News - September 2017



The Chairman and Vice Chairman

Atthe Board’s recent AGM Phil Gibson, a local businessman, was elected as our newChairman, with effect from 1st October. Phil has until recently beenVice Chairman and is our longest serving Trustee. Michael Tolley was elected ViceChairman. Michael is a retired solicitor and former Director of Administration withCaradon District Council. He is active in a number of other local organisations.

JohnWarne, the outgoing Chairman, said:- “ It has been a great privilege to servethe Trust and the town as Chairman for nearly seven years and I warmly welcome theappointment of Phil Gibson as mysuccessor and Michael Tolley as Vice Chairman. I look forward to continuing asa Trustee and supporting the important work of the Trust.I am grateful for all the hard work (often unseen) of our dedicated staff andto the current team of Trustees for the vision and commitment that has enabledus together to deliver many changes and improvements for the greater good. Asalways, there is more to be done but we can look forward to a stable andproductive future. On a lighter note, I am delighted that Trustees have finallyheeded my view that it is healthy to have a change of leadership from time totime!”

The beach andseafront

Theseareas are vital to the enjoyment of locals and visitors alike. Failure tomaintain them properly would be damaging to the town’s economy. Socongratulations to our seafront staff who have rightly collected many accoladesfor their work in keeping it all looking so good throughout the busy season.

Thebeach is also the central attraction for many leisure activities and events,including the raft race, sailing championships, music festival, Easter egg huntand New Year fireworks display. The recent addition to the list of an outsidecinema production was well received. The Trust will continue to facilitate suchopportunities, working constructively with responsible providers.

The Guildhallforecourt café

Buildingwork on the café and re-laying the forecourt has largely been completed onschedule, allowing fitting out to proceed without significant delay. This is byfar the Trust’s largest project in recent years, representing a considerablefinancial investment. We are satisfied that it will provide a good return tohelp us maintain the services we provide and, hopefully, allow us to increaseover time our charitable contributions. We have received a number of supportivecomments saying that it will make the whole site much more attractive.


September 2017

News - May 2017




Work will be completed shortly on replacing the flat roof over the Council Offices and Tourist Information Centre. It has been patched over many years but after further deterioration nothing short of a new one would now be sufficient. It will cost the Trust about £15,000, which again illustrates the importance to the Trust of maintaining income streams to permit the maintenance of the various properties for which we are responsible as well as the beach, seafront and Wooldown.


When the Council closed the former ladies’ toilets by the Guildhall and replaced them with new ones around the corner the property reverted to the Trust. As previously reported, after public consultation we obtained the necessary planning consents to convert the building into a cafe/restaurant. A public tendering process identified a preferred bidder and work is in hand to complete a lease. Building work to create the shell (on the same scale as before) should commence in a matter of weeks, the aim being to permit opening by about September. This will represent a substantial investment by the Trust but we are satisfied on the professional advice which we have received throughout the exercise that the rental return on it will help to provide significantly improved long term financial security for the Trust.


As in other parts of the town, attention seekers have caused criminal damage by spraying graffition the seafront. Our staff are to be congratulated by acting quickly to remove it. A significant cost is involved because the process can take a long time andthe materials required are expensive. A good deal of cooperative effort is being made to address the issue and if readers have any knowledge that they cancontribute please be in touch with our office in the Guildhall or the Town Council.

John Warne and fellow Trustees

News - March 2017



The Trust strongly supports the proposals set out recently by the Harbour Commissioners,Environment Agency and Cornwall Council. We have two particular interests. A number of the buildings which we are required to maintain are old and listed.Protecting them from further deterioration is vital. Equally importantly, the quality of bathing water is a continuing issue for the town and the proposed extension of the banjo pier would make a significant difference by diverting river water further out to sea so that it does not mix with bathing water immediately off the beach.


Congratulations and warm thanks to the volunteers who have worked tirelessly throughout the winter months to give the museum a major facelift for its opening on 3rd April. This is part of the effort to further widen its appeal, especially to young people. The Trust is pleased to have been able to increase its funding of the museum this year. We and the Museum Management Committee are also grateful for a substantial grant from Viridor for improved lighting, which will permit much better presentation of displays.


Cornwall Council has now decided to discontinue the collection of rubbish from bins on privately owned land even though the public have unrestricted access to it. This on top of a decision a couple of years ago to charge the Trust for the removal of the tons of litter coming from the beach and seafront (even though our staff collect it all and deliver it to a central point for loading) - at a cost to us of some £8,500 per year. The latest decision is to be implemented by the end of March so existing bins in the Rose Garden and on the Wishing Well site will be removed. The Council is said to be increasing the number/capacity of bins on the streets.


