Saturday, 7 October 2017

No more Towers in time for Christmas, folks …

SORRY folks. No more models of Darwen Tower in time for your Christmas shopping!

The Friends of Darwen Tower had written a placatory, chatty letter to Darwen Town Council leader Roy Davies who had complained about some of the rough old models which they had abandoned being cleaned up and sold to eager Darweners. The FoDT had also forked out over £1,000 to get some more to sell.

All the models were sold within three hours and a wish-list of would-be purchasers quickly built up. The FoDT had hoped to knock out another 30 or 40 in time for the festive season. The whole town was looking forward to the chance of buying one.

So, to avoid prolonging the row with DTC – or at least with the new Coalition of LibDems and Tories led by Roy Davies and Kevin Connor – the Friends wrote suggesting that they spend their modest profit on sales of around £1,000 (less extensive work on cleaning, sanding, filling and painting) towards getting some more models made.

They also looked ahead to the Tower being cleaned and repointed – it needs it – and perhaps floodlit with an LED system.

The matter was discussed in the parish council's secretive "Part 2" meeting a few days ago and the Coalition pushed through a decision which has effectively knocked the Friends' idea of more models on the head.
The [edited] minute reads: Following reports of Towers being sold, the Friends of Darwen Tower had asked if the money from these towers could be used towards casting a further quantity to sell at Christmas, also to use funds to … repoint and maintain and light the tower.
The Coalition, who have their eyes on the modest profit, "agreed that no other casts can be made without the permission of the town council." And they are also flexing their muscles and asking for a financial action plan for the other "requests" (repointing and lighting).
The FoDT appear to be keeping a low profile after offering something of an olive branch. I'm told they will certainly not be going cap in hand to the parish council seeking permission to use the mould which the Friends discovered in a dark corner of a small foundry over Accy way. It had been there for over five years and would probably have been thrown out in a matter of weeks. And what plans the voluntary group have for the Tower will be discussed with the borough council and officers, not the parish council.
So, sorry, everyone. A small group of Friends and supporters had worked hard on the batch of models and everyone who was lucky enough to get one was thrilled. Will there be any more? Not now, I'm afraid. 
HARRY NUTTALL