Letters to the Editor, September 25, 2014


IT’S NOW four years since fire destroyed the Royal Pier Hotel. North Somerset Council (NSC) then fulfilled a statutory duty to ensure that the site was rendered safe and the building was demolished at a cost of £100,000 to the owners.

As far as I know, the owner’s debt to the council is still outstanding.

This is money owed to local council taxpayers so I suggest that NSC doesn’t waste any more time before suing the owners in the local county court.

Since there appears to be considerable doubt about whether the owners of the old pier have any money of their own, such legal proceedings might bring the future of the structure into sharper focus.


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Elmsleigh Road, Weston

AS A member of the Friends of the Old Pier I am delighted to read of Charles McCann’s proposition to bid for the pier to become a charitable trust.

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This is a very good idea indeed and I think the only way forward for the future of the pier.

I worked in the pier shop on Sundays for four years and know by talking to people who came into the shop how much Westonians and people much further afield love the pier and many of them talked of their fond memories of time spent there especially of boat trips over to Cardiff.

If the pier is repaired hopefully the boats will be seen there again.

Mr McCann and his wife Lesley are dedicated to the future of the pier as are so many other people.

Mr Michael Portillo was impressed with the pier’s history when he visited there as part of his television programme (about train journeys).

So onward and forward hopefully for Birnbeck Pier.


Southmead Road, Weston

THE impending price rise at Weston crematorium shows that North Somerset’s policy of privatising services leads to more expense for local residents.

I can see no reason for a cremation in Weston to cost nearly £200 more than in Bristol, no matter what investment has been made.

It appears that this price rise is a cynical tax on the bereaved, levied by a company that knows that people are unlikely to want to travel out of the area for a funeral.


Ellenborough Crescent, Weston

TWO news items in the Mercury caught my eye, the first being the drastic increase in charges for the crematorium chapel.

To charge fees even higher than London is a disgrace and although the company, Dignity, state that it has spent huge sums on the chapel and grounds its first duty is surely the last journey of the deceased and grieving relatives. There is certainly no dignity in increasing the cost of dying.

I also notice that North Somerset Council aim to spend more than £700,000 in giving the old Tropicana a facelift, in readiness for any future development. Whilst this is encouraging news it is interesting to remember that not so long ago it was prepared to splash out more than £800,000 to demolish the building. If only it had spent money years ago to spruce up the Trop, we may well have encouraged more developers to provide the town with a new seaside attraction pool.


Clarence Grove Road, Weston

MY QUESTION to the Trop Trust is “Can you bring a swimming pool to Weston promenade again?”

I was six years old and on the beach at the side of the new swimming pool the afternoon it was opened.

In the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s it made Weston a premier seaside resort, bringing 100s of day and resident visitors to Weston by train, coach and bus, again, instead of the second rate town various North Somerset councillors have allowed it to become.


Nightingale Gardens, Nailsea

WESTON-super-Mare, where is the super now? We have been visiting here for years staying with my brother and family.

In years past we would use all the amenities it had to offer. Clean parks with beautiful flowers, pier’s times two, market and the Tropicana. It did not matter that the sea was out, the mud not sand, the place was happy, the sun always shone.

This year things have finally got to us. What has your council not done? Wake up from your sleep.

The piers, you now have to pay to walk on one. The other falling apart, so much so the lifeboat cannot live there, we depend on these brave men, you have let them down.

The Tropicana shut 12/13 years now, still boarded up. Can you afford to miss this income? Demolished market place, boarded up like a bomb site. Empty shops, only charity shops. Toilets now café plus 20p to use. Dirty streets – fag ends, litter, cans, paper. Dumped this week alone – note in good area, settee, boards, glass and today a mattress. Bins and three containers containing food left out ready for collection and dogs, cats, mice having a midnight feast. Containers when emptied thrown about.

Come on, wake up you councillors. Try to earn some respect and give back to Weston something to be proud of to attract visitors.

We will be back at Christmas. Please let us see what you can do. We won’t hold our breath.


Southlands Avenue, Morton, Gainsborough, Lincs

OH DEAR, how sad that Weston Town Council saw fit to refurbish the toilets in Grove Park. Did they not realise the old ones were lovely?

Not only were they well looked after, along with a water bowl for passing thirsty dogs, they were a tourist attraction all on their own.

What a waste of money to say nothing of the distress caused to local residents, Grove Park Café business owner John Horler and all the legions of visitors that take great pleasure in visiting the beautiful place that is Weston.


Millfields Road, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire

I HAVE spent most of 50 years showing films in the West End cinemas, also involved with theatres some, as years ago, films with maybe live shows at times.

Yesterday I saw a film shown with perfection at the only cinema in Burnham, which I could only compare with films shown in style at Royal Command Performances.

The cost to me was £35 - £5 ticket and £30 taxi to take me back to Weston – I could not believe a bus service could end at about 6.50pm. I have known other places for services to end early, but always run after 11pm to let the holidaymakers and local people have fun.

The late service charge about doubles, to run that late bus, but what does the amount matter.

We don’t all have or want cars, or can afford one but the £35 to see one film has killed Burnham for my future visits, with pity, such comfort and wonderful staff who know how to be highly professional running a cinema.


Claremont Court, North Shore, Blackpool

AS A qualified approved driving instructor I do believe that I am suitably qualified, after 15 years, to speak-out about the ludicrous situation, regarding speeding traffic through areas where schools, etc, are situated (Councillor Elfan Ap Rees please note),

I have been qualified to drive since 1968, when there was only one roundabout in Weston.

It was situated in Earlham Grove, and the answer is so obvious to me. Make areas near schools 20mph zones, as in the case on the Bournville estate. I think that would be the obvious solution.


