‘You have to keep on saying it’

💚#justice4grenfell 💚— 👏👏👏👏 and thank you to whoever wrote this, spotted on a section of temporary cordon near Hammersmith Bridge yesterday.

This has reminded me of something that Dot once said, a useful lesson: ‘You have to keep on saying it.’

I met Dot Donsworth – a campaigner for the preservation of the many beautiful commons around Bournemouth and Poole – while working in the area on a short story commission for the excellent former digital arts agency SCAN.

Dot was also a dog walker, particular on Turbary Common. She hadn’t set out to be an activist, just she said that every few years someone, some chancer, would try and slip something through planning, to build on some corner of these commons. And — she told me — you had to keep on saying No, it’s a common. You can’t build there. You can’t let that through.

You had to keep on saying it. She’d been doing this since the 1970s.

You had to keep on saying it, in other words, because there were always plenty of people, including in positions of power, hoping you’d forget.

I often think of Dot.

She was right.

You have to keep on saying it.


Read a previous post about Dot, and Tony’s story set in Bournemouth and Poole here…

Listen to ‘A Porky Prime Cut’ with musical accompaniment by Richard Norris here…

Buy Tony White’s latest novel The Fountain in the Forest via publisher Faber and Faber…

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