‘Save the Alford Corn Exchange’

EDITOR - As Alford is the only, almost intact, small Lincolnshire market town that still retains much of its character, it seems to me that it would be a retrograde step by Alford Town Council to even consider closing down the Corn Exchange.

It stands at the centre of the historic market place in the conservation area.

A fine example of Victorian architecture. It is the only building in the area that is large enough to hold any significant amount of people and has excellent parking facilities. It also has a long and rich history.

Sadly, since the present council has been in office, the building has been allowed to fall into disrepair and they now seem to have lost all interest in maintaining and promoting the property.

When we hear of £250.000 being granted to modernise four almshouses in the town, whose only claim to fame is a very tenuous link to Sir Robert Christopher - ie, they were built on land that was once owned by him but were actually built in Victorian times, circa 1868 - one must question why the town council has not applied for grants to carry out the necessary work on their own historic building?

Surely they should be looking to the future. We have a very large amount of new homes being built on the south side of the town. Planning permission has also been granted for a development to the west of the town.

This will mean hundreds of new people needing recreation facilities for shows, conferences, parties, learning groups etc. They will need the space that the Corn Exchange has to offer.

There is no need for a huge amount of money to be spent on it. We have excellent builders, plumbers, decorators etc in the town. It just needs some imagination and commitment by the town council.

Through bad decisions in the past, we have lost so much of our culture, our heritage and our history. We really cannot afford to let another piece of our history be lost from the town forever.

If we want to keep our market and the businesses who rely on visitors for their livelihoods, we really must keep the Corn Exchange as a focal point in the market place; a place for all the town’s people to enjoy.

Alice Walmsley