COLUMN: Dozy’s Rambles on the landing craft in Shoreham

Flying the flag on the landing craft

Flying the flag on the landing craft

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I AM delighted to see that all the glass panels have at last been replaced on Adur Ferry Bridge by the county council - it took them long enough!

It looks like the criminals have got bored of the ‘game’ of smashing the panels, or it could be due to the new CCTV that is now installed and covers the entire length of the bridge, meaning these mindless louts will be identified and prosecuted should they do it again.

I am very proud of the award-winning bridge and was thrilled to be part of the committee that saw the project through from conception to completion and, of course, highly honoured to be part of the opening ceremony a year ago.

All that said, there is now a new game in town, and that is the removal of the Union Flag from the landing craft on the Holmbush Roundabout (the landing craft was used during the making of Saving Private Ryan).

There are a few dedicated citizens who appreciate the reason for the craft being in Shoreham and felt concerned that there was no flag flying from it for the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

The first flag was attached to the craft by two brave women who literally took their lives in their hands crossing the busy Old Shoreham Road to erect the flag in time for the commemorations.

Unfortunately, a couple of months later, the flag dropped down in high winds. Another flag was erected just a couple of weeks ago but after a few days, someone had taken the flag down. Yet again, a further flag was hoisted up over the craft. Hopefully the game is now over and it will stay there.

For me, I would rather see the craft standing near Shoreham Fort, as that would be the ideal position for it, not in the middle of a roundabout on a major road.

The fort, of course, stands at the gateway to historic Shoreham Harbour, the harbour that saw Richard the Lionheart depart for the Holy Lands, plus, of course, the harbour that saw hundreds of similar landing crafts depart for the French coast during the second world war.

Gary Baines and his team have done an amazing job over the past few years to bring the derelict and neglected fort, built in 1857, back to life, to make it a major tourist attraction for the area with highly-successful volunteer days, military history weekends and an annual remembrance tealight service, thus making Shoreham Fort a fun place to be and hopefully, with the goodwill of donors and other financial help, this will continue to thrive and improve.

It is Gary Baines’s dream to bring the fort back to its 1857 glory days. Volunteers are always needed and if you feel you can give up a little time to help, either raise funds or help with clearing up the site, then please contact enquiries@shorehamfort.co.uk and help keep a piece of Shoreham’s history alive.

To bring the landing craft to the fort area would take a lot of money, negotiations and care, but hopefully common sense will prevail.

It appears the marketing of the toilet block on Shoreham Beach went terribly wrong, with an apparent mix up in communication between Adur Council and a firm of property agents.

While I am totally against the selling off of public land for private gain, this mix up could have brought about a good result, as long as the legal side was handled properly with whoever the new owners were being responsible totally for maintaining the green and toilets for public use.

My understanding was that the toilet block would remain but permission may be granted to put in a café and possibly an upper floor to the block, possibly on similar lines to the way the highly-successful Sea Lane Café in Goring is run.

But where the idea of including Beach Green came from amazed me, as the first I heard about it was in last week’s Herald.