Loyalty lies with Towner Gallery

WHILE much of what Michael Harris has written (Herald letters, March 11) is true, that we have all been disappointed in what he calls lack of transparency in matters concerning the Towner Gallery and many other buildings in Eastbourne (surely symptomatic of today’s culture and thinking) I would wish to clarify something as a result of his comment on my chairman’s letter in our winter newsletter.

For a long time the Friends’ job has been to raise much-needed money for the gallery.

Then a huge move from the old (now sad) building took place, and while it was not well managed, resulting in much aggravation and dissent, today it is in a position that has brought back most of what was at one point taken away. ie: the previews, the ability to put our events on and, to be honest, a relationship that was not happy.

However I would not go so far as to claim they disowned us!

It was more that it was an enormous move with great responsibility and eyes were taken off the ball.

I am pleased to report that these matters are now in the process of being resolved.

However there is a matter called loyalty. We are the Friends of the Towner, and this is where ours lies.

Rather than keep fighting and name calling, and generally creating a culture of blame, I decided to go down another path, one of discussion and attempts to get us back to an even keel.

I believe this has worked. This does not mean that we do not have huge concerns about the news of the enormous financial mess around us, and everyone in Eastbourne who cares about our lovely town must also be concerned.

In fact I wish that the public could indeed have more honest and up front information about how Eastbourne is run.

For too long this country has paid no heed to the profligate use of money, and Eastbourne is no exception.

Whether we can recover only time will tell, but my committee and I will go on supporting the Towner Gallery, which is its historic role.

Elizabeth Muir-Lewis


Friends of the Towner