WHISPERING SMITH: The curious case of the closed car park

The sparrowhawk
The sparrowhawk

It is a rainy Saturday lunchtime in Littlehampton and not too many people are about, not a lot for them to see unless they are looking for vape refills, cottages by the sea, charity shops or a cup of coffee.

Very few people and yet the St Martin’s car park is almost full on both sides of the road.

I nip along to the old Waitrose car park and that is pretty much full-up as well.

Where the drivers and passengers have all gone I have not the slightest idea and do not ponder upon the question.

A large yellow sign declares the car park is closing on Monday.

One thing is certain, if the car parks are like this on a damp and windy day, where are the cars going to park on a sunny day?

With the unavailability of this over-spill car park – even as a temporary relief, for reasons I have not been able to fathom and neither have the members of the council I have spoken with – it is not exactly a warm welcome to our much-needed spring and summer visitors.

Why is this facility closing to be left derelict with hideous ‘tank trap concrete blocks’ covering the entrances?

The council has offered to run it, so it cannot be for lack of dosh and the company responsible for it are unavailable for comment.

In the words of the great detective: “Something tells me there is more to this case than meets the eye, Watson...”


BOUGHT a new camera at the weekend in time for the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and I chose a dreary Sunday morning for the exercise.

The usual birds turned up, a few blue tits, a robin, a blackbird, a pair of collared doves, a fat woodpigeon, a wren and the merest whisper of starlings.

Then, the sky darkened, the birds fled and a beautiful sparrowhawk settled among the hanging bird feeders.

Camera out, got him! Second visit this year, what are the chances?


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