I share the concerns of Pendle Council’s Colne and District Committee regarding the old school house property in Exchange Street, Colne.
Over the last three years, the Titanic in Lancashire Museum has twice tried negotiating with the owner of the building, with a view to making it the permanent home of the museum.
I have viewed the property several times and have managed to look past its current derelict state to where I can see a world-class Titanic museum here in Colne, pulling in tourists and visitors from all over the world.
Belfast has a wonderful Titanic museum, as does Southampton and Liverpool. Colne’s link to the Titanic legend through Wallace Hartley is one of the main cornerstones of the whole story and is known the world over by young and old.
Colne, too, should have such a museum and it would not take “mega bucks” to achieve. Colne should be capitalising on our heritage and building on the fantastic work done last year for the Titanic centenary by Pendle’s tourism department (especially Vaughan Jones and Mike Williams). Events like this could very easily become an annual attraction and would pull in much-needed visitors to the town, benefitting everyone.
The negotiations with the owner of he Exchange Street building failed both times when the owner simply stopped all contact and did not answer any inquiries.
It is a crying shame that a building with such potential for a museum such as ours is left by the owner to slowly crumble – a Grade II listed building in a conservation area no less.
Situations such as this are one of the reasons why our decision to move to Salmesbury Hall has been made, when we would much prefer to stay in Colne.
Curator, Titanic in Lancashire Museum