Des Pawson and The Museum of Knots & Sailor's Ropework from Peter and Angela Beard
It occurred to us that perhaps, if it has not already been arranged, it would be an appropriate gesture to include in the Newsletter a thankyou note to Des Pawson for his hospitality in opening his Museum for members over a recent weekend [5, 6 and 7 August 2016].
We found the Museum to be a most interesting and a fascinating ‘treasure'. It may not be known to Members that if they missed visiting over the open weekend a special visit can always be made by arrangement directly with Des Pawson [http://despawson.com]. It is certainly well worth a visit. I attach a photograph of some of the visitors outside his original workshop.
‘The Future for Town Centre Housing' from Ann Petherick (York)
This article in your April Issue: when I came to Ipswich in 1971 I was told that the chief planning officer “did not believe in people living in towns.”
Fortunately, we've come a long way since then, although it did take a while. For example, when
I was studying town planning in Leeds in the early 1980s we were addressed by a developer who, when it was suggested he might build on the riverside, replied vehemently "nasty, dirty, smelly - rats!" Developers being a breed of sheep, so much was built on the riverside in the 90s that the Leeds market became severely overloaded.
There is a tendency to assume there is no demand for town centre housing but it is not demand which is lacking but supply. When the first upper floors conversion took place in Manchester
I asked the developers who was buying. There was a complete mix but many were retirees.
Yes, the Mint Quarter could indeed provide housing. It seems unlikely to provide shopping, as that land has now been vacant for more than 40 years, but until the owners of the land face up to that fact (or are served with a CPO) nothing will happen. It is ironic that they don't appear to have realised that residential returns have now overtaken commercial in many locations. So, not only is it possible for in-town areas to become housing, it is probably the only viable use for many sites and one which would support the remaining in-town shopping rather than undermining it.
Thank you - I enjoy the Newsletter as always.