improvements Manager to look into the matter. There is money in the SEEDA grant to the Town for improvements which will benefit the Town's Visitor Economy and includes "an innovative community centred public art initiative that will create added media interest and further raise the Town’s profile".

Phil


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: kot on September 28, 2007, 05:45:33 pm
Quote from: Athelstan on September 28, 2007, 01:06:04 am
Crazy/Mini Golf - now that's a really interesting idea!


Here's an idea that is bubbling under.
http://www.velotree.co.uk/aloadabollards.html

Perhaps it could be linked with the crazy golf idea, with each bollard being the Tee-ing off point to each hole  :D

kot


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Doctorb on September 28, 2007, 06:43:58 pm
Quote from: Athelstan on September 28, 2007, 01:06:04 am
Crazy/Mini Golf - now that's a really interesting idea! And you are right, come to think of it, they are few and far between. I don't know if that's a reflection of their popularity or the cost of running them (I assume they need staff).

The last one I saw was 2 years ago in a Shopping Mall in Colorado Springs. Being indoors meant it could be played during winter evenings or, in the case of our recent Summer, out of the rain!

I suppose the nearest equivalent would be the Pitch & Putt in Basingstoke. I wonder what sort of running costs it has and if it is able to cover them from the entry fees.


I presume the start up costs can be expensive, land, course design and type of surface. You have your basic grass putting green, felt or concrete base. Concrete if designed and built well is low maintenance (grass wears, felt rips) and easily cleaned. Good drainage and it could be played on a rainy day.

I suppose you only need one minimum wage person to hand out clubs and the general cleaning like sweeping etc. I'm sure general maintenance and repairs could be done on a voluntary basis.

Location? well any where near the Silk Mill would be good to bounce of each other. Speaking hypothetically, it could work if situated next to an existing business like the Silk Mill or a pub. The Harvest Home would be ideal with the land behind the back garden, already staffed and would bring in revenue for the Pub. You could have a little bridge going over to the first hole.....you could even have a Tardis as the maintenance/club/ball hut!


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Daniel on September 28, 2007, 06:46:34 pm
Perhaps something could be done with the Old Library? I see that it is up for sale on the HCC estates website, so, perhaps rather than half a dozen flats, someone could buy it for something more unusual?


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Doctorb on September 28, 2007, 06:48:14 pm
Quote from: Daniel on September 28, 2007, 06:46:34 pm
Perhaps something could be done with the Old Library? I see that it is up for sale on the HCC estates website, so, perhaps rather than half a dozen flats, someone could buy it for something more unusual?


An Italian restaurant would be nice!


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Daniel on September 29, 2007, 06:57:13 am
Quote from: Doctorb on September 28, 2007, 06:48:14 pm
Quote from: Daniel on September 28, 2007, 06:46:34 pm
Perhaps something could be done with the Old Library? I see that it is up for sale on the HCC estates website, so, perhaps rather than half a dozen flats, someone could buy it for something more unusual?


An Italian restaurant would be nice!


Would the smell not upset the local shopkeepers? I hear they are somewhat disagreeable to the smell of food such as Pizza?


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Athelstan on September 29, 2007, 06:43:38 pm
Quote from: thewhitorg on September 28, 2007, 04:11:49 pm
Athelstan,

I'll invite the new Town Centre Improvements Manager to look into the matter. There is money in the SEEDA grant to the Town for improvements which will benefit the Town's Visitor Economy and includes "an innovative community centred public art initiative that will create added media interest and further raise the Town’s profile".

Phil


Thanks Phil, thats much appreciated. According to the 'mission statement' you quoted, a Tardis appears to tick all the boxes (pun intended). In any event it would be quite an icon for the town with the added benefit of being low cost and low maintenence.

You may also suggest to the TCIM that, should the project go ahead, she could at some point contact the Dr. Who producers at the BBC. Many years ago I organised a large 'It's a knockout' event for my company. As part of the preparations I contacted the BBC and was very surprised by the amount of help and support they gave. It may be that similar help would be forthcoming should we 'launch' a Tardis in Whitchurch. 


