The City of Durham Trust

Update on teapot

Teapot undergoing restoration

As has been reported in Bulletin 84, the Trust’s teapot was removed in September for a close-up examination of its condition. A York-based conservator supplied a detailed and encouraging report, along with an estimate for the repair, which Trustees accepted. As work progressed, she discovered under the black paint that the teapot was originally gilded (see photograph above). She offered to re-gild it for a further £550.

The Newcastle Building Society, who have replaced East as the occupiers of 73-75 Saddler Street, have been extremely supportive throughout, even to the extent of generously contributing to the refurbishment, for which we are most grateful. Their donation enabled Trustees to authorise the work, and to help meet the cost an appeal was made at the open meeting on 24 February, and due to members’ generosity this raised £199.25. It is anticipated that Gift Aid will increase this further.

We expect that the teapot will return to Durham slightly later than orginally planned, towards the end of March, after which it would not be inappropriate to hold a tea party. Do look out for further information – on this website and in the local press.

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Praise for Trust’s Bulletin

A letter from John Pacey in the March 30 edition of the Durham Times praises an article in Bulletin 83, which makes a telling comparison between Durham and St Andrews Universities.

St. Andrew's University, ranked just after Cambridge and Oxford, and just before Durham has not, unlike Durham, identified the need for major expansion to enable it to maintain academic excellence, its Strategic Plan providing as follows:

St. Andrews has always been a small university, and intends to stay relatively small. The intimacy of the Town, the closeness of the community and the interaction of Town and Gown are key elements in the St. Andrews experience.

Bulletin No. 83 goes on to conclude:

Durham is the Country’s only university town with parity between resident and student numbers; no other town approaches this ratio. The present Master Plan will alter even this “balance”, and means that the City will have to adjust further to the University – rather than the University adjusting to the City – and thereby assume increasingly the character of a campus settlement. In so doing it reaffirms the metaphor of the University,traditionally considered to be the goose that laid the golden egg, now proving to be the cuckoo in the nest.

Mr Pacey concludes “I urge all who share my concern for the future of Durham City to read the full City of Durham Trust article” which you can do by following that link and turning to page 2.

The County Durham Plan

Trust responds to the Issues and Options consultation

After receiving legal advice, Durham County Council has been obliged to start preparing the County Durham Plan from the beginning, at the Issues and Options stage. (For the background to all this, see New readers start here)

The City of Durham Trust has now submitted responses on 40 separate matters raised in the Council’s Issues and Options consultation, which ended on August 8th. You can read all of them here. Among the points we make are:

The County Durham Plan is important for everyone in County Durham because it will set out the new development that is planned for the county. It contains allocations which show where development will take place and how it will be managed. The Plan also contains policies for determining planning applications. As long as there is planning uncertainty developers will seek to exploit this by pursuing their financial interests regardless of the needs of local communities.