PROMENADE: Are balustrades seen as 1950s art?

The letters of July 30, and reporter’s article made reference to the much disputed Lower Promenade of Whitley Bay, and of course the associated concrete balustrades.

Alongside an informative letter from the elected mayor was an interesting contribution by G Thompson giving more ‘real history’ of these balustrades.

If these concrete ‘railings’ turn out to be less than historic, and I believe attempts to have them listed as such have failed, they can be considered as 1950s art, I suppose.

That has to be in the eye of any beholder, but I do not myself value them as such.

The demonstrators who do value the balustrades as an elegant representation of some classic style, may not be a great many of the local and visiting populations who regard their cost of conservation to be too much.

I do not doubt that a great deal of thought went into the selected option to reconstruct the ‘sagging’ length of promenade, the massive force of these concrete balustrades being a consideration.

This urgent reconstruction must be largely dictated by coastal marine engineering requirements.

I believe that the historic architectural costly notions of what should be conserved, or replaced to the same style, are of much less significance. The below ground units are a menace.

There are thousands of metres of metal handrail, ordinary and ornamental, along North Tyneside’s coastline and riversides, all fit for their purpose.

Like most other things they are required routine inspection and maintenance. Some of the concrete version have failed inspection.

When we have failed to speak up at the time of planning and consultation, we should avoid coming up with comments when something has been built.

Mr AM Johnson