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Athelstan on September 29, 2007, 06:47:32 pm
Quote from: Doctorb on September 28, 2007, 06:43:58 pm
Quote from: Athelstan on September 28, 2007, 01:06:04 am
Crazy/Mini Golf - now that's a really interesting idea! And you are right, come to think of it, they are few and far between. I don't know if that's a reflection of their popularity or the cost of running them (I assume they need staff).

The last one I saw was 2 years ago in a Shopping Mall in Colorado Springs. Being indoors meant it could be played during winter evenings or, in the case of our recent Summer, out of the rain!

I suppose the nearest equivalent would be the Pitch & Putt in Basingstoke. I wonder what sort of running costs it has and if it is able to cover them from the entry fees.


I presume the start up costs can be expensive, land, course design and type of surface. You have your basic grass putting green, felt or concrete base. Concrete if designed and built well is low maintenance (grass wears, felt rips) and easily cleaned. Good drainage and it could be played on a rainy day.

I suppose you only need one minimum wage person to hand out clubs and the general cleaning like sweeping etc. I'm sure general maintenance and repairs could be done on a voluntary basis.

Location? well any where near the Silk Mill would be good to bounce of each other. Speaking hypothetically, it could work if situated next to an existing business like the Silk Mill or a pub. The Harvest Home would be ideal with the land behind the back garden, already staffed and would bring in revenue for the Pub. You could have a little bridge going over to the first hole.....you could even have a Tardis as the maintenance/club/ball hut!


Do you think the space beside the current Skateboarding/BMX track beside the junior school could be utilised? I don't know who owns that land but there is some parking available around there. Ofcourse I don't know what the residents would think about it.   


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Athelstan on September 29, 2007, 06:56:00 pm
Quote from: kot on September 28, 2007, 05:45:33 pm
Quote from: Athelstan on September 28, 2007, 01:06:04 am
Crazy/Mini Golf - now that's a really interesting idea!


Here's an idea that is bubbling under.
http://www.velotree.co.uk/aloadabollards.html

Perhaps it could be linked with the crazy golf idea, with each bollard being the Tee-ing off point to each hole  :D

kot


I must admit, I haven't noticed this in Winchester. Is it a current project?

I do like the idea from Andover where childrens poems have been inscribed on plaques and located on walls around the town. That's something I would like to see here in Whitchurch. Perhaps an annual competition within each school with the winning poems being put onto metal plaques and placed around the town.

It would certainly promote civic pride and be a highly cost effective project that also gets involvement from local businesses. For example, each business could pay for the cost of the plaque that's located on their building.   


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Graham Burgess on September 30, 2007, 11:27:15 am
Ideas are Ok but there is a need to empower all to fully understand what peoples ideas are.At the recent Landscape Day we tried to get across some of the aspects of inerent value so as to form a basis for conservation and possible new initiatives.A small team has expressed interest in another stage focussing on the proposed Town Developements. I have been fortunate enough to have been invited to meetings with HCC and BDBC officers and they are open to our putting across ideas, so they can best serve us.It will start with a walk round town identifying locations and good and bad factors .Then ideas of improvement and the whole thing to be part of a focussed public display.Remember The Town Design Statement excellently lead by Steve Hoffman. Everyone should read that, Phil Cooper has had it up on the website for a while now.

I think we ought to have a homogenous resin set gravel surface on all the finger pathways of the Whitchurch Town Centre Hand.This would cover up a lot of the poor workmaship and multi variable paving types.

Arty indiactors to key locations could be put in the pavement surface as we did at the entrance to Testbourne where three giant fish in school colours point to key venues.If you are keen and want to add a measured input contact me anytime 892837


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Emma PT on October 02, 2007, 11:38:31 am
Hi everyone!

I've joined the bulletin board just to say how much we've been enjoying the ideas appearing in this debate. Some lovely ideas here.

Thanks to Athelstan for starting this discussion and thanks too, to the Whitchurchweb team for enabling it.

Mr. Burgess says that a 'small team' (invitation only!?) is going to walk about our town developing their own ideas. OK, but how can we be sure that ALL ideas are fairly presented to residents and not filtered out by those who prefer their own schemes? I do hope the ideas appearing on Whitchurchweb are not going to be ignored.


