Yesterday afternoon I gave a talk to the local Probus group in the Inglenook at Pagham and a happy occasion it was. They’re a lovely friendly group and made me very welcome. and listened with great attention while I told them the story of Blake’s trial for sedition and how the villagers perjured themselves to get him off.
During the course of it I showed them pictures of the cottage as it was, and Blake’s little drawing of it and one of the pictures that were taken of the inside of the place the last time we were allowed to visit it. They were shocked by the state it is in and some of them came up to talk to me afterwards to ask what could be done about it, suggesting that the English Heritage might step in – Oh how I wish they would! – and wondering whether there was a local organisation that would stand up for the place.
So I told them about the Felpham Village Conservation Society and how their leader wouldn’t allow me to meet up with the members and tell them what was going on – or not going on – and how consequently none of them were taking any action about it, even tough they are the only ones who could. They thought that was terrible and I had to agree wit them that it was. And that made me think that I ought to make one more attempt to stir them into action.
When I got home I looked up their website again. And there they were, still proclaiming that their motto is ”Preserve, Protect, Promote” and describing themselves in these splendidly philanthropic terms.
”The Felpham Village Conservation Society exists to conserve the historical, cultural and aesthetic significance of our built and natural environment. We are nonpolitical and inclusive, having an open membership to every householder living within the Parish and those from without who use and value our facilities and environment. We seek to protect what is good, to improve those things that fall short and to enhance our community wherever possible.”
It made me grieve. They are such well meaning, excellent people and they’re having the wool pulled over their eyes by one powerful man who wants to believe that everything in the garden is rosy
So now here I am making one last attempt to get help for our special cottage before it is condemned and pulled down.
This is an appeal to anyone in the FVCS who follows my blog., particularly if you take your motto seriously. Please could you contact me. Time is running out for our historical cottage and you are the only people with enough clout to do something about it. One old woman like me can be pushed to one side, belittled and ignored. A prestigious local organisation could not.
Please give this thought and get in touch.
My fingers are crossed.