I DO have to agree with Bob Hart’s letter last week, ‘Structures need to be listed’.
I too thought that it was the primary function of the Old Hastings Preservation Society (OHPS), to preserve worthwhile aspects of our built environment, and I don’t mean dash off a quick letter of objection when a significant building is under threat, stand by and watch the wanton destruction and then put on an exhibition celebrating what’s been lost.
I quote directly from the constitution, and this is the first clause, so presumably the most important:
“(A) (1) To promote the permanent preservation for the benefit of the Nation of buildings of beauty or historic interest, and in particular, such buildings in the County Borough of Hastings.”
As a former trustee (I was on the board of the OHPS for 12 years), I recall that any attempt to discuss any form of listing ended up being sidelined. The OHPS is a very wealthy organisation – it was reported at the AGM less than a fortnight ago that the organisation had ‘tangible assets’ of more than £400,000 which included some £90,000 in investments and more than £54,000 in the bank so I question the morality of asking for a grant when grant funds are finite, if the OHPS gets a grant then necessarily, another organisation, probably less wealthy, doesn’t.
I often wondered, what to the majority of the members of the OHPS think? Do they think that our wonderfully diverse townscape is safe because the OHPS is looking after it?