11:34am Wednesday 20th June 2012
Dear Editor, I was born in Hook, educated in Haverfordwest and spent most of my working life in Lancashire, but I come home to visit my family regularly.
This time I made a point of walking around the county town and by the end of my walk I felt so sad and depressed at what I was seeing that I felt compelled to write. I know that we are all experiencing one of the worst financial downturns at present, but the decline I saw has been the result of years of neglect and blindness as to what has been happening to what is an historic capital of Pembrokeshire.
Here and there I noticed innovative new businesses blossoming like flowers in a desert both in High Street and Market Street. Bridge Street was the most dispiriting of all. I walked in to the Castle Square expecting it to be bedecked with flowers and paved with interesting historic detail - what a shock - nothing there.
The common land known as The Green historically unique should be preserved and in particular the old cottages there and the hostelry are heritage sites in their own right - now dwarfed by a huge sports centre - who in their right minds allowed that planning application through.
The saddest occurence of all is to hear that St Thomas' Church - I believe circa 11th century – is to close. I hope there are plans to preserve it as a museum/ heritage site together with the cottages leading down to one of the most precious resources within the town walls. I took photographs of the river from the back of Quay Street. The legendry river Cleddau - the jewel in the crown - it looked so grey, dull and uninteresting.
I know that you have an active group of historians trying their best to plan historic walks etc, but the Council needs to act in order to preserve the heritage, encourage artisan businesses, bring prosperity back by attracting more visitors to the town. Investment of the right kind now will reap rewards for the future. Take a leaf out of Narberth's book! What a pleasure to visit that little town!
Ruth Ashworth Preston Lancashire
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