Thursday, 14 November 2013

Save the Tumble Down Dick Campaign - Invitation

Save the Tumble Down Dick - Cromwellian irony

No-one can deny the Campaign to "save" the Tumble Down Dick was run with enthusiasm and dedication, and dare I say obsession by some. When you need to get something done, having a few obsessive people about is not unhelpful.

Some serious fundraising was done to raise the £m plus needed to buy and run the Tumble Down Dick. Public appeals were made, gigs were organised, and I am sure lots of money has been raised as a consequence given the public support claimed by the campaign.

Given this money is public money, it only right and proper, that there should be open and transparent accountability of this money. Three questions need to be addressed:

1. How much money in total has been raised?
2. Who is responsible for this money?
3. What are the plans for the use of this money?

I would also like to extend a serious and genuine invitation to the Campaign leadership to work with the local authority to pool resources and find a suitable location in Farnborough for a live music venue.

Let us put the past behind us, and look together to the future


Anonymous said...

Absolutely no way should the group work with the local council, not after the way they were shafted by the council and local councillors.

Not a penny should be handed to the council, and it is none of their business how much money was raised.

It is the Council that is accountable, to the local community, not the other way around.

This is hypocrisy of the worst possible kind!"

Anonymous said...

What a joke! You ask a COMMUNITY GROUP to account to you, as a councillor, how much money they raised in a desperate attempt to save a building that you should have safeguarded in the first place. You disgust me Councillor.

You have absolutely no right to ask this group how much money they have raised, they are not accountable to you.. infact it is the other way round, you are accountable to them. You are the elected councillor for this ward, YOU should have done more to help them, but no you chose to oppose them publicly in support of a 2nd McDonald's going against the vast majority of what local people asked of you. Not only that but you tried to humiliate them at every turn.. your embarrassing blogs are testament to that. Plus you got into bed with McDonald's to help this deal go through.. you should hang your head in shame.

And to expect this group to hand over these funds to you or the Council after you actively campaigned against their aims, and moreover wrote such disrespectful blogs about what they were trying to do. You are an embarrassment!

I hope Friends of the Tumbledown Dick continue to strive to meet their aims whatever direction that may be, but not to get in leagues with the likes of you who clearly do not have the best interests of local people at heart.

Why don't you tell us what you have done to help save this building? Oh absolutely nothing. But NOW you want to get your grubby hands on the funds they managed to raise through sheer hardwork by a lot of people.

Resign your office, you don't care about anything but yourself. You are a complete and utter disgrace.

Donna Wallace said...

How dare you! No, this money should not be given to the Council. It has nothing to do with you and your obvious manipulation to turn the campaign group into the bad guys, thereby diverting attention from your own failings. Since you are so interested in how much money was raised by the Tumbly fund, why don't you reciprocate and tell us how much money Rushmoor paid Vue for the cinema to be built?

Lorraine Crossingham said...

I wondered what you sought to achieve with this blog?

Was it just to provoke? It struck me as a graceless act and I wondered if you had a self-awareness of how such a worded comment would impact?

If you sought to harness the energy of this community group you have only motivated its negative energy. I was under the belief that you had mediation experience.

With such a low turnout at local elections, I would have thought you would have wanted to offer an olive branch to those who bucked the trend of apathy. A combined enthusiam for the amenties in Farnborough could achieve but not when there is constant division. this constant agression between the two sides is not productive. I also suggest that talking face to face is far more likely to achieve results than the blogishere. If you want to meet with this group then arrange it.

Anonymous said...

Surely the old Barons showroom on the Farnbrough Road would make an ideal live music venue? It's up for sale/lease now. Change of use ought to be easy for this. It's being suggested as a restaurant.

Unknown said...

I've been watching the Facebook thread with interest. It seems that there are some good options for a music venue, but I'm not sure that the STD group actually want to discuss them - or will pursue them?

David Clifford said...

