EW Godwin in Radio 4’s ‘Great Lives’

The “Great Lives” series on Radio 4 this week will be about EW Godwin, the designer of the Carriageworks.

Portrait of Godwin

The format of the programme is that a “famous person” selects their hero and the presenter (Mathew Parris) gets an “expert” to fill in the details of their story.

So for Godwin it’s Gary Kemp, songwriter and guitarist with Spandau Ballet.  Kemp began collecting pieces of Godwin’s work from the 1980s. He’s remained fascinated by the life and work of the man who formed part of the Aesthetic Movement in the 19th century, designed houses for Oscar Wilde and James Whistler, and influenced Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Great Lives is on Radio 4 on Tuesday 4 April at 4.30pm.  93fm in Bristol, 92-95fm elsewhere in UK or online http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/bbc_radio_fourfm

More details about the progreamme at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08kv5f6 and more on Godwin’s life in Bristol on the PRSC website.

A familar tale?…

grayson-perry-gentrification

By Grayson Perry.  Remind you of anywhere?

Raises interesting questions worthy of much debate over a white cider, homebrew, craft ale or chablis (depending upon which picture you inhabit).

  • What do you do when an area becomes totally run down?
  • Have things reached rock bottom when the artists move in?
  • Once things start to improve does the area attract new types of people?
  • Do the old inhabitants get squeezed out or does the regeneration process extend to them as well?
  • Are the hipsters, like the cuckoo, the first sign of spring? And do the investor developers follow them just as one season follows another?
  • Are high end apartments an inevitable conclusion to the regeneration process?
  • And what happens after the bohemian apartments? Does it start all over again?
  • Can one place accomodate everyone, old and new, traditional and progressive, ordered and anarchic, conventional and challenging?
  • Finally, is it possible (or desirable?) to press a pause button, to freeze the cycle and preserve it in time? And who decides when?

Mull, discuss, respond; because it’s happening in a street near you!

Has Fifth Capital lost the plot?

Marc Pennick, owner and Director of Fifth Capital, went off script when he spoke to the BBC about the open letter from city leaders opposing his plans for the Carriageworks.

The BBC contacted him having seen the letter from, amongst others, David Sproxton of Aardman Animation.  The letter calls into question Pennick’s plans and their failure to provide affordable housing.

But the developer’s formerly tightly managed PR campaign went crashing off the rails not once, not twice but three times when Pennick opened his mouth.

First off in his outburst he said “I don’t need a lecture from someone who makes fictional animations”.  For that, also read ‘I don’t need lectures from local residents’ for that is what many of the signatories to the letter, including David, are. Not clever to insult the locals Marc!

Number 2: Pennick went on “Maybe his time would be best spent on making another Wallace and Gromit animation which will be hopefully better than the last one.”  Ouch! Well loved Bristol company have won many oscars and plaudits for their work, have brought wit and humour to our lives and earned a place in the hearts of every Bristolian.  But Pennick, who has no connection with Bristol, and questionable connection with reality, sees fit to insult the town’s local produce. Lesson number 2 – understand the local culture.

And finally: He got his facts wrong for he claims that it has taken David 28 years to comment – look at our website Marc and you’ll clearly see David taking part in our community consultation in 2011 before Fifth Capital even existed!  Lesson number 3 – do your homework first!

Twitter is alive with people condemning Marc’s outburst. Doubtless Four Communications and Peter Bingle, PR and lobbying consultants to Fifth Capital, are spending Easter trying to recover the damage done.

See the BBC article here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-32158549