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Familiar landmark in question

PUBLISHED: 10:40 21 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:12 05 July 2010

THE other day a colleague drew my attention to a classified small add in The Journal of April 4.

It read: "For sale, possible redevelopment opportunity, the Bethel, Battery Green Road.

THE other day a colleague drew my attention to a classified small add in The Journal of April 4.

It read: “For sale, possible redevelopment opportunity, the Bethel, Battery Green Road.”

Whilst I did not disbelieve him I felt I had to double check and a telephone call to the agents dealing with the sale confirmed that this was indeed true and that a price in the region of £145,000 was being sought.

The term redevelopment will fill anyone who has had dealings with the Bethel, or to give it it's correct title, the Sailor's and Fisherman's Bethel, with horror especially as the building is not a listed property and therefore demolition could be on a prospective purchaser's agenda.

The loss of any church in a community is sad enough but as it's name suggests the Bethel had very direct involvement with the mainstay of Lowestoft's former economy, the fishing industry and during the second world war doubled as the canteen and rest facilities for the Coastal Forces, the branch of the Royal Navy who manned the MTBs etc, based in the harbour at Lowestoft.

In the foyer of the Bethel is a display of plaques depicting this part of the Bethel's history.

I fully appreciate that the present owners must have a very good reason to take this action which would not have been taken lightly and I wish to point out that this letter is in no way a criticism of this, it is merely to bring to the attention of the people of Lowestoft that a familiar landmark now has a question mark hanging over it and it is now time to get the cameras out and record not only the outside but the quite amazing interior complete with its scale model of a fishing drifter as a pulpit extension.

Perhaps if any of us are lucky enough to get those magic six numbers on Saturday night we can mount a rescue bid.

LEO WHISSTOCK

Corton Road

Lowestoft

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