Community Centre complaint

Contributed by editor on Jan 13, 2005 - 10:00 PM


Dear Sirs,

It is with some regret that I have to write you this letter.

I was the photographer at your community centre on the 20th of December 2004.

I was asked by Frances Metcalfe (Franz Academy) to take pictures of any interested persons during the evening. I was shown to a room and set up a mobile studio and that is where I worked all evening.

At the end of that busy evening I broke the studio down and prepared to leave.

Taking all the cameras with me, and as I left I mentioned to the man who unlocked the door to let me out that it would take a few trips to the car but that I would be as quick as I could, to which he replied, take as long as you like, and I thanked him.

Returning from the car to the hall the doors were locked so I rang the bell and after a while your man appeared at the door and asked me what I wanted and I told him that I wanted the rest of my lighting, his reply was that I couldn’t have any of it because Frances hadn’t paid her bill.

I pointed out that this was nothing to do with me and that he should take this matter up with her.

I spoke to your man at length trying to find the middle ground so that I could get my lighting back but to no avail.

This whole sorry incident seemed to hinge on a payment asked for on the night by your man to Frances, and that there should have been a charge for the Heritage room of sixty pounds, but this was then changed to twenty pounds payment in cash (no questions asked). Frances refused to pay.

To cut this long sorry episode short I offered to pay the twenty pounds to your man so that I could retrieve my lighting but he said it was too late.

I did involve the police who told me that it was a civil matter and they couldn’t attend to mediate for that reason, although as your man left to go home by taxi I did pass him my phone and he did speak to the police but showed no interest in what was being said to him and passed me back the phone.

I watched your man leave in the taxi, Frances left soon afterwards, and I left at around 1.30am and this incident started at 11.45pm

The last thing that I did before leaving was to photograph what was left of my lighting in the room that I had been working in, as I had seen your man remove four of my lights from that room for a reason known only to him.

What I find strange is why would he move some of the lights and not the other three?

Why would he come back to the Community Centre in the morning after 1.30am and move the rest of it?

And why would he take the two least expensive items and lock them in a cupboard?

I would find this strange to say the least.

Needless to say I am not happy with what happened that night/morning, and certainly less happy to be told that nobody had confiscated my lighting.

What I know is that I left Hawkinge Community Centre minus my lighting, your man gone ,and the Centre locked up.

Who told your man that he could act in this way? 

He kept telling me that each person that he had spoken to on the phone that evening told him to lock the Centre and to keep all possessions left until Frances had paid her bill, and yet I was told the next morning that he hadn’t spoken to anyone on the phone that night, and yet as I saw he was on the phone rather often to somebody.

You will in due course receive a bill from me for the confiscation of my lighting and the fact that while your man was at work (doing his proper job as he called it) I was at your Community Centre collecting my lighting and not working as I should have been.

I have never encountered an incident of this kind and don’t wish to again, and I would strongly suggest that you look very carefully at who you leave in charge of the paying people who hold their functions at your venue in the future.


Phil Medgett.