Orchard plan for Frank James Hospital

By a County Press reporter

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

 

THE Isle of Wight Orchard Group hopes to plant young hazel and walnut trees in the grounds of the Frank James Hospital, East Cowes, on Sunday.

Since starting the guerilla gardening campaign to rescue the former hospital site, the Friends of Frank James have pruned existing trees, including apples, cherries and a commemorative cherry tree, and have added plants, including a pear tree and flowers, for pollinating insects.

During the Isle of Wight Orchard Group’s AGM, members acknowledged the work done at the site and volunteered to help by adopting the grounds as the group’s first home orchard.

Sunday is close to the second anniversary of the campaign to end a decade of neglect at the nationally important site. Since entering on March 4, 2012, the friends have worked hard to halt and reverse the damage and bring owners and authorities together to draw up an action plan to save the hospital.

Owners have consented to this Sunday’s planting and responsible visitors are welcome between noon and 4pm.

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Displaying the last 10 of 14 comments - Show All Comments

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by Keven Ball

26th February 2014, at 11:41:18

I fully agree Matthew - I hate to see trees being cut down for no reason! Therefore, it is lovely to hear and see new trees being planted.

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by matthew eldridge

26th February 2014, at 10:52:32

anything that highlights the plight of this historic building and benifits nature has to be a goodthing

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by Steven Goodman

25th February 2014, at 23:35:49

Thanks Jack. I'm not looking for anyone to blame (the blameworthy are known); ideally I'm looking for a wealthy discerning saviour, but any occupation & return to use would be welcome. You are right about the current woes of councils; what is shameful is previous failure to act as early as possible, especially when a lot of time & money could have been saved (mine included), and a better outcome achieved. Some councils behaved differently, as shown in the broadcast referred to earlier (by Richard). Limitations have always existed, but so have responsibilities, and our local & national politicians are having a hard time deciding what to do with our money on our behalf. Can cuts to essential services be justified without cutting Trident, HSR2, or banker's bailouts? Are we broke, or, as the PM said recently, is money no object? When we are so short of housing, and losing so much of our shared heritage, why was FJ abandoned? What will we be remembered for?

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by Jack Woodford

25th February 2014, at 21:10:38

Thanks for the reply Steve, dude. I personally think that there have always been limitations on the council though. Your campaigning against cuts for as long as I can remember would seem to back that up too.
I agree it is a great shame this building has fallen into such a poor state but I really don't think its the role of any council - whatever the political make-up - to spend time and money on it when it has trouble enough preserving basic services.
If you are looking for someone to blame then what about the NHS who chose to sell it to a bunch of spivs in the first place.
Anyhow - I wish you luck in your campaign, fella.

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by Steven Goodman

25th February 2014, at 20:47:07

Yvonne; no, the damage caused 5 months ago to the Grade II listed wall by an Island Waste vehicle has not been repaired.
Jack; yes. Soon after the election the new council did look closely at what they could do to help, & what they could spend on a rescue, & they are now working with the owners to agree a plan to save FJ; a very much improved position, especially after previous very much cheaper missed opportunities including at least 1 refusal of a back to back purchase & sale to someone with the money & expertise required, when the building remained in quite good condition. Until FJ is occupied I would still like the council to do more, but I am also aware of the limitations imposed on them.

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by Richard Broadhead

25th February 2014, at 20:14:59

I should have mentioned it is about half way through the program.

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by Richard Broadhead

25th February 2014, at 20:12:07

I would urge those interested in saving FJ should watch Permission impossible on BBC 2 (was on at 7 oclock tonight) on catch uo and how a similar situation was being handled on the mainland by a council.

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by Russell Palin

25th February 2014, at 20:11:26

Maybe if we have the love and care of the people who strive for the Frank James thrown at developing East Cowes after all this.
East Cowes is urban, it is of great visual merit from an architectural point of view, the place is oooooooozing with classic beauty. (sorry Mr Grossman)
If the Frank James falls after all this then it would be viewed in future years like scrapping one of Calbourne No 24 from the IoW steam railway because she was a little bit rusty in 1970's after she survived the scrapping of all the rest of her class in the 1960's...
More photographs exist on the Internet of this building than quite a few very special buildings you will find LOL
Anyway back where I started, don't ruin East Cowes please.
The whole town is rather nice and it is sad that it is not looked upon by the rest or the world like the West Cow, there that's what I think, did not cost anything at all.
Urban planners please note £ nowt

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by Jack Woodford

25th February 2014, at 19:46:04

@Steve Goodman.
I seem to remember that, in opposition, many of the subsequently elected IW Council members were calling on then council to step in and spend money on saving the site. I think you too supported council intervention. Is that still your position?

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by alan naylor

25th February 2014, at 18:54:10

Great idea more fruit trees needed everywhere to bring back the finches why not they were once here first like many animals

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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