Thursday, October 20, 2011

Probably not in the guide books


Many years ago, at a time when I seemed to be continually frustrated by the anomalies of english planning laws or, rather, local authorities' planning departments interpretation of them,  I became a fan of roundhouse builder Tony Wrench.
Using largely recycled materials Wrench famously built an attractive, comfortable shelter hidden in woodland within the boundaries of Pembrokeshire National Park.  When bought to book and asked why he had failed to apply for planning permission he explained that as an application would have been refused point-blank, to have applied would have been futile.  Even if he had been disposed to seek permission, he added to his defense, on the grounds that an application would have required drawings, he could not have applied; no drawing had ever existed; when he began to build he had no idea of how the finished shelter might look.

When I came upon the amazing buildings that serve as offices for 'Future Forests' plant nursery I was at once reminded me of Tony Wrench, his Roundhouse and his tireless and gallant fight to preserve his right to live in the home he had built.
As with Wrench's building in Pembrokeshire, that of 'Future Forests' is hidden deep in countryside where it is unlikely to offend the eyes of a majority who would tear down buildings of such ingenuity and natural beauty in favour of eye-sores, with which beautiful Ireland is liberally littered that, despite their ghastly ugliness, tick all the boxes on the forms issued by planning departments.

5 comments:

Andrew said...

A fabulous construction. I so admire people who make things. I can rarely make anything, other than a mess.

John Foster said...

Your comment gives me reason Andrew to believe that you have been taking, since you claimed in a post some while ago that you were less than confident about cooking for yourself, domestic science lessons.
Perhaps, though, you are referring to 'mess' in the contemptuous or disgusted sense of, 'a concoction, jumble, medley' or even, 'a dirty or untidy condition of things. (OED). In the latter sense of the word I am and, according to my late mother ever was, a 'mess' person. I am happy with this. it puts me in company with nature wherein little is regular or ordered but it seems to work well enough and is, when left unadulterated, ├Žsthetically beautiful.

Andrew said...

Physical construction John, was never a strength, which is what I was referring to. But even in my strengths whatever I try to put together ends up seeming a mess to me, these days. Thoughts and words are the materials I'm referring to now, but I've pulled a mess of those together into something better in the past so, despite myself, I still have hope. I had my mid-life crisis some years ago, so maybe this is my beginning-of-the-end-life crisis. Or beginning of my new beginning birth pain crisis, would be better. Apparently the future starts today, they say, and nature always provides raw materials to build it with, even if they seem a mess.

John Foster said...

Vivre le Magner au mess perhaps!

Magnetic Island Artist Edward Blum. said...

Wow, thank you for sharing great photo's and information.