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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Glory Hole to Disappear?


Paul Reed
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[ Although the owner is willing to sell, permission to build is refused because it is on the site of a Civil War battlefield. A local farmer decides that there is no future in agriculture , he will build a factory and staff it with the local people who used to work on farms. No way, the site is a battlefield from the Wars of the Roses.

Is their anything that you personally value and wouldn't want to see built on?

Your hypothetical situation is interesting but exactly that - do not presume heritage law in the UK to be so strict or effective. There aren't really that many Civil War battlefields and I'd be willing to stand up for their preservation - 3.6% of the population died in that conflict as opposed to 2.6% during WWI.

It's a question of conflicting value regimes and although I can most certainly compromise and deal with realpolitiks, I know where I stand here.

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[ Although the owner is willing to sell, permission to build is refused because it is on the site of a Civil War battlefield. A local farmer decides that there is no future in agriculture , he will build a factory and staff it with the local people who used to work on farms. No way, the site is a battlefield from the Wars of the Roses.

Is their anything that you personally value and wouldn't want to see built on?

Your hypothetical situation is interesting but exactly that - do not presume heritage law in the UK to be so strict or effective. There aren't really that many Civil War battlefields and I'd be willing to stand up for their preservation - 3.6% of the population died in that conflict as opposed to 2.6% during WWI.

It's a question of conflicting value regimes and although I can most certainly compromise and deal with realpolitiks, I know where I stand here.

Hello Simon, I was trying , and obviously failing, to point up the fact that there might be valid reasons for wishing to develop a historically important site. These decisions are not usually black and white, there will be arguments for and against every proposed use. I think that people who live locally and will be directly impacted by the decision, ought to have the biggest input. Of course, all interested parties should be allowed to state that interest and ask that it be considered when the decision is being made.

Since you ask, I think there are many sites on the Western front where actions worthy of commemoration took place. I think that the commemoration is best done by recording the actions in books, presentation of archaeological and historical artifacts in museums and a few well preserved sites. I think that any area where significant finds might be made should be subjected to thorough historic and archaeological survey before development.

Finally, and I am trying to pick my words very carefully here, I have never thought that any forum Pal was taking a stance or was influenced in his opinions by any financial interest. However, if a local resident did have a financial interest in the future of a site, then, that is a perfectly valid interest. If my neighbour's development is going to cost me money, or is going to earn me money, that gives me a very real interest in that development and I will wish to make my opinion heard.

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I see what you mean, the point is well taken. I just don't think it ever truly works the way we might want it to. Of course £ are involved and people can make money, but there are costs other than monetary ones - not least to the environment, both natural and man made.

Local input and interest is, sadly, very often neglected in my experience. Especially if it has an archaeological edge to it - the system we might commonly advocate does not result in 'thorough historic and archaeological survey' by any manner of means. The reports we file into the local museum are, I'm very sad to say, not worth the paper they are written on. If we get them at all. Or the finds. Preservation by record? Hardly.

I am sorry about this, but the kind of results we commonly might expect just don't come about.

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Paul,

Been keeping my eye on this since you posted it, with a little sadness. Please keep us informed of the situationand if there is anything that we can do.

Andy

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As a local comparison, that area around Gibraltar in Pozières was an overgrown 'wasteland' (although I remember small crop), much like the Glory Hole. 'Prime real estate', if you had chosen to build in Pozières. Someone, somewhere, decided to clear the area, revealing subtle but evident shell holes (or at least badly battered land). There's informative panels, an observation tower with excellent views, from what is practically the highest point on the Somme - barring the Windmill site - across the British and Australian lines of advance, and the Gibraltar complex itself (what is left of it - very interesting nonetheless) has been exposed to public view. It has become a major attraction and the accompanying car park provides a haven from what is a very dangerous road. It has certainly worked for me, showing many Aussie mates around the area and getting a better understanding of the battlefield. Couldn't a similiar approach work for the Glory hole? I'd suggest the majority of the thousands of people who visit the crater every year wouldn't even be aware of its existence or significance. At a glance it seems to be a paddock for cows and horses. Shame. But for anyone who has lived, or lives here, the French love of bureacracy, red tape and mounds of paperword is legendary. In short I'd be very disappointed to see it go. So near a major battlefield attraction as it is.

Stuart,

Paris

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It may be that Paul was seriously [expletive] with some of the comments here...Many 'older' members are noticeable by their absence of late on the GWF...

I understand the latest is that the house will be built from the boundary of the existing plot to the edge of the craters and not on the craters themselves. Maybe a slight reprieve for the time being.

