Wednesday, 28 May 2008

We need all the help we can get to save what remains of Portland's heritage for future generations. To learn more go to You will also find an ecellent video made by Stuart Morris, the island's historian on YouTube under 'Threat to Portland's Historic Landscape, World Heritage Site"'. Somehow we must stop the steam roller of commercial greed before it is too late. It may take a miracle but for those who care enough miracles can happen. Last week I wrote a letter to our local paper:-

Councillor Denton White is to be congratulated on his letter ‘We need an Action Plan on Quarrying’ Echo Tuesday 20 May. The fact that mistakes have been made in the past is no reason why we should not try and put them right today before irreparable damage is done. If we fail to act now future generations will be right to regard us as having let them down and allowed their inheritance to be destroyed.
Following the Local Government Act of 1974 unemployment on the Island became a very real problem. By 1978 it was 15%, far higher than on the main land, but our population was considered too small for anyone in authority to be interested. A small body of local people believed that something could and should be done. We raised enough money to buy old Saint Georges School and established a Man Power Services training scheme employing two hundred young people over two years, 80% of whom went on to get permanent employment. We established a Heritage and Community Centre which is still running successfully. We proved that Portland people could improve life on the Island when no one from away was prepared to do anything for us.
I hope that others of vision and determination will rise to Councillor Denton White’s challenge before it is too late.

An Island in Danger

As I get older I fight a losing battle with cynicism – it seems that the views of local people count for very little, that too many politicians, be they MPs, County Councillors even down to Town and Parish level, are only interested in guarding their own interests and lining their own pockets. I am writing this in the hope that some who have visited Portland may read this and wake up to the threat to the coastal strip that runs down to Portland Lighthouse.
Back in 1950 when our nation needed stone the Government over ruled the wishes of the local authority and now, as a result this precious strip of land is under threat of quarrying. Portland has been raped; there is no other word for it. To some it is infinitely precious, a place of outstanding natural beauty, a part of the Jurassic Coast, to others it has become a place to exploit and destroy. This is a wake up call, a hope that somehow the planned destruction can be halted. As soon as I have anything to report, news of action or other sites you can visit to find out more I will post it here.