December 31, 2015 by Whispering Smith
WHISPERING SMITH COLUMN PUBLISHED IN THE LITTLEHAMPTON GAZETTE 24TH DECEMBER 2015
LAST train to Mewsbrook Park? The end of the line for the miniature railway? A sad state of affairs all round. I walked into the park as I often do for a morning coffee at the café and could not believe my eyes but it really was happening, the engine and carriages being shunted onto a low loader and out of the park. How on earth could this happen? Is this iconic railway so associated with Littlehampton since 1948 leaving? Last year I covered the sad fact in this column that the boating lake facility had vanished in the summer and urged Arun to get their act together and find a new facilitator but as of yet they have failed to even put the amenity out to tender. Why the heck not? Is this merely the workings of a careless Arun or is there something deeper afoot here and I do suspect the latter. A super award winning park, an excellent formal play area and lots of free green open space, a fine all the year round café, a boating lake easily comparable to Swanbourne Lake and a miniature railway all within a stone’s throw of excellent parking facilities and a lovely beach. There are so many questions about this excellent little park so beloved of local folk and visitors alike and so few answers. One thing is certain, it should not be beyond even this local authority to get a train back on the tracks, boats on the lake and the show on the road in time for the Easter and summer. Perhaps we should let them know that up with this we will not put!
I HAVE to admit that I for one am not exactly filled with the joyful spirit of Christmas this year. Every bit of news seems to be bad, the world is at war with itself and I wonder if the climate change accord is too little and too late. Already our government are talking about fracking which seems rather contrary to the agreement to cut back on fossil fuel and concentrate more on renewable energy. How long before it is implemented in West Sussex? Still, I love you all and wish you good things over the holiday period and beyond.
(Image credit: www.littlehamptonrailway.co.uk)