Thursday, 26 January 2012

How the construction of the new footbridge will effect beach residents.

Hello and welcome to my blog.

I hope you are having a lovely week. If not, take comfort in the fact that it's almost over.

I'm not going to say much today as I want to advertise Saturday's public meeting on how the construction of the new footbridge will effect us residents.

Presentation by Geoffrey Osborne Limited on the construction of the new Footbridge and how it may effect traffic and residents. 

Date:     Saturday 28th January 2012

Time:     11. 30 - 12 noon (duration approximately 90 minutes)

Place:     Sussex Yacht Club
               85/89 Brighton Road
               West Sussex BN43 6RE
                01273 - 464868
A doorman will guide attendees to the meeting room or waiting area. 

Meeting is open to members and non-members.

Children are welcome.

Guide dogs welcome.

Disabled parking is available.

The meeting will take the form of a 30 minute presentation by Geoffrey Osborne Limited followed by a Q & A session.

If you require any further details, please contact Sussex Yacht Club direct.

See you there. 

Friday, 20 January 2012

A tribute to Peter Huxtable, former coxswain of the Shoreham lifeboat.

Hello and welcome to my blog. It's lovely to see you again and I hope you've had a good week. 

As you can see, I'm back in the saddle and last week mentioned that Shoreham had been a hive of activity during my 6 month sabbatical.  Now, one of the events that caught my eye was Peter Huxtable's resignation.  

Peter devoted 43 years to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, (RNLI), during which time he helped to save 449 lives at sea.  In 1991 he became the coxswain of the Shoreham Lifeboat and continued as such until his resignation on New Year's Eve.  In 2005 Peter was awarded an MBE for his services to the RNLI and received two RNLI Thanks of the Institution on Vellum, one of the Institution's 4 senior awards for gallantry.

I did not know Peter, in fact, on the odd occasion we met, I found him quite taciturn, however in December 2010 I interviewed Dave Cassan, who spoke warmly of him. 

"Our coxswain, in my opinion and in the opinion of the crew is, “the Boss.  We have absolute confidence in Peter. If you look out there and it’s breakers and you think, “Oh” but Pete says, “Get on board," you get on board because you know that he will bring you home and he will bring the casualties home. 

Without trying to sound sloppy or anything, the respect that the crews have for him is unbounded. It’s incredible. We know he’s a safe pair of hands, but it goes beyond that. There's something about Pete. We know that if we go out to sea he will bring us back, and that’s all we need to know."

David Cassan, RNLI Volunteer for 18 years and Shoreham Lifeboat's Press officer.

Peter has been succeeded by Steve Smith and I'm sure he will prove a worthy successor.

Last week I also mentioned that East Street had been pedestrianised. Well, another phase of the Shoreham Renaissance Strategy, namely work on the new footbridge, will start soon. With that in mind, West Sussex County Council and Osbornes have organised a presentation and Q & A session on the proposed replacement footbridge at Sussex Yacht Club during the afternoon of Saturday 28th January, time to be confirmed. Beach Residents and all those who will be effected by the proposal are invited to attend regardless of whether or not they are Club members. Perhaps I'll see you there. 

Well that's all for now. I hope you have a great week and see you soon.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Now where were we?

Well, hello again. Lovely to see you.

It's been ages, about 6 months actually, and I'm still pursuing my dream.  Sadly what seemed like a straight forward pursuit has morphed into a game of kiss chase and my quarry is an Olympic sprinter, but I'll get there.

Now, Shoreham has been a hive of activity since we last met. East Street has been fully pedestrianised, the Beach Broadwalk has been opened, Peter Huxtable has retired as Coxswain of the Shoreham Lifeboat, and we've got a cat.  All big news stories, but I'm going to focus on the current hot topic, the Broadwalk.

The Boardwalk is a plastic walkway that runs along the top of the beach and links the concrete path from the top of Ferry Road to the concrete path at the top of Shingle Road.  It was opened on 27th December 2011 by Alison Lapper and has been built to allow the disabled, the elderly, those with buggies and anyone with difficulty walking, greater access to the beach.

Now when I say, "links" I'm telling a white lie because there is no link.  Instead there is a wapping great gap in the middle because the owner of a bungalow has allegedly objected to the Broadwalk on the grounds of lack of consultation. Thus we really have two Broadwalks, one which runs from the top of Ferry Road to the start of the bungalow's boundary, and the other which starts from the end of their boundary and ends at the top of Shingle Road.

The net effect of this is that the disabled, the elderly, parents with buggies and anyone with difficulty walking, now have limited access to the beach. At the gap, wheelchair users have to return from whence they came; those with buggies have to drag the buggies over the shingle to reach the other side; those with difficulty walking have to ask their companions for help or turn back. The rest of us can do a sharp eyes left/right and stare at the bungalow as we stomp past. Ironic really as it's a holiday let.

Granted this issue should have been resolved before the Broadwalk was built but then, how do you consult with people who, allegedly, think we only want access to that part of the beach because we have "foreshore envy?" Then again, perhaps I would feel aggrieved if I had paid an over-inflated price for my beachside residence.

Well, this is going to rumble on and in the meantime, we'll just keep on using both Broadwalks and see whether or not the objection is just a fig leaf covering a load of balls.

Well, it's nice to be back. Have a very Happy New Year and see you next week.