Aim must be to preserve gems

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?

ION CASTRO

Braybrooke Road