I was glad to see the plans for the restoration of the Pump Room Gardens, and very fine they are, a credit to conservation. Throughout my life the gardens have sometimes reminded me of a beautiful woman lazily letting herself fade.
I have only one reservation, important but easily resolved by saving money.
When I was a young chap bands often used the bandstand on Sunday afternoons and now and then I listened to them. They played for a couple of hours, unpretentious music that added to the sense of long leisurely summer days. Recreating those days, one of the great pleasures of youth and of old men dreaming of youth, would be wonderful.
It will not however happen if bands are amplified. Quite the reverse. English Heritage would not permit double-glazing in the renovated Pump Rooms and amplification is vastly more obtrusive than double-glazing.
The Victorians had ears like ours and their object in erecting bandstands was to entertain for a couple of hours people who wanted to listen to bands , not to intrude on people living a quarter of a mile away who were trying to listen to different music or to write an article or to read a book or to prune the roses or to get the baby to sleep, least of all people who were ill and longing for comfort; in short, people who did not want to be subjected to other people’s dictatorial preferences.
If I were alone in thinking this I would have kept my thought to myself. I am not alone.
Mr R.P. Taylor, St Mary’s Terrace, Leamington