'Agree With Everything - Deny Nothing - Embellish All

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Prefab plant sprouts

Prefab plant sprouts on CORUS site … (see 13 Nov 05 Workington Edition of Times & Star ). We Cumbrians are always keen to embrace the superior knowledge and entrepreneurial prowess of people from ‘out of County’. I have no doubt Colin Ratcliff-Springall has lived in Cumbria, with interests in Keswick and its history, for sometime, and that he did design the front of a school in Humberside (it says so. See Kingswood High School). Putting aside my inherited hostility to All Architects (My Dad was a builder) I have real doubts about the feasibility of this plan. If I had come up with the plan I am convinced that it would be entirely overlooked. Our local politicians would have stood on my shoulders to see if there was anybody outside of the County available to support . I know! Yes! I know! that ‘you cannot be a prophet in your own land’ but I live in hope. So what makes me so negative about Architect Ratcliff-Springall’s scheme? First I’m almost certain that CORUS themselves investigated the idea of manufacturing prefabricated steel frame housing in their redundant facilities in Scunthorpe and Sheffield. So why should CORUS move the Workington rail making plant to Scunthorpe? I do have an idea (as I used to work for CORUS/British Steel). It would make sense though to prefabricate the houses nearer to the source of the raw materials and also the use of the final product. Actually that’s the main reason for moving the rail plant to Scunthorpe. Cumbria (as usual) on the West Coast of the West of Europe has very poor access. West Coast Rail and the M6 should be known as the Joint Cumbria By-Pass. All the better for that in my opinion but not good for economic development. Ratcliff-Springall’s other scheme -‘ a new guild of Lakeland Artists and Craftspeople’ is a slap in the face of our own artists and craftspeople and the existing guilds. We have a heritage. Designs in metal… fixtures, fittings, embellishments, high volume….. hang on - they come from China. What we need is high margin, high skill, high art, high craft. It’s going to be fine though because the Arts & Crafts scheme would be lead by artisan teachers brought in from Eastern Europe. Hello…. that’s ok then because our existing teachers, colleges, schools and soon–to-be-university are pretty rubbish? The Cumbria Institute of the Arts is the biggest Art, Craft, Media education establishment in Europe and has Eastern European links and students. If we haven’t already got artists, workers, teachers then by all means bring them in. But can’t we use up what we’ve got first? In anticipation of the Eastern Europe link and the obvious lack of legal expertise in Cumbria, our Architect has employed Russian lawyer Olga Kalinina to help him with the driving of the plan. Rule 2 in my business is ‘never employ a lawyer’. Rule 1 is something to do with never employing family.
The Web threw up very little on Radcliff-Springall or his daughter Sophia (BA Fine Arts Manchester Met 2003), but just out of interest I did a search on the Russian lawyer. The only hit I got was in Brides Find UK. Same name, but described as a ‘manager’ not a lawyer so not the same person. The Brides Find Olga, under My future husband should be says“ I would like to fall in love and stay forever with intelligent, well-educated, very serious, kind, honest , romantic, understanding , passionate, financially secure man. A gentleman who knows how to enjoy life, how to love and to be loved, who needs love and family, but at the same time - a very simple guy with a very simple life. Age is not important for me. Aged 35-55.” Rules me out on age.. simple life… romantic… hang on I’m not looking for a bride and I’ve digressed .. sorry … I was ranting about local development strategy. Our local agencies and their officers do find it difficult to convince the public at large that they are doing a good job. It only takes one bad investment to overshadow all the good stuff. That’s the way of the World. Phil Cram (who wrote the Times & Star article) I think sees this plan for what it is and by exposing it in his very dead pan and matter of fact way has probably done enough to sink it. I was going to write to the ‘papers’ but I might as well be stereotyped …. ‘Cumbrians can’t be arsed’.


Blogger Nick said...


24/11/05 11:18 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now- here's an interesting thing. Out of purely academic interest I tried to link to Brides Find UK. My NetNanny would not let me go there. Strange. Please tell me why this is so

27/11/05 6:58 pm  
Blogger Nick said...

Anon - reflect upon how lucky you have been so far in your pursuit of purely academic interests. And remember . . . Nanny Knows Best!

27/11/05 8:23 pm  

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