Hopeful That The Babylon Gallery Can be Reborn

I READ with interest the letter John Hill (chief executive East Cambs district council) sent you last week in response to my letter, printed the previous week. If I misconstrued what the officer had said, then I can only apologise, but I tried to write it

I READ with interest the letter John Hill (chief executive East Cambs district council) sent you last week in response to my letter, printed the previous week.

If I misconstrued what the officer had said, then I can only apologise, but I tried to write it down as carefully as I could, when I got home. However, I never thought it was political, just a refreshingly honest comment.

Mr Hill is right in one respect; when I asked him at the end of the talk he gave to the Ely Society, how his 'vision of Ely' squared with the closure of the Babylon Gallery, he said he couldn't comment as it was too political.

I was also interested to read the second part of his letter because although it had phrases like 'develop an arts service focusing on grass roots community work' and 'supporting voluntary groups to engage with both young and old', it makes no mention of the visual arts at all. Is that too political also?


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No wonder politics has got a bad name at every level as it seems to be synonymous with inaction and double speak.

I have written to Cllr Brown twice now, to ask him to convene an open forum to gain ideas from the public about how we can get an art gallery back in Ely as quickly as possible, but be managed in a less expensive way. It could be somewhere where one can see cutting edge art (as before) but also be used by other groups who want to display their work more professionally. I always think the annual watercolour show, brilliant as it is, deserves a more spacious venue, for instance.

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With the help of the Ely Standard and the people of Ely I am hopeful that the Babylon Gallery can be reborn. After all, Ely's chequered history is full of men (it's usually men) who tried to close important buildings down. Consider the cathedral and think how well that is doing now.

TED CONEY

Waterside

Ely

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