Nick and I came to live at The Old Hall in August 1998.
In that time we have worked extremely hard to restore such a lovely building and its grounds and keep them in good order. We have always tried our best to support the many local causes and organisations in the community. We feel that once again though Frank McManus is kicking us in the teeth.
We have locked the gates on many occasions since being at The Old Hall and we understand that this had been done prior to our residence as well.
In 2011 Mr McManus wrote to us stating that we were “blocking a public right of way” by locking our gates. We had locked our gates on a bank holiday Monday following a spate of lead theft from the property.
He said he would be taking this to the council. I attended this meeting and explained that our garden path was not in the definitive public rights of way.
The council looked into this and agreed that it wasn’t and dismissed McManus’s claim. We had many letters of support on this matter evidencing that it was not a right of way and that the gates had been locked over the years; indeed isn’t Mr McManus himself confirming that we have a history of locking the gates in his initial letter to us?
Mr McManus is approaching this from an erroneous perspective. He believed it to be a right of way - it isn’t. The locking of the gates over the years shows that it was never intended to be a right of way as evidenced by many people including McManus.
After 15 years of hard yet pleasureable work at The Old Hall, we sold half of the property to a family moving from out of town who knew and liked Todmorden. So what a great welcome; they have been subject to people urinating on the front door step, drug taking in the garden, theft and abuse and now to top it all the they are faced with the great panjandrum that is Frank McManus.
This, as we know, is a false impression of this town, as it has been our honour and privilege to have been part of this community for the past 15 years but as we have seen from his many pronouncements in this paper, Mr McManus’s observations can be somewhat random including his solution for us of employing a nightwatchman!
Madeleine and Nick Hoyle,
Todmorden Hall North.