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Too Lidl, Too Late....Painting The Coeval / Fowler's HQ ...?

Lidl Worried about the Dangers Created on Their Watch?

It's all like a bad movie. Just about now, the audience is waiting with bated breath ....for the 'traditional' accidental fire to finish the job.


July 24th was Protest Day by the Arts Festival at [i] the totally uncaring sequential degradation of the Coeval/ Old Fowler's HQ in The Pans; and [ii] the 'rumours' from usually reliable sources within the corridors of power in East Lothian that Lidl's prefered buyer [who's name is being kept 'secret' until it's a done-deal] had demolition in mind.

The Protest was to be a modest encampment of artists who were intent on 'painting the building'. So far away from any comprehension of what the plot is all about the 'concerned' executives in Lidl's Property Development Division, tucked away in Livingston, thought that in 'painting the building' the artists would be risking life and limb. Why? Because Lidl's believe that on their watch the building has become DANGEROUS. To approach it would constitute a public safety risk.

click on all pictures to enlarge
Superman saving the Coeval Building from falling down

So, at this late hour, to hold back any surging crowds of enraged artists as they wielded their brushes onto canvas, two black clad security guards were employed for an 8 hour day and a carefully enmeshed set of fencing at the building's edge was erected. The actually dangerous bit incidentally, the subsided segement of grass to the east, was left with the fencing fallen over and the area readily accessible for any youngster playing nearby. [Although with Superman on hand a rescue would always have been accomplished.]

Painting of the Coeval BuildingArtists painting the Coeval building

The new painting of the building is by Andrew Crummy, Convenor of the Arts Festival, co-founder of the Three Harbours Festival, and as a direct descendant of Helen Crummy reared in the fighting arts-spirit of Craigmillar. [Earlier in the day he had made his views very clear on Forth Radio.] Lynn Schroder found especial delight in the wrought iron gate which rightly includes a depiction of hops as used by Fowler's.

As a measure to protect their now dangerous building at all costs, and the artists from themselves, it was all Too Lidl, Too Late. Their public relations reputation is in tatters and will remain so in the community where the Community Council and the East Lothian Council have both already petitioned Lidl and Historic Scotland [to no effect it seems] to preserve the building. They may be well appreciated hard discounters in the retail trade but their contribution to community architecture thus far in The Pans is abysmal. Frankly, the directors of Fowler's Ales made an infinitely grander job of it in 1953.

Historic Scotland Comes To Visit

Of Historic Scotland more later since July 24th was also the occasion of their first field visit in the person of Dawn McDowell following the latest request from the Arts Festival per se that the building should be Listed. Dawn McDowell reported that Lidl will grant her access to the 'Dangerous Building' in mid August and that it is "concerned about subsidence" - not presumably of their reputation in town or even the badly fenced spot ...something else. Maybe it wont be the traditional fire but a 'black [coal] hole' will open up and swallow the Coeval Building. More work for Superman then.

from The Arts Directorate
Prestoungrange Arts Festival

Published Date: July 25th 2007

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