The Prince of Wales has blown open the doors of establishment architecture and given people the confidence to participate in local decisions affecting the townscape.
He has voiced the concern of countless numbers who have witnessed the demolition of city centres: the town hall and graceful Eldon Square in Newcastle upon Tyne have been replaced by a sprawling, monolithic shopping precinct that has swallowed up the heart of the city.
Historic towns are not immune to past disasters either. The centre of Chester is hemmed in by a hostile inner-ring road, cutting through the ancient city wall under a concrete ridge.
In Durham, the riverside is graced by Millburngate House, a vast concrete structure that has ruined a lovely site. In contrast to such philistine developments, there is a new chapel in Durham designed by a student at Newcastle University, which is original and delightful. Local people are proud of this addition to the townscape.
Far from 'paving the way to hell', Prince Charles' contribution has been a breath of fresh air in the resounding silence of the so-called great and the good.
CHRISTINA J. C. THOMAS
Durham CityReuse content