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Doctorb on October 03, 2007, 07:16:28 pm
I have a few reservations about the painted bollards and the Tardis.....

Reading had light blue painted lamposts that looked cheap and nasty, they faded as well. I think they will make the town look a little tacky....it would probably suit a more modern town. Personally I don't think you can go wrong with nice black bollards, if you want to spruce them up a bit you could paint a thin gold ring around them. Most of the bollards in Whitchurch are leaning and are not straight, that needs sorting out first.

As for the Tardis, putting a cheapo balsa wood copy anywhere would be tacky again. It would have to be inspired, well made and functional. Just putting it in a car park and expecting people to take an interest and turn up saying " look...a Tardis" is really a short term plan, especially when it rests on the interest on a TV programme that could easily become old hat. Now if a previous doctor lived nearby and was willing to attend now and again it would be a different story, although even that may not be something that would make it stand the test of time when looking back.

Another idea (apart from the mini/crazy golf) would be for nice traditional street furniture like Victorian style street lamps dotted around the roundabout/square. Make the area look authentic enough and interesting then you could get interest from the TV/Film industry for location work. Theale high street looks similar and has been used a few times for that reason.....


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Emma PT on October 04, 2007, 10:48:06 am
Quote from: Doctorb on October 03, 2007, 07:16:28 pm
I have a few reservations about the painted bollards and the Tardis.....

Reading had light blue painted lamposts that looked cheap and nasty, they faded as well. I think they will make the town look a little tacky....it would probably suit a more modern town. Personally I don't think you can go wrong with nice black bollards, if you want to spruce them up a bit you could paint a thin gold ring around them. Most of the bollards in Whitchurch are leaning and are not straight, that needs sorting out first.

As for the Tardis, putting a cheapo balsa wood copy anywhere would be tacky again. It would have to be inspired, well made and functional. Just putting it in a car park and expecting people to take an interest and turn up saying " look...a Tardis" is really a short term plan, especially when it rests on the interest on a TV programme that could easily become old hat. Now if a previous doctor lived nearby and was willing to attend now and again it would be a different story, although even that may not be something that would make it stand the test of time when looking back.

Another idea (apart from the mini/crazy golf) would be for nice traditional street furniture like Victorian style street lamps dotted around the roundabout/square. Make the area look authentic enough and interesting then you could get interest from the TV/Film industry for location work. Theale high street looks similar and has been used a few times for that reason.....


Actually, I think the Tardis idea would really work and I don't think anyone is suggesting a 'cheap balsa copy'. An original one would be an attractive feature and, as Dr. Who has been around for over 40 years I doubt its likely to become 'old hat' any time soon.  It appeals across the age groups and is certainly unusual.

Em


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Athelstan on October 09, 2007, 04:30:57 pm

Mr. Burgess says that a 'small team' (invitation only!?) is going to walk about our town developing their own ideas. OK, but how can we be sure that ALL ideas are fairly presented to residents and not filtered out by those who prefer their own schemes? I do hope the ideas appearing on Whitchurchweb are not going to be ignored.
Quote:


I guess this will be one of the functions of the Town Centre Improvements Manager?


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: thewhitorg on October 10, 2007, 10:03:49 pm
As I said, I have invited the TCIM to read the site - I will do so again tomorrow.

In addition there's a Steering Group for the programme (that's all the projects funded by the Councils and those funded by matching SEEDA funds). One of the key tasks of the SG is to ensure that proper consultation takes place on all aspects of the programme (which may include Graham's walk about). That doesn't mean that we start with a clean piece of paper as lots of work has been done since 2002 aqnd the funds were allocated against specific projects nor does it mean that the decisions will be made on the basis of he who shouts loudest gets what he wants (Sorry Emma he includes she). The TCIM works for the SG and will the one who organises the consultation but she isn't the decider, that is the SG.

