Littlehampton Anchor Springs gets a makeover.

First of all apologies for the lack of posts on the Pier Road blog. Regular visitors to our bike shop in Pier Road will know we’re currently in the midst of moving our business from Pier Road into Anchor Springs, Duke Street Littlehampton.

We’re leasing the premises that was previously occupied by Kim’s the Barbers who has now retired.

The last few weeks and indeed months have been busy and difficult for us. Trying to find a suitable property to move our shop into hasn’t been easy. Quite honestly I am shocked by the attitude of some Littlehampton Landlords who refused to accept our business on the basis that we’d bring unfair competition to Littlehampton’s only cycle shop.

Thankfully our new landlords are more forward thinking and we’re delighted to have signed a relatively long lease on the shop in Anchor Springs which will secure our business – The Dutch Bike Shop & Coastal Cycles for hopefully many years to come.

Thanks to all of you who’ve popped in saying how much they enjoy reading this blog and the posts on the Pier Road twitter feed.

Initially my thoughts were that I wouldn’t continue with the blog as I’m leaving Pier Road however I’ve decided to continue with it but future posts will concentrate more on what’s happening in Littlehampton town centre area and looking at the many challenges facing independent retailers/business owners.

Anchor Springs Wall gets painted.

For many years I’ve been surprised at the appalling state of the UK Power Network’s perimeter wall in Anchor Springs. It’s depressing and no doubt adds to an overall feeling of  degeneration.

As the view from my new shop looks directly onto this wall I contacted UK Power Networks to ask them to repaint it. They refused. A polite refusal where they told me that their policy was only to ‘secure’ there properties, how they appeared weren’t really of concern to them.

I find this shocking and unacceptable more especially as UK Power Networks earn over £1.4billion annually in the UK.

So I asked them if I could paint their wall for them, which they agreed. However, I decided to have one last bash at them and I wrote to Basil Scarsella, CEO UK Power Networks advising him that I felt it unfair that I as the owner of a small cycle shop should have to paint the wall of his billion pound business.

I also ask Mr Scarsella how he could justify UK Power Networks policy of not worrying about the appearance of their buildings, provided their ‘safe and secure’.

To be fair to Basil Scarsella, he replied to my email within 15 minutes and one of his management team agreed that the wall would be repainted as soon as possible. He also apologized for the way the property looked.

Good on him and hopefully we can see some brightness from his end!

I’m delighted to say that the wall has now been repainted and I’m now going to work on the council (not sure which one yet who owns the ‘foliage’) to improve the planting here and create a more uplifting experience.

If they refuse, I’ll do it myself.

I’ve got to say, that I cannot understand why anyone from either Littlehampton Town Council or Arun District Council’s Regeneration team haven’t insisted UK Power Networks improved the presentation of their Littlehampton site.

Regular readers of this blog will recall how Arun District Council threatened Pier Road’s most eccentric resident Alan with enforcement action over his property. If you missed it – you can read it here.

UK Power Networks Littlehampton site gets repainted.

What’s happening with our old shop buildings?

I’ve no idea other than to say that the Property Development company who purchased it from our original landlords have now sold it onto a London based Investment Bank.

The property is in dire need of either a substantive makeover or being knocked to the ground and rebuilt. Either way, the condition of the property and the new conditions imposed by the landlords, were unacceptable to us and it was time to go.

No doubt at some point in the future the site will be redeveloped as housing – which in some ways I think would be good for Pier Road provided a commercial premises was retained on the ground floor.

In any event, something urgently needs to be done to it and I think we were right in saying we’d had enough of babysitting it for speculative property developers who showed no loyalty or consideration for our business needs. Not to mention the fact that our landlords wanted to near double our rent and make us responsible for maintaining their dilapidated buildings.

I’ve been unable to tell them personally to screw themselves, as they hide a commercial agent. But if by chance they do stumble upon this page…..

Our new shop opens for business on Tuesday 23rd May 2017 and we really look forward to seeing you there.

Remember there’s free 2 hour parking (courtesy of Littlehampton Traders Partnership) in either of the two public car parks which are adjacent to Anchor Springs. You can also park free of charge all day in what was the old Waitrose Car Park.

Hopefully something will happen with the old Waitrose building soon and the area can get a much-needed boost. It was a real shame that Waitrose left Littlehampton.

I hope to write more regularly on Pier Road now we’re almost there with the move, so please do sign up for regular posts, if you haven’t done so already. You’ll find the sign up box on the top right hand side of this page.

With best wishes,

Paul.


As always, thanks for reading, your comments always welcome.