Martins Grove, Worle

I WAS surprised to read your article in last week’s Mercury regarding Bakers Dolphin saying that more people are taking day trips rather than longer trips, as it was only last week that a day trip I had booked was cancelled due to not enough people signing up.

It was a big disappointment as I was using the trip to visit St Paul’s Cathedral before spending the rest of the weekend in London, so I ended up spending more than £20 to get to London due to this cancellation. As someone who has used Bakers Dolphin quite regularly I was disappointed at this.

I was also disappointed when the London Flyer service was stopped some time ago as this was a very helpful service which allowed you to sit back and relax as the coach took you to your choice of a number of stops within the city and picked you up later on in the day.

I can’t speak for any other day trips as I have only used Bakers Dolphin for trips to London either on days out or to see musicals, but I always find them very helpful and friendly.

We need to support our local businesses and although they say people are booking onto day trips, I hope none of the other trips I have planned are cancelled.


Wansbrough Road, Worle

RE BEACH huts in Weston. In July 1938 my parents had come to live in Bristol from the north of England and we had a holiday in Weston staying in Moorland Road.

I celebrated my 10th birthday here. I remember there was a line of beach huts along the beach wall of the sanatorium. If I remember the cost of hire was five shillings for a day. Also as a family many happy times were spent at the swimming pool. I spent time going down the water shute.

Happy days long gone.


Sedgemoor Road, Weston

I FEEL very sorry, for the parents of schoolchildren who are about to make momentous decisions relating their children’s next step on the education ladder, and indeed their future generally.

One would expect, that all information given by schools, would be clearly unambiguous statements, which parents and guardians could use as the basis of comparison, but it appears that that is not necessarily so.

To mention just one, there is a school on one of the main roads into Weston, which can only say that it is ‘rated good’.

As a parent trying to make a decision, I would think that this is faint praise indeed and I would need to look further.


Ringwood Grove, Weston

WITH all the deep potholes and the general poor state of the roads in Weston, why has our council decided that the resurfacing, of all things, the pavement along the Broadway has a greater need.

Surely all the men and equipment could have been put to a much better use repairing the potholed roads.

Or is the Broadway to see a massive increase in the number of pedestrians using the pavement?


The Swallows, Locking Castle

THANK you for the quiz – Lion at the front of The Saigon Restaurant on The Boulevard, Weston.

Many people and our customers are familiar with the pair of Feng Shui lions, which we had shipped from Vietnam, and known as ‘Fu Dogs’.

Fu Dogs, male, and Chi Lin’s, female are an extremely powerful protection for your home or business. They are very common in Asia, and are found either inside or outside at the entrance of the buildings. It is extremely important that the pair consist of one male and one female; never use two together of the same gender.

The male Fu Dog should be to the right and identified by the ball under its foot, the ball represents the world. The female Chi Lin is placed to the left and will have either an ingot or cub under her foot.

Come to the Saigon Restaurant on the Boulevard and see for yourself.


Boulevard, Weston

THERE has been a lot in the press just lately about nursing homes which fall way below standard and some locally have had to close.

As a family we felt that to balance this view we would like to extol the virtues of one of our local nursing homes in Weston. It is Abbey Grange on South Road.

Our mother was diagnosed terminally ill in April and eventually was offered a hospice bed in July at Abbey Grange.

The care our mother received was beyond what you would even normally expect her to receive. The staff are/were amazing. She was kept spotless, personally, bedding and room.

The staff scrupulously documented every small item she ate and drank (which was minuscule due to her condition). When she required mouth care this too was documented.

Our mother loved her makeup and when she could no longer do this for herself then the staff did this for her. Up to and including the day she passed away (it was a total of six weeks that she was there). They also organised to have her nails painted. All this was so important to her, attention to detail was brilliant.

Our father would visit her every day sometimes twice a day; he was always offered a meal, tea, coffee etc. During this time he became ill and on a visit to our mother, the staff noticed how poorly he was and rang for a doctor to visit, they were prepared to offer him a bed also till he was back on his feet.

All of the family who visited were offered refreshment and were always greeted on their arrival with a smile from staff.

In fact we cannot praise or thank the staff enough for their wonderful care of our parents. There are too many to praise individually but certainly they have received a personal big thank you from us.

We also thank Weston hospice for providing the room. They should be delighted about how caring and diligent the staff are at Abbey Grange, for the care that this nursing home provides for their patients and their families.

At a very difficult time for us as a family they were all a tremendous support, it will never be forgotten.

Abbey Grange Nursing Home staff should be justifiably proud of the high standard of care they give.


St Peters Avenue, Weston

THE College School last pupil’s reunion plan: The College School was a private school in Walliscote Road, not to be confused with the Technical College.

We are having a reunion in October and I am trying to trace past pupils who were at the school.

If anyone knows of the whereabouts I would be pleased to hear from them.


Ebdon Bow, Wick St Lawrence, Weston, BS22 9NZ

Telephone 01934 515716

LAST week I attended the endoscopy clinic for the first time and was very worried not knowing what to expect and as there must be many other first time patients in that position, I would like to reassure fellow patients.

I was greeted by a team of very calm and professional staff, each one having a part in the procedure. The examination and scanning was a little uncomfortable but the care and consideration of Dr Bell, Mr Johnston and the superb team of nurses in the mini theatre were just amazing. I felt as though I was the only person that mattered and they did everything to prevent me feeling any paid and to feel safe in their hands.

I was so impressed with the care and consideration that I was given by all the staff in the clinic that I would have no anxiety or worry should another examination be necessary.

My thanks to all the staff in the endoscopy clinic.


Dartmouth Close, Worle

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