Already the effect is wonderful

I HOPE Westonians realise that something very special is happening along the town's seafront promenade.

I HOPE Westonians realise that something very special is happening along the town's seafront promenade.

Earlier this year, I was delighted to witness the replacement of the hideous, concrete-block paviers above the Marine Lake with swirling, granite paving-stones. The secondary flood-wall was faced with limestone and the floodgates embellished with stainless steel fretwork echoing sand patterns left by a retreating tide - a superb touch. Now the granite paving is advancing along the promenade and, I understand, is destined to reach as far as the Royal Sands. Already the effect is wonderful. The paving is being laid on the bias (at an angle to the enclosing seawalls) which enhances the feeling of space. The substantial paving-stones vary in size, with colours moving between soft greys and terracottas of great subtlety. They are warmly reflective and the 'lift' they give to the surface of the prom does wonders for the spirit! Sculptor, John Maine's contribution has endowed the scheme with strength and integrity. Weston was enormously fortunate to secure the funding for this outstanding project - difficult to imagine the same thing happening if the plans were presented today. There were some resistant voices at first, and I know business has been very difficult for the hotels along Knightstone Road, but for me, this is the most affirming enterprise that has taken place in my home town in my lifetime - it closely ranks in importance with the construction of the original Victorian sea-wall and given its primary, flood defence role; the town is twice blessed. And for sure, along with a brand-new Grand Pier, I'm certain the town will be entering summer 2010 with renewed enthusiasm and vitality.

DR HOWARD SMITH

Stafford Place


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