 

The Mooring’s Tea Rooms in Pier Road, Littlehampton are closing.

With regret and sadness, the proprietors of Pier Road’s much loved MooringsTea Rooms have announced they are closing their business on Tuesday, 20th December 2016.

Moorings Tea Rooms Pier Road

Joint owners, mother and daughter team, Kay and Hannah have issued a statement explaining why they’re closing this very popular and much loved tea rooms.

Kay’s letter is reprinted below:

      It is with a heavy heart that I am writing this letter.

As you will know I love the tearoom, all my lovely customers and friends. I have thought long and hard about how the tea room can remain with my health problems and Hannah’s desire to pursue another career.

The only feasible answer would be to drastically  change the tearoom making it more manageable but then it wouldn’t be the Moorings.

I have therefore come to the painful decision to close. I will miss you all and The Moorings, but feel it’s ultimately the right thing for me and my family.

We will be closing at 4pm on 20th December.

I am then proposing to offer a service of cakes, scones and shortbread and gluten free products with a minimum of 48hours notice.

I propose to offer from April catering for small functions at your home High tea, birthdays, baby showers, christenings, wakes etc. Details will be on the Facebook page if you don’t do Facebook then you can email your details to kaypresgrave@hotmail.com or text 07904907801.

Love and best wishes for 2017.

Kay, Hannah and Andrew.

A great shame that Pier Road and Littlehampton is loosing The Moorings Tea Rooms. As a neighouring business, we will certainly miss the delicious home baking, quality coffee and friendly efficient service from Kay and Hannah’s delightful business. I know that many customers of our own cycle shop, The Dutch Bike Shop in Pier Road love to pop into the Moorings while we work on their bicycle and will be most disappointed when they learn this business has closed.

Pier Road

Pier Road is home to a thriving variety of independent businesses including restaurants, retailers as well as a wonderful fresh fish kiosk. I’m sure I speak for all business owners in Pier Road by wishing Kay and Hannah every success for the future plans.

We’ll be sad to see this business close, but are pleased to see that Kay intends to run a mobile events catering business, which will bring her delicious food direct to your home or office.

Wishing Kay, Hannah and Andrew all the very best for the future.

Paul


As always, thanks for reading. Your comments are welcome.

 

 

 

 

End of the line for Littlehampton miniature railway?

Not good news, I’m afraid.

I understand that the operator of Littlehampton’s Miniature railways has pulled out of Littlehampton, sold his rolling stock and ceased his operation.

The miniature railway which has been a long standing and much loved feature of Littlehampton’s East Beach area, will no doubt be sorely missed. Loved by old and young, alike.

Running from the putting green cafe to Mewsbrook park, the train has been an established feature of Littlehampton life for many years now, albeit having changed ownership over the past few years.

I’m not sure of the reasons why the operated has pulled out, but I have seen correspondence that suggests a breakdown between the concession holder and Arun District Council.

In any event, it very much appears that the operator has now sold his train and rolling stock and that as they say, is the end of that.

October last year a feature appeared in the Littlehampton Gazette where the train operator’s staff were concerned at being made redundant by their employer. However, their employer (the owner of the train and Arun District Council concession holder) made it clear that making the redundant was necessary as they were seasonal employees.

A shame, a real shame.

Meanwhile, Arun District Council are planning to increase Littlehampton’s seafront car parking charges by over 200%.

If the plans go ahead, the current charge (during July and August) will go from £6 for 2 hours plus to a whopping great £10.

And, your tenner will buy you a space as pictured below.

Arun District Counci Car parking

Would you be happy paying £10 to park in the above for £10?

My understanding from reading through Arun District Council’s proposed car parking increases is that the council have no plans to improve the already unacceptable car park conditions in Littlehampton seafront or to upgrade Littlehampton’s seafront toilets.

It’s amazing that given Arun District Council oversaw a £22.5m seafront regeneration scheme, that neither the existing public toilets or the public car park were deemed as being in need of regeneration.

You can see Arun District Council’s proposed car parking charges increase on Arun’s website here.

Tourism is a competitive business and my view is Arun District Council are in danger of pricing us out of the market. We also desperately need for Arun District Council to work at attracting and retaining concession holders and create modern, practical, usable seafront facilities.


As always, thanks for reading, comments welcome.

Be sure to sign up (if you haven’t already)  to Littlehampton Live’s regular newsletter, which you can do here.

Happy New Year to all.

A very happy New Year to all our readers and followers.

Apologies, for the lack of updates on the blog, I’ve been busy with a number of other writing projects, including the revisions for my best selling small business book – Start and run your own gardening business – now in its 4th edition.

