Halt ‘damaging Dartmouth town bid
A leading museum figure has called for a halt to Dartmouth’s bid for royal status, claiming it will do ‘irreparable damage’ to the town’s reputation.
Brian Parker, chairman of the Dartmouth Museum board of trustees, researched and contributed details of the town’s royal historical links which business leaders hope to put forward as part of the case for a Royal Dartmouth.
But this week Mr Parker warned that Dartmouth’s bid would be viewed against Wootton Bassett’s designation as a royal town – the first to win such status in more than 100 years. And he urged the town to wait until Prince Charles finally makes it to the throne – and try for Royal Dartmouth status then.
His comments have surprised and angered members of the Business Improvement District board which first raised the Royal Dartmouth idea and is in the process of trying to win vital town council backing.
And the town’s museum moved quickly to disassociate itself from Mr Parker’s views, saying he was speaking purely as a private individual.
Paul Reach, chairman of the BID board, said: ‘I cannot understand this. It has come completely out of the blue. We may have to take account of this opinion but argue strongly against it.
‘I think that Dartmouth has a stronger claim to the royal title than any other town in the UK.’
In a letter to the Chronicle, Mr Parker said: ‘The BID public bid for the town to be declared Royal (or Regis) must be halted now before it does irreparable damage to the reputation of the town.