Letters to the Editor

Send your letters to the editor to news@buteman.com.
Send your letters to the editor to news@buteman.com.

Included in this week’s letters to the editor is praise for Rothesay Pavilion’s community show during the Closing Weekend Festival, and an appeal for the former West Church to be looked at as an opportunity, not a loss.

‘Pavilion People a joy and privilege’


I hope you’ll indulge me in allowing one last comment on ‘Pavilion People’, the large-scale community show which took place as part of the Closing Weekend at Rothesay Pavilion.

As writer/director of the piece I knew we had taken on a considerable task, and I did wonder at times whether we’d bitten off more than we could ever hope to nibble, let alone chew - but the sheer commitment, dedication and enthusiasm that the 100-plus cast and crew brought to it made it one of the most rewarding and joyful projects I’ve ever worked on.

I’d therefore like to thank publicly in your pages everyone who made it possible: the many local people who shared the memories, photographs and memorabilia that provided the backbone of the show; the actors, singers and musicians who rehearsed so cheerfully and performed so beautifully on the night; the backstage and technical crew who helped it to flow almost seamlessly; the Pavilion’s front-of-house staff and volunteers; the audience who turned out in their hundreds to cheer everyone on; and last, but by absolutely no means least, Dorothy McDonald at Achievement Bute and her dedicated crew of staff and volunteers who kept the whole thing afloat throughout the months of preparation and rehearsal. It was Dorothy who first conceived of the show, who secured the funding for it, and who encouraged the involvement of so many community members, and without her and her team’s tireless work (and superb planning skills) it could never have taken place at all. My heartfelt thanks go to her, and to all of you, for the privilege of being involved.

So: September 2017. Who’s up for an Opening Weekend community show....?

Linda Duncan McLaughlin

Wilton Street, Glasgow

‘An outstanding performance’


May I congratulate all who made the ‘Pavilion People’ on Friday, September 25, possible. It portrayed the decades from the forties until now, displaying dance, sketches, music and film. With input from professional actors, Achievement Bute involved children and adults of all ages, thus resulting in a truly outstanding community happening.

Sheila Murray

Janette Cottage, Townhead, Rothesay

West Church ‘an opportunity not a loss’


After last week’s Buteman article on the West Church and the spire, I am still left wondering why are the local councillors stirring up fear and alarm of “imminent collapse” and yet will not allow either the public or the “save the spire” group or even the editor of The Buteman to view this famous report which purportedly details the danger and silence us for ever on the matter.

Since 1320 when Salisbury cathedral spire was started , only a handful of spires in the UK have fallen down , a few by poor design and couple from storms.

One has to question, why remove all the vegetation from the spire , if it’s in such danger of falling down and expose how little external damage to the external structure there seems to be , even when viewed through binoculars. No significant cracks seem to be present on the facade, the spire is not dropping bits into the car park, it even withstood the 2012 storm , better than many other properties in the town did. If it did that am I to seriously believe that three years later it’s going to suddenly fall down under its own weight?

The roof timbers are now visible in the car park , and are in excellent condition over most of their length cut from a quality of properly seasoned timber we can only dream of today. Though the ends of a couple are perished through wet rot, they could have been strengthened with a steel jacket and carried on supporting the roof for many years had there been a will to do so. Cut and patch is the standard rot repair system today and mainly in­situ.

I can see some “Acrow” props inside the spire , I assume they are there to reinforce safety lintels which are always susceptible to rot , but there are few Victorian buildings on this island that do not have rot in their safety lintels. There replacement with modern equivalents would be a relatively simple task.

I hope that the council and Hanson’s are also aware that this is a registered site with a recorded colony of bats and that any attempt to evict them by unnecessary demolition is illegal, and will be reported to the appropriate authorities.

There is still a group trying to turn this situation into an opportunity rather than a loss, if you knock it down all you have is a car park.

Alan Denholm

1A Chapelhill Villa, Rothesay