WHISPERING SMITH: From the shoreline to the sea

Littlehampton beach
Littlehampton beach

A few weeks back someone posted an old photograph of our summer crowded beach with the caption ‘we used to have a beach worth visiting’. Written in jest I suspect but it did get me to thinking...

We still do have one and I visit it almost every day. It is always a little changed and very photogenic. Crowded and noisy in summer and restless in winter. Cheap Spanish flights and package holidays put an end to the so-called glory days when long lines of adults with children carrying buckets and spades filed down from the railway station and the coach park was full.

However, continental holidays in no way diminished the beauty and diversity of wildlife seen on our shoreline and there are an abundance of photographs regularly published in the Gazette and on Facebook – some of them mine – which illustrate that point.

Time passes and much of the shoreline architecture along the whole of the south coast has changed and will continue to do so. Some of those changes may not be popular but they too will be transitional.

Only the waves and the wind can really change our lovely child and adult friendly beach, and it does so constantly. Big it up for Littlehampton, it is well worthy of your applause.

Such negative comments, even in jest, do little to encourage visitors and do great disservice to the many who endeavour to make this a better place to live.

I was sitting on the one remaining bench last week in the chilly sunshine and a little girl, slightly ahead of her parents, burst from the car park.

She stopped at the edge of the prom and said: “The beach, mummy, and the sea...”

That the sea was halfway to France in no way lessened the true delight in the child’s voice, and that says it all for me..

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I have no wish to arouse anger or controversy here but a recent item on South Today caught my attention. It seems that £6million is needed to repair Chichester Cathedral’s roof, the timbers and copper cladding being in dire need of replacing and it is a huge and complicated job.

Work I hope will not disrupt the breeding peregrines. £3million has been raised privately and the cathedral’s hierarchy are now looking to raise the rest urgently.

Forgive me but, the Church of England is one of the wealthiest enterprises in this country – worth billions. So why on earth are they looking for money elsewhere, why not dig into their own pockets? Just curious is all...

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