Well I have to say if I edited my blog as the campaign have edited their site, there would have been outrage. So what if people are making comments under another name for goodness sake. Look at the number of anonymous posts I have allowed here.
Non of the comments were rude or derogatory and in fact were helpfully contributing to the debate - so I am almost speechless!
To recap what has been edited out:
The Tumble Down Dick was a great venue but not perfect. If we are looking for a perfect venue we would need 5 things:
1. A building with soul and character and enough space
2. Safe for patrons
3. Good parking
4. Away from neighbours
5. Good access for public transport

I think I have covered the main points.

This ruled out a few options like the old Barons building, but left us examining the police station and the Community Center area.

If I have missed anything from the discussion let me know - I promise not to edit you out!

Unknown said...

I think it's going to be tricky finding something with all five, or impossible, even.

Barons seems to be ideally located, and would avoid it becoming a Tesco or similar (even another drive-through?).

The police station has to be prime for redevelopment, if the group can divert their funding to another location, surely both should be looked at?

Rob Stevens said...


I think you are being a little economical with the facts here.

The only 'edit' that has been made to that thread is to ban an account that was obviously fake.

You might have no problem talking to a pretend person but we have had no end of trouble with these losers. It is also a violation of the Facebook terms of use and was reported as such.

Simon, I was wondering if you knew this 'David Carter' chap? He has very innocently removed himself from Facebook now but seemed to like sharing topics and even obscure URLs from your twitter feed. I've come to see you as something of an expert in internet multiple personalities so value your insight..

David Clifford said...


Am I dealing with school kids? It seems some are more interested in playing Inspector Clouseau than focusing on the issues here?

The 'edit' took out many of my posts - and I have pinched myself just to make sure I am a real person. I am happy to talk, and it seems

Given some of the distasteful communications I have received over simple disagreement I cannot get excited about anonymous or disguised posts. I am an elected member of the Council - rude and ignorant abuse comes with the territory, but some of these people with alternative views do not deserve it.

Surely, it is more important to consider the issues raised than who raises it?

I stand by for a helpful and open discussion, feel free to be anonymous, use another name or just be yourself....I am interested in solutions to the issue from wherever they come

Rob Stevens said...


Such accounts have been used to abuse, confuse and intimidate people for a significant portion of the last 12 months. I'm afraid they are a real problem and it is sad to see you not recognising the damage that they can do. You may wish to accept anonymous comments but that is your issue, not ours.

To repeat: NONE of the posts made by your (personal?) account 'David Clifford' have been altered or deleted. The user 'David Carter' was banned from the page (which hides their posts) because they had all the hallmarks of being another bogus user (which is prohibited by Facebook) These include:

*Recent creation date (only days)
*No picture
*No friends
*Locked down profile
*No response to friend requests
*Evasive replies when challenged
*Posting on very specific topics used by user people.

Experience has shown these are created by people already banned or willing to bring a fake identity into a conversation in order to act in a way that they would not otherwise do. This includes abusing people and in some cases providing replies to support another identity the same person posts as. Look up 'sockpuppet' for more information about this practice.

All of this behaviour is contrary to the spirit of debate you are demanding. The fact that the fake user has now vanished can only confirm we were dealing with someone who did not wish to engage in fair debate - the real schoolboy was the person who tried to play games with Facebook.

You may also be looking to play a censorship card here to score points, but this is simply not true. All of your posts are there in full - I'm quite willing to demonstrate this from the page admin view itself.

David Clifford said...


Rushmoor prohibits filming of Council meetings without prior permission. This has been posted on your Facebook page. In the same spirit are you going to take it off?
I don't think so!!

So we enforce FB rules but ignore Local Authority rules.

That is the last I am going to say on this. I would rather be discussing options for Live Music.

Rob Stevens said...

Appears to be government advice, and was no challenge was made to the obvious presence of a reasonably large camcorder by the many RBC officials present.

Margaret Thatcher championed these freedoms 50 years ago, and this sounds like more mud-slinging. Just incredible - good luck with getting the public to engage with you on this.

David Clifford said...

Good to see support for Maggie from the Campaign. You are clearly not all bad!

I am having ongoing discussions with the leader and portfolio member for Leisure. I have picked up some criteria that is going to make a good start. I will update this blog as we make progress.

Unknown said...

I'm not going to get involved in the mudslinging, i.e. answering those questions, seeing as I've been accused of taking money from McDonald's, and anything I say seems to get twisted!

