Follow the action!

For all (well, most) of the action as it happens, follow me on Facebook and Twitter!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Kings Weston House - Open Doors and resurrection

Before..(skanky with scaffold).. After (beautiful honey-gold walls glint..)
Open Doors Bristol is a very special day, and it's very hard to feel like you've made the most of it.

This year, I decided to do a few things 'well', and a highlight was Kings Weston House, so beautifully restored by Norman Routledge and his team - especially Kings Weston Action Group and the incredible David Martyn.

Who said Graffiti was 'new' ? this is (genuinely, I'm told)from 1789. Krazye.
As you can see, Norman has cleaned the house off to gleam in its former glory. It makes such a huge difference and it is striking how the 'scraping off' of recent history ( er, grime ) has given new life to the real, old , period history that has been stifled underneath it for all these years. That's what I love about what  Norman is doing for Kings Weston House. He understands that History is a living thing, not a fossil, and has struck the balance perfectly between respecting the core elements of what makes our past, and preserving them as key-stones of our future - and understanding how history is evolution itself, and that preserving things as you find them in aspic is nothing like retaining the historical character of a place that has been graffiti'd on since the 1700s... 

That's a VIEW. Wales and all that lies before it, from Kings Weston House Roof

Obviously best tea-view of all time
I'm hoping that English Heritage recognise the excellent work Norman and his team are doing on our beloved and historical landmark, and realise if it was not for Norman and people like him, so many of our beautiful historic buildings would have fallen into disrepair beyond redemption and been destroyed.

In some ways, I'm a really sadly typical Conservative - I love old things, and often question the unthinking assumption of 'progress' ( See my robust views earlier in this blog on how we have moved backwards in transport in this city, whilst wittering on about modernisation and progress!)  - but I also very much believe that we are living in 'History' and that todays actions are as important and as relevant as those of the past. In all the good work that English Heritiage does in helping people like Norman resurrect our building and our heritage, I hope they never make 'the best' the enemy of 'the good' - which is simply seeing our old, historic buildings thrive and take on a new role, personality and character in a new setting and a new era. After-all, changes and evolution like that are what make history. History hasn't ended. We're inescapably in it, every passing day and 'Open Doors'.

No comments: