BY JIM BROWNE
With the sad rise of terrorism across Europe and Africa, many British holidaymakers’ favourite resorts are becoming no-go areas for travel. The Foreign Office warns travellers on its website about travelling to once popular destinations such as Sharm-el-Sheikh and the Turkish Riviera. The Angels of Sousse complained, one year on from the Tunisian massacre, that British tourists had deserted them and turned Sousse into a wasteland. But can they really blame us for staying away when, on a lovely June day under clear blue skies, 30 sunbathing Brits, amongst 38 victims, had their lives curtailed by a cocaine-fuelled Islamic State coward?
Brits’ holidays are carefully saved up for and offer us a chance to relax after a year’s hard slog. Sad as it is, do we really want to be sipping ouzo in Lesbos or quaffing prosecco in Sicily while corpses are fished out of the Mediterranean in front of us?
The British Government has openly recognised the facts that not only will Brits increasingly be spending their holidays in the UK from now on, so will large numbers of foreigners be travelling to the UK for their vacations (such are the benefits of a weak pound, not opening our arms like Merkel to migrants and a competent security service).
So, it is high time, is it not, Dear Readers of Country Squire Magazine, that the Government recognised just how damn ugly some of Britain’s most beautiful coastal locations have become? Time that Theresa May and her band of public servants pulled some rabbits out of hats and cleaned up the concrete gargoyles left behind by inspiration-challenged planners who were so short of a few bob in days gone by that they built grotesque blocks of council flats beside beautiful beaches and succumbed to the wishes of Health & Safety by constructing miles of concrete walls which look great in multi-storey car parks but which stand out like sore thumbs on the promenades of Britain’s picturesque beach resorts. There are plenty of such examples across the country.
Examples you say? Give us examples, Jim!
OK, take a look at the repulsive box built beside beautiful Budleigh Salterton Beach in East Devon on the Jurassic Coast:
Look at the hideous, mindless concrete promenade wall that runs down the beach at Seaton just down the coast from Budleigh:
Fancy sunbathing on some delightful concrete steps at Sheerness beach?
Or how about getting amused at Severn Beach?
Those who say we can’t have flood defences that look nice are simply wrong. Where’s our panache as a nation gone? The Victorians, for example, built water-surrounded walls but at least patterned them to elevate their surroundings:
The Government has recognised we shall increasingly be spending our summer holidays in the UK and be joined by increasing numbers of foreign tourists. The Government has also recognised that Britain’s coastal towns are some of the poorest places in Britain. These are places that would benefit from some astute architectural politics and such work would benefit the country as a whole as Britain seeks to become a post-Brexit tourist hotspot.
To make our coastal resorts more aesthetically-pleasing would take someone with taste (yes, I offer my services, Mrs May, and I think your leather trousers are wonderful). It’s as simple as instructing a person with a pad of paper and a camera to write a list.
Much of the recommended work can be done by volunteers living in the coastal areas. Some of it can be done by those owing society community service. For every pound spent I am convinced the return will be a hundredfold as tourist dollars pump round the Great British Economy.
If the Government can’t come up with the cash to get this necessary work done then prize the Ethiopian Girl band cash from the foreign aid budget.
Seriously, this is not the last time you will hear from me on this subject. Coastal town and beach resort improvement has been accepted by the powers that be at Country Squire Magazine as a CSM Campaign.
This dog never lets go of his bone.