WHISPERING SMITH: Windmill’s return a reel step in right direction

VERY good news that Inspire Leisure has announced that cinema is set to return to The Windmill in one form or another early in the New Year (see story, opposite), and I applaud all of those who have worked so hard to bring this about.

Inspire has signed a contract with an independent cinema group which will begin screening films in the New Year. However, I urge an air of caution here, as it does not appear to be a long-term solution and there will be no guarantee from Arun District Council that it is set to be a permanent feature of any future leisure plan for the people of Littlehampton, merely a stop gap on the way to Inspire Leisure’s contract expiring in 2016.

I still believe it is not the intention of Arun for us to have a permanent theatre or cinema at The Windmill and that they have other ideas for this premium site’s development.

Still, it is a step in the right direction and I am assured that, while the equipment is being removed to be replaced by the group’s own equipment, the present projection equipment will be stored and not sold so, in theory at least, it could be reinstated should there be any slips ‘twixt cup and lip.

THE skipper of a local fishing boat last week reported that his boat had encountered an unusually large pod of dolphin just off the coast of Littlehampton. The pod, around 30 in number, stayed close to the boat, sporting with her and following wherever she went.

So close were they, in fact, that it was impossible for the crew to shoot their nets without endangering the feeding animals, so they just sat back and enjoyed the spectacle. I envy them that.

MET A very polite young lady last week, who enquired of me, was I the seagull man? I have been dubbed with many a sobriquet in my time, some flattering and some not so much, but that was new!

GREAT EXPECTATIONS it may be for Bognor Regis – headline in The Arun Times – but it’s Bleak House for folk in Littlehampton, still without a firm commitment from Arun that The Windmill theatre and cinema complex will continue after 2014. Our cinema has been closed now for 317 days, and counting.