Life in the Costa Geriatrica

The Costa Geriatrica is a wonderful name I have invented for the strip of coastal land stretching from Eastbourne to Bournemouth. I live in Lymington at the western end of this coast. It was named as best seaside resort town ahead of Sandbanks in an article by Richard Savill in the Telegraph 5th June 2008.

Typical of the South Coast, Lymington and the area surrounding has been losing larger industries for decades. Wellworthy, manufacturers of piston rings, a once major employer, closed in 1989. In its heyday in the 70′s the Lymington plants provided employment for about 5,500. One of the sites of its plants is now a major supermarket, the other Ampress Park now houses out of town businesses and a new hospital. According to a one time manager there the closure of the first site was a loss of about 400 jobs, the closure of the second lost about 1,000.

Webbs Country Foods ( a chicken processing factory) was another major employer, that closed in 2001. Five hundred jobs were lost. The factory was situated on a large site east of the railway line, earmarked for housing. Commercial property developer and builder, Redrow, bought the 3 hectare site presumbaly hoping to make a a bit of a financial killing. They have been frustrated though by the awkward position of the site, the entrance to the site being adjacent to a level crossing. The site is also vulnerable to tidal and fluvial flooding. So at the moment there is not even the new building work that may have provided jobs for a year or two.

The town has lost the following pubs in the last forty years:-



Crown and Anchor;

Redlion/Whitelion 1998 I think;

Anchor and Hope;

Londesborough Hotel and the Country Bar at the rear;

The Bugle;

The Lymington Tavern (a.k.a. Dorset arms, Fighting Cocks, Champagne Charlie’s);

The Tap Bar – Angel

The Hearts of Oak

What else can Lymington lose. Well it nearly lost its saltwater swimming baths which were saved due to a large public outcry.

Never mind the retirement industry is booming. Oh, and Wetherspoon might come. See Whether to Wetherspoon on this site.

Author’s note – apparently there is another Costa Geriatrica in Spain – near Suerte I believe. Obviously someone was thinking along the same lines as me. I did not knowingly nick the name.

About Richard Stokes

Richard Stokes. Childhood spent in Milford-on-Sea. Now lives in Bridport (recent move). Educated in Art Schools - Winchester, Birmingham and Portsmouth. Worked as art administrator: Ikon Gallery, Birmingham; Midland Group, Nottingham; West Midlands Arts, Birmingham; Gateshead Garden Festival; Arts Council; Minories Art Gallery, Colchester; West Midland Arts. Also involved with the former Limpets Restaurant. Keen sailor.
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