Book rejected ‘out of hand’ at Tourist Information Centre

Re your article 01/11/2013: ‘No Popery’ out at town’s TIC

In 2011, to celebrate its 50th anniversary, I put together The Stile Book, an illustrated account of the history and on-going activities of The Monday Group founded by Harold Rowling MBE (91) and still steered by him.

Many readers, particularly those who like walking in our countryside, will know that The Monday Group’s bands of mostly retired, male and female volunteers build and maintain stiles, causeways, bridges and steps and ensure that the public footpaths within a flexible 5-mile radius of Ditchling are kept clear and open for walkers of all ages.

The group relies mainly on private and public donations and the proceeds of its jumble sales, coffee mornings, sales of bird boxes, wildlife habitats, and The Stile Book! Of equal interest to the community and visitors to this area, the first edition had sold out by the end of 2012.

Earlier this year, I took a copy of the second edition, and an accompanying letter outlining its progress so far, to the Tourist Information Centre, the obvious place, I thought, to accept a book of this nature.

The lady at the counter took the book and letter to the manager while I waited. She returned maybe 3 minutes later to tell me the answer was, no thank you! I was given no reason for my book’s rejection.

At least Xavi Dom Buendia did get reasons for the rejection of his bonfire images, even though the TIC ladies and the LDC spokesman appear to have contradicted each other.

Somewhere in there though was the opinion that they wouldn’t sell well. How can that be judged unless some attempt is made to sell the items concerned in the first place, and, more to the point, what are the TIC’s and LDC’s criteria for acceptance or not of the works of local interest by local artists and writers? Whatever they are, in both Mr Buendia’s and my cases, they get through them with unseemly haste.

Tom Walker