‘The time has come (to quote the old slogan) for all good men (and women) to come to the aid of the party.’
We now know that the Blake Cottage Trust has no money to repair the cottage. We also know because it’s there on their website, that Tim Heath, who is the key member of the triumvirate and the chairman of the Blake Society, is still dreaming of pulling down half the cottage to erect his magnificent half a million pounds, ‘new multi functional building that will be an architectural jewel in its own right and will draw people to the village of Felpham just to see it.’
He tells us quite a lot about this building on the BCT website
http://www.blakecottage.org on ‘The Cottage’ page.
He also says that he is going to allow ‘the public’ to have ‘three forms of access.’
1) They can visit the cottage on open days.
2) Invited guests can sleep in the cottage over a short weekend or a longer week.
3) They can elect to become Friends of the Cottage and thereby receive the gifts that will be made by resident artists who will find refuge or respite in the Cottage.
He’s forgotten that he does not own the cottage, and never has, but ‘holds it in trust for the benefit of the nation’.
It seems to me that his present position needs challenging. It is a folly to allow one man to treat this property as if it were his personal fiefdom and to talk about the people who live in our nation, for whom the building is actually held in trust, as if we were all mere plebs in his kingdom, who can be allowed into the cottage when he says so and rewarded with artistic efforts that we probably wouldn’t want in the least. I know if I’m going to buy a book of poetry or a painting I would examine it very closely beforehand and wouldn’t buy it unless it appealed to me strongly. I wouldn’t take rubbish as a gift!
So what now?
I’m going to organise another public meeting for anyone in the village who is concerned about the cottage and wants to see pictures that will show them exactly what state it’s in and hear the very latest on what is planned for it. Posters are being designed, I shall run advertisements in the local press and I’ve already sent out a general invitation to the Felpham Parish Council and the Felpham Village Preservation Society.
Bring me my spear, oh clouds unfold / Bring me my chariot of fire. As our dear Blake said.