Letter - Don’t repeat the same mistake in Wakefield

The poet John Betjeman played a pivotal and frequent role in the conservation of many historic British buildings, amongst other people too. I think Betjeman once said something to the effect: “When a treasured building goes, you feel it as a loss in your soul.”

St Peters at Stanley was knocked down in February. I often pick up a copy of Wakefield Cathedrals’ magazine (now sadly, no longer a diocese) “Awake!”

The last issue had an article on St. Peters church. It ran: “Demolition is now well underway at the Grade II listed building on Aberford Road.”

Note: Demolition/ Grade II listed, in the same sentence. Confused? You should be!

We now learn that St Faiths, another Grade II building, is almost certain to be demolished (let’s face it, it is hard to have faith otherwise!)

When St. Peters was knocked down, a friend said to me: “I can’t believe this. Wakefield has some awful buildings, so what do they do? They knock down a building of real character and history!” That really says it all doesn’t it?

I applaud Kevin Trickett and Wakefield Civic Society for making a stand with regards to St. Faiths.

Even a teenager at the school where I work said: “That corner will never look the same again.”

Something could be done; even leaving it as a secured semi-ruin in attractive grounds could work. Let’s face it, Kirkstall, Fountains, Byland and many others around these islands are, strictly speaking, ruins.

There is nothing to stop us drawing a line at the demolition of St. Peters. I, and many other people, think that was a mistake. We do not need to repeat that mistake in Wakefield within just a few months.

Please: let’s think again.

John Roberts

St John’s Court

St John’s