Letters to Editor July 7


I AM puzzled by reading that there is a new proposal for a sports complex near Morrisons and the location for the ski dome on the former RAF Locking site.

I understand from a friend of mine that the RAF Camp was earmarked for hi-tech employment such as instrument companies.

At present skilled workers need to travel to Bristol to find employment and cause chaos trying to get on the motorway.

Logic would dictate that these two facilities would go on the same site which would be the former Westlands airfield site.

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Checking out the Environment Agency website the airfield is subject to flooding and therefore not suitable for housing. A ski slope clearly would be less prone to flood damage than residential homes.

I am sure the residents of Locking Village do not want the extra traffic going past their doors and the roundabout at the former airfield site seems to be better located to take the traffic from the motorway.

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I just do not understand what North Somerset planners are thinking of.

The sooner a road is put in across the airfield, as the Winterstoke Road is becoming chaotic with traffic heading for the motorway, Asda and town along a single lane road.

Come on planners, Weston is growing fast, get this road system sorted out pronto.


Dunster Crescent, Old Mixon

Cheap Street

FIRST the bad news - it appears that TJ Hughes may well be closing as the company is in administration.

The good news - it was reported in the Mercury a few weeks ago that Primark was looking for a site in Weston.

Is it possible that one day soon Primark could move into the T J Hughes building?

If this were to happen and with the success that Poundland has had since taking over the old Woolworth store, perhaps the name of the High Street should be changed to Cheap Street. Just a thought.


Clarence Grove Road, Weston

Already busy

HERE’S an idea for our local council. Rather than spending a fortune on new road layouts, how about correctly defining the ones we already have?

For example, coming from Worle to junction 21 drivers join the A370 stay in the nearside lane, and as per the Highway Code, stay in the nearside lane to continue over the junction to Hewish. By contrast drivers from the dual carriageway are directed, prior to the joining of Worle traffic, to take the outside lane. You then have two rows of traffic jostling for one lane on an already busy roundabout.

There is a similar scenario at the Asda roundabout. Traffic from town is directed into the two nearside lanes to continue on out of town. The third lane is for drivers turning to Oldmixon yet the white lines direct you to the centre of the roundabout causing drivers to cut across to reach their intended destination. Am I the only one who can see where it goes wrong?


Lime Close, Worle

Most important

CLEARLY teaching is the most important of all professions, after all everything we are and have comes from teaching. It is vital that the remuneration packages is attractive to get the best possible teachers for our children.

Other civil servants vary from the essential to the non jobs and the ones who are a nuisance. Those can stay on strike for as longs as they wish.

But the statements that are being made on the recent strike are disingenuous at best. I refer to the statements that the country’s financial mess was the fault of the bankers and as it’s not their fault they should not be the ones to pay by the loss of pensions.

I agree that the mess was made largely by the bankers but the bankers were only doing what Gordon Brown allowed them to do in my opinion what he wanted them to do. It was his job to ensure that the industry was properly regulated to protect us from opportunists.

One of the first things Gordon Brown did in 1997, along with selling the nation’s gold at car boot sale prices, was to help himself to the nation’s pension pot. This turned the pension system in Britain in to a pyramid scheme as here was no longer a pot to attract new money and protect against changes in the workforce. Pyramid Schemes are mathematically bound to fail.

Gordon Brown and his New Labour ilk were financed by the very unions that are now urging their members to strike. Far from not being their fault, they were the very people who inflicted Gordon Brown upon us via their subscriptions. The ship has now sailed. The members of the coalition may have been useless in their attempt such as unseaworthy vessel to sail but none the less it sailed. Some of us were dragged kicking and screaming on board but some were fare-paying passengers. The unions were not only fare-paying passengers but they owned the boat and financed the trip. This continued even when some of us were trying to alert people to the problems and then after when the ship was known to be doomed. The unions are even trying to refloat the ship with a captain that’s never seen a real ship in his life and Ed Balls as first officer in denial that there was anything wrong with the first sailing, it was just unfortunate it sunk.

On the day of the strike I went to my children’s school Hugh Sexey in the hope of finding a union activist to explain to me why I was wrong. Sadly there was no-one there, presumably out trying to make sure they are the first to be saved. Shouldn’t the unions though now be apologising to their members for the way they used their subscriptions rather than telling their members to strike?

This is the equivalent of the ship’s owners, designers and crew racing for the lifeboats to leave everyone else on board to make their own arrangements, ignoring that many of them do not yet realise there is a problem.

When the odious outgoing Treasury Minister Liam Byrne left the incoming coalition a ‘post it’ note saying there was no money left, that included the nation’s pension plot.


Orchard Close, East Brent

Walk back

I HAVE lived in the Veale for 17 years and many residents moved in long before me and there has always been a bus service at least five times a day.

Some folk get off at the Veale bus stop and walk back down to their homes, rather than get off in Coronation Road and walk up.

