Monday, 23 February 2009

Who's for a pint?

Our attention has been drawn to the fact that we are gradually losing our pubs. Over 20 have gone in Colchester in 20 years and the most recent, the Sun at Lexden, the Robin Hood, the Bell at Old Heath, face an uncertain future. The Sun especially is a very old building and it would be a tragedy if it succumbed to destruction by the inevitable vandals. But is it any surprise when Labour's Nanny State has been instrumental in this decline? The banning of smoking was the final nail in the coffin. Who in their right minds wants to go to a pub where you have to stand out in the cold to have a cigarette. It's not very welcoming is it? You are better off staying at home with beer at a third the price from Sainsbugs where you can smoke as much as you like. And what happened to all those meanspirited whiners who said that they would be more inclined to go to the pub if smoking was banned. I don't know of one. Do you? No. They are all still sitting smugly at home, happy that smokers have been taught a lesson. They are probably quite pleased too that pubs are in decline - all due to their selfish whining about inhaling people's smoke. Funny old world innit?

What a Circus!

It comes as no surprise that Taylor Wimpey, armed with their planning approved Sergeant's Mess and Roman Circus starting gates, they want to sell it on for somebody else to develop. They are clearly strapped for cash, as are many others in the house building industry at the moment, so they will settle for £800,000. How much did they buy the site for I wonder? Something like £80,000 I am led to believe, so it will not be a bad return on their investment. The problem is, they have managed to get Colchester Borough Council to allow them to section off the starting gates so that they can never be turned into a tourist attraction. CBC positively rolled over on their backs and asked for a tickle when the plans came to committee. It bordered on the sycophantic to hear the reverence given to the applicant. It was almost an apology for inconveniencing them. Not one of the planning committee voiced any concern at this sectioning-off of our scheduled ancient monument. Their names? Councillors: Mary Blandon, Peter Chillingworth, Barrie Cook, Mark Cory, Stephen Ford, Wyn Foster, Ray Gamble, Chris Hall, Sonia Lewis. Remember those names in any future heritage matters. History will judge them.

So, has anybody got £800,000 so that we can buy back the remains of the only Roman circus in Britain?