We were pleased to come to the rescue when it looked as if the celebrations arranged by the Looe Old Cornwall Society were in danger of being rained off. At short notice we were able to make the Guildhall available, free of charge, to the delight especially of the many participating schoolchildren. Their enthusiasm and flag waving would have lifted the hearts of all good Cornish folk, born or adopted.

JohnWarne and fellow Trustees

News - January 2017



The Trust has decided to begin a viability study to assess the work that would be required to restore the Watchtower on the East Looe seafront.

The Old Lifeboat Shed and Watchtower is a Grade 2 listed building which has played an important role in Looe’s seafaring history since the first lifeboat was dedicated 150 years ago. Sadly, after years of trying to counter the effects of its challenging environment, the Trust was forced to separate the Watch Tower from the adjoining Lifeboat Shed, which is operated as a retail shop. The Watchtower is now vacant and at risk of further structural decline.

We are, therefore, delighted to have been awarded a grant by the Architectural Heritage Fund (requiring matched funding by the Trust) to conduct a viability study to assess costs and options. If restoration work proceeds we will be seeking more substantial funding, which to some extent would depend on the level of local community support. We will shortly be in touch with the town’s various organisations to seek views on this.


We have previously reported that the Trust has received the necessary planning and listed buildings approvals for the development of the former ladies’ toilets.Since then further essential work has been undertaken with our architect,solicitors and estate agents.

The present position is that tenders have been invited from potential occupants of the premises and we expect decisions to be made on this by the end of February.The process will be verified independently.

Thereafter the necessary building work to reflect agreed use can be put in hand.


The Trust is pleased to have made its contribution to the town’s festive appearance, including by way of the Guildhall Christmas tree and lighting. Congratulations to the many others who played their part. What a pity that vandalism to the tree nearly required its removal on safety grounds. Thanks to prompt repair work by our staff this was avoided.

The Trust is also glad to have been been able to make some charitable donations in support of those providing help for vulnerable people.

We take this opportunity to wish everyone a healthy and peaceful New Year.


News - November 2016




Looe Beach has been liftedout of its “poor” bathing water classification. The improved classification to“sufficient” comes after this year’s weekly Environment Agency water sampleswere reviewed in combination with the poor results in 2015. The beach gainedcredit because the Trust, as beach owners, displayed daily predictionsthroughout the season to keep the public informed of possible problems

The upgrade reflectssupport from many local people to appeals to ensure that the wrong things donot get into the sewerage system. It also repays a great deal of hard work byall the organisations involved in the Looe Bathing Water Quality Partnership.There is, however, no room for complacency; we could slip back again if thesecollective efforts are not maintained.


The Trust has beenaccepted by Charity Commission as a CharitableIncorporated Organisation (CIO). This is a new legal entity established bythe Charities Act 2006 enabling charities to incorporate and gain the benefitscurrently available to companies without the burden of dual regulation by boththe Commission and Companies House. Thechange of status came into effect on 1st October.

In practical terms thisdoes not substantially affect what we do, but it has enabled us to moderniseour Constitution (dating from 1890) to conform with the Commission’s decisionson what are and are not proper charitable objects. Other changes includeextending the area of benefit (i.e. the territory within which we can makecharitable donations) from just East Looe to the whole of Looe. The number ofTrustees remains at eight but with two, rather than four, being nominated bythe Town Council. All of this will be reflected on our website and documentswhen details are finalised.


We are pleased towelcome back, Cllr. Chris Rose, oncea Trust Chairman, to fill a vacancy for the second of the Town Council’snominees.

We also warmly welcome Anona Vazquez-Masson who is to jobshare with our current Administration Manager, Judy Martin. Judy will be reducing her hours from the New Year, tocoincide with her husband’s retirement.


An ornate silver keyhas been kindly donated to the Trust by Mr Anthony Peter. We are very gratefulto him. The key was originally presented to James R Bishop in recognition ofhis services to the town when the new Guildhall was built in the 1870s. MrBishop then passed it down to his adopted son, Reginald Peter, who was thesecond Trust Chairman, from 1907 to 1915 and whose portrait hangs in theGuildhall chamber. Anthony Peter, Reginald’s great grandson, decided that thekey’s rightful home was the Trust and it will be put on display in the Museumin due course. A fuller account should appear in the Cornish Times later.

John Warne and fellow Trustees