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The new Outer Harbour at Wells
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A Time Of Change

A note from the Chairman


I'm not quite sure if this article ought to look forwards or backwards; probably it will be a bit of both.

Sadly, in November, the death of David Case occurred. There is an obituary in the 2005 Wells Harbour booklet, but for me David was an old business and family friend - my father was his godfather and he and I came together to Wells in around 1952 and crewed in Sharpies with Mrs Chamberlain, who some will remember as a very formidable lady. David was a lot of help and support to me when I became Chairman of WHC.

In August, Ian Scott decided that, for various reasons, he could no longer give time and effort to the Wells Harbour Project. WHC, while in full support of Phase 2 (the Maritime Heritage Building) felt it might be better if a committee more representative of the whole town dealt with the application for funding and the business plan... and this is the present state of affairs as far as Phase 2 is concerned. It is impossible to thank Ian Scott enough for what he has done for WHC and the town of Wells with this project.

Meantime, work has started on Phase 1, the improvements to WHC's Quay facilities. Michael Snow has taken over as Project Co-ordinator, continuing the work done by Ian... and a fine job he is doing. By the New Year, we hope work on the Old Lifeboat House will be well on and the new pontoons and disabled access will be complete. By early Spring, the new Office should be ready and I hope everybody will approve. The internal design has been changed and the showers will be upstairs. Downstairs will be more or less open from end to end, with the meeting area able to be closed off when necessary. Outside, the flood wall will be a little lower, a compromise between protection and the look of the restored building.

We are pleased with the success of the new sailing school under James Goodley. Not only will there be better sailors in Wells but more visitors, complete with wallets, to add to the prosperity of the town.

There has been a considerable increase in visiting and moored yachts this year, and we expect this to continue when our new facilities, showers, foul water pump-out and pontoons are in use. The improvement in the standard of Harbour moorings has proved its worth in times of storm.

Another scheme the WHC is supporting is a co-operation between all Wash ports to encourage the use of the Wash as a sailing area, as has been done in the West of Scotland. It's called "Sail the Wash 2005".

I must thank the Commissioners and Staff for their work over the last year, each Commissioner has a special responsibility for some part of the Harbour, some of it dealing with the ever increasing amount of red tape. Bob and Alan have made their presence shown on the water and I believe standards of safe use are improving as a result. Bob receives many comments from visitors for his helpful attitude (do any of you look at the letters on the website?) while Lorraine has seen her job become more and more complex. I recently had a happy session with her and Michael Snow at the accountant, while we discussed the problem of the repayment of VAT charges for the project so as to maintain a cash flow. Not quite what her predecessors had to deal with!

Apart from the weather, the season has been a successful one; let us hope that next year will be even better. Safe and happy boating!

Jim Perowne
Wells Harbour Commissioners