This one is for twitter friends, Facebook friends, friends old and new, fans and followers and it’s a dire and dreadful warning. You must beware of me. Take heed. I am, it appears (shock horror) political!
I can hear you laughing. What on earth am I talking about? Well apparently it is a political action to stand up on my rather rickety 85 year old legs and organise a petition to ask that Blake’s – now decaying – cottage should be repaired. People in the village are being told not to join me or to sign my petition because it would be too political to do it. When that was first said to me, I have to say I laughed because it was so ridiculous. Now it is coming at me so often and it feels so deliberate, that I am beginning to think somebody out there wants me to keep quiet and go away. Well I’ve got news for you, whoever you are I’m not going to do either. But even as I write this I remember that one of the Big Blake Project members was required to promise the leader of the Arun District Council not to do or say anything publicly about Blake’s Cottage. And that gives me pause for thought.
So let me say here and now and very clearly that there is nothing in the least bit political about asking for the cottage where Blake lived and worked for three years to be repaired and opened to the public. It is the most historic house left standing in Felpham village and Blake was one of our foremost poets. We owe it to him to keep his cottage standing.
Therefore I’m using this blog to tell you that I am going to hold a meeting in Felpham Memorial Hall on Saturday 12th November at 7pm. Where I hope to show you recent photographs taken inside the cottage. I would like you to see for yourselves what a parlous state the place is in. Entrance to the meeting will be free, and I can guarantee that nobody will pass a begging bowl around. If you live in or near the village and care about Blake and his cottage, especially if you belong to the Felpham Village Conservation Society whose very reason for existence is their avowed aim to
I hope as many of you as possible will join me at the Felpham Memorial Hall and not feel that you have got to beware of this particular old dog.
On a personal note, I have to admit that I find this opposition disquieting as well as unnecessary but I’m taking comfort from a quotation by Winston Churchill. ‘You have enemies?’ he once said. ‘Good. That means you’ve stood up for something sometime in your life.’