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A stain on our souls if we lose Torriano poets

PUBLISHED: 15:38 22 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:19 07 September 2010

The Ham&High has campaigned on many issues over the years, taking up the cudgels on behalf of all areas of our society, whether about people, animals or places. For example, a couple of years ago, with your newspaper s help, we managed to save a beautifu

The Ham&High has campaigned on many issues over the years, taking up the cudgels on behalf of all areas of our society, whether about people, animals or places.

For example, a couple of years ago, with your newspaper's help, we managed to save a beautiful old willow in Hampstead Garden Suburb that insurers wanted to fell. In other words, your newspaper has been instrumental in preserving important aspects of local life.

But what about the community of the mind where thoughts and words flourish? I am talking about the Torriano Meeting House, spiritual home of poets, now under threat again.

Three years ago the Labour incumbents at the Town Hall withdrew their subsidy (the annual rent is £10,000) and now I learn that the Tory-Lib Dem administration is asking for a full business rate, another £65 a month. Small beer, you might think, but with entry prices at the TMH ranging from only £5 and under, there is going to be an obvious shortfall.

Why is the Torriano such a soft target? Is there not one creative brain among administrators? Have any of them ever been moved by poetry and have they ever considered the fact that there are few financially rich poets?

The Torriano is so loved, has many loyal, devoted supporters, that its demise would be a stain on all our souls. We have to recognise its value and support it. With your support, it would have a chance of survival, but only if these ridiculous charges are dropped.

JEAN HALL

Hampstead Lane, N6

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