Debbie Griffiths. Annoyingly, I couldn’t post this comment on the Huff Post site, so here’s what I think of James Ruddick’s article “History? Culture? Send in the bulldozers”:
On the whole a great article, but I’d like to make a ‘fuss’ over your claim that no-one’s batted an eyelid over this. For 20 years, Residents Against Shottery Expansion (RASE) have been fighting the battle at every corner, albeit with polite English passion! They were one of the official opponents at the legal hearing where they presented a massive legal case and rallied many of us to appeal directly to the inspector. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) didn’t bother to turn up.
After Pickles’ decision, my hubbie and I lost patience, got angry and turned to social media, setting up the Save Shottery online campaign and petition. Within weeks, we’d got the message out to people in 25 countries across the globe. The local media gave us stacks of coverage, but the only national to listen has been the Independent. Actually, we were interviewed recently for Third Sector charity magazine, but the editor decided to postpone until we know the outcome of next week’s hearing.
Yes, it’s unlikely we’ll win, but if we lose, there is still another twist in the tale. The SBT says it objects to the scheme, but has publicly refused to rule out selling the land to the developers. If we lose the appeal next week, we’d love you and your readers to join us in persuading the SBT to do the right thing – i.e. to scupper the development by refusing to sell out.