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Hi All, :)

I too would be very interested as to the situation. I am very concerned about the site's future !!

Cheers

Tim.

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I understand that two plots are marked for development, one happens to be on the site of the German front line, the other on the British. The approach to the French authorities will be made by the All-Party Parliamentary War Graves and Battlefields Heritage Group.

Simon

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Glad to hear that wheels are in motion Simon, let me know if I can help out in any way. I think Paul was understandably miffed at having what were his very sincere intentions doubted by some of the members.

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Guest Simon Bull
Glad to hear that wheels are in motion Simon, let me know if I can help out in any way. I think Paul was understandably miffed at having what were his very sincere intentions doubted by some of the members.

Exactly - shame that some of those who said these things do not apologise to him by e-mail.

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:( I for one will miss Paul if we do not hear from him, he has been a great help to me in the past and fueled my interest.

Tony

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I was having a beer or 3, with some residential guides in Ypres last week and they were all of the same opinion, that Paul would not be back on the forum. This was for the same reason, that they themselve's are also not on the forum anymore! I think it is a great shame, but hardly not expected!

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I for one will miss Paul if we do not hear from him, he has been a great help to me in the past and fueled my interest.

Hear hear. Though I have only met Paul once, and only in passing, he is a man for whom I have the utmost respect and whose knowledge (either in published work or on sites such as this) has been invaluable to me in the past and continues to be so.

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Guest Simon Bull
Hear hear. Though I have only met Paul once, and only in passing, he is a man for whom I have the utmost respect and whose knowledge (either in published work or on sites such as this) has been invaluable to me in the past and continues to be so.

Further hear hear.

If he has gone he is a huge loss. A man with a great deal of knowledge, alwyas happy to impart it and a genuine feeling for the battlefields. He is a sad loss to us.

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It is a shame but many will know that a number of more senior early members have stopped posting here including some of the top ten (five...). I am not in that exalted category but have posted far less in the last month or two as there just seems less of interest - sorry. That and the endless inane UOT and constant political discussion (even though it is said to be verboten). I am sorry to say I know that others, as above, feel the same.

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I would also miss Paul's contributions.

Perhaps those who have offended should be asked to apologise via email or PM to him, or should do so without being asked.

Or is this too much to ask I wonder.

Martin

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I'd agree with the sentiments being expressed here, I too was taken aback by some of the posts in this thread and their ridiculous insinuations. And some people seem to delight in stirring things up and posting "aggressively". Anyway, I hope Paul hasn't given up on the forum entirely.

M

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:( I hope that the rumours of Paul no longer posting on the forum are unfounded, a chum with his knowledge and input into the various topics that arise cannot be allowed to disappear into the ether without appeals for him to remain with us here on line.

Next time I'm in the Soome Paul I'll buy you a pint or two if that 's what it takes to help encourage you to remain with us and carry on helping people like myself who have an interest but little knowledge of WW1 and the areas of conflict around the western front.

Now the offer of buying drinks dosn't come easy, ....I'm Scot's by birth but I can change the habit of a lifetime in a good cause.

Tom

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Hi All, :)

I am extremely sorry to hear that Paul will not be posting on this forum anymore.

Those who insulted him are a disgrace. There appears to be a nasty element at work here.

Cheers

Tim.

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Paul if you get to read this, and i hope you do, I for one will stand and fight to preserve all and any remaining sites such as the Glory Hole, and the suggestion that anyone would maybe profit from this is without doubt insulting and they should be ashamed.

I for one would stand side by side with you and offer you my full support on this matter, and for the record folks i have never met paul, so i ain't being biased.

I would support any attempt that was legal to preserve the site for future generations to visit.

Thanks to those who offered support and help; and thanks to Simon Jones in particular for liasing with the All Parties group.

I am disapointed and saddened with some people's attitude, especially at least two of them who seemed to be suggesting that I could in someway benefit financially from the preservation from this site; quite extraordinary!

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Paul's been active on the forum within the last three days so I suspect reports of his disappearance are premature. However, having just read through this entire thread again I am amazed and appalled at some members approach and would not blame him if he did retire hurt. Stay within rules, members, particularly those on respect for others: you have been warned.

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PAUL,I feel shocked as in sure all other members by what appears to be an attack on you,you have helped me in the past, your knowledge and willingness to help others is with out question. remember when tommy was in his "ole"having all sorts of sh** chucked at him what did he do?,looked to his mates and got on with the job,this forum would be

missing a valued trusted and well repected member,please think again,im going to the somme at the end of april and would be more than proud to a accept a drink from your good self"double of course"

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