Security stepped up at seafront

A SEAFRONT centre used by the elderly and disabled is to be fitted with security roller shutters to protect it from damage from the sea and vandals.The Hut - formerly the Red Cross Centre - on the prom at Felixstowe suffers sporadic attacks by thugs all year round, but the biggest danger to its windows is the waves.

A SEAFRONT centre used by the elderly and disabled is to be fitted with security roller shutters to protect it from damage from the sea and vandals.

The Hut - formerly the Red Cross Centre - on the prom at Felixstowe suffers sporadic attacks by thugs all year round, but the biggest danger to its windows is the waves.

The pounding North Sea crashing against the prom in winter can send up showers of stones from the beach, chipping and breaking its windows.

Richard Holland, chairman of the Felixstowe Old People's Welfare Association (FOPWA), which runs The Hut at Bath Tap, said: “Like a lot of buildings, we do get problems with vandalism from time to time but the real protection is needed from winter storms.

“For the past two or three years we have been using some fairly crude wooden shutters on the windows - we put them up when the summer season is over and take them off again in the spring - but we thought it would be better if we had proper roller shutters.

“High tides can have quite an impact, especially when the waves come crashing onto the prom and send up stones.

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“During the surge last year, part of the centre's garden wall was knocked down so you can see how powerful the waves can be.”

FOPWA is spending around £40,000 on the centre, which is used by many groups from the town and around the region each summer to enjoy a day by the sea, in a planned programme to improve the building for users.

This has included a new kitchen and toilets, and this winter will involve new UPVC or aluminium windows.

“When we took the building over we said any money which was made from lettings would be spent on the building to improve it so that it was even nicer for groups to use,” said Mr Holland.

“We have a very full booking list and are adding to it all the time.”

Do you like the improvements to The Hut? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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