From Mike Stentiford, president, National Trust for Jersey.
LETTERS to the JEP tend to come in many different guises; some are whimsical, some uplifting and others, sadly, have more holes in them than granny’s cabbage strainer.
One such letter (JEP, 17 September) even went to great lengths to find the wrong tree to bark up.
The letter, while refraining from being ‘overly radical and altogether too pragmatic’, suggests that the National Trust for Jersey should sell a small piece of its coastal land and hand the proceeds over to the Maritime Museum thereby bringing about a happy ending to a rather sad situation.
It would have taken the letter writer but a few short moments to telephone the ever helpful staff at the National Trust headquarters at the Elms, who would have succinctly explained that:
a) The quoted £500,000 house was, in fact, not a house at all but a small piece of foundation concrete which is denied all future planning consent.
The foundations were, in fact, all that remained of a modest bungalow that burned down during the early 1960s which, thanks to a generous donation by Brigadier W D Anderton, was subsequently purchased by the Trust in 1966 to be kept as an open space.
Because of concrete failure, these foundations were recently removed and the area returned to natural habitat.
b) It is not within the constitution of the National Trust to sell or dispose of any of the buildings or land, gifted or otherwise, by generous Islanders.
To do so would be to betray every kind benefactor who has put their faith in the Trust since its protective creation in 1936.
While appreciating the letter writer’s suggestions, checking a few easy to come by facts beforehand would have saved the Trust much unhelpful frustration and its president a great deal of precious time in forwarding an explanatory reply.