Having seen this graffiti, it seemed only fair to give our occasional and well-loved columnist, Dave Pritchard (affectionately known to many as ‘Pritch’) a public right of reply. It is incredibly sad -not to mention illegal – that someone in Bude is scribing this kind of stuff. Over to Pritch:
As those of you who know me or read my written articles know, I love this town, and I love the people in it.
To be in such a place, I feel truly blessed and incredibly lucky.
Interestingly enough, I have just come back from a surf trip to Morocco but, unlike previous holidays, I now don’t have that “end of holiday” feeling when I come home as I always have a big smile on my face when I’m returning to Bude, such is the magnetism of this wonderful seaside town in which we live.
So, you can imagine both my surprise and utter disappointment when some graffiti written on a sign in Summerleaze Car Park was brought to my notice; a car park where I not only take out Surf Veterans from the ex forces surfing twice a week, but also assist with Bude Waveriders taking up to 60 groms into the water to surf.
The sign read “if you want heroin contact Dave the stockbroker c/o Surf Action”.
I feel compelled to respond to this via the Bude and Beyond website as clearly the person who wrote this has read my articles on here, so this is addressed to that sad – minded individual, as well as to all you other lovely readers out there, too.
Two days after that, the anonymous person then wrote by the showers that I was a “pedo” (ignorance in spelling is quality) and warns people additionally that I am ‘a rapist’ as well as ‘selling heroin’.
Firstly, having worked on a testosterone-fuelled trading floor in London for over 20 years, I can take the words and name calling. Cowardly ill-spelled words, sneakily written, and without any foundation whatsoever bothers me not, but, given that some small minded individual has gone to the trouble to try to discredit me in a public place, as and when any of us catch you, I very much look forward to our day in court.
Calling someone names is libellous and is legally defamation of character.
Quite what this idiot thinks they are doing by sneaking around writing untrue claims about me is beyond me. They have seriously underestimated both the amount of support I have from the dozens of friends I have made here in Bude, as well as failed to realise that, thankfully, most people here in BUDE know me better.
In fact, in the first two incidents , friends of mine instantly rallied round and scrubbed off the offending writing before I could actually see them.
While on holiday, I further learnt that this person had written on the Big Blue Surf trailer similar slurs on my character.
The police are aware of the situation, I have a pretty good idea who you are and, would suggest that, rather than acting like a spineless coward sneaking around in the dark writing schoolboy rubbish on walls, if you have a beef with me, confront me to my face.
I, like most of my friends around me, see you as a sad, spineless fool; having worked in a cut-throat environment for years, I will not sit around while this sort of behaviour continues.
I don’t hate whoever wrote those things; I pity you.
For the record, not that it needs to be said, my hands are clean, I have had numerous CRB checks done over the years, be it for assisting the elderly on Christmas Day at local Salvation Army centres in London, to numerous children’s group activities that I partake in.
I love where I live , I love this town and love the people in it.
I have tried to give back since I have come here for that reason, so I am active in many groups and clubs here in Bude.
So, while you chose to write slanderous untruths about me as graffiti, I feel compelled to use a sensible medium to respond.
There is a bigger force out there in the universe that eventually sorts everything out and your day will come.
I write this purely because I didn’t believe that such people existed in Bude; sadly, I am wrong but, the good thing is is that you, my friend, are in a tiny minority and not welcome here in this town.
Once again I thank all my friends (and luckily I have a lot of them here) for your kind support and suggest to the person doing it that their time could be better spent doing something productive and meaningful.
Bude is not about nasty people, it’s not about hate, it’s about community and friendship and I, for one, feel rich in bring a part of such a wonderful group of people.
Hate is like a cancer; anger is something that has no place in this town.
All I would ask is that if anyone sees someone doing such things that they try to stop them, and notify the police.
I am a much bigger man than someone hiding behind a marker pen spewing lies and hatred skulking around in the shadows.
Let’s hope this kind of behaviour doesn’t spread as, for me I’m big enough to rise above it, but let’s hope it’s not your child or friend who has such filth and rubbish publicly written about them.
We don’t want your sort in Bude; in fact, we don’t want you anywhere.
Loving where we live.