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A nail in our cultural coffin perhaps?

Designed by the architect Sir Reginald Blomfield R.A. The Usher Gallery, on Lindum Hill, was officially opened on the 25th May 1927 with a solid gold key by the Prince of Wales. 

The gallery was built as a result of a bequest by Lincoln jeweller James Ward Usher. 

Usher never married and devoted his life to collecting, travelling far in search of particular items to enhance his collection. He never sought public honours but was offered the position of Sheriff of Lincoln in 1916. 

In 1921 he died at the age of 76, and as was his wish he bequeathed to the City his collection of watches, miniatures, porcelain and silver. He also left a considerable amount of money for a gallery to be built in order to house his collection.

Now, in 2019, the County Council wishes to turn the gallery into a wedding venue – despite the fact they do not own the building. This seems to be against the wishes of the original bequest by Usher. It’s certainly against the wishes of many people in the County, some of whom turned up today to show their disapproval.

This is not the place to discuss the arguments put forward by either side. Suffice it to say I believe this is a dispute between the philistine views of  Tory Mammon on one hand and the cultural views and wishes of the people on the other.

Today, 13th April 2019, a protest march took place through the city. Starting in the ancient  Cornmarket, it processed up the High St, under the Medieval StoneBow, then up The Strait and Steep Hill, on to Castle Square under the shadow of the Cathedral and Norman castle and then down to the Usher itself.

Drummers at the head of the procession beat the progress through the city. All I saw was smiles from those we passed – as it was a good-natured, well-intended event – which in some ways masked the seriousness of the situation.

Pictures and content ©PDBarton 2019



Do we stay or do we go?

If, like me, you are sick to the back teeth of hearing the word Brexit I’m afraid this piece is not going to help much. But, but, but – yes. it’s worth the repetition – if we relent in our efforts to push back, then we can blame nobody but ourselves, for not trying to reverse what has transpired to be an uninformed, corrupted and consequently, bad decision.

One million of us joined together in London yesterday to protest against what we see as madness. I owe it to my grandchildren to try to protect their future. It would be hard to look them in the eye and say I did nothing.

That’s enough of the ‘why’ of it. Here are some pictures of how the day panned out from the people walking through London before the march until my crocky old bones could literally stand no longer a few hours later. I didn’t get to the end. Sorry.

As to whether we should stay or go… you have your own opinion – and long may that freedom of choice and democratic door be held open. I’m with Remain. That’s one thing. The damage to our democracy is quite another, and we have seen much evidence of that in the run-up to this debacle.

Sarah Vine wife of prominent Tory MP Michael Gove and Daily Mail columnist explained the lack of pro-Brexit supporters by saying…

“There are no leavers there because they would be lynched. These people are so convinced of their righteousness they cannot see anyone who disagrees with them as anything other than a monster. The rhetoric against people who voted to Leave characterises them as sub-human.”

Apart from this being a classic, if juvenile diversionary tactic for a failing argument i.e. imprinting your own failings onto the opposition by accusing them of being everything you are, you can see here this patently a lie. A lone pro-Brexit demonstrator is left utterly un-harried and certainly not lynched.
The people on this march were more likely to offer you a back rub and a cup of tea. Vine’s comment was absurd and she should apologise. Imagine if she became the “wife of the Prime Minister”. A lying right-wing Tory and a Daily Mail columnist. Heaven forfend!