Counterpoint by Scott Freeman Take note – a stitch in time saves nine


At risk of sounding like your auntie Doris I would like to offer the following advice: A stitch in time saves nine.  In other words: A little effort and perhaps expense now may avert a good deal of labour and expenditure later. 

This is as true today as when my aged relative used to tell me to close the stable door before the horse bolted or some such obscure advice. 

I now know it to be true because that missing grout in the bathroom shower which Mrs F casually observed before Christmas has resulted in the tile coming loose, the floorboards in the bathroom cracking and a damp stain appearing on the kitchen ceiling below. 

Ten minutes and a couple of quid then would have saved me what now looks like costing me a weekend and the thick end of £50 to put right. To be fair, the lady of the house has only twice pointed out the error of my ways. 

It was this personal experience which rang a bell when I read the correspondence in the Mercury last week. 

I agree. The Victorian Diamond Jubilee bridge in Matlock Bath needs to be repaired and repainted now. 

The iron bridge is an important part of our heritage and Derbyshire Dales District Council has a duty to maintain it. Not let it corrode any further. 

For the council to blithely say that it is safe is so blatantly ignoring the issue that it almost defies belief.

Are we to wait until engineers declare it in such a parlous state that it must be closed for public safety?  

What then? Will it be fenced off and allowed to rot until it collapses into the Derwent?

For certain if we can’t afford a lick of paint now the public purse won’t stretch to a full repair when the ironwork finally crumbles. 

‘Scaremongering’, I hear the grumble from the town hall.

But you only have to look at our near neighbours in Amber Valley, where years of inaction led to the Swiss chalet tea rooms in the River Gardens to fall into such a state of disrepair that there was “no option” but to demolish them.