RE Filey’s sculpture (November 22):
If we’d a bar of Fry’s Turkish Delight, ie full of Eastern promise, for every promise made and broken by Filey Council, we’d have a fair number! Their recent actions have defied all Christian principles and left us - not surprised, but dismayed and utterly disheartened.
It’s a year since Ray Lonsdale’s sculpture, ‘High Tide in Short Wellies’, was exhibited on Filey’s Coble Landing. A year of stress and anxiety I’m sad to say.
Finlay, as he has eventually been named, was allowed about a month’s temporary stand at Coble Landing. It was understood he’d be moved to a permanent site once a plinth had been made near the rails just across the slipway. A date was confirmed with Ray Lonsdale who was looking forward to re-locating him to an open site that would highlight his creation. Imagine Ray’s shock to discover - almost two weeks in advance, that Finlay had gone walkabout! We received no explanation, no apology, and no indication as to who had ‘jumped the gun’, but we do know!
Why, oh why did I donate £45,000 of my life savings to helping Filey obtain this icon? For the same reason that I gave Freddie Gilroy to the people of Scarborough. These ‘giants’ were intended as lasting legacies of love to the two east coast resorts which held happy memories.
Had I realised that Filey councillors failed to appreciate this gift, there were always options. I could have donated both sculptures to Scarborough as part of a proposed heritage trail, and given a substantial donation to some sports centre that Filey seem to require.
Why did Filey councillors and mayor invite Ray Lonsdale and ourselves to view all possible sites one glorious Friday afternoon on August 10?
They requested we select our two favoured sites, and promised to re-locate Finlay in March 2013 before the holiday season began.
Later discussions related our first choice would prove too costly at almost £10,000. We agreed it was far too expensive, although the council did say they could afford half that amount!
The second choice suited us to a ‘tee’, as reported, and would cost around £5,000 - just within their budget? No - we were wrong again. They preferred to leave Finlay, and adding insult to injury, install a recently-offered anchor on our promised site! At what cost we wonder?
The transportation alone would be far in excess of Finlay’s short removal. The site preparation and paving for walkers would be the same. A solution? Why not place the anchor on Finlay’s podium and re-locate Finlay to an open site?
At this point, may I remind the council that the original plaque regarding the donation and dedication of this gift has not been replaced? It was removed months ago, having been only ‘stuck’ in place and not bolted into a solid rock or base. My letter commenting on its removal was ignored, and the councillor who retains it has failed to restore it - once again revealing a complete lack of interest.
Come on Filey, please live up to our high expectations before all is lost. Just a letter explaining the change of policy would be much appreciated.
Thanking you in hopeful anticipation.
Maureen and Michael Robinson