We’ve also been working at rebuilding our business in my bike shop, Dutch Bike Shop and Coastal Cycles in Pier Road following the Environment Agency and Arun District Council’s joint flood defence scheme and regeneration works.

I’ll be writing about these ongoing efforts in future posts.

Going forward – The Pier Road Diaries blog will feature on Littlehampton’s regeneration as well as the challenges facing small business ownership in our area.

So if you’re running your own business, or looking to start one, be sure to follow the blog.

Finally, I have also been working on a new website – Littlehampton Live – which is an online news and views site for residents, business owners and visitors to our lovely seaside town of Littlehampton.

If you’re a local business owner or have an event you wish to get some publicity for, please contact us at info@littlehamptonlive.co.uk  all entries/listings are free and we’re also interested in any local news you have.

On a sad note, late last year we lost a lovely local resident,  who will be known to many – John Morris. The man with the gentle Scottish accent who took a great interest in local affairs, wrote regular letters in the Littlehampton Gazette and was a keen participant in the local Quiz nights and a regular on the allotment scene.

John took a particular interest in the Environment Agency’s flood defence works and will be known to the guys at VolkerStevin and the Environment Agency’s staff who worked on the Littlehampton project.

He was also a regular reader of the blog.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of his passing until recently. Although I had missed his visits to our shop, I had put it down to the pre-Christmas period. The last time we spoke, he visited my shop together with his adorable grandchildren and his wife Mary.

I’ve never seen him happier and the last time I saw him leaving our shop, smiling proudly  with his two little grandchildren at his side, is a lovely memory to have.

Rest well, John.

Love and best wishes to his lovely wife, Mary and family.


 

As always, thanks for reading, comments welcome.

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Littlehampton Harbour’s Waterfront Festival, a huge success

Crowds gathered in Littlehampton harbour on Sunday, 2nd August 2015 for Littlehampton’s Waterfront Festival.

This popular annual event organised by Littlehampton’s Harbour Master, Billy Johnson proved a huge success with visitors. The RNLI treated waterside spectators to a spectacular display of their seamanship and boating skills within the confines of the relatively narrow river Arun.

RNLI Littlehampton Littlehampton RNLI was joined by RNLI Shoreham’s all weather lifeboat, art Tamar which welcomed visitors aboard for a tour of this very impressive vessel.

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RNLI Shoreham’s all weather lifeboat named the Enid Collett after the late donor’s generous legacy funded the boat which costs £2.7million leaving Littlehampton Harbour after allowing visitors onboard for a tour and to meet the patient crew who answered everyone’s questions.

Littlehampton HarbourThere was lots of water-based activities for visitors to enjoy including this amazing water jet which propelled the rider out of the water to seemingly walk along the river.

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Littlehampton Waterfront Festival attracted large numbers of visitors to the area on what was a beautiful day.

Littlehampton RNLIRNLI Littlehampton’s Blue Peter 1, an Atlantic 75 lifeboat showing it’s capabilities within the confines of the relatively narrow River Arun.

Littlehampton RNLILittlehampton Harbour Board Erica Littlehampton Harbour Board’s new workboat Erica strutting her stuff during Littlehampton Waterfront Festival.

Littlehampton HarbourJet Skis in action during the Waterfront Festival in Littlehampton harbour

Littlehampton Littlehampton’s new public realm provided lots of space for viewing the water based activities.

LittlehamptonLittlehampton’s new public realm links up to the recently built waterside walkway providing an off-road route from Littlehampton seafront to the town centre. The new walkway was a joint project between the Environment Agency and their partners, Arun District Council, Littlehampton Harbour Board, West Sussex County Council and Littlehampton Town Council. The scheme was delivered at a total cost of £22.5m and includes a significant new sea defence wall along Pier Road and Arun Parade.

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New and old. The new public realm linking to the riverside walkway which was completed in 2006.

Arun Yacht ClubArun Yacht Club’s dingy sailors were out in force showing off their skills.

Littlehampton Harbour Littlehampton RNLI beach lifeguards were part of the main RNLI display.

LittlehamptonLittlehampton RNLI boats on display.

Sadly, the seaplane which was due to arrive at midday had to cancel at short notice owing to the pilot’s wife being unwell. We hope all is well with her and a picture below of the seaplane landing at last year’s Waterfront Festival.

DSCF4918Seaplane landing at last year’s Waterfront Festival.

Thanks to Littlehampton Harbour Master Billy Johnson and his wonderful staff for putting on another great event.

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As always, your comments are most welcome.

Thanks for reading.