LETTER: ‘Normal’ – or ‘exceptional’?

Is it ‘nice to be normal’? Or is it a bit of a back-handed compliment? The Herald’s report on the most ‘normal’ places in the country tells us that researchers have named Southwick as among thetop five normal places in England.

In one way this tells us that Southwick is a nice, balanced sort of place. A place where people on average are close to what people across the whole country are like – if you go by the national average.

So I suppose this is quite comforting to know.

On the other hand, what local people will tell you is that Southwick is really a very unusual place.

Where else would you find somewhere with a busy harbour, a village green, and a national park on its doorstep?

A place where a big Roman villa once stood?

Or, for that matter, a place with the oldest and one of the largest community centres in the country?

So Southwick is actually a very interesting place, with a long and fascinating past, and a lively present – and hopefully a very promising future. Talking of which, it was great that the Herald illustrated the ‘normal’ story with a picture of the existing main entrance to Southwick Community Centre.

This is indeed a very ordinary, not to say boring, thing to look at.

The good news, which you also reported, is that we are going ahead this summer with plans for an attractive and much more open entrance area.

The new building will also include a large sculpture panel, an exciting way of showing the history of Southwick Manor Farm and the wonderful orchards which used to grow behind what is now the community centre. Our future is certainly going to look less ‘normal’ and more ‘exceptional’!

Bob Ryder

Chairman, Southwick Community Association,

Southwick Community Centre,

Southwick Street, Southwick

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