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Plans for new Coastwatch Tower home

From left: Skegness watchkeepers Paul Collier, Dave Judge, Frank Pilling, Uwe Wieting, Ron Christie-Smith, Malc Staples, Barry Cant and Station Manager Steve Atkins. EMN-140808-123643001

From left: Skegness watchkeepers Paul Collier, Dave Judge, Frank Pilling, Uwe Wieting, Ron Christie-Smith, Malc Staples, Barry Cant and Station Manager Steve Atkins. EMN-140808-123643001

Plans are afoot for a new Coastwatch unit to be installed in the Skegness area.

The National Coastwatch Institution (NCI), recently vacated their previous premises at Winthorpe Avenue, in Winthorpe, after five years of operations.

Watchkeepers at NCI Skegness have subsequently kept occasional watch with a mobile service from cars on Skegness promenade, having been granted permission by East Lindsey District Council. This very temporary measure can now cease as the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation which owns the Derbyshire Miners Convalescent Home at Winthorpe have given permission for NCI to position a mobile unit in its grounds.

A purpose-built wheeled trailer, will be a fully-operational bespoke unit, with all surveillance equipment necessary to keep watch effectively, without some of the sophisticated electronics. NCI are paying for the unit which, when its task is complete, will be redeployed for temporary emergency roles in other areas.

NCI trustee Ian Whalley said: “Although we’ll lose some of the horizon, due to lack of height, it will enable us to see both north and south and far out to sea to the east and will enable us to re-establish communications with the Search and Research community.”

Planning permission to establish a permanent station on Skegness sea front, which forms phase three of their ‘Back on Watch’ project has been submitted to ELDC.

The new station will be the same size as the original in the form of a modular building, able to be craned into position, having a minimal footprint impact on the environment, and specially-constructed by a Lincolnshire company.

It is hoped the structure will be installed close to the X-Site Skate park off North Parade, Skegness.

Mr Whalley said: “This Coastwatch station is for the benefit of Skegness residents and visitors and its true home is right in the middle of the town and once ELDC grant their permission, project funding can be stepped up.”

Mr Whalley said that NCI had received massive public and council support following the station’s closure, and is hopeful a campaign for funding will also be supported.

NCI Skegness station manager Steve Atkins said: “We would wish to record NCI’s sincere thanks to Nigel Bradbury, manager of the DMCH and his staff, who have been extremely generous and kind, allowing us to store our equipment during this time, and finally to CISWO for granting permission for us to use the premises for our new temporary station.”

 
 
 

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