Good morning to all my followers. It’s that dreadful old political dog again and this time with facts and figures, all of them in the public domain, either on blog sites or in the local and national press or in a public
statement of accounts, so that you can check them all. (Incidentally, where you discover that articles in the local newspaper have been blocked, just get in touch with me. I have copies of the originals.) I’ve been asked for evidence to support what I said in my last blog, and quite right too. You need to know I’m not making it all up. So here goes.
1) For a start it must be established so that all of you know it that the Blake Cottage Trust does not own the cottage. It holds it in trust for the nation.
Blake Society website –
We are delighted to announce that on 21 September 2015, the sale of Blake’s Cottage was completed and the building was transferred into trust to be held for the nation in perpetuity.
The Guardian –
Blake’s house in Felpham, where he lived between 1800 and 1803 and penned the words to the hymn Jerusalem, has been bought for public use by the Blake Society.
2) The BCT has no money for repairs. Mr Johns admitted this to me on Monday 17th October. It is borne out by the current statement of accounts published by the charities commission. You will notice that after paying for the cottage the BCT had £1,462 in the bank.
The Blake Cottage Trust admitted it too:
With considerable assistance from the Blake Society the trust succeeded in raising £479,419 which together with a loan of £19,250 was enough to purchase Blake’s Cottage and put it into trust for the nation. At the year end the Trust had cash in hand of £1,462. Fund raising activities are continuing in earnest to fund the restoration of the cottage, and to create a visitor/research/educational centre on the site.
There should be and was a report of this year’s accounts but they seem to have disappeared. Tim Heath’s brothers would certainly have seen it and might well have taken a copy. I will ask them.
3) Since the cottage was bought, there have been several reports in the local press about funds being sought and hoped for, this one in the Chichester Observer was blocked out almost immediately after I took a copy of it this morning. Well, well! But do notice, all of this was in June and nothing has been done since.
Friday 17th June 2016 – Chichester Observer – http://www.chichester.co.uk/news/500k-plan-for-felpham-s-blake-s-cottage-1-7436133
Blake’s Cottage in Felpham is to be fully restored after a £500,000 investment was pledged this week.
Mr Johns said the trust hoped to have permission to carry out urgent repair work to the roof within days.
4) From time to time, the BCT website has got excited about their plans, but you will notice that they are no longer talking about holding the property in trust for the nation but about only allowing the public in on open days.
Blake Cottage Trust website-
The public will have 3 forms of access: Firstly, People can visit the Cottage on open days. Secondly, invited guests can stay and sleep in the Cottage over a short weekend or a longer week. And thirdly, they can elect to become Friends of the Cottage and thereby receive the gifts that will be made by the resident artists (writers, musicians, painters, printmakers, &c) who will find refuge or respite in the Cottage.
The new building will be multifunctional, having a secure space for small but important exhibitions, space for conferences, alternate space for a second residence, as well as office and administrative space.
I panned all these plans calling them ‘pie in the sky’ in article published by the Bognor Observer. But guess what! That’s been blacked out on the internet too. It makes this old dog smell a rat. Hence this poster cum ad. I hope it will appear in the local papers. I have already been told what it will cost but the local observer warned me that ‘we cant print situations that are libellous – also we wont be able to print words of criticism or claims about the trust.’ Hence this blog.
Please spread the word about my meeting, especially if you live in Felpham and belong to the Felpham Village Preservation Society. The cottage needs your help.
If you haven’t already signed it please sign the petition and bring it to the attention of as many people as you can. I am beginning to feel I am being deliberately silenced. If I really were a dog I would be running about with that rat in my mouth worrying it to death. Take heart our William. We will look after your cottage.