Save The Three Cups Hotel

The Three Cups Hotel

Campaigning for preservation of the hotel where J.R.R. Tolkien stayed and gained inspiration for his mythology. Jane Austen, G.K. Chesterton, Tennyson and H.W. Longfellow were also guests. The hotel featured in the film, “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”. Please send articles to me, Andrew Townsend, at or add a comment. Thanks to David Moss for all his work. Comments are closed at WDDC for the plans to redevelop the site but you can still write to the papers.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Some mistake, surely

So West Dorset District Council has given permission for change of use and The Three Cups will cease to be a hotel. That's strange, I thought democratically elected councils were supposed to represent the will of the people who elected them (within the law, of course).

The council must have known that many people wanted to see the building re-opened AS A HOTEL to preserve its heritage and bring tourists to Lyme Regis because of the overwhelming votes for such an outcome at the public meetings held on 24/04/2009 and 05/06/2009. Click on the dates to read reports.

Since I officially objected to Palmers plans, I received notification from the council by email on 17th July. However, I read it first in The View From Lyme Regis. Click here and turn to page three to read the newspaper account.

There are quite a few things I would like to say about this report but I'll just pick up on the comments by the "Save the Three Cups as a Hotel" campaign group (of which I am not a member as I live so far away) who didn't seem too saddened that their primary objective had not been met. The article states "the group ... accepted that the brewery found this option ... unviable ...". I would remind readers of this blog that the basis of at least two objections to Palmers' plans was the need for the economic viability question to be settled independently. This is particularly important as the property at stake is of great historical and cultural interest and should be held in trust for the nation like Anne Hathaway's Cottage or Dove Cottage in Grasmere or at least be accessible for tourists to see the interiors as many great writers would have known them.

The votes at the public meetings referred to above indicate that a great many people wanted their elected representatives to take steps to ensure that The Three Cups HOTEL would be preserved as a national treasure for the public. The fact that they haven't done this seems to fall short of the aims of local democracy. In fact, it looks like oligarchy.

One final thought. Perhaps it was because I have recently been in Paris (where I visited Shakespeare and Co - another example of tourism built on literary heritage) that the phrase "faire tromper" came to mind for "to make a mistake". But perhaps I am mistaken. My schoolboy French is rather out of date. When I ran "faire tromper" though Google Translate, I got these results: "mislead", "deceive", "fudge" and "cheat". Surely, that can't be right. Perhaps, as Google suggests, it was just a case of "On a fait une erreur", if you will excuse the French.


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