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Residents fight to save historic hut on West Bank prom
RESIDENTS campaigning to save a century-old ‘mini pier’ on Halton’s waterfront have won a reprieve.
They teamed up to protect an historic little hut on West Bank promenade after Halton Council earmarked it for demolition.
It has now won a six month stay of execution after Save Britain’s Heritage lodged an objection and former Widnesians living all over the world signed petitions to retrieve it.
Campaigner Peter Moran, aged 43, of Ridgeview Close, who runs a nostalgic ‘West Bank The Glory Years’ website, said: “This hut is part of our history. We want to keep it for future generations,.
“We’ve had support from West Bankers who now live in America and Australia. It is a little pier and is in a lovely place.
“I would like to see it turned into a heritage centre and a little cafe.
“We’ve got plenty of material, videos and old photographs of West Bank and the Old Transporter Bridge.
“It’s on the transpennine trail so we get a lot of cyclists and people of all ages coming to enjoy the view.”
The glazed hut, which is on stilts, was originally designed around 1903 as a viewing platform when hundreds of locals enjoyed visiting the ‘beach’.
In recent years, it was used by pensioners as a meeting place to play cards and dominoes.
Mike Fox, of Save Britain’s Heritage, said: “The hut provided a location where senior citizens could watch the swimming competitions and beach games which took place in the river below.
“The hut continued to be used as a place for community gatherings.
“The building is part of the original historic fabric of the promenade and makes a positive contribution to the conservation area.”
Great great grandad Bill Lawson, aged 80, of Beaumont Close, who tends the gardens of neighbouring St Mary’s Church, belonged to a pensioners club which met regularly at the hut.
He said: “I have many happy memories playing dominoes.
“In the old days, thousands of people used to come down here. There was lots of sand and a bandstand.
“I’d like to see it refurbished and proper gardens and more seats put in.”
A Halton Council spokesman said: “The building has been vacant for a considerable amount of time. In the interests of reducing the on-going risk, and due to the costs associated with maintaining the building, officers have recommended its demolition.
“However, as there has now been interest in the property it has been decided to put the demolition plans on hold for at least six months to allow proposals for the future use of the building to be submitted from the voluntary sector.
“If suitable proposals are put forward, which are financially viable and acceptable to council members. These will be considered and may be acceptable as a way forward.”
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