Graham Turner on the plans for Cupola House

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I know it will not be a popular opinion, but I do believe the current plans to rebuild Cupola House represent a lost opportunity and lack ambition.

Cupola House was a wonderful 17th century building, a landmark in Bury St Edmunds, popular among townsfolk who were delighted to see it restored and brought back into use in 2003.

But that building is gone, mostly consumed by the fire of Saturday, June 17, 2012.

If it is rebuilt, it will be a 21st century building, it can’t be anything else.

I know the frontage is largely intact and other components have been salvaged, but even if these are glued together around a modern, steel frame, it will not be a 17th century building.

If it was a centrepiece or part of a complete street of fine historical buildings, the Royal Crescent in Bath comes to mind, I could understand the need for it to be rebuilt to the exact same specifications. But The Traverse is already a mishmash of different building styles and shapes that has changed down the years.

I wonder if, instead of trying to create a 21st century facsimile of a 300-year-old building, we could create something modern and equally iconic – with a design that nods towards the site’s history.

-- Tomorrow marks the end of Get Walking Week, a campaign by the Ramblers to encourage more people to take to the paths and trails in our beautiful countryside.

Apparently, research shows that around a quarter of all adults walk for less than one hour a week.

It’s a statistic that I find hard to understand – how can people get away with so little excerise?

I’ve always been a little embarrassed and guilty about my ‘exercise regime’, or lack of one. With our editor regularly visiting the gym as part of his Fit Not Fat fund-raising campaign, a news editor who toughs it out at boot camp and other colleagues who play a variety of sports, I’m put to shame.

But the ‘one hour’ statistic has buoyed me up. I feel quite smug – fitness personified – with my daily dog walks and weekend rambles with the family. I probably even hit the recommended target of 150 minutes moderate exercise a week (depending, I suppose on what you call moderate).