Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Change, but stay the same

THOSE of us who have lived in the Weymouth and Portland area for a while are going to have to get used to it having a whole new look because of a massive expansion in development.

Nearly 2,000 new homes are currently on the cards or are actually being built not to mention a rash of proposed community buildings from village halls to schools.

There is a spate of industrial unit building being proposed both at the Granby in Weymouth and at Osprey Quay on Portland and heaven only knows what the town centre itself is going to look like once the Master Plan is adopted.

There is an old saying that ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’, but Weymouth cannot afford to stand still or it risks being left behind by competitors.

There would also be the threat of missing out on government cash support linked to the development of the local economy, quayside, industrial and housing schemes while there is also the question of European support for various initiatives.

So Weymouth and Portland as we know it could be a very different place to look at in ten years time.

That is no bad thing, but such radical change should not be at the expense of what we already do well, our Georgian heritage, the beach and tourism industry, Portland’s unique environment of stone.

Authorities have to aim for a successful blend of old and new, to maintain our success stories while adding to them with new ventures.

Not all of those ventures will be popular, but if you are house building on such a scale then there must be job opportunities for the people who will live in those houses.

What I don’t want to see is a blurring of the distinctive countryside boundaries between Weymouth and Chickerell, Weymouth and Dorchester or the special individual communities which make up Portland.

Fall into that trap and some of the most beautiful areas in the country would just become one giant anonymous estate, probably reached through some garish advertising arch at Ridgeway.

Is everything under the sun in tune? The sun was eclipsed by the moon...

DID you all enjoy the partial eclipse of the sun or did you struggle to get any sort of a good view?

It was a bit half-and-half for the Westham area of Weymouth where I live with cloud dominating for long periods and only a tantalising occasional glimpse of the bite the moon was taking out of the sun.

Things did slowly improve a bit and the sought-after solar phenomenon made a strong showing towards the end with occasional brilliantly clear flashes of a crescent-shaped sun dominated by the moon’s passage across it.

Inevitably the reaction of everyone I could see varied widely with some watching the eclipse through gadgets, some through special glasses and others just stood around snapping off photos and observing what was going on with no protection at all.

All too soon it was over and it will be a decade before a similar event happens while the next one after that isn’t until towards the end of the century. 

Think I might miss that one.

More lunacy to come in the next few weeks

JUST five weeks to go to the general election and what better day to bring you up to date on the latest political scene than All Fools’ Day.

It seems that an increasingly cynical electorate is increasingly wary of calls for more people to become local and national politicians.

Could it be because the much heralded shortage of candidates for all parties is because so many have been arrested by police or chucked out of their party for misdemeanours?

No criminal experience is necessary to be an MP; the position is ‘well paid’, know what I mean (nudge, nudge). 

So if you have your country and community at heart then your political leaders are waiting for your call to join them.

Dogs on ice!

THERE are very few shows worldwide which feature dogs on ice, but Weymouth came close to meeting those conditions at a recent companion dog show, thanks to excessive housekeeping.

It wasn’t planned that way, but as owners brought their excited animals – all of whom were very keen on meeting each other – in through the entrance to Budmouth College they all began to skid.

The highly polished floor meant they lost all traction whether they were collies or Labradors, red setters or Italian water dogs.

It made for some hilarious scenes with some dogs keen to “meet and greet” unable to get even a semblance of a grip on the entry floor while other animals keen to avoid contact were unable to stop themselves sliding inexorably towards the very dogs they didn’t want to meet.

Combine that with a few very boisterous animals and you had the makings of chaos, but the organisers rose to the occasion and there were no serious incidents, just some very noisy sounds of dog claws skidding on parquet.

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