Twee beats dereliction

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I VERY much agree with Charles Faragher (Courier, February 17), over the state of some of the shops in Castletown.

Architecture belongs to everyone and a dirty or derelict building or one with an inappropriate frontage is very depressing.

Think of how it lifts the spirits and cheers the heart to visit a market town or coastal village with prettily painted exteriors, clean shop frontages, all of which are decorated with hanging baskets and flower pots.

I genuinely believe some people actually do not see the bad state of their buildings and, because of that, it is up to local authorities, health and safety officials and the conservation groups to put pressure on the people to do something about it.

And while there have been huge improvements in the island as a whole in the past few years, one only has to see the number of cottages and shops in Peel, where some owners and tenants alike, leave their exteriors to rot, mostly in the centre of town.

I am sure that financial help has been available over the years to assist in these matters, if people would only ask.

Yet I also feel it is often a sign of deeper and more complex issues, and of course there are always those people who prefer to spend their money on other things, not bothering of how it all looks to shoppers and tourists.

I am by no means a purist in these matters, but many of us talk about the problems and yet do nothing, for fear of hurting the feelings of those whose shops and houses need a coat of paint, in what is basically a small and quite close-knit community

While it may seem fine and even attractive in warmer climates, such as Malta and parts of Italy to get away with layers of chipped paint, in colder places like the British Isles, such exteriors just appear plain dismal and uninviting.

I have been accused at times of wanting to make our lovely historic town somewhat twee . . . well in my book , twee beats dereliction any day and by the way, I intend to paint my cottage soon.

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