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'Scaffolding poles' part of visitor centre design
4:17pm Wednesday 16th October 2013 in Letters
I WAS very interested to read your article about the fantastic new visitor centre that is being constructed for the benefit of the visitors to Stonehenge (Journal, October 10).
This is a long overdue improvement to this world heritage site and will undoubtedly make the visit a more complete experience for the visitors and hopefully will in turn raise the profile of Salisbury and Stonehenge on the tourist trail through the south of England.
Any increase in visitor numbers to our city has to be good for the local economy and must offer a wealth of opportunities for local businesses. These opportunities will no doubt be exploited by local retailers, hoteliers and publicans and this must be good news for Salisbury.
In common with many rural centres, our city is struggling to survive these challenging economic times.
How disappointing it was to read in your paper a few weeks ago that Salisbury youth hostel is planning to close and, subject to planning, be converted to luxury accommodation for the elderly.
It was reported that the hostel currently provides 15,000 tourist beds per year in Salisbury; surely this is a very significant service to the tourists in this area and also of great importance to the city and local business. It raises the question; was this the only offer on the table for the failing youth hostel?
I am convinced this building has a future as a tourist destination in Salisbury and every effort should be made to preserve it as this.
With the planned improvements to Stonehenge and those that have been carried out to our city surely the authorities should examine every opportunity to make Salisbury a more appealing destination for an overnight stay rather than just a flying half-day visit.
Tourism is an increasingly important industry and this area is fortunate to have so many places of interest, so we must offer a wide range of accommodation to suit all needs.
WILL DICKSON, Downton
DESPITE many of my misgivings about the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre, the least of them being whether its site will fulfil what I believe is English Heritage’s plan to discourage visitors from actually visiting the monument, I am looking forward to seeing what the centre will offer.
However, I was sorry to see that the new gallery is to contain exhibits and artefacts from Devizes and Salisbury museums.
Although the artefacts probably originally came from the Stonehenge area, it seems a shame to reduce what these museums, having conserved them for generations, can offer, so that English Heritage can benefit. I sincerely hope that The Amesbury Archer is not one of the exhibits Salisbury will lose.
JOHN CUTLAND, Wilton
I HAVE been driving past the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre for several weeks looking forward to the removal of those haphazard and unsightly poles which, I assumed, temporarily supported the roof. I now realise that what looked like a poor attempt at scaffolding is actually permanent and part of the design.
I am told it is supposed to represent a forest, but as I am led to believe that the area was never a forest, I don’t see the relevance.
It may be attractive to visiting dogs, but not to me.
I think the architect missed an opportunity to come up with an attractive and exciting design.
RICHARD TAMBLING, Salisbury
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