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Love Salisbury Art Centre?

The Salisbury Arts Centre.

Has surprised many with the suggestion that if members of the Public were to pay a voluntary annual membership fee of variable amounts up to £90 per annum, certain privileges would attach to their subscription. One is aware that the District Council has made Grants to the Arts Centre on a regular basis, but the District Council is soon to be abolished.

In the recent past a new extension was financed. There were some who thought that it would have been better to have constructed an internal mezzanine floor to the building in the manner of the Congregational Church in Fisherton Street, rather than build onto the former Church, that suggestion did not prevail. One knows nothing of the Congregational Church but its plan does seem to be a successful amalgamation of ‘God and Mammon’ one which very possibly others might emulate before it is too late. But that’s a different Hobby Horse.

Apart from the Vanity element of these subscriptions , seemingly it is possible to make bookings for events and CLASSES ,eleven days before the ‘Plebs’ have the opportunity so to do. Thus the reality is that unless one has become a subscriber on top of the Class fee it might be impossible to join for example the undoubtedly popular ‘Croatian Ladies Crochet Circle’ should one be initiated, unless one could afford to pay extra to front the undoubted waiting list. There being no assurance of even then joining the class. Apparently

‘Some Community Charge Payers are to be more equal than others.’

There was a time that one had to be a member of the then Arts Centre to use the facility at all. I had not realised that the scheme finished when the predecessor of the Arts Centre went into liquidation. Maybe it would be a far better idea to reinstitute the requirement of one hundred per cent Membership, rather than implement this invidious ‘LOVE Salisbury Arts Centre Scheme’

The Arts Centre is doubtlessly expensive to run, and one has heard at least one former District Councillor harangue its very existence. The Subscription Leaflet advises that in the ‘Unlikely event of the Company’s liquidation the subscribers Legal Obligation is to pay no more than £1’ Well let us hope that this excellent facility does not go into liquidation, its forerunner did fold, and one may wonder if this current scheme is a better path to follow than would be Membership for All?

There were Membership benefits to the previous scheme too. I recall trying to buy some Petrol in France using a cheque bearing my name drawn on a French Bank Account. The Indian manning the Service Station ‘welcomed me to his country’ but apologetically requested some means of identification. Ones shiny new Passport was of no use because like the cheque it had no address on it, Ones Gun Licence signed pp the Chief Constable was unacceptable, as in France such a document did not exist. However ones little blue membership card of the Arts Centre was just the ticket, name number and address. We made no mention that the Art Centre was at the time had gone out of business.

Is the Arts Centre to be a re-run of the Salisbury Playhouse saga?

contact : John B. Pope
Email : pionono@tiscali.co.uk