Last Tuesday’s Viewpoint pages made interesting reading, with two Lynn News readers making the point that ‘God Save the Queen’ is actually a hymn in praise of the monarch and, as such, fails to qualify as a national anthem.
However, in spite of my sympathy for the republican cause, I was delighted to discover that along with Lincoln Square, the Lower Green has a plaque, attached to the bandstand, proclaiming the fact that in 2012 this part of The Green was designated by ‘Fields in Trust’ as a Queen Elizabeth II Field.
This falls short of a request made by the town council for all areas of The Green to be recognised in this way, but it is certainly a step in the right direction, hopefully leading towards recognition by West Norfolk Council that a covenant imposed in 1955 by the le Strange Estate applies in equal measure to the whole of The Green.
This brings me to letters from two other readers, both of whom fail to take account of the fact that the purpose of the covenant was to prevent the erection of any building on The Green unless it was part of Hunstanton Pier, confined to the ‘footprint’ of the pier as it was in 1955. With this in mind, it could be argued that the bandstand itself represents a breach of the covenant, but this hardly compares with that blot of the landscape known locally as the ‘hangar’.
Mercifully, a window of opportunity opened recently when the hangar was offered for sale. It is perfectly true that some people would like to see it removed altogether, but others point out that raising funds to remove the entertainment centre would be much harder to achieve than if the primary purpose was to reinstate the pier on its original site.
It is unrealistic to suggest leaving the entertainment centre where it is and building a pier with an entrance from the former Kit Kat site. To the best of my knowledge the Kit Kat site is not owned by the council. Furthermore, the entrance on The Green was chosen because it is high enough for the pier to over-fly a promenade, whereas the Kit Kat site is only a few feet higher than the promenade. It would make more sense to move the hangar to the Kit Kat site.
Contrary to popular belief, Hunstanton Pier was not built on rock; its foundations were on sand. This fact was revealed in 2009 when a stump of the pier was dug up showing quite clearly that it had been set in a hole filled with concrete. Thanks to the quick thinking of Peter Mallam, a former town mayor, instead of being dumped, this piece of history was carefully replanted in a flowerbed just north of the hangar. Ironically, had the pier itself been erected just a few yards north of its chosen position, the foundations would have been on the bedrock instead of sand.