There was some discussion about a new venue, but that seems to have all stopped in favour of this mud slinging and discussions about freedoms and censorship. I would assume that no-one is interested in looking at the sites that are available for purchase, but more interested in proving points on social media?

I think three locations have been suggested, all available or soon to be available for purchase. If the group is not interested in buying one of these (or another) it would be good to know, as there's then nothing to discuss.

Planning enquiries could be made for the Barons site, for example, that could be easily converted. What about a unit in the town centre? The police station? (although I think it would need to be totally rebuilt).

Andy Pardue said...

My thoughts exactly, Simon...hmmm

Andy Pardue said...

You had that money, Simon. Prove you didn't.

David Clifford said...

Hi Andy

I do not know Simon, but in the UK Andy you are innocent until someone proves you are guilty.

Too many people throw accusations around without facts. The wise normally lay out the facts and let others draw their own conclusions. Hence the phrase 'put up or shut up' Andy.

Did you have anything constructive to say about Live Music in Farnborough?

Unknown said...

Thank you David. If I had received any money, it would have been nothing illegal, so there is no case to answer either way.

It does appear though that no-one is actually very interested in opening a venue in Farnborough, with the lack of any positive response here and little constructive comment about anything new even on the STD page. I don't think there's a group aiming to open anything in Farnborough.

It might be that with Agincourt, the Swan and other local venues, there's little additional demand anyway, with the market for these places already being fulfilled adequately. If there are not enough customers to fill a venue, it would be foolhardy to open one.

For other more formal events, like concerts etc. where seated audiences are more the norm, Princes Hall fits the bill very well, and seems to have additional capacity at this time.

Unknown said...

I'm not convinced there's a real demand for a live music venue in Farnborough to be honest.

David Clifford said...

Meeting next week with Leader of Rushmoor and Portfolio member for Leisure to discuss live music venue options in Farnborough. Thank you to all those that have provided some insight into some of the criteria needed.

Claire Marshall said...

I am not anyone of any specific importance, rather just myself but I do have an opinion and whilst I don't have millions in my back pocket (it's nearly Christmas, you'll find moths and receipts), I would be very keen to see a music venue within Farnborough.

I do however feel that any music venue would have to have a multi purpose element to it.

Not just music of one genre but many genres.

Not just music but make it available to artists and local acting groups, see if it can be used for meetings by the local community (for anything really, weight loss groups etc).

A place where locals can maybe showcase their crafts.

These are just ideas, I am not someone who is experienced in these matters, nor do I have an idea of how they can be achieved but I know if such a project did come about and did require community involvement, then I would be there.

It may not be the Tumbledown but I still believe such a venue is needed within our town and that it could be a real asset to the town.

Unknown said...

Doesn't the centre in Meudon Avenue already fulfill the community centre requirements?

Claire Marshall said...

To some extent yes it does which is why I don't think it should be entirely disregarded.

Above are just examples, the Tumbledown itself wasn't just a gig venue. It was a pub, had a night club once a week, sold food and was even a home to a lot of staff.

I think to truly work, any place such as a music venue must diversify and must be able to have multiple uses for it to be able to compete effectively against other venues.

David Clifford said...

Hi Claire

Quite right. The secret to viability and sustainability of a project these days in the public sphere is diversity and where possible joint enterprises.

The idea of a "cultural hub" including music, art, literature and drama in Farnborough would be worthy of exploration.

Claire Marshall said...

Lol, good luck with your meeting David.

If it is not to impertinent to say, I think in some quarters you may find yourself in the dammed if you do and dammed if you don't territory.

David Clifford said...

Well I'll be damned then! It goes with the territory. If you cannot stand the heat ....

I do think we are making progress, although there is a long way to go.

Unknown said...

It does appear that while everyone argues about what's right and wrong, more venues are going to disappear.

The Old Courthouse in Cove has been cited as a possible location, but it does seem that that boat has been missed already in lieu of Tesco.

The likely truth is that there simply isn't the real demand, otherwise a business or maybe the STD group would be actively doing something if there was a profit to be made.