Hall display bid is turned down

Pleas to provide more display options at Morpeth Town Hall have been rejected by councillors.

Local historian and Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering Director Kim Bibby-Wilson had requested a permanent display board to be provided in the Corn Exchange for use for heritage exhibitions and other community events.

We are talking about a building that is quite old.

Andrew Tebbutt, Chairman Morpeth Town Council Property and Asset Management Committee

But Morpeth Town Council’s Property and Asset Management Committee has ruled it out, saying there is nowhere to place or store a board.

Clerk Gillian Turner said: “The problem is that the room is used for various civic events and we don’t want a big noticeboard on the wall, particularly if there is a wedding or prestigious event in there.

“The only things on permanent display are the three old pictures of Morpeth from the 1960s. We haven’t got anything else on the walls.

“We don’t have display boards because we have nowhere to keep them. If people want to bring their own in when they have displays that is okay.”

Coun Ron Forster added: “I can’t see any other space to put them. When the Gathering comes in, they have free-standing ones.”

And Coun Alison Byard said: “Even if we got temporary boards, we have got nowhere to put them away.”

The committee also turned down a request to allow Blu-Tack-type material to be used in the building.

Chairman Andrew Tebbutt said: “My experience of Blu-Tack is that it can be one of the most horrendous things to get off. It leaves marks and can take plaster off and do all sorts of things.

“We are talking about a building that is quite old. We have no guarantees that the surface can withstand Blu-Tack so personally I would be reluctant to agree to the request.”

Ms Turner said: “If you take it off immediately, it does come off, but when it has dried a bit then you have the problem. That is why we don’t allow it anywhere.

“We even have to use special paint in the Town Hall because of the age of the building.”

Coun Byard said: “I would always like to support efforts to promote the heritage of the town, but I agree that Blu-Tack can be horrible, particularly on a rough surface like stone.”

The committee voted unanimously to turn down the request.