Saturday, 3 September 2011
As somebody who offered several thousand pounds to the Balkerne Tower Trust towards acquiring Jumbo, a few years ago, I feel I have a say in this matter. From memory the trust only raised around £20k towards the purchase, when Mr Braithwaite bought it for over £330k. The trust's campaign was a total failure and reflected the lack of interest of the majority of Colcestrians in public ownership. Those that now whine about making it a tourist attraction must be delusional. To do so would need the money to be raised to buy it from the owner - were he willing to sell it - and the wherewitall to run it at an inevitable loss. So where would that money come from then? I am fed up with the council's procrastination over this matter. I wish Mr Braithwaite every success with his plans and look forward to Jumbo being once again a landmark that we can all be proud of. At the moment it is a decaying eyesore. It will never be a water tower again. Indeed, was it ever used as such to its full capacity? The latest plans for its conversion are sympathetic to the building, as those that converted Berechurch church were. Where was the outcry about that I wonder? The basic structure will not be affected to any major degree (apart from some glazing replacing some of the tank shell). The Victorian structure will always be on view. For heaven's sake, let's get Colchester into the 21st century and kick these whining nimby dinosaurs, who oppose anybody with a bit of modern vision, Buntings, the VAF, etc. for example, into this century.