Letters from this week’s Visitor.
Thankful for sea defences
The devastating floods in the south and south-west are a sobering reminder of the destructive storms that caused so much damage in Morecambe more than 30 years ago when, over a relatively short five year period, the West End Pier was swept away, more than 1,200 homes and businesses were inundated by the sea and large chunks of the promenade were ripped out. It was clear then that events described as happening once in 100 years were beginning to occur with worrying frequency.
Fortunately, Lancaster City Council responded well and launched a major exercise designed to upgrade the resort’s sea defences.
The first significant development was the building of the wave reflection wall along pretty well the full length of the seafront.
The object was to prevent overtopping waves from surging across the promenade. It proved to be a tremendous success and is still doing its job today.
But more had to be done and, as part of a rolling programme, thousands of tons of rocks were put in place in front of the old sea wall and a series of rock groynes were developed.
The Stone Jetty was also extended. This had the effect of taking the sting out of heavy seas before they reached the front.
This was achieved through the vision and diligence of a succession of council chief engineers, including Norman Shadwell, Tony Wood and Alf Wrigley and their excellent teams. Advising them was the brilliant and visionary consultant Dr Philip Barber.
Their legacy remains today, protecting Morecambe from the worst of what the elements throw at us though, it must be conceded, if we are indeed entering an era of extreme weather conditions it could well be that the defences in their present form might well have to be re-examined.
Full address supplied
Safety push goes on
Ten years ago, February 2004, 27 men and women merely making a living were killed because of the sheer irresponsibility of their employers.
The first group were the Chinese cocklers in Morecambe Bay.
The second were the rail maintenance workers from the Tebay disaster of February 15, 2004, our branch members.
The RMT has campaigned ever since Tebay for improved protection (secondary protection) on track.
This has still not been implemented as Network Rail have systematically dragged their feet, presumably because they do not want to incur financial responsibility for maximising the safety of workers in our world of privateers, cuts and encouragement only of possessive individualism (ie: capitalism) by all governments since the 1980s, now bolstered by the undemocratic European Union imperialist trade empire.
We the RMT (Lancaster/Dis) were due to hold our 10th memorial rally at Tebay on Saturday, February 15, urging the railway management to implement effective secondary protection and not try to wriggle out of it anymore.
All are welcome to attend and show their solidarity once again, unlike all politicians in the region with the notable exception of Ms Geraldine Smith (ex-Morecambe/ Lonsdale MP).
Notwithstanding Geraldine, not a single local councillor/county councillor has attended our rally in 10 years, be it noted. This has to change, and workers’ grievances must no longer be sidelined as have the Hillsborough victims, the Shrewsbury pickets and others too many to include here.
The rally was at noon, quarter of a mile south of Tebay, where the A685 goes over the railway lines at the memorial.
If we stand together we will win.
S K Metcalfe (personal capacity)
National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers.
Polite and good service
I needed a new wheelchair and contacted BJ Mobility in Morecambe.
Nothing was too much trouble for Scott Crowther, who works for his dad for the family company.
He was absolutely great, there was no cheek about him, I just don’t know how to say thanks to him.
I haven’t met a young teenager like this, in this day and age.
He was polite to my husband Roy and I just feel he should be put forward for some sort of award.
Nothing is too much trouble for him and he is a great role model for teenagers today.
He inspired me so much with his service, his attitude and his speed.
Get up and running
With the start of 2014, many people will be planning to make a difference, either for themselves or for others.
Whatever the reason – be it getting fit, participating in a sporting event, signing-up for a once-in-a-lifetime challenge, or taking up voluntary work, The Children’s Trust would love to hear from you.
We need you to help us make a difference to the lives of children with a brain injury.
The Children’s Trust, the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury, is celebrating its 30th anniversary and is hoping, with the help from the public, to make it a memorable and successful year.
The Children’s Trust has lots of fundraising activities taking place during the year – some at national level: National Doughnut Week and Humphrey’s Pyjama Week – as well as many regional and local activities organised by our supporter groups.
We have available places in many famous running events – including full and half marathons – and would love to hear from runners who would like to represent the Trust in the Virgin Money London Marathon, the Great North Run, the Great South Run or Brighton Marathon.
For cycling enthusiasts, this year’s Prudential Ride London-Surrey 100 will be taking place on August 10, so please contact us if you would like to part.
Alternatively, if you would to enjoy some great entertainment for all the family, whilst helping to raise money for the Trust, The Supercar Event will be returning to Dunsfold Park, Surrey on June 21 and 22.
For more ideas on how you can support The Children’s Trust, including becoming a volunteer at one of our charity shops, please visit: www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01737 365020.
Please consider supporting The Children’s Trust this year to help make a difference to the lives of some very special children.
Vice President of The Children’s Trust
Perils on the pavement
I would like to comment through your lovely paper regarding the speed cyclists seem to think they are allowed to do on the pavements on Westgate.
Although they have a designated cycle side the speed in which they travel seem quite dangerous to pedestrians and their pets, as well as other road users, as they seem to think they have right of way at junctions.
They seem to carry on in their effort to get where they are going regardless of other people. Even on these dark nights they appear to ride their cycles with no lights, is this allowed?
I have been walking my pet dog who, is on a lead, but they always want to go to the grass which is where the cycle track is. I have numerous obscenities shouted at me even though there is adequate room if they just slowed down.
They also seem virtually impossible to see with no lights and dark clothes on. Is there no rules any more re lights on bikes?
This just seems to be an accident waiting to happen.
Name and address supplied