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Mayor’s Blog – Creating a Storm

Creating A Storm

What a week – Bridport has been battered by a series of storms, with ‘Eunice’ being the most destructive, lately. Apart from a few nights of noisy window rattling fortunately I was not really affected by the storms and I hope your situation has been similar and you have not been adversely impacted upon. That said, I am aware of numerous incidences of damage to trees and property across the town.

Town Council grounds staff were out from early on Friday morning dealing with the immediate consequences of the very high winds.  This included clearing roads and paths at seven locations across the town where trees had fallen – at Lower Walditch Road, Pymore Road, West Bay Road Car Park, West Bay Play Area, St Cecilia’s Gardens, Bridport Medical Centre and Riverside Gardens.  The team also cordoned off two areas of the town centre where roof damage to shops resulted in falling debris.

With high winds continuing through the weekend, further tree falls were attended to at St Mary’s Fields and for a second time at West Bay Road Car Park.  The priority over these first few days was to maintain public safety. Over the course of this week, the team has been kept busy removing the remaining tree debris, and helping to secure the damaged shop roofs so that town centre pavements could be reopened.

Town Clerk Will Austin said, “I’m deeply grateful to our team – Daryl, Sean, Ed, Tim, two Pauls, Andrew, Tom and George – for their incredible efforts in unbelievably challenging circumstances since Friday.  They put themselves in harm’s way to keep others safe on the day, and haven’t let up with the work since then to keep the town going.  I’d also like to thank the Dorset Council Highways Team who were on the scene soon after the Town Council staff.  We’re lucky to have such dedicated people working for the Bridport community.”

I couldn’t agree more with Will. The people of Bridport are indeed extremely fortunate to have such a hardworking and dedicated team of Town Council staff out there in all weathers putting public safety first. I am sure everyone in the town will wish to thank them for their tremendous efforts during what has been a most challenging few days.

Art Unlimited

Howard Flannigan had said he wanted to create a storm in the Town by opening a high street art Gallery. Little did he know when he said that he would be opening his gallery on the same day that storm Eunice struck.

Bridport and the surrounding area is home to a thriving art and craft community, with a huge number of incredibly gifted and creative people who put my feeble attempts well truly in the shade. As consumers, we are blessed with an A to Z of creative media and styles to choose from. In fact, everything from Abstract to Zen and Alabaster to Zinc.

The opening of a town centre gallery where people will be able to peruse and more importantly, for the artists and craftspeople producing the wonderful artefacts, purchase, is very exciting.

Being invited to open the gallery prompted me to consider the simple question ‘What makes a good piece of Art?’

I know that some consider the commitment of the artist is the key to good art, while others state good art sticks in your mind as a positive memory. Others say it has to do with originality, some say the background story of a piece is the key or that it must challenge the viewer in some way. It may even be up to chance whether a piece becomes popular. However, popular does not mean good or does it?

The beauty of the world we live in lies in this diversity of opinion about everything including art. What may seem to overwhelm some, works differently for others and this difference in reactions only makes art and life itself even more exciting.

That is enough of philosophising. No matter what your taste in art is, I strongly recommend adding a regular visit to the Art Unlimited gallery on South Street to your to do list.

To ensure the opening went off with a bang Rebecca Handsford and the Furleigh Estate provided some of their delicious Blanc de Noirs and everyone who crossed the threshold was given a glass in celebration.

In these most challenging of times, I would like to thank Howard for choosing to open this exciting gallery, Art Unlimited, here in the heart of Bridport and wish him and everyone else involved in the venture every success with it.

And Finally

There is still time to purchase your tickets for the Mayors Charity Concert. Don’t miss this evening of outstanding entertainment in the form of music, song, poetry and images inspired by the area which call home. I know the performers are looking forward to creating a storm on the night.

There will also be a charity fundraising raffle with amongst prizes on offer two £25 meal tokens for the Station Kitchen.

To book your tickets simply click HERE, or call 01308 424901, or call into the Tourist Information Centre in person.

Click HERE to listen to one of the pieces you will hear on the night.

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