Turnstone, by John Maiden, March 22, 2016

A younger, slimmer Turnstone diving in at the deep end of the open air bathing pool in 1959. ANL-160318-092515001
A younger, slimmer Turnstone diving in at the deep end of the open air bathing pool in 1959. ANL-160318-092515001

A letter in last Tuesday’s Lynn News without a name or address must have come from someone who has not visited Hunstanton for a very long time, because the town does have a sports centre. The Oasis opened in 1984 with facilities suited to a wide age range.

It is many years since I was a governor at Smithdon High School, and even longer since I taught there, when it was a Secondary Modern School, but it is reasonable to suppose that Smithdon has a sports centre capable of providing facilities for young people in and out of school hours.

Phil Lynott statue in Dublin ANL-160318-092504001

Phil Lynott statue in Dublin ANL-160318-092504001

In fact, I have very fond memories of the Men’s Keep Fit classes I attended there between 1954 and 1959. It is, however, perfectly true that Hunstanton would benefit greatly from a proper swimming pool.

The anonymous letter writer may have had enough of reading about piers and railways, but perhaps he, or she, needs to be reminded of the facilities for swimming; diving; and water polo, which used to exist at a fantastic open air bathing pool from 1928 to 1967.

Had this particular ‘asset of community value’ been properly maintained; covered over; and heated; instead of being demolished with undue haste; it could have met the requirements outlined by my critic; who should really be taking this matter up with those responsible for deciding how council tax is spent in this far flung corner of Norfolk.

One thing we have been promised is a coastal footpath from Hunstanton to Sutton Bridge; so perhaps it would not be asking too much for Norfolk County Council to invest in acquiring enough land to accommodate a railway that might ‘one day’ run alongside the footpath.

This is probably as close as the Hunstanton area is likely to get when it comes to gaining any benefit from the ‘Eastern Powerhouse’. It will certainly be on the agenda for my meeting with the Minister for Coastal Communities.

Now, possibly because this column is being written on St Patrick’s Day, and it will soon be the centenary of the Easter Rising in Dublin, I will end by quoting some lines from a song written by Phil Lynott for his band, Thin Lizzy. It is called Do Anything You Want To:

There are people that will investigate you

They’ll insinuate, intimidate and complicate you

Don’t ever wait or hesitate to state the fate that awaits those who

Try to shake or take you

Don’t let them break you

You can do anything you want to do

It’s not wrong what I sing, it’s true

You can do anything you want to do

Do what you want to

People that despise you will analyse then criticise you

They’ll scandalise and tell lies until they realize

You are someone they should have apologised to

Don’t let these people compromise you

Be wise too.