When the evenings draw in and the 5.10pm bus does not come up the Veale, it will be dark for us to walk either through the churchyard or around the dangerous corner from Coronation Road into Shiplate Road.

This is a fairly quiet area traffic wise not like Pier Parade into Regent Street where the buses now go, accidents waiting to happen, especially with the school breaking up for their summer holidays and lots of children around.

Please keep these buses on a route to the Veale as it is a great help to many.


The Veale, Bleadon


WE HAD a delightful walk with visiting friends along the pier and Weston seafront yesterday, and then took tea at the excellent cafe in Grove Park.

Good to see the bandstand being used by the RAFA Silver Band. Not my usual cup of tea musically but very pleasant in the summer sunshine, with all the flower beds looking a ‘blooming’ picture.

Why is it though, that at the first sign of sunshine, many pubs and hotels feel the need to put on over-amplified, usually pretty terrible music on outside their premises? Having spent years as a DJ, then later a nightclub manager, I have much experience in this field (and have the tinnitus to prove it). Surely the music only needs to be loud enough for their own customers to ‘appreciate’?

The lad with the guitar outside the bar on the pier itself was not too loud, but at one point towards the end of the pier one had to endure the cacophony of the singers at each end of the seafront, outside the Royal Hotel and Nook and Harbour seemingly competing.


Clarkson Avenue, Milton


WELL done to all from Weston-in-Bloom, North Somerset Council and Weston Town Council on the fantastic floral displays around the resort, particularly the flower beds in Grove Park.


Manilla Crescent, Weston

Lifeboat Week

WESTON RNLI is holding a Lifeboat Week from July 30 to August 7. Many shops and businesses have already agreed to support this celebration of our local lifeboats and their crews.

We are asking all businesses in the town and villages to help us raise the profile of Lifeboat Week. There are several things they can do.

Put up a poster or flag in a prominent place such as a window.

Put a collecting box in a prominent place for the week.

Do something a little bit mad – such as asking your staff to wear a silly hat for the day.

Go a bit further and get staff to work in silly clothes or raffle off the boss.

Do something mad – The RNLI have the Italian Gardens for the week. If you would like to come down and involve the public in your own mad event let us know. It could be a great way to show how community minded your business is! Ideas so far agreed include a circus skills workshop and karaoke in the High street.

Enter a team in the RNLI Raft Race taking place on the Marine Lake on Saturday August 6. We have already been around many shops and businesses and we know that most of the shopping areas will be awash with colour from the Lifeboat flags and posters. Do not let your business look left out.

If we have not been able to visit your shop or business yet, and you would be willing to promote Lifeboat Week, please give us a call on 01934 824587 or email rnli@amiconf.demon.co.uk


Treasurer, RNLI Weston fundraising

Cedern Avenue, Elborough, Weston

Badly wrong

I HAVE always rated Weston General Hospital as getting things right. Sadly, on this occasion, it got it badly wrong, that is allowing Dr Booth to go in such a deplorable manner.

It was extremely shortsighted and a great loss to his patients and the local community who may need his expert care and attention in the future.

I first met Dr Booth in April 2008 when I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma (cancer of the bone marrow). At all times, he displayed true professionalism, genuine concern and a real feel for me as a person, not just someone with a medical condition.

At one stage of my illness, I had contact with at least half a dozen different ‘-ologists’, most of which saw me as someone with a problem pertaining to their area of the body. Not so with Dr Booth, he saw his patients as people, who have lives outside their cancer, he showed concern for me as a whole person, he was a holistic practitioner – one of the best.

The management at the hospital needs to look very carefully at how it treats its staff – if not, it will continue to lose the best. Management probably felt uncomfortable that Dr Booth stuck up for what he truly believed, that was providing the best care for his vulnerable patients, even if it meant ruffling a few feathers on the way.

Remove a few layers of management – they will not be missed.

Dr Booth – you are missed, not just by me but by many others.


Summer Lane, West Wick

Flood in

AFTER some 40 to 50 years of continuous problems and soaring expenses involved with the Tropicana it’s obvious that nothing good is ever going to come of it.

So here is a suggestion: Why not demolish the sea-facing wall? Lower the level of the bathing area to below mean sea-level and allow the seawater to flood in. This will allow all-year-round free bathing for locals and holidaymakers alike with minimum maintenance and minimum costs.

Retain the frontage to rent out as retail and refreshment area.

This isn’t a new idea; there are lots of natural and man-made sea pools around Britain and the Channel Island coasts, which are very popular with bathers.

My only concern is, that this idea isn’t grandiose enough for our planers, and therefore only limited income from it.

And while we’re at it, how about dropping that ridiculous name ‘Tropicana’ which, I suppose is meant to conjure up images of sunshine, desert islands and palm trees, and just call it The Lido or Sea Pool?


