Lovely village’s fishing roots should be preserved for all

HAVING read the article about my beloved village, Cullercoats (News Guardian, January 19), I feel I have to reply.

In 1972 the Local Government Act allowed for a similar thing that happened in 2009 with the creation of a single unitary authority in Northumberland, therefore parish and town councils are nothing new because in 1972, Whitley Bay Town Council, Tynemouth and District (North Shields) Council, Wallsend Town Council were brought together under the banner of the Metropolitan Borough of North Tyneside, being the newly formed council, incorporating Longbenton, Weetslade, Camperdown, Dudley, Earsdon, Backworth, Shiremoor and Killingworth – and sorry if I have missed anywhere out.

Now in 1974 I was a ten-year-old, having attended the infant school from four to seven-years-old in Mast Lane, then John Street Middle School from seven to nine, but it was knocked down when I was in Year 3, therefore I was transferred to the primary school for the last two years of my education before attending Marden High School until July 1980.

As a child at the time I witnessed the attack on my beautiful village and saw the fishing cottages destroyed, wiped out with no concern for the fishing community, clearing the old Huddleston Street, Simpson Street, Dove Street, Belle Vue Street, Elizabeth Street, the old Northern Bus repair depot and other buildings, that also included the closing of the village train station to make way for the Metro system between 1975 to 1980 for the re-opening of the line, to a very much reshaped village that had many objectors then (remember the Union Jack upstairs window in the house next to Wedderburns the bakers, ‘Hitler could not get me out of this house, nor will you lot’, directed at the council).

Then there was John Whitley’s chip shop and Billy Reid’s village shop, both in Huddleston Street for your 50p baseball boots.

And who could forget Cyril at the dairy in Belle Vue Street, or Billy Hyde newsagent in John Street, or Joe Furlong at Eleanor Street/Station Road corner, finally Laverick’s Cycle Shop.

All local businesses in the lovely fishing village.

The point I make is Cullercoats is a living village with its roots set in fishing and the beach where cobles still fish from the harbour and the cliff top toilets, which are part of the old village that should be preserved.

I for one put forward a proposal for a new road layout reflecting the old village with a pedestrian walking area from Beaches & Cream to the Watchtower corner, allowing the businesses to have outside furniture for patronage on a nice sunny day.

The traffic would flow along John Street from Beverley Terrace, then flow up Margaret Road to Windsor Terrace, removing half the bollards so the flow back onto the seafront is re-established at this point.

The bollards would be re-used to half block Windsor Crescent, ensuring a one-way system to avoid traffic congestion in the village, with Eskdale Terrace becoming one-way, blocking the road with bollards at the Margaret Road end on the roundabout meaning no entry towards Norma Crescent from Eskdale Terrace and the road to the Watch Tower.

North Tyneside Council has chosen to reject this.

I am a qualified road passenger transport CPC holder, who was the local paperboy from the mid 1970s to 1980 at Billy Hyde’s newsagent.

I would also, if the pedestrian area is created, change the subway area that is never used into a café with disabled toilets and retain the old cliff side toilets to keep the old bit of the village, that still exists.

DAVID JOHN WALLS

Blyth