RESIDENTS’ hopes of saving the social club on their mobile home site at Lyminster from demolition were finally ended this week.
Contractors moved onto the Thornlea Park site in Lyminster Road on Monday and after dismantling garages next to the club, they began to take the social club down on Tuesday.
The demolition went ahead in spite of the intervention of Littlehampton’s MP Nick Gibb, who urged the owner of the site, Turners Ltd, to reconsider its decision to clear the club away to make way for additional bases for mobile homes.
Terri Tanner, 65, who has lived at Thornlea Park for three years since retiring here from Watford, was among the residents devastated to see their much-loved club taken apart.
“That’s it now, it’s gone. We did everything we could to save the club, but we have had no response at all from the company.
“We have been treated with disdain. They just didn’t care about any of the people on the site. They made their mind up that they were going to knock it down, and that’s what they did in the end.”
Few of the mostly elderly residents of Thornlea Park could bring themselves to see the end of the club, said Mrs Tanner. It had stood for almost a quarter of a century, and was at the heart of the community, used for parties, family get-togethers or simply for the site residents to socialise with one another.
“There weren’t many watching. It was all too heartbreaking,” she added.
The one ray of good news for the residents this week is that they have been offered the use of facilities at the Meadview Centre, a short distance from Thornlea Park, which is being run by the homeless charity HOMElink as a training centre in horticulture and catering.
The centre has attractive gardens, a cafe and meeting room, having been transformed from a former derelict nursery over the past two to three years.
The Gazette has asked Turners Ltd for a comment on the demolition of the social club on several occasions but so far no reply has been received.