A Letter to the Editor from Patricia DAVID of Scarborough regarding Scarborough Borough Council’s announcement to the Scarborough News that there is no grave at the Futurist Theatre.
Dear Mr. Editor,
Re: Recent Press Release.
I am concerned about some of the words that have been used in the Press Release, as they are open to misinterpretation by whoever reads them. Whilst allowing for the SN ability to misuse words anyway, (not to mention typo errors e.g. “graves”) we have facts and tangible information which run contrary to some of your assertions. These will be made public in a letter to SN by Diana Tasker which will follow on from her letter published about 3 weeks ago, outlining our own researches together with Jane Smith, over nearly a year, which have been extensive and wide-ranging but have never, at any time, claimed a fact that there is a grave. Therefore to say that our claims have been “proved unfounded” is not correct. Equally your specialist surveys have not been comprehensive, because the “slab” has not been physically lifted and looked underneath, although it would have been possible to do this, which makes their, and your claims, equally unfounded. We are aware that your using the Covenant as an excuse is not really valid, although readers may not know that. The answer lies directly underneath that slab.
Has anybody looked at the original Frank Tugwell drawings of the foundations of the plot at the time he was designing and building the theatre 1920/21? We have copies and there is absolutely nothing on them which shows this particular piece of land and “foundations” at that time. Therefore this specific plot must have been put there after the building, with its foundations built into the cliff, was completed. 1923 is by no means an impossibility. Also as time has passed, it is very likely (given that the cliff side at that point has been prone to landslip over many years) that a lot of silt and earth will have built up in that space, so that if any thing has been buried there, it will need some digging out to find it.
Logic dictates that there must have been a very good reason for the Catlin family putting that Covenant in those words on that space . It is unfortunate that all those people are long dead, and Jane Smith is still seeking out, wherever they may be found, any documents written by any members of the family, which may throw some light on that plot and Covenant. She has given an enormous amount of her time, including travelling, in her busy family life, to this end. It is after all her Family Heritage which is a major part of the National History of Seaside Entertainment Heritage, subject of many books all of which include the families direct involvement and responsibility to this history. Currently we can all only make an informed guess, given the research uncovered so far, that it must be a grave. Why else would the Family have placed that very specific Covenant.? Has the Council given any consideration to this thought? Do you have another plausible reason which you are not sharing with us? In which case, it will be important that you do let Jane Smith know. Does the Council really believe that this Covenant was placed on a slab of concrete for no particularly valid reason? However, until the “slab” is removed and dug out directly underneath, none of us, including the Council, actually know the facts.
Your Press Release also states “we have shared the Contractor’s final report with the granddaughter(sic. actually Jane Smith is the great-grand-daughter). FYI Will Catlin’s last , although now very old, daughter is still alive and has been a party also to the investigations, it is also her very immediate family which is under discussion here.
Jane has told me that you informed her in advance of the Press Release, but only told her more or less what was actually stated in that Press Release. . The family deserves to see a copy of the part of the Report appertaining to researches around the Plot covered by the Slab”. Only after lifting of the “slab”, will we all know the truth and “have peace of mind and a conclusion to the uncertainty that has surrounded the area in recent months”. Weasel words, Mr. Edwards.
Unfortunately this Press Release has been widely published in the media and people have been given the “gospel according to SBC”. We are doing as much as we can to correct any misconceptions that will almost certainly have arisen.
Patricia DAVID, Scarborough. 26th June, 2014.