See http://thewhitchurchweb.org/tci.htm[/url] this includes links to the page which gives the outlines of the projects that are funded by the SEEDA money and [url]http://www.thewhitchurchweb.org/tcip01.htm gives information about the planning for the council works. Since ther July meeting HCC officers ahve prepared outline costings which show that all the plaaned works can be acheived within the funds available. At the Septemeber meeting the SG asked to HCC officers to come back in November with more detailed plans and viable and affordable options for the 17 items on the list of things to be done.

Incidentally, 2 of the proposals for the "innovative community centred public art initiative" come from contributors to this board - there's still space for more!!!

Contrary to anything you may have read in election pamphlets, the projects are still on schedule and real work on the ground is expected to start from the end March.


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: kot on October 11, 2007, 09:15:51 am
Quote from: thewhitorg on October 10, 2007, 10:03:49 pm
As I said, I have invited the TCIM to read the site - I will do so again tomorrow.
Incidentally, 2 of the proposals for the "innovative community centred public art initiative" come from contributors to this board - there's still space for more!!!


This is excellent to hear.
Is there a contact name and address where we can send more detailed submissions?

kot


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Athelstan on October 12, 2007, 09:20:07 am
Greetings from one of the ‘Lynch Hill Mob’ (see this Thursday’s Gazette letters).

This is good news indeed Phil, the time frame seems logical and well thought out. Doubtless an election pamphlet will pop through my door tomorrow claiming credit for that as well! However, as that is about the only post coming through my door at the moment, I shall read it avidly!

Athelstan


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Emma PT on October 12, 2007, 11:56:45 am
Hi All,

Thanks for the update and the clear outline.

I'm so pleased that ideas are being accepted from this forum as I got the impression from Mr. Burgess this was no longer the case. 

I remember completing the survey in April and wondered if any further ideas would be accepted - it seems they are. Looks like the next milestone is November, I'm looking forward to seeing the results!

Oh, and Athelstan, shame on you! We in the valley are still coughing from the results of you hill people  ;D

Em


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Athelstan on October 12, 2007, 03:31:57 pm
Ha! I plead 'Not Guilty' Emma - and I have the compost bins to prove it!   :D


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: thewhitorg on October 12, 2007, 09:05:54 pm
I'm glad my words were of use. The time for submissions of ideas for each of the projects is to be determined as part of a detailed plan for each project.

These will be published on theWhitchurchWeb and in Update (it's one of the reasons Update was created).

"Pushing" ideas at this stage is not necessary and could be seen as coming from "someone who is trying to shout loudest".

I'll make sure that all of Whitchurch is informed of when and what the opportunities for involvement are. One key document that the SG have agreed the TCIM is to procuce is a Communications Plan which will document for all what the "rules" are


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Graham Burgess on October 13, 2007, 08:56:38 am
I think that whilst we might get great pleasure from blogging away the focus should be to create a new town centre that includes things that are substantial and to a degree pretty perisistent.Plaques from a few kids will by definition exclude most kids.If our aim is to encourage more and more creativity then the better we are at it, the more plaques will go to waste.I still have very negative feelings about the many beautiful lizard plaques that were dumped in the scholl skip at the end of one year.When we had the competition for the millennium gates Geoff Cowley won it with a great design but there is abook with the many competing designs and many of those ar every high quality.

Playgrounds are one means of getting energy out, bringing excercise and encouraging fellowship/ maybe we should start to take on board the German approach where they are designed for all age groups.The Chill Group is doing great things for the adolescents and I suspect most of the benefit comes from just getting them together under civilised conditions.No need for icons.

The best way to positively condition all age groups is to surround them with quality. A run down and  tacky environment can only lead to worsening of attitudes and standards.I have spent a lifetime in the landscape business working in al sorts of conditions and one thing in Whitchurch has mazedme. Take a location where there are more kids than anywhere else, those creatures who tend to disturb things sometime. I am talking of the internal garden at testbourne. When with Hilary Jackson and Linda Cowley we concieved and had built The Jubilee Garden we explored the concept of rocks.With some trepidation we decided to include in the section on metamorphic rocks, thsoe changed by heat and pressure, marble boulders from Carrara.We put them in loose thinking yes maybe its a nice idea to bring an Italian beach scene to Whitchurch but would they hurl them about ? They have respected them. This is a sign of the quality of our youngsters and our police patrollers will echo this.

