Ivy House Hotel & Marlborough College
I wish to respond to the article in MOL with the photograph of Sir John Sykes alongside.
Let us re-establish some of the facts which resulted in the College becoming the new owners of the Ivy House. The owner had been trying to sell the hotel for years because it was not successful. Some enquiries were forthcoming but none resulted in a financial offer acceptable to the owner. Rather than consider closing and boarding up the place, the owner decided to pursue interest from the College resulting in a sale which undoubtedly has saved the fabric of the building.
I have lived 15 metres to the rear of the Ivy House car park for 40 years and can say better than almost anyone that the vast majority of guests who stayed at the hotel left in their cars the next morning to proceed to their destinations and did not spend time and money in the town. I am very pleased with the outcome and wish Marlborough College every success with this venture. The alternative would have been a listed building in decline or the arrival of pub chain, a gym or a nightclub. Perhaps the objectors would have preferred that.
Two last points. Some people have expressed concern at the young residents of the new College house having to walk 200 metres to the College along the main street. What about those who for years have had to walk much farther than that from all the other out reach Houses run by the College, e.g. Preshute and Somerfield. And, with regard to rapprochement, my opinion is that it is the objectors who need to repair the cordial relationships with the College and not the other way round.
I have no connection to the College, past or present.