Your article about the future of HM General Register House (7 February) raises questions regarding the long-term future for historic buildings and public access to the National Records of Scotland in particular.
I am concerned that governmental penny-pinching may ruin the historic east end of Princes Street.
The Edinburgh World Heritage website notes that the building “was once derided as only fit for pigeons”. Might it once again revert to this?
General Register House – your picture showed the dome of neighbouring New Register House – was designed to provide secure storage for the nation’s archives and to remove these to an industrial estate on the outskirts of Edinburgh must be a retrograde step.
Both Register Houses are centrally located with good transport links for users and staff, a fact that should be borne in mind when considering the buildings’ future.
Moving the archives to an Edinburgh industrial hinterland would make access difficult for visitors and staff and will rule out all but the most enthusiastic locals or members of the Scottish Diaspora from researching their roots. Should not management and their political paymasters rethink this proposal and retain these fine buildings for their original purpose?
It seems that politicians of all persuasions are hell-bent in selling the nation’s heritage: Westminster is selling off half of Whitehall and it seems that Holyrood will do something similar if we are not careful.
Let us not sell off the family jewels but retain the real gems!
Bruce K Gorie
Craigmount Avenue North