Lifeboat house: A Turner, not a Picasso, please!

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It would appear to me that modern architects must spend a good deal of their time wandering around art galleries gazing lovingly at Picasso paintings, in order to achieve inspiration for their next project.

I myself can’t stand the artist, indeed they would have had to have paid me to accept one of his works. How a conglomeration of abstract shapes, triangles, and funny eyes, can bring the money his paintings do is beyond me.

However, modern architects seem hell bent on transferring ‘Picassoism’ into modern buildings, which I think is a shame. But hey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder as they say, so who am I to question people’s preferences? However, by the same token, though I don’t profess to look at modern architecture through the same eyes as those of Prince Charles, I do know a nice, appropriately well thought out, environmentally friendly structure when I see one.

The English artist Turner, as opposed to Picasso, is, in my humble opinion, an artist to die for. His paintings are pure poetry, and poetry, I was always taught from school, should always rhyme, as too ought new buildings, with regards to their surroundings. Which brings me, in an odd sort of way, on to the proposed new lifeboat house.

Firstly, why on earth do we need a new lifeboat house? Where’s the rhyme and reason here? What’s wrong with raising the roof, widening the walls, and if need be, lengthening the present boat house? Me thinks there is more than a touch of modern day vanity attached to this proposal.

And if we have to have one, why does it have to look like something out of a Picasso painting, why not a Turner painting? And why so big for goodness sake? What are they looking to put in there, a five-a-side football pitch, a sauna, a conference facility perhaps? Or a 200 seater theatre complete with restaurant and bar? And £3 million! What’s that all about? And here was me thinking the local RNLI were hard up.

I’ve been a subscriber to the organisation most of my life, but come on...a Picasso as opposed to a Turner, do me one please.

Now a lifeboat, as far as I’m concerned, doesn’t care where it lives, it’s not too fussy. In fact if you asked one, it would probably say it would like to be moored on a nice berth in the harbour, easily accessible in emergencies with all round water at all times, as is the case with the multitude of other lifeboats stationed around the country. Unfortunately however, because of the lack of re-investment of boat owners’ harbour dues by this council, there is an all year round lack of proper, and I mean proper, dredging which probably rules the idea out anyway, more’s the pity.

And while we’re on the subject, there is a sea wall, believe it or not, running from the lifeboat house to the Spa, some 20ft deep, complete with steps, which hasn’t been seen for years...why?

Because this council of ours, these grandeurs of gross inefficiency, have let the sand build up to such an extent, the sea, on a tidal surge, rushes across Foreshore Road with impunity, affecting businesses up and down the seafront, as was the case recently. Do you follow?

If they spent more time contemplating dredging the harbour properly, as the old lamented Skarthi used to do, and excavating the bulk of the sand off of the South Bay beach, thus exposing the 20ft high hidden wall, enabling it to do what it was intended to do instead of contemplating their ever contemplative navals, the recent flooding might never have happened. But there I go again, asking for the impossible.

As a Scarborian, and a ‘bottom ender’ come to that, I have despaired with the rational and the ludicrous prioritising of various councils over these many years, to the extent, that sadly, nothing they could possibly do now could surprise me anymore.

And as for the proposed new lifeboat house. I would dearly love for Bill ‘Jitter’ Sheader, Tom Rowley, Alan Rennard, Billy ‘Blondie’ Wood, my late uncle John Normandale, and the many other fine men who served in the lifeboat over the years, to come back and stand on the South Bay sands and give their opinion on this proposed oversized rabbit hutch.

I think they might have all plumped for the Turner version...I rest my case!

TW Ward