Shropshire Star

Star comment: We must find ways to pay for and preserve our heritage

Ludlow Walls have been in a dilapidated state for so long that people in the town have almost got used to them.

So far there's no solution to get the Bridgnorth Cliff Railway open again

It is a complicated situation, fraught with legal argument and eye-watering cost. But the bottom line is that a solution must be found for the sake of the town.

It is ironic that the anniversary of the Ludlow Walls comes as Shropshire faces another similar issue, with an unstable wall stopping the running of Bridgnorth’s famous Cliff Railway. We can only hope that a solution for that issue is found far sooner.

Shropshire is a county that thrives on its remarkable heritage. The cradle of the Industrial Revolution, it has countless listed buildings and structures of real importance. Those need constant work, of course, as engineers make sure they remain in a good state of repair.

Without constant attention and investment, they crumble and become both dilapidated and dangerous, as is the case with the Ludlow Walls.

The county has to decide whether it wishes to preserve its rich heritage – and foot the bill for doing so.

The repairs and upgrades are not cheap and as we face the challenges of an ever-changing climate, which causes havoc, there is a financial reckoning. And yet, if we do not foot the bill to maintain such structures, they will crumble away for ever. That cost, many would contend, is far, far greater than the bill for regular repairs.

It is inconvenient, at best, that such bills face the county at a time when the country is in a financial mire. Yet we cannot scrap our all-important heritage. We have to find a way to tackle the issue, pay the bills, and preserve our heritage.

We are reminded of the cruelty of dementia by the illness affecting Hollywood star Bruce Willis.

It is a disease that affects both victims and their loved ones. Frontotemporal dementia is particularly shocking as it tends to affect people who are younger.

Bruce Willis and his family have been courageous in going public, and they are rightly praised today by charities in the UK. The key advice is to seek help if you or a loved one has any concerns and we print ways to find more information in today’s paper. The condition is not curable but it can be made far more tolerable with support.

That a man can be affected such as Bruce Willis, who is fit, healthy and successful, shows that anyone can be struck down. It is essential that early diagnoses are made and people who are concerned should seek help without delay.