Historic quay restored

PROJECT organisers have taken a short ferry trip to view the results of the first stage of a major £200,000 scheme to regenerate part of the Suffolk coast.

PROJECT organisers have taken a short ferry trip to view the results of the first stage of a major £200,000 scheme to regenerate part of the Suffolk coast.

The project is jointly funded by Suffolk County Council and the East of England Development Agency, and the most important initial stage was to restore the crumbling historic quay at Bawdsey, to stop it falling into the River Deben.

The quay, near Woodbridge, is a popular place for motorists to view activity in the river estuary and car parking has been improved. There is also easier access to the beach and cycle racks have been installed for the many cyclists who use the coastal cycle route.

John White is the ferryman on the 400m crossing which takes about four minutes. His late father-in-law Charlie Brinkley was the ferryman for many years and Mr White said he was delighted to see the improvements.

"The quay was falling to bits and if it had not been repaired it would have affected the ferry," said Mr White who runs a daily crossing service between April and October.

Peter Monk, county councillor for Bawdsey, said: "The project has been an improvement without taking away the historical aspect of it and it has been tastefully done, which has not always been the case with developments.

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During the early 1990's the quay was closed during IRA scares and it became apparent how well used it was by thousands of people annually who travelled to Bawdsey, the southernmost point of the Deben peninsula.

Planning for the project took five years before the first stage was completed this year and, following yesterday's official opening of the new-look quayside, plans will be drawn up for stage two.

This involves reorganising and improving the display about the history of the area and providing extra information for tourists.

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