I WAS dismayed to find in [last] week's Journal (January 24, p23) that the rumours were true and that Salisbury Civic Society have bestowed a commendation upon Downton primary school's new extension. Before moving here I was an active committee member of my local civic society, and I am shocked at the miserable lack of judgment displayed by my Salisbury counterparts in giving a gong to what in my view is quite the ugliest modern building in Downton. Whatever merits there may be internally, the exterior elevations of the extension present the appearance of a malformed fire station complete with flimsy looking red and white panels. I have yet to find anyone in Downton who has a good word to say for it, and the Downton Society are unanimously appalled by it. Perhaps it fits in with Zeitgeist to praise anything new and 'different', but senior members of a body like the civic society ought to be able to distinguish quality from dross. I was considering joining the society but after this debacle has made them a bit of a laughing stock in our community I shall be kicking that idea into touch.

Bob Steel