Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Council decision will go down in history

INTERESTING how the wheel can turn full circle and transform one-time villains into snowy-white saviours.

Take the recent planning decision to grant a development of apartments for the elderly on the old fire station site at Boot Hill.

The council emerged with some credit for standing firm until it got a scheme it felt was good enough for the site.

It garnered even more credit for encouraging an historic-style design for the proposed buildings which, it said, would fit in perfectly with its hopes for a similar historic approach for the whole of North Quay above Town Bridge to mirror the existing historic harbour look below Town Bridge.

At the centre of remaining North Quay land earmarked for redevelopment are the council’s own offices, an architectural monstrosity straight out of the cardboard box school of design that no-one will miss.

So you might think it a pity that we’ve had to wait all this while for an historic look when they had their chance all those years ago when the council offices were first built.

Well, believe it or not, there was something historic there... the remains of ramshackle Tudor houses which the council knocked down to make way for its new headquarters. 

You can still see some of the old Tudor bits just yards away, covered with seaweed in the harbour where they were shovelled out of sight and mind.

Back then that the council ignored all pleas to try and save these historic gems while the irony now is that the council is championing a historic look it actually reduced to rubble just a few years ago.

How quickly they forget.

A lesson learnt... avoid the bridge on bank holiday!

HALF the boating world must have descended on Weymouth’s inner harbour for the recent Bank Holiday.

Up went Town Bridge at noon which annoyed me as I just failed to get there in time by about 50 yards.

I was still waiting to get across the harbour half an hour later, surrounded by muttering pedestrians whose initial photo snapping enthusiasm and “Look Mildred! The bridge is going up!” comments had slowly changed to fuming frustration at being stuck for so long.

At a conservative estimate there were 40 craft making the trip out of harbour, big and small, gleaming gin palaces to tiny yachts... and they all took their time with some gaps as much as 100 metres. After all, why rush eh? Enjoy the sunshine.

After half an hour some pedestrians were starting to mutter, but the bridge finally went up to unleash a scrum of people and traffic battling their way across the bridge in both directions.

In all fairness, that’s the worst delay on the bridge I have experienced in more than 30 years in Weymouth. Next August Bank Holiday I’ll avoid noon around Town Bridge like the plague.

Traffic hold up

I’VE had a go before at drivers who drive so slowly that they bottle up traffic behind them, but this recent incident took the biscuit.

I was on my way to a job on Portland when myself and dozens of other drivers found ourselves slowing right down in Wyke Regis.

For the next mile or so we crawled along like a snail with lumbago until the queue reached Portland beach road where I expected to see revealed some giant car transporter, stone lorry or boat carrier as the cause of the queue. Far from it.

The villain of the piece as more than 50 cars ground along at 22mph in a 60mph limit was a driver in a white saloon car.

They were nearly half a mile ahead of me so it was impossible to make out any registration number to take action, but hopefully the hoardes of motorists closer to this roving roadblock did get a number and reported it to the police.

Speeding motorists regularly get dealt with and I see no reason why those who drive at ridiculously low speeds shouldn’t also be penalised.

Their actions cause dangerous frustrations with several of the drivers in front of me clearly angry as they swung their cars out to see if they could overtake, but the length of queue was too great.

This is not the first time this sort of problem has cropped up on Portland beach road. 

Hopefully police will catch the next culprit.

Eat before you leave

YOU never know whether to believe what a review may say about a restaurant because diners often have different views about the same food.

But I have just been sent a copy of one comment about a local restaurant which I think definitely comes under the heading of damning with faint praise.

The observation was made by a woman but I will spare the restaurant’s blushes and not name them. She had nothing but praise for the restaurant in question and said she and her husband rated it as their favourite since nowhere else did they consume everything on their plates... because so little had been put on it in the first place!

As I like a nice plateful when I dine out, I’ll avoid it like the plague.

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