The phone rang one day last week and when I picked it up a voice advised me that winter is upon us and we should consider recycling all the windows in our house.
After hanging up, it occurred to me that highway engineers at the county council might be suffering from a similar problem when it comes to predicting the onset of winter.
For example, at the end of June one of them announced that Hunstanton Road would be closed from August 1 2016 until March 31, 2017. A few days later the closure was put off until September 5 with roadworks on the proposed A149 roundabout postponed until October 31.
It goes without saying that I lost confidence in the county council when Cory Wheelabrator walked away with more than £30m of council tax-payers money due to gross negligence when it came to signing the contract for the ill-fated incinerator.
The latest email on the road closure led me to conclude that the Highways Authority now employs crash-test dummies, because this is what one of them wrote: “The construction of the roundabout on the A149 is scheduled to start in September 2016 and to be completed by March 2017. During this time, there will be inconvenience to residents of Hunstanton Road (with this road being closed from October 2016 until March 2017). This cannot be avoided and for that I apologise. However, we are working with the developer and others to ensure that inconvenience and disruption to local residents is minimised during this temporary period to allow the completion of the roundabout as quickly and safely as possible.”
Perhaps later this week another crash-test dummy will wake up to the fact that the entire population of Heacham will be seriously inconvenienced by the prolonged closure of Hunstanton Road. Thereafter, everyone travelling to and from Hunstanton on the A149 will face disruption when work commences on a roundabout, which no one really wants, not even the Highways Authority.
On a brighter note, I received this email from Stanley Goldman, following a recent visit from his home in Roswell, New Mexico. “John, Angela and I want to thank you for your kindness and assistance during our recent visit to Hunstanton. Thanks also for the email and the attached photo taken of our visit to the Heritage Centre. During my quiet, solitary walk-about visits to Hunstanton, I observed and admired its clean and well kept houses and roadways. The Victorian style and mellow carrstone buildings create a lovely seaside picture of tranquil beauty. This was also the description of my late wife’s home at Greevegate until more recent times. Apparently, the house had been purchased as a ‘holiday’ home and in the owners’ long absences the house was allowed to become quite derelict in its appearance. The question is: does Hunstanton have the means and authority to see to such abuse or neglect? As I stated, Greevegate was the long-time home of the Saunders family and my future wife Brenda; thus the house represents the beginning of the rest of my life.”
I will definitely follow this up. It is a timely reminder that growth in the number of holiday homes is almost certainly the main reason for Hunstanton’s unrelenting expansion towards Heacham.