A thorn in the side of the museum

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I RECENTLY visited the exhibition of Albert Goodwin’s atmospheric watercolour paintings at the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery.

I was well aware of this delightful show, and of others, as I am a long-standing (if out-of-town) member of the Museum Association and a subscriber to the Observer, with long links to the borough.

Unfortunately my Sunday enjoyment was marred somewhat as I couldn’t fail to notice a very tall, thick, thorny, well-established bramble, which had forced its way through the slatted area of the commemorative bench donated in 1992 to the museum in memory of my parents, Leonard and Eileen Scrivens.

The bramble was holding up well in the strong wind and, because of its size, was clearly visible from a distance. Couldn’t someone have removed it? What must visitors think? I had thought the bench would be of use.

My husband, not having secateurs with him, did his best to ‘bend’ the bramble back through the slatting, but I suspect it has probably ‘re-established’ itself since.

Would a member of the council staff please clear away this vigorous vegetation, plus rubbish accumulated beneath the bench?

I don’t think my request is unreasonable as the bench is currently unusable and appears uncared for.

I am reminded of one of Edward Lear’s ‘nonsense’ verses, Lear, of course, having strong, affectionate ties to Hastings:

There was an Old Lady whose folly,

Induced her to sit in a holly;

Whereon by a thorn, her dress being torn,

She quickly became melancholy.

CYNTHIA WRIGHT

Staveley Road

Eastbourne