Vis­its to fam­ily brought home our town’s fail­ings

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View -

It’s a sense of style that’s lack­ing. Where’s the pol­ish? Where’s the pzazz? Last week, Mrs B and I vis­ited Nor­wich and Bristol to see a cou­ple of our chil­dren (well adults, ac­tu­ally) and some grand­chil­dren.

We also looked around the two cities and a cou­ple of other places be­sides.

The most no­table fea­ture of the places we vis­ited was ev­i­dence of their sense of in­di­vid­u­al­ity and cre­ative style which showed through cor­po­rate and in­di­vid­ual en­ter­prise. (As I was writ­ing these words, the Ash­ford-born spy and au­thor Fred­er­ick Forsythe was ap­pear­ing on the Break­fast pro­gramme on BBC tele­vi­sion. ‘I grew up in a one horse town in Kent where noth­ing ever hap­pens...’ he said).

That’s a pretty sad in­dict­ment of the town we live in and love. Sadly, it’s pretty largely true (the Cre­ate Fes­ti­val and the North Park Fes­ti­val be­ing the two no­table ex­cep­tions).

We, if for once things go ac­cord­ing to coun­cil pre­dic­tions, are due to have a whole lot of new build­ings on what was once the site of a large and pop­u­lar mar­ket across the road from Deben­hams (least said about that the bet­ter, I sup­pose).

As one of the house­holds close by, Mrs B and I re­ceived some­thing called a No­ti­fi­ca­tion of Ap­pli­ca­tion for Full Plan­ning Per­mis­sion for the for­mer site of Ash­ford Mar­ket.

Sadly, the pro­posal was marred by an ele­men­tary gram­mat­i­cal er­ror of the kind that is only made by in­di­vid­u­als wish­ing (mis­tak­enly) to ap­pear more eru­dite than they are.

It be­gins; ‘Mixed use de­vel­op­ment com­pris­ing OF restau­rants...’

The first time I made such a howler, my English teacher called me ‘a pre­ten­tious twerp’ and or­dered me write out many times a lengthy sen­tence (which I can­not now call to mind) defin­ing the dif­fer­ence be­tween ‘com­posed of’ and ‘com­pris­ing’ – point­ing out the proper and im­proper place­ment of the ad­verb.

Let us hope that the stan­dard of build­ing will out­shine the stan­dard of lit­er­acy.

I was ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed to learn that our MP, Damian Green, had voted against what is pop­u­larly called the ‘Eu­thana­sia Bill’.

While I can­not fully en­dorse the widely ex­pressed wish that all who voted against should die a slow and ag­o­nis­ing death, it does give some food for thought.

‘Let us hope that the stan­dard of build­ing will out­shine the stan­dard of lit­er­acy’

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