A lot worse for wear than I remember it

I WOULD guess the residents of Weston hardly notice its gradual decline as a holiday resort. It is a bit like looking in the mirror every day and thinking that you don't look

I WOULD guess the residents of Weston hardly notice its gradual decline as a holiday resort. It is a bit like looking in the mirror every day and thinking that you don't look any older than you did yesterday. I have returned here after being away for 20 years and I can assure everyone the town and its tourism trade is a lot worse for wear than I remember it in the 80s. A solution would be to do the same as Cardiff and form a marina barrage (pictured) that held the water in all the time. The silt that gives the tide that muddy colour would settle to create clear water and ships could be let in and out at high tide through lock gates. Imagine tall ships visiting us! Unlike the Marine Lake, a dredger could keep the bottom of the new marina clean and the water would be naturally replenished with the rainwater from the Mendips via the River Axe. Of course, the new sea defence work that is about to disfigure the promenade would not be necessary as we would have a protecting barrier between the Royal Pier Hotel peninsular and Brean Down. Even if the Severn Barrage eventually gets built, this barrage would stop the effluent from the rest of the towns along the Bristol Channel landing on our shore.I am having a model made of this scheme by an old Weston Grammar School friend of mine, Clive Hooper, and plan to display it soon. What is needed to build this barrage is the resolve of our forefathers, who left us the legacy of the current promenade for which we are all eternally grateful. Perhaps some of our lazy teenagers could earn some 'honest graft' money on this scheme, then in 100 years time our offspring could be as proud of us as we are of the Victorian engineers. All they will be able to remember us by so far is letting a pier go to rack and ruin, a square with a dolphin statue that immediately had its tail snapped off (not guilty!), a footbridge that disappeared, a pool that met an untimely end and a carrot thing covered in pigeon droppings. JAMES SCOTT - Royal Pier Hotel


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