Monsters that can be seen for miles

Huge quayside cranes at the Port of Felixstowe can be seen from many places across east Suffolk.

Huge quayside cranes at the Port of Felixstowe can be seen from many places across east Suffolk. - Credit: Archant

Enjoying a picnic at Orford Quay, I glanced to my right to enjoy the peaceful view of the Suffolk coast – to be confronted with the sight of the Port of Felixstowe’s newest cranes.

I get used to seeing these towering monsters, like old friends, from various viewpoints all over the Felixstowe peninsula.

They are there when you step out of the door of Hemley church, from many of the paths at Kirton, and the marsh wall on the Deben.

To see them from Orford – 14 miles from Felixstowe as the crow flies – was something of a shock, another unspoilt view trashed.

The port provides vital jobs and is essential to our economy. It is such a shame we cannot disguise or hide it in the landscape.

? Felixstowe has enjoyed two fantastic weekends – thanks to the marvellous Wings on Waves air show and the carnival.

It is estimated around 40,000 people attended the occasions, both blessed with excellent weather and bringing business to the resort.

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What Felixstowe needs are events like this throughout the summer – as the resort did have if we turn the clock back three decades and which since then have been slowly eroded.

Other resorts do manage it, but it is hard work. It relies on volunteers giving up their spare time not just on the day but for months in advance to arrange the event, and also businesses giving some support to their community.

Those people already involved do a sterling job – the town just needs more to join them with ideas for other events.

? If – and it’s still a big if – Poundland takes over Halfords, The Wharf and Thing-Me-Bobs, it will be the biggest shop in the town centre.

It was telling that Poundland did not deny they were taking over the units. They didn’t confirm it either.

There is some disquiet though about the possibility of the discount company opening such a big store in the heart of the town, and what this says about Felixstowe and the quality of life here.

There is a hankering for designer stores, small independents and individual shops that just isn’t happening.

Even one councillor I broke the Poundland news to looked uneasy, if not slightly queasy, shook his head and sighed. But as he pointed out – it’s probably better to have that site occupied than have one, two or three long-term empty shops.