LAST week’s front page reported on an supper event to raise funds for replacement pavements in our town centre organised by Helston’s Mayor.
When Gillian Geer took over the post last year she spoke of her ambition to make improvements to the town which included the restoration of granite paving slabs.
I have previously highlighted how a succession of contractors have been allowed to replace solid granite surface materials with cheap alternatives. Areas that were once matching granite flagstones are now extended areas of tarmac, concrete and cement paving slabs.
Helston’s beautiful aesthetics have slowly eroded to the point where many streets are now a mish-mash of sub-standard repairs and I felt encouraged when our mayor picked up the baton and said: “The aim is to repave as much of the town centre as we can with original-style granite slabs. I believe it will transform the look and feel of the town if we can swap the broken pavers, bricks and tarmac patches for our traditional local granite.”
I recently spent time at Fuengirola in Spain and was impressed by the neatness of the area. Roundabouts were adorned with sculptures, hedges well maintained, information boards tastefully artistic, pavement repairs unnoticeable and business owners took great pride in appearance of their shops.
Last month my relatives left Brighton to stay with me for a week-long family holiday. They enjoyed a train ride around St Ives, a visit to the Minack Theatre and a walk to St Michael’s Mount. Sadly, their impression of Helston’s town centre was that it looked “scruffy and uninviting.”
This comment felt such a shame as there are a plenty of fantastic businesses in the area, yet most are let down by the decay of their surroundings.
Hopefully the mayor’s initiative will reverse Helston’s constant neglect and work will continue until we can once again feel proud of our surroundings.