The sunny side of Southsea’s future

COMMENT: All agencies must to held to account for Anne Savidge’s tragic death

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Last week the bank holiday gave me and my family a rare day off together from work and school. So with the weather forecast saying it would stay dry with sunny spells, we made our way towards the Rural and Seaside Show on Castle Field in Southsea.

We decided to park away from the action so we could walk to our destin-ation and take in all that Southsea seafront had to offer.

Our first stop was one of my favourite parts of the area, Canoe Lake.

It was great to see the area so busy as we witnessed laughter coming 
from the swan pedal boats, concentrated faces trying to get the ball in the hole at the mini golf course and so many children having fun in the play area.

It’s a great place, especially if you’re a parent. There is so much for the little ones to do and most of it is free.

After my daughters used up some of their energy on the swings, slides and climbing frames and we took a stroll around the lake past the families trying to catch a crab, we crossed the road to walk along the seafront promenade.

A beautiful sight greeted us and I was asked by four-year-old Caitlin why the sea was sparkly.

I explained it was the sunshine bouncing off the water.

With a great view of the beautiful Isle of Wight in the distance, it was 
a shame to come across the eyesore that is the boarded-up South Parade Pier.

I’m not an expert on its history, but I know from readers’ comments on The News website ( that people are rightly passionate about restoring the building to its former glory and it looks like this could now be a possibility.

I remember visiting the pier when I was a boy, about 20 years ago, and 
it wasn’t great then with a sticky-floored arcade and a shop selling cheap buckets and spades.

It’s a big job to take on but I hope the new owner’s ambitious plans do come true.

A little bit further up the promenade and after walking past the fenced-off Pyramids, we arrived at the Seaside Show.

My wallet became a little bit lighter after my daughters spotted the funfair rides and the large brightly-coloured bouncy castle. And, of course, we made a visit to the ice cream van, which left me in a bit of shock when two ice creams didn’t give me any change from a fiver.

A great day was had and as someone who has lived in Portsmouth all my life, I need to try and not take what Southsea has to offer for granted.

I’m sure many more fun days with my children will be had there. Yes, it could be a lot better but let’s look on the positive side. There’s every hope that it soon will be.