June 17, 2015 by Whispering Smith
Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette June 4th 2015
LITTLEHAMPTON’S well deserved award of the twin flags for one of the best and cleanest beaches in Sussex and probably the country was greeted by Cllr Paul Dendle with, and I quote from last week’s Gazette; ‘It is obviously excellent news for Littlehampton…it is also a fundamental building block in the economy of Littlehampton in terms of tourism.’ All are agreed, it seems, that the seafront and the river are the jewels in Littlehampton’s crown which begs the question, why is Cllr Dendle and his cabinet so set on taking off the head that wears that crown by moving our Swimming and Sports Centre and replacing it with flats as well as swiping our cinema and selling the site for some developer to build the much rumoured hotel. These expected outcomes of any study are in spite of over 70% of residents making it quite clear they do not want the move and would like the Windmill entertainments centre retained in situ. However Arun still insist on yet another costly consultancy from Bell Pottinger for a strategy on this controversial relocation. More to the point just how much is this consultancy costing us and were other consultants consulted? Umm…more Freedom of Information enquiries methinks.
RUSTINGTON’S forgotten burial ground is no longer forgotten. The Saturday meeting hosted by Sue Sula was a great success and plans will now go ahead for the meaningful and dignified regeneration of the site. I could not help but be delighted by the joy apparent on the face of Rustington Historian May Taylor who first set the ball rolling.
THE RMS LANCASTRIA, bombed by the Germans, went down in the cold waters off the French seaport of St. Nazaire on June 17th. 1940 while taking part in the evacuation of Dunkirk with the loss of over 4000 men women and children – more than the Lusitania and the Titanic combined. There have been no Hollywood blockbusters made of the incident and there is no longer an operational Lancastria Association to remind us but we have not forgotten. Our town with its strong links to the sea and those who serve upon it should this month remember them, those who one way or another gave their lives for us all.