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West Norfolk Council’s replacement of the roof on Hunstanton's Princess Theatre keeps out the weather and retains the warmth

John Maiden praises the borough council in his weekly Turnstone column...

Listening to Jeremy Hunt delivering last week’s budget brought back memories of a television programme produced way back in the 20th century.

In fact, it might have been so long ago that the programme was in black and white! However, the comparison between the vast sums of money being spent on research into nuclear power, as opposed to the tiny amount left over for research into renewable energy is something that has stayed with me ever since.

The Green in 2002 (63049819)
The Green in 2002 (63049819)

When Mr Hunt tried to justify the introduction of a new nuclear age on the grounds that the sun does not always shine, and the wind does not always blow, he was guilty of using the logic of false opposites. Apart from the fact that there are other forms of renewable energy, which are much safer and cheaper than the nuclear option, why does the government persist in turning a deaf ear to calls, from an ever increasing number of voices, to spend some serious money on making homes and places of work, or entertainment, more energy efficient?

West Norfolk Council’s replacement of the roof on our Princess Theatre, not only keeps out the weather, it also retains the warmth.

According to Brian Hallard, the new roof has resulted in a significant reduction in the cost of heating the impressive art deco building.

There must be countless premises in Hunstanton that could also benefit from similar remedial action.

Prior to the budget came news that work on the overbudget HS2 railway is to be put on hold. Why on earth is it taking so long for the government to admit that this vanity project is proving to be a disaster, in terms of the financial cost to taxpayers as well as its adverse impact on the environment?

Something similar, but on a much smaller scale, happened here in Hunstanton while I was employed by R Robinson & Co Contractors of Westminster in building the new north promenade in 1955/56.

When construction of the promenade was nearing completion, local builders, FW Shanks Ltd started work on building a toilet block against the cliff face with its foundations at promenade level.

Unfortunately, the gap between the cliff face and the new brick wall was filled in prematurely with tragic consequences. I still have vivid memories of the dreadful noise that occurred when the wall collapsed, bringing down further brickwork and scaffolding.

Within seconds I found myself involved in an attempt to rescue the one man unaccounted for following the collapse. He was still alive when we found him, but sadly died later in hospital. He turned out to be the father of a friend of mine from primary school, so I can well imagine the loss his family must have suffered.

This sad event resulted in a change of location for the toilets, which explains why they were allowed to encroach onto the northwest corner of The Green, where their architectural style blended in to some extent with the pier entrance building, as it used to be, prior to 1963.

The toilets did not look too bad when Tony Cassie took this photo of The Green in 2002.

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