What can we do to keep our seaside special?

COINCIDENCE is sometimes so powerful as to appear positively spooky. Last Saturday James and I enjoyed a boys’ outing to Felixstowe. The next day I saw an article about a book called Wish You Were Here: England on Sea, which looks at our turbulent but endearing relationship with the seaside. And on Monday I read something about tycoon Duncan Bannatyne’s show Seaside Rescue, aired in the spring, in which he sort to put six British resorts back on the map. One of the places he visited was Felixstowe.

The seafront had changed, and I don’t like change.

Living in Ipswich as a boy, Felixstowe was our local beach. Four decades of memories are stored in my brain. Recent ones feature the kids; this little area has been a place to visit several times a year as a treat – to knock golf balls hither and thither, send those boats spinning round, and to plaster raspberry ripple around the mouth.

Happily, James and I did find that many of these attractions had shifted further up the seafront to a different spot – albeit one that looked a touch more cramped. The move left the vacated space looking desolate.

How, we pondered, could a resort re-energise? There are new ideas – donkey rides and a road train – but this is what we came up with as we licked our Peters ice-cream.

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Of course, some calls for major investment, but we think money should come from the EU, � la Lowestoft. Here goes: Cliff-side lift; repair the pier so people can stroll on it, and lay a skating rink; build a massive children’s play area; build a big water-flumes pool; informally rent empty shops/space to craftspeople selling jewellery, art, second-hand books etc; have a bandstand on the front; put up walls that youngsters can paint on (under supervision); have clowns entertaining kids on the prom.

Bet you can think of better ideas. E-mail notions to features@eadt.co.uk and put outflanked in the subject line. I’d love to read them.

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