Saturday, 18 May 2013

Sea Wall

The new Waterfront plans for box like office blocks of steel and glass have left no place for an ancient part of Jersey's sea wall left behind when land was reclaimed in the late 20th century. It seems that it is cheaper to remove architecture of character and distinction that to think how to incorporate it into their plans.  I know we can't hang onto all the past, but there seems to be a mindset that doesn't even consider it. This is my lament for the wall while it is still here.

Sea Wall
I remember lapping of waves, a mellow June night
Oh, those were the days, such days long ago
And tourists promenading, and their delight
Memories caught up, with time flowing slow
I remember stormy weather, the roar of the sea
And waves breaking fierce, spray flying high
Sea waters flooding inland, flow over me
But now I am inland, and left high and dry
I remember so much, windswept and blown
Of the cries of seagulls, wheeling in flight
I am the sea wall built of good Jersey stone
But new plans remove me, this is my plight
New office block plans mean knocking me down
Remember me please, another lost part of town.

1 comment:

Email to read said...

I too remember those things ...!

Having driven along the Esplanade for years as the land beyond the wall was reclaimed I am still incredulous that we committed an extraordinary sum of money to the project with no agreement as to what it was for.

I cannot understand how we then fund a very expensive board for a staggering 25 years still to fail to achieve an agreement on what to do with it.

When a decision is finally made, I do not expect that it will be as part of a comprehensive vision of the island's future; I expect it to be a distinct project of its own.

The crowning insult I anticipate is that the 'project' itself will not use local expertise - to benefit the local jobs market and the local economy - but will rather pay premium rates to firms from outside the island leaving locals disillusioned and struggling for work and the local coffers depleted rather than reinforced.

I do hope I'm wrong but our past record leaves me little reason for optimism. I may be missing some significant consideration, but redoubled financial and personnel investment in infrastructure seems to have been the key to success in the nations that have emerged best from 2008.

In the meantime, I fear that as a community we have learned nothing since the embarrassing folly of St Catherine's breakwater.