Forums give chance to speak
OCCASIONALLY I'm asked about my reaction when people object to certain thoughts printed in this column that they consider negative. Oh dear! I get so upset… sorry, joke!
In truth, if their comments have any substance, then the ol' sailor is mature enough to re-think and perhaps reconsider what he's written.
Such thoughts came after my words about the merits — or not — of the plan to construct an artificial reef in Torbay.
After voicing my objections at a harbour committee meeting, one of the other advisors, a straight-talking lady known affectionately as 'Miss Lippy', gently slapped my wrist, pointing out that to assist progress, sometimes nature needs a helping hand.
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Her quiet smile seemed to add: "So, where would the port of Brixham be without the protection of the 'man-made' breakwater?
"Plus, will you wait for mother nature to construct 'your pet project', the Northern Arm?"
Point taken, dear lady!
Another comment I made recently, was regarding the purpose of the three harbour liaison groups and what influence, if any, they had on waterside developments.
While accepting it was a smart move by the authority to initiate the assistance of stakeholders, not for one moment do I believe the advice they offered has always been accepted by the full harbour committee.
Nevertheless, these forums gave those residents, genuinely concerned with maritime development, the opportunity to speak.
So, long may they exist.
WHILE my 'pubbing' days might be well astern, last week I experienced a visit into the distant past.
At 16, just home from my first trip to sea, trying to impress a couple of my old school chums, I offered to buy them both a pint.
After all, in ports like Liverpool, Glasgow and Belfast, having obtained alcoholic beverages without questions about my age being asked, I'd assumed Brixham's pubs would be easy.
Because Cowtown landlords knew us, my two friends, also underage, ventured up to Furzeham's Queen's Arms.
Ordering three beers, we were promptly and unceremoniously shown the door!
After vowing never to set foot in the Queen's Arms again, it came as a great surprise last week to be invited by the present landlord, Chris Simmonds, to sample a new home brew and accept a cheque on behalf of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.
His loyal customers had raised almost £600 through various social events to assist the famous London hospital in their care for young patients.
Accepting Chris's invitation and enjoying a glass of their famous Dartmoor home brew, I felt slightly ashamed to have boycotted the establishment for all those years.
Well done, the regulars of Brixham's highest public house, the Queen's Arms. You should be well proud.
LAST week I wrote about a lack of response by TOR2 to clear the wild growth from the gutters leading up the 'mountain' road.
At a Brixham Town Council meeting, I happened to mention my 'moan' to duel Cllr Jackie Stockman (pictured) and she said 'she'd have a word'.
Blow me, two days later the clogged gutters had been cleared. Not all the way down the hill, but certainly the worst offending bits.
IT'S music time again. Having rested for a couple of months, the 'lads' of the Brixham Male Voice Orpheus Choir, refreshed and bursting with song, begin a range of autumn concerts.
Last Saturday, together with a visiting choir from Swansea and songs from soloist, Pauline Smith, they entertained an enthusiastic audience at Paignton's St Andrew's Church.
The concert was in aid of a 'gentleman's' medical problem, prostate cancer, and the Brixham voices were in great form, filling the church with wonderful music.
On October 6, the BOMVC will once again be heading eastwards across the Bay to the parish church of St Mary The Virgin, in St Marychurch, to take part in a 'Last Night of the Proms'-theme concert.
Together with guest soloists David Taylor and Steven Phillips, the event promises to be a great evening's entertainment. Tickets can be bought from the Cornerstone charity shop in St Marychurch's Fore Street or at the door on the night. Organiser Mrs Sheila Matthews requested me to advise folk: "Not to forget your Union flags."
From which I can only assume that the concert has the promise of a patriotic occasion. Go for it 'lads'!