Letter: Dutch shipwreck could be saved with ingenuity

Share
Related Topics
Sir: I was both uplifted and cast down by David Keys's article "Historic wreck's rescue scuppered by bureaucrats" (27 June). Uplifted to read that "it is the best preserved ship of its type in the world" and cast down to read that English Heritage, on advice from the Treasury solicitor, will have nothing to do with it because it lies "50 metres south of mean low water and, therefore, not in England" (50 metres!).

Were it otherwise, English Heritage would no doubt have a statutory duty to act, but isn't its miserably negative attitude really symptomatic of a lack of willpower? One imagines with what relief English Heritage executives received the news from the Treasury solicitor's daily tidal measurements with his trousers rolled up and tape measure in hand - after all, he has a considerable interest, too. We do not have to do anything, we do not have to exert ourselves to raise a large sum of money.

I have worked, always in new product development, for three internationally famous retail consumer goods companies and, faced with a prospect of such international profit (fame and respect is the equivalent for English Heritage) cannot believe it would have turned down such a wonderful opportunity.

If English Heritage is ring-fenced by a statutory duty only to act on English soil, could it not get enabling legislation exceptionally to extend this? A private member's bill, "The Sailing Ship Amsterdam Rescue Bill", might work. English Heritage surely has enough friends among the great and the good. Television coverage, collecting boxes, a bottle of 250- year-old wine for each subscription of pounds 1,000 or more, corporate sponsorship, a video presentation, all on an international basis.

It might not succeed, but they could at least try. Life is full of surprises and unexpected opportunities. If the formation of English Heritage did not anticipate such a marginal situation as exists here, surely the thing is to take steps to find a remedy. But the answer is a lemon - and it leaves the same bitter taste in the mouth.

Yours faithfully,

Broadbridge

House of Lords

London, SW1

27 June

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

I don't blame parents who move to get their child into a good school

Chris Blackhurst
William Hague, addresses delegates at the Conservative party conference for the last time in his political career in Birmingham  

It’s only natural for politicians like William Hague to end up as journalists

Simon Kelner
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

That's a bit rich

The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'