One off events even if they are covered by the media may serve to satisfy some aspirations and have no long term valued effect. Others may in the form of a constant drip, drip turn things round.

We are a very mixed community so that which wil be really approved by most need not be adventurous at all. Most will not say what they really want and many if they see something they do not like will merely retreat into almost secret critiicism amongst kindred spirits.


Town enhancement is not to do with OBJECT it is to do with OVERALL CONTEXT.

GB Saturday 13th oct 07


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Graham Burgess on October 13, 2007, 05:36:55 pm
Dear Athelstan,
I do not know who you are and wonder if you are my long lost grandson. My real name is not Graham but Alfred.If you make contact by telephone I can tell you how I am trying to empower as many people as poss to have their say about the re-furbishments in the town.
I am not involved centrally, Working4 Whitchurch is doing that I am working as a private client (taxpayer) and as a social animal who cares about Whitchurch. The way I am working is drawn from the way I have worked my whole life with some special emphasis on landscape and how it affects human beings.
When I abandoned The John Lewis Partnership and a directorship there to come to Whitchurch I had a shop.Those of us in the town centre were under threat from forces wanting to eliminate all the car park spaces to make it much easier for people to pass through. I resurrected the old board of trade The Whitchurch Traders Association. We had 47 members and we met every month in the White Hart. One of our team did a traffic survey (unpaid) and we managed to stop the catastrophe.We had a Town Plan with walks on it and everyone advertised in it. I had a copy up at The Landscape Day with the many crosses on it of the businesses no longer with us.At that same day not just the history of what we had in the lost past but pictures of what we have now. Lots of opportunity for people to comment and make links for future comment.I then moved to Silk Mill House and no longer needed my shop.The Board of Trade submerged again and I became Chairman of the Friends of the Whitchurch Silk Mill, then a Director.Some will remember the massive displays of lights we had round the mill at Christmas and The History Day and The International Parties.My landscape skills were employed retaining the bank where people enter from the car park and where mums take their kids to feed the thousands of ducks.
My next move was to The Weir and I joined the Trustees of The Millennium Green.That has always been a super positive team. An early star was Peter Ball our first Chairman. A key thing he strove for was NO RULES, and that is what we have . The rules are what people expect for themselves.The challenge for the meadow management is to get a mix acceptable to those who want un bridled Nature and those who want Park.My landscape skills have been employed in the bus bay at Testbourne which apart from one whitebeam which aspires to be the leaning tower of Pisa (another Italian connection) it is an example of how tree planting can work in youngster challenging environment.Nearby three fishes in school uniform point the way to Theatre; Sports Hall and the possible new location for the school main entrance.The Jubilee Garden is one of the finest landscapes in Europe the creation of which included local sponsorships and wide ranging support. It is high quality aesthetically and very practical.If anyone has the means of further improving it please get in touch.
I was involved with Steve Hoffman in his valuable Town Design Statement.I keep saying everyone should read that and learn how the information was gathered.It is on Phil Cooper's website and there is a copy in the library.

In case you are wondering why certain bits glow in this text. I am tantalised as an old-fashioned bloke in all the possibilities and this is my first exploration. I would like to be taught a bit more about it.

Athelsatn please come out of the SHADOWS and reveal your real name.

Alfred






Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Emma PT on October 16, 2007, 12:50:14 pm
Good to hear Athelstan!

Has the TCIM seen the site yet? What did she think of it?

EM


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Athelstan on October 16, 2007, 08:35:14 pm
Graham/Alfred

I doubt I am a long lost grandson. What I know of my ancestors is that one was a Highwayman who was hung for his crimes and had a song written about him. Another served in the New Jersey Supreme Court although ironically no song has emerged.

Perhaps it’s easier to sing about bad things than good which nicely reflects your comment that people may not say what they really want as negatives can be easiier expressed than positives.

I agree with what Emma and others have said that this website has been a welcome forum for people to suggest their ideas for the town. Phil has done a good job in facilitating this discussion and dealing with ideas in a supportive, objective manner.

