WHISPERING SMITH: New stage need time to earn iconic status

I CALL it as I see it and I do not find the new bandstand unattractive.

The white structure set against the new green grass is quite refreshing in a way, but it is not ‘iconic’, a word used around four times by the Littlehampton mayor Joyce Bowyer at the opening ceremony.

Iconic status has to be earned and only time will tell if the new Stage by the Sea is, indeed, iconic or not. Certainly though, the shelter part of it facing the sea is not really fit for purpose and will give little or no shelter when needed against the prevailing south-westerly winds.

Proof of the pudding, as they say, will be in the usage of the stage throughout the summer and considerable usage will be required to justify the construction fee that will be well in excess of £100,000. No hire fee, but also no electricity on site, so a generator will be required and, I should imagine, that fee, together with various insurances, will incur a cost which may well be beyond the casual user.

Contact Arun District Council for details of hiring.

MY son has left for a four-week trip to the USA and I started to worry about him the moment his flight left Gatwick, though I am not sure why.

He has survived in Brighton for many years and has been to the USA before, but still I worry. Out of contact? Not in this day and age, so it has to be something from my end.

I worried about my daughter recently (she survives quite happily in London), when she went off to Iceland – my thinking immediately turning to volcanoes.

My son tells me he will be as safe in downtown Seattle as I am walking the late night streets of Littlehampton, which is hardly reassuring.

My feeling is that the worry has as much to do with my own vulnerability, as it does with theirs. Both are now way beyond my protection and they will thrive, as I have done.

And so, reassured, I turn my thoughts once again to the day-to-day problems, such as the seagull which still persists on pecking at my friend’s patio door every morning; why do young men buy baseball caps with peaks at the back; why are their trousers always falling down although they wear belts and why do I never get tired of sleeping?