November 6, 2015 by Whispering Smith
Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette October 29th 2015
ON Saturday when lining the town’s streets in order to enjoy the yearlong efforts of the Littlehampton Bonfire Society’s 63rd Spectacular, think on these things. The organisers are all volunteers and, with the help of other organisations, support from the Town Council, local sponsorship and your generosity it will provide an estimated 20,000 spectators with a great evening’s entertainment. All monies raised on the street collection – their record is over £9,000 – will go to good causes and not a penny to the Society itself. And, when the last rocket has burst, the last spark is out and the last torch extinguished, the members will be embarking on next year’s event and setting about raising the £25,000 needed including the £6,000 for the actual fireworks. That means bookings, fund raising through market stalls, boot sales and the hand-making of over 2000 torches.
OH NO, not more about bloomin’ cormorants, well yes, just a word or two. In past years this entertaining bird has been much in evidence on our lovely River Arun and has delighted those who care to pause and watch their aquatic antics especially when managing to swallow a ‘flatty’ wider than they, but this year only a couple have appeared. The RSPB assure me that they will continue their vigilance upon the trigger happy to try and ensure that the current nationwide quota of 3000 killed is not exceeded and that is plenty enough human predation on this already declining and threatened species. I have no quarrel with anglers, I am quite happy to beach a sea bass or lake trout myself but we do have to learn not to go for our guns when natural wildlife encroaches upon unnatural man made fisheries. There are other ways…
MET an old friend, yet another Mister Grumpy, along the super new sun-drenched riverside walk last weekend and listened as he darkened the skies and bemoaned the quite legal off-season parking along Pier Road and we watched as several times the highway between The Nelson public house and the The Moorings Tearooms was reduced to a single lane. Certainly the corner by The Gravy Boat looked like an accident waiting to happen as parking rendered the corner ‘blind’. As he so rightly said the wonderful opportunity to pedestrianize Pier Road or at the very least to make it a single lane highway was sadly missed.