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Councillors must fight for our past

By West Briton  |  Posted: May 09, 2013

Councillor Jean Charman

Comments (1)

AS my term of office as mayor and town councillor draws to a close I look back over those last eight years and wonder where on earth the time has gone.

In 2005 I heard the news that Holman's Number 3 works were to be pulled down for development. This was the last industrial building still standing in Camborne that depicted the important role Holman Brothers played in the formation of our town.

At the time I was naive enough to believe that if enough people protested about unnecessary development and the loss of heritage the powers-that-be would sit up and listen. How wrong I was.

After joining Camborne Town Council I became chairman of the heritage subcommittee, and together we battled to save Holman's Number 3; despite this planning went through because, basically, nobody listened.

However, after a lot of campaigning, at least we saved the Public Rooms.

The question I always ask is: why do people have to fight so hard to save all that is good about their town?

Many of the buildings that tell the story of Camborne are lost for ever. Take the School of Mines, pulled down because Tesco wanted a store in the town: Holman's Number 1, that iconic Edwardian structure, demolished because Tesco decided to move.

As new councillors prepare to take office I would ask them all to regard the heritage of our town as a priority.

Look to save the industrially important Northern Lights at Tuckingmill before they fall down and developers breathe a sigh of relief and move in.

The Josiah Thomas building, thanks to Gaynor Hingston, has been listed; however, despite this it faces an uncertain future.

The Community Centre and Donald Thomas Centre, both historically important buildings in the town, are now in the process of being rescued from the brink of disaster. We mustn't let this happen again.

Utilise historic buildings by all means; breathe new life into them. This can be achieved; the Public Rooms are a glowing example of this.

However, be prepared to do battle with developers and planners.

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  • break  |  May 09 2013, 9:16PM

    I agree about more of our past being preserved,after learning about my town's past,I can say that I'm proud to be a Camborne man.But what makes me angry is looking at what has already been destroyed,and how little the people of Camborne actually know about their town.One thing that I do believe could change things,is if local history was taught in schools,instead of or as well as children being taught about the likes of King Henry viii. As for preserving our past,it does seem slighly pointless now,as the majority of buildings have already been destroyed.The most important building standing I believe,is the Holmans Boilerworks building in Roskear,but we don't seem to hear much about that building these days.Mining was what creating this this town,those mines then turned into brownfield sites,waiting for someone to come and build a new house on top of them.There's probably more history left underground than there is above ground now,but someone made certain that we'll never see some of those tunnels agains.Anyway,rant over.