The original posting in this particular thread was not intended as a debate about visions or mission statements, that is already complete. We have an SG and a TCIM and, as we have seen, they will deliver a consultation in due time. 

In the meanwhile, this site is welcoming ideas. I hope more will be forthcoming.

I appreciate your comments concerning the poetry plaques and I agree it will exclude some kids. Just as not every child enjoys poetry not every child enjoys sport or ‘the great outdoors’. Is that an argument to close playing fields or ban sporting competition? This is where fear of the word ‘exclusion’ can lead us.

Instead, let’s see this idea as an incremental improvement. It’s not intended to replace other events/activities. If these plaques work as an innovative, fun way of encouraging artistic endeavour and if it promotes the language of Shakespeare for a few youngsters, then it surely is worth consideration.

A voluntary competition could held in each school with the entries posted in the library. Judging would yield 2 winners per year or 20 plaques in the course of a decade - something which could be easily accommodated in our town. It’s a low cost, high value measure which I hope the families as well as the children themselves would find pride in.

In the end it’s up to the head teachers to evaluate this idea, they are the experts. If they feel it is divisive or irrelevant, then we do not pursue it. It costs nothing to ask.
     
If you were to see my garden you would know immediately that I have zero knowledge or expertise in an area you clearly excel at, landscaping.  This is clearly your focus and I congratulate your efforts. Beyond this, I would add that one area making Whitchurch look generally run down are the number of economically inactive buildings in the town centre. I am thinking now of the buildings on London Rd, and the empty shop on Newbury St.

Although I have one or two thoughts about this issue, as they are in private hands a different approach is needed and is beyond the scope of this particular thread.

As far as my real name is concerned? I wasn’t aware I was in any shadows, nor am I interested in personal grandstanding. As a social animal I enjoy the two laws of the jungle: “Stand out if you want to attract a mate, hide if you don’t want to be eaten.”  ;D

All the best,


Athelstan


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Markus on October 17, 2007, 11:39:10 am
I think the golf idea is good, I also like the Tardis.


Title: Re: Idea for a town centre enhancement
Post by: Graham Burgess on October 22, 2007, 10:36:04 pm
Dear Athelstan
I am quite involved in educational matters and my training in industrial psychology and advertsiing has left me with the firm view that one should never talk down to children. Nor should one ever under estimate them. I could not draw until I was 35 yrs of age becuse my art teachers did not really know that the main impediment to anyone drawing is that they think they cannot. I can now teach folk to draw in 30 minutes.Whereas at Manchester Grammar I got 1 out of 100 for drawing it is now  a powerful start point for many of my deals.

When we had the Landscape Day Mike Steade set up a modern bit of computer kit so we could show the hundreds of pictures taken a few weeks before of Whitchurch. What we want to celebrate the output of the young (and older) is on-screen images.

I do like competitions ( is it old fashioned in school speak ?) Our millennium gates were th result of a competiton I think I have said this already .The winner is great but so much other good stuff is hidden in one file that no-one sees.

A sensible shop could have such a screen as part of their shop window, it would attract people and they would possibly become shoppers.

When it comes ot the landscape we are rooted in history so we should have very good examples of that, its value is perceptible to all age groups. Entertainment and recreational elements are subject to short-term fashion so it is more difficult to include them. There is the negative correllation that if one generates a high level of creativity and output one cannot express it in limited space.

Re your name I have just published a book on the real meaning of the letters in the English alphabet. Go to Lulu.com and in the section under alphabet page three you will find it. It is only Ł5.00 Why is the letter A at the beginning of the alphabet ?

The ancients said that if you were lucky you grew into your name so it was considered very unlucky and bad karma to hide your name or even shorten it.My book hints that the latter is definitely true.

I agree about those dead businesses. I have thought about re-opening a shop, I had one once where the kebab house is. Prince Charles was going on about a special window treatment so Itried it. For years you could have thrown a bucket of mud over the windows and it just fell off.

tangent.  Anyone interested in development shoud read Charles Landry.
Regards
Graham







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