Fears raised over Lowestoft Scores

THEY form part of the cultural heritage of Britain's most easterly town, but now fears have been raised about the future of a network of old pathways known as the Lowestoft Scores.

THEY form part of the cultural heritage of Britain's most easterly town, but now fears have been raised about the future of a network of old pathways known as the Lowestoft Scores.

Winding their way down from the High Street to the seafront area, the scores are highlighted in tourist brochures as a must-see attraction on any visit to the town.

But according to district councillor Ruth Ford, the future of the lanes is at risk unless cash is made available for vital maintenance work.

She said: “The scores have a long and interesting history and are a great tourist attraction. But now they are rundown and dirty, and full of glass. Some of the walls are in a disgusting state, especially those at the bottom of The Ravine.

“It does worry me because we haven't got much history left. The character has been taken out of the town and we will lose the scores unless we spend some money on them.

“We advertise the scores in our brochures, but when people come to have a look at them, what are they going to think?”

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It is believed some of the 13 scores were developed by fish merchants travelling from home to the seafront below, while others were carriageways formed by natural clefts in the cliff.

The paths led from the town centre to the Beach Village, which grew as the fishing fleet expanded, and boasted a population of 2,500 people by 1900. During the 20th century, the effects of regular flooding and deterioration in the standard of homes meant that, by the 1960s, the village had all but vanished.

In 2001, the importance of the scores was highlighted when a heritage trail leading visitors around the narrow alleyways was launched thanks to funding from Waveney District Council, the European Union and English Heritage.

Independent councillor Mrs Ford raised the need for more funding at a meeting of Waveney District Council last week when it was revealed there were no plans to spend any money on the Lowestoft Scores at the moment, even though £14,000 sits in a reserve fund.

Colin Law, the portfolio holder for contracts and asset management, said: “I'm happy to take this matter up and walk all the scores with a view to putting together a list of problems relating to them.

“We are not removing funds and the £14,000 will remain. If we are looking at bringing forward improvements to the scores, this can be done and I'm prepared to work towards that.”

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