Water is a vast improvement on the sea I remember
PUBLISHED: 10:59 13 March 2006 | UPDATED: 08:59 24 May 2010
SIX months ago my wife and I retired and moved to Weston from the Midlands. Hardly an original move, I hear you say, although we weren't moving from inner city Birmingham but the regency splendour of Royal Leamington Spa! Weston was not a totally alien e
SIX months ago my wife and I retired and moved to Weston from the Midlands. Hardly an original move, I hear you say, although we weren't moving from inner city Birmingham but the regency splendour of Royal Leamington Spa! Weston was not a totally alien environment, although we hadn't been to the town for a number of years until we started hunting for a house, we shared some history. A hundred years ago my great-grandfather captained a paddle steamer on excursions down the channel and must have landed here often. Sixty-five years ago my father slept in a tent on an ack-ack site at Easton-in-Gordano and helped to defend the area from the German blitz. My mother had spent the last few days of her life in Weston's wonderful hospice at Uphill. So how have we found life during our first Weston winter? It is only fair to note that even given our positive experience, Weston isn't perfect, but don't believe everything you hear. We are still waiting to meet our first drug addict, which our local elected member and the press would seem to think is a minor miracle in itself!Weston's architectural blights are there for all to observe, indeed I can see them all from my bedroom window as I type. Tropicana, squatting grey and unloved like some Gulag on the sands is the worst. I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't (a) see it as a problem (b) want to see it restored to a useful amenity so where is the political will, not for a change in five years time, but for the 2007 season? Then there is the rusting Victorian edifice that used to be Weston's second pier which looks as if it is just waiting for a high spring tide and a strong gale to end its years of short-sighted neglect.Still it could be worse. The horror that was Severn Croft was demolished very efficiently as a Christmas present to the inhabitants of the town. I assume it was built in a period when planning permission wasn't needed here. Knightstone Island, too, is beginning a period of restoration which has got to be an improvement on the current eyesore.Enough of the gripes. These are far outweighed by the joys that we have experienced during our stay. The view on a clear day makes us glad to be alive whether we look towards the town, Wales, the Mendips or Brean Down. A fine evening with the sun setting behind the fort there is not be missed. The beach stretches for a good mile. It is kept clean and the water is a vast improvement on the sea I remember from Sunday school outings here in the fifties.The moral of this story is that we shouldn't take Weston's attractions for granted just because they are familiar. You may have been up and down the beach nearly as often as the proverbial donkeys but they are a wonder to the next generation. It is also likely that there are attractions which may not appeal to you but they may be just what someone is looking to enjoy. I live close to the golf course and it's never without happy players regardless of the weather. Now the putting green is enough for me but obviously the links are a splendid attraction.To sum up our feelings. We have never been disappointed. Life in Weston is good. There is room for improvement and certainly not for complacency. And last but never least we have met lots of friendly, helpful people and that's what makes us look forward to spending the rest of our time here.DAVID SAMPSON - Royal Sands, Weston
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