Category: Arts and Culture

Covid Watch 143: It is a perennial debate. Perhaps as old as Ludlow’s May Fair itself. Blocking traffic. Noise. Smells. Fun!

On Monday night, Ludlow Town Council debated whether to allow the May Fair this year. Councillors were told that only 30 people would be allowed into the fair at a time. Putting aside that would bankrupt any commercial operation, government rules say that 4,000 people, even more, are allowed for outdoor events such as funfairs. On the proviso they don’t all come at once and the familiar social distancing rules are enforced. At the same meeting, councillors approved space for the Green Festival and the Fringe Festival in the town centre without a limit on numbers. After what I can only describe as an ill-informed debate on Monday, councillors decided to ask for a Covid safe plan for the fair. If the fair goes ahead, it will be over the late May bank holiday. I hope it goes ahead as there is no legal barrier to it doing so.

Peter Nutting says he has “no intention” of selling Ludlow Assembly Rooms – we need better guarantees than that

It is always worth listening to what politicians say. And listening to it twice. This morning, Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting was questioned by Eric Smith on BBC Radio Shropshire. He said that reports of Shropshire Council selling Ludlow Assembly Rooms (LAR) were “tosh”. There is no intention of selling. Fair enough and good news. But “no intention” is not a guarantee. Shropshire Council has backed itself into a corner over LAR. It has only two options that will not cost it more money. Flogging the premises or allowing Ludlow to run South Shropshire’s premier cultural centre as agreed.

Ludlow Art Mural coming to the end of its life

The Ludlow Art Mural Project was an amazing initiative. The idea of a mural was born in a chat over a beer. A deal to paint the boards on the former Budgens was agreed in a shake of the hand when I met Robin Morris the developer. Morris Property paid for the scaffolding and paint. Shropshire Council provided youth support. The entire project went from first thoughts to completion in five weeks. Sometimes the discussion was stormy. That’s art and artists for you. Now with plans for new retail units and apartments submitted, the mural’s days are numbered.

Ludlow Assembly Rooms gets an extra £1.3m but Shropshire Council reserves the rights to sell it 2023 and demand Ludlow pays the money back

It is no surprise that the price of renovations to Ludlow Assembly Rooms has soared over budget. Costs have hit the ceiling requiring an extra £1.3m from Shropshire Council. That funding is welcome. In a private session before Christmas, the council’s cabinet reluctantly agreed the extra money. Cabinet members also decided that the agreed transfer for the Assembly Rooms to Ludlow’s community will be reduced from a period of 125 years to just three years. This will allow Shropshire Council take over the facility in 2023. It can then flog it if wants to. The council is also to negotiate repayment of some or all the £1.3m from Ludlow & District Community Association (LDCA). Unsurprisingly, the council has not made this information public.

Street artists get inspired in Ludlow but when is graffiti art and not vandalism or criminal damage? Let me know

“Love Ludlow.” That’s the message as you walk under the railway between Sheet Road and Sandpits. A more recent expression of artistic talent on Market Square is “I’m making a call”. Should you want to see a female ‘brother’ – drop down to Friars Walk. All these illegal artworks send messages. All are graffiti. All could be described as vandalism or even criminal damage. But aren’t they art? Don’t they brighten up our town? Do they create talking points? Let me know you views.

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