Milton Hill, Weston


RE: SKATEPARK for Tropicana? I was most surprised and disappointed to read your article on the latest suggestion on the Tropicana site.

There are already several skateparks around Weston, although not of the size as the new proposal.

However the numbers who would use this facility, compared to a swimming pool, is very limited.

We have no open-air pools in Weston, and for a seaside town this seems rather ludicrous. Very few visitors to Weston will want to use a skatepark, but local people and holidaymakers would very much appreciate a pool.

Open-air would be great, with perhaps the facility for some sort of sliding roof for winter use.

Local people have been promised a new pool for years and it still hasn’t materialised.

You could find another site for a skatepark anywhere in Weston, it doesn’t need to be on the seafront.


Thorndale Close, Weston

Good idea

WHAT a good idea. Weston’s derelict Tropicana could become an indoor skatepark if ambitious new plans by the Legend Skatepark Community Interest Company (CIC) is given the green light by North Somerset Council.

With developers interested in regenerating the dilapidated Tropicana on the seafront in Weston biting the dust and the council sitting on the fence, the skatepark would be just what the doctor ordered for the town.

Our bored youngsters hanging around on the streets turning to crime could let their hair down and enjoy themselves and get our eyesore dilapidated bomb site seafront Tropicana off the ground instead of our council letting it run into the ground just like our Grade II Victorian poor old Birnbeck Pier down the road waiting to fall into the sea.


Victoria Park, Weston

Famous height

WOW! Thank you Ian Pitch for comparing me with the great Victor Meldrew in your letter in the June 30 issue. I had no idea I had risen to such a famous height.

Forgive me, now in my mid 80s, I must be a stupid old goat and obviously do not know what I am talking about.

Sorry Mr Pitch but I am a little too old to stand for election, but have been vigorously involved in councils elsewhere in my younger days. Maybe I should have known better than to upset you by expressing my views.

If I remember correctly we live in a country with the privilege of free speech.

Meanwhile I note the potholes remain – enough said.


Bleadon Hill, Weston

Strawberry tea

THANK goodness our strawberry tea went ahead as planned and was not affected by the strike as it took place at Worle Community Centre.

I really enjoyed every minute of it.


Albert Quadrant, Weston

Miss England

WHILE on holiday in Tuscany, I noticed an old photo album on a market stall dating back to the early 1900s.

It included the name and address of a Miss Nancy England, 10 South Road, Weston-super-Mare.

I purchased the album and brought it back to England.

If any of your readers is a descendant of Miss England, I would be more than pleased to return this album to them.


12 Ryelands, Radbrook, Shrewsbury, SY3 9BZ

REFERENCE your article on the hotel fire: A little slice of Weston’s history went up with this so-called 1930s-built building.

The Cairo Lodge along with Highbury Lodge gave name to Highbury Hill. It was located in what was West Tyning field and between them the White House used for navigation well before 1853.

The later monstrosity of a tag on tried to box in the old mansion which still remains visible to the discerning eye even bearing the same roof prior to 1853.

This is something now tacked on to Victorian Knightstone Island, another elaborate eyesore compared to Rozel House which, with the Grand Atlantic, is a pleasing aesthetic of old and modern both in keeping with appreciative sense seen in the Michael’s new pier. All three subtly compliment each other.

This implies Cairo Lodge is contemporary if not earlier and decidedly better building than the Royal Hotel, so will another botched aesthetic be put in their place like Weston College? It happens because someone does not know the difference between good architecture and bad and when they do it sticks out like a sore thumb to those that should.

Joists and rafters in that building may well be more than 250 years old are lost yet the old building still remains proud of the monstrous surrounding it, just like a Cairo pyramid.

So whoever named the building Cairo Lodge had some reason in mind possibly someone involved with the sea. Can any Westonian add to this?


Trewartha Park, Weston

I HAVE just read your article about the accident at Small Ways. I would like to support Tom Leimdorfer in everything he has said in respect of this accident and the new 24-hour bus lane.

In December 2009 my wife was involved in a bad accident at this junction when she was attempting to turn right to go to Cadbury Garden Centre. A car collided with her almost head-on.

Although we could never prove it she has always said that she was crossing the junction on the filter light. We and her insurance company went to a lot of trouble and expense to have the lights checked by the local authority.

This report came back as negative but the point is that the individual from North Somerset Council, who as you stated, ‘has no record of any other accidents’ then that person has been misinformed.

If North Somerset Council was to contact Avon and Somerset Police at Portishead and ask for a full report on the accidents that have occurred in the past three years they will see that this junction has one of the highest accident rates in the region. We have lived in Wrington for 17 years and I’ve worked in Claverham for 14 years and we continually hear of accidents at this junction and these accidents can be quite serious, in fact one day somebody will be killed at this spot unless something is done soon.

My personal feeling is let’s get rid of the traffic lights and put a roundabout at this blackspot before it’s too late.


South Meadows, Wrington

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