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Property Erotica - The Titfield Thunderbolt
Heisenberg might have stayed here
qatsi
qatsi
Property Erotica
Surely it would be too coarse to describe Grand Designs as property porn. Last night Kevin McLeod watched as a couple in North Yorkshire fought to develop a ruined 15th century Peel Tower requiring Scheduled Ancient Monument Consent.

I have to say that Simon Thurley, the Director of English Heritage, usually comes across quite well on television, but last night he either hadn't been properly briefed, or had decided to hold a firm line on the matter, or perhaps it was just edited in a rather unsympathetic way. His comment about people "thinking they owned the property" didn't work very well for me, given his rather well-bred accent. In fact these people did own the property, though they should perhaps have understood rather better the constraints and bureaucracy within which they had to work.

I realise I have rather mixed views on conservation: its appeal is obvious in many cases, but as we only ever seek to preserve what we consider to be the best and not the commonplace and mundane, future generations will always get a rather skewed view of their ancestors. Just look at Time Team and the way they all get excited whenever one of them uses words like high status or ritual activity. In last night's case, it was not as if English Heritage were proposing to do anything actively to preserve the ruin themselves; to be fair, the end product included a discreet yet striking 21st century roof terrace, an acknowledgement by English Heritage that every owner of the building had made contemporary modifications to it at their time of residence.

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