WITH the news that the Winter Gardens site is set to be developed, are there any Bournemouthians out there, of a certain age, who feel a sense of sadness that this will be the finality of the magic words, Winter Gardens?

Was there ever a venue in our town that had been graced by so many famous names from the world of entertainment in the years of its existence?

In my own life, as school boys, we were literally dragged there to be ‘educated’ to the complexities of classical music by Sir Charles Groves and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, when we would rather have preferred Elvis or Buddy Holly.

The many summer spectaculars with our parents to the countless iconic masters of popular music, big band and modern and trad jazz, skiffle, The Beatles, through to the realms of Tamla Motown to psychedelia and reluctantly, into punk. They all left their memory on those of us that were privileged to be there.

There was even some quite classic films shown on my watch. I’ll never forget my introduction to the quite brilliant Seven Samurai, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday and the jaw-dropping experience of witnessing the wild surf in the Endless Summer.

I really can’t believe there is not going to be some small reminder of what took place on the hallowed ground where this fine, grand old lady once graced this town. No memorial, no monument and no statue.

Is her memory really going to be buried by a monolithic structure?

Not that I’m in any way opposed to the abundance of war memorials in the town - my father was a World War Two soldier and my grandfather was a casualty of World War One. But isn’t it time we started building monuments to the people and places that created happiness.

You see, it’s like time. Very precious.


Stanpit, Christchurch