THE NEWSDESK: You know what you can do with your sneering about Tredegar House

Tredegar House ready to welcome visitors

An internal shot of the house

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

NEWPORT - it's like being in a family.

Those of us who live and work here can criticise it, we can point out its failings. But if you are a London-based paper with a history of sneering at things and think you can have the temerity to sneer at one of our crown jewels, you can think again.

Daily Mail writer Christopher Wilson last week dubbed Tredegar House "a ghostly, depressingly ugly pile near Newport in south Wales" in a piece about a biography of the life of Viscount Tredegar.

Well, ghostly is about the only accurate word in that sentence.

Tredegar House is, of course, IN Newport. It is also far from 'depressingly ugly' or a 'pile'.

But then, what evidence do we have that Mr Wilson - who is not the author of the biography, that is William Cross - ever set foot in Tredegar House?

How much easier it always is to write glib, catty little put-downs about a place when you haven't actually got to visit it, talk to local people or stand up and be counted in your opinion.

Actually, I'm heartily sick of peple who know little or nothing about this city rubbishing it.

We all know the city centre is in crisis and that there is a lot of hard work to be done, and residents are, understandably, a little cynical about the way forward after past disappointments.

But this is a city with a great history, a great spirit and great people.

So while Mr Wilson might sneer at our "pile", we think it beautiful, impressive and worth conserving as a key part of our heritage.

If you don't like that heritage, move on and find something you do like. I am sure we'll all struggle along without you.

 

 

MORE tough news on the economic front today with a new survey of household spending power for May.

The average UK household had £157 per week of discretionary income - funds left after essentials like taxes, food, bills, transport, clothing and housing costs - in May, down £1 or 0.5% on a year earlier, supermarket Asda's Income Tracker showed.

That remains below the £165 peak seen in early 2010, as higher gas, electricity and water bills heap further pressure on cash-strapped consumers.

And disposable income fell despite an increase in the personal tax allowance - the part of earnings on which no tax is paid - to £9,440 in the current tax year from £8,105 a year earlier.

Asda chief executive Andy Clarke said: "The reality of three years of near continuous decline in disposable income means families don't feel any better off."

And consumer confidence is king when it comes to dragging ourselves out of the financial mire.

 

SO many column inches this week about the Nigella Lawson/Charles Saatchi fall-out. Would we intervene? Should she divorce him?

How can an affluent, educated woman put up with that? That question interests me - do those who ask it believe violent men only inhabit the homes of the so-called lower classes?

The thing I keep thinking is that across the country, there are women who are being grabbed round the throat, punched in the face, kicked in the ribs and worse and we know nothing about it.

Because they are not celebrities followed around by paparazzi photographers. Because what is happening to them is often happening behind closed doors, after abusive partners have managed to sever their relationships with families and friends.

So while, like everyone else, I might have an opinion about Nigella's situation (no man who grabs you round the throat in public or private deserves house room or a moment's more thought), let's all be less obsessive about Nigella and more alert to the signals around us that people we know might be going through a similar kind of ordeal.

We need to let them know they are not alone. That they can talk about it. And when they are ready to do something about it, they have support.

Comments (5)

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5:24pm Sun 23 Jun 13

Davi says...

I have beautiful photo's taken at Tredegar House and in the grounds and it's a beautiful house with great gardens..
I have beautiful photo's taken at Tredegar House and in the grounds and it's a beautiful house with great gardens.. Davi
  • Score: 0

5:56pm Sun 23 Jun 13

valleysminx says...

Nothing beats a bit of populist tribalism when faced with a common foe. What better bandwagon to jump on. Perhaps the author should heed her own advice and move on. Find something interesting to write about already. For who really cares for anything written in the Daily Mail.
Nothing beats a bit of populist tribalism when faced with a common foe. What better bandwagon to jump on. Perhaps the author should heed her own advice and move on. Find something interesting to write about already. For who really cares for anything written in the Daily Mail. valleysminx
  • Score: 0

5:57pm Sun 23 Jun 13

Katie Re-Registered says...

What do you expect from the far right sympathising fascist Daily Mail? With their treasoness track record of supporting the Nazis who threatened this country during the 1930s and '40s, right up to the present day which recently saw them drive a woman to suicide through their transphobic stalking and harassment of her, the Daily 'Heil' is exactly the very sort of cack rag that if it even had the sensitivity and intelligence to know what culture is would be reaching for their gun.
What do you expect from the far right sympathising fascist Daily Mail? With their treasoness track record of supporting the Nazis who threatened this country during the 1930s and '40s, right up to the present day which recently saw them drive a woman to suicide through their transphobic stalking and harassment of her, the Daily 'Heil' is exactly the very sort of cack rag that if it even had the sensitivity and intelligence to know what culture is would be reaching for their gun. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 0

1:41pm Mon 24 Jun 13

sharon1717 says...

I'm not from Newport but have many happy memories of events at Tredegar House, including days spent enjoying the grounds as a child and with my own family. With all the economic ups and downs faced by Newport over the years, it is a testament to local people that Tredegar House has not only been maintained, but also improved, so that it can continue to be enjoyed by generations of people in Gwent and beyond. I place no credence on the opinion of anyone who writes for a paper that devotes more space to the cult of the "celebrity" than it does on serious news. Mr. Wilson hads shown himself time and again to be a London-centric writers who sneers at anything outside the small boundaries of the M25.
I'm not from Newport but have many happy memories of events at Tredegar House, including days spent enjoying the grounds as a child and with my own family. With all the economic ups and downs faced by Newport over the years, it is a testament to local people that Tredegar House has not only been maintained, but also improved, so that it can continue to be enjoyed by generations of people in Gwent and beyond. I place no credence on the opinion of anyone who writes for a paper that devotes more space to the cult of the "celebrity" than it does on serious news. Mr. Wilson hads shown himself time and again to be a London-centric writers who sneers at anything outside the small boundaries of the M25. sharon1717
  • Score: 0

6:45pm Mon 24 Jun 13

sugar2002ukuk says...

I got married at Tredegar House and it was a beautiful setting and a lovely place for my photographs. I had a lovely day.
I got married at Tredegar House and it was a beautiful setting and a lovely place for my photographs. I had a lovely day. sugar2002ukuk
  • Score: 0

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