15 May 2009
I would like to set a few things straight for Graham Taylor regarding his letter, (Blue Plaque rules need to change, April 30).
|t was I who formed the idea of the blue plaque scheme for Southwark. It was not set up to honour the nationally famous figures insufficiently commemorated in the borough, as he incorrectly states. I'd have thought that just about every Southwark resident is aware of Shakespeare, Dickens, Michael Caine and Tommy Steele's connections to Southwark anyway.
Although he is correct by saying that the English Heritage blue plaques are intended for persons of historic significance. And to qualify for one of them the subject has to be dead or the place nominated still standing. As most of Southwark got wiped out in the war this would have made their scheme impossible to implement.
Our blue plaque scheme was intended to remind people of the places, events and characters that make this borough the unique place it is today. That means, Mr Taylor, such events as the bombing of Stainer Street, the local tradition of Manze's pie shop and the Peek Frean factory, to name but three. And if we have living people who have put us on the map then let's celebrate it. This is our heritage our way, not English Heritage's way and there is nothing wrong with that. We are not a guide-book joke, although some of the new developments do admittedly make me laugh with their cod-historic associations.
I voted for Father Nick Richards' plaque. I am not an Anglican, nor do I regularly attend church. I am female and did not have any qualms with his beliefs on women in the church (not his 'opposition to women' as Mr Taylor wrongly puts it); each to their own, I say.
However, I did vote for him because he was dedicated to Rotherhithe and Bermondsey, loved its history and did much to preserve it. I attended his funeral along with hundreds of others, mostly locals, who loved him just as he was. I am disgusted by Mr Taylor's slurs on Fr Nick's character regarding drink/driving. It is very easy to accuse the dead; they can't answer back, can they?
How long has Mr Taylor lived in Bermondsey? I am Bermondsey born, bred and proud of it. Can he say the same? I would infer from his venomous letter that he cannot. In which case I suggest he either gets his facts straight or sells up his riverside apartment and moves on.
Debra Gosling, by email.
RAILTON ROAD SE24,
Leasehold, For Sale
TEA TRADE WHARF SE1, £1,295,000 , For Sale
TOWER BRIDGE WHARF E1W, £550 , per week, For Sale
PROVIDENCE SQUARE SE1, £1,600,000 , For Sale