Battle brewing over bombs at Shoebury East Beach

Station News owner Harish Panchal and staff member Jack Raj

Station News owner Harish Panchal and staff member Jack Raj

First published in News
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A BATTLE is brewing over Shoebury East Beach – with the MoD being urged to hurry up and check it for more buried guns and explosives.

The beach was closed for safety reasons at the end of last week after 15 artillery and mortar shells and 12 machine guns turned up.

It has now emerged the MoD is not planning to meet Southend Council officials to discuss what to do until at the end of next week, prompting anger and concern that the beach should remain closed for so long.

The council has asked James Duddridge, MP for Rochford and Southend East, to press the ministry to speed up the process.

Lynda Kelly, from beach toy sell ATS Services and Supplies, at the corner of High Street and George Street, says the delay is costing traders money.

She added: “I really think they should meet sooner “If the beach closed for a fortnight, our trade is going to go down the pan. We have lots of stock, but you can’t very well sell dinghies, buckets and spades when the beach is shut.”

Harish Panchal – known locally as “Harry” – who owns Station News, in Shoebury High Street said: “We really think they should do it faster, rather than have a meeting and then deciding.

“The MoD should be prepared to sort it out quickly.”

Council officers have repeatedly called and emailed the ministry with requests to clear the beach ever since it was closed last Thursday.

The military was already surveying the beach and looking for buried shells and guns, but has yet to agree to full clearance.

The council which will keep East Beach closed until it is safe to reopen and is said to be pressing for a face-to-face meeting early next week.

AndrewLewis, the senior council official responsible for the borough’s beaches, said: “Having made the beach secure, we have now written to the MoD and spoken to the local MP, who is supporting us and taking this issue up in Parliament.

“Senior management is also meeting the MoD on Thursday May 15, when we will be pressing it to complete the work as soon as possible. We hope to be able to give a further update after that meeting.

“We had no choice but to put public safety first and close East Beach. Our beaches are absolutely vital to tourism and to local residents, businesses and visitors.

“We understand, with the summer season approaching, local people and businesses will be concerned but we wish to reassure them we are working as hard as we can to find a resolution to this.”

An MoD spokesman said: “Decisions about the extent of work required or when this will happen have not yet been taken.”

The council is keen to stress the grassy area inshore from East Beach is still open to the public.

Comments (14)

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7:45am Fri 9 May 14

sesibollox says...

Considering how many shells have been fired, hundreds of thousands, and the fact, that the whole of East beach used to be MoD land, perhaps they could reclaim it as theirs, and thus close it to the public, permanently ???
Considering how many shells have been fired, hundreds of thousands, and the fact, that the whole of East beach used to be MoD land, perhaps they could reclaim it as theirs, and thus close it to the public, permanently ??? sesibollox
  • Score: 13

8:39am Fri 9 May 14

SBSP87 says...

Poor traders losing money God forbid some poor kid gets blown up by a shell As long as they have money in pockets who cares
Poor traders losing money God forbid some poor kid gets blown up by a shell As long as they have money in pockets who cares SBSP87
  • Score: 19

8:52am Fri 9 May 14

pembury53 says...

more risk on there from broken glass..... another storm in a tea cup for 'elf & safety.....
more risk on there from broken glass..... another storm in a tea cup for 'elf & safety..... pembury53
  • Score: 2

10:26am Fri 9 May 14

ShoeburyBlue says...

Exactly, The ordnance found has nothing to do with Quintiq as there hardly going to dump WW2 aircraft machine guns on the beach.
You might as well close the whole of the east and south coast when bombs get washed up.
Exactly, The ordnance found has nothing to do with Quintiq as there hardly going to dump WW2 aircraft machine guns on the beach. You might as well close the whole of the east and south coast when bombs get washed up. ShoeburyBlue
  • Score: 6

10:39am Fri 9 May 14

Howard Cháse says...

There's two ways of dioing a job.

Quickly.

Right.
There's two ways of dioing a job. Quickly. Right. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 14

10:39am Fri 9 May 14

Robin Reliant says...

I imagine its also closed to stop collectors getting down there with metal detectors, i bet some are busting to get searching for war stuff.
I imagine its also closed to stop collectors getting down there with metal detectors, i bet some are busting to get searching for war stuff. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 10

10:40am Fri 9 May 14

Howard Cháse says...

Howard Cháse wrote:
There's two ways of dioing a job.

Quickly.

Right.
There's two ways of spelling 'doing'......


One of which is wrong.
[quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: There's two ways of dioing a job. Quickly. Right.[/p][/quote]There's two ways of spelling 'doing'...... One of which is wrong. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Fri 9 May 14

Nelly99 says...

12 Machine guns ?
12 Machine guns ? Nelly99
  • Score: 0

1:10pm Fri 9 May 14

Howard Cháse says...

Robin Reliant wrote:
I imagine its also closed to stop collectors getting down there with metal detectors, i bet some are busting to get searching for war stuff.
There's the possibility of a big boom in metal detectorists......
[quote][p][bold]Robin Reliant[/bold] wrote: I imagine its also closed to stop collectors getting down there with metal detectors, i bet some are busting to get searching for war stuff.[/p][/quote]There's the possibility of a big boom in metal detectorists...... Howard Cháse
  • Score: 3

1:31pm Fri 9 May 14

poortaxpayer says...

Robin Reliant wrote:
I imagine its also closed to stop collectors getting down there with metal detectors, i bet some are busting to get searching for war stuff.
Grab yourself some air tanks and go diving on the Montgomery. Plenty of 'war stuff' there.
[quote][p][bold]Robin Reliant[/bold] wrote: I imagine its also closed to stop collectors getting down there with metal detectors, i bet some are busting to get searching for war stuff.[/p][/quote]Grab yourself some air tanks and go diving on the Montgomery. Plenty of 'war stuff' there. poortaxpayer
  • Score: -1

2:19pm Fri 9 May 14

Idontknowy says...

Personally I would rather know it has been cleared and is safe before worrying about money
Personally I would rather know it has been cleared and is safe before worrying about money Idontknowy
  • Score: 2

3:08pm Fri 9 May 14

Bluebs says...

The problem now is because Southend Council have decided the beach area is unsafe, they need to recitfy the problem before they can consider it safe enough to re-open.
Sounds simple enough, except that....they need to identify the area that needs to be cleared and to what depth it needs to be cleared. If, for example they wish to clear from the eastern end of the beach where it meets the Ranges, to the Coastguards, all of which will have some level of explosive contamination, and from the sea wall to the spring tide low water mark....then that will take around 2 years to complete, depending on how many explosive search trained personnel they can find. The MoD i.e. Armed Forces do not have the manpower to support such a large scale operation. Civillian contractors are expensive.
So the only way out of it is to do a limited sweep in the most used area and hope for the best. Meanwhile the Lib Dem mouthpiece Peter Wexham ( World Authority on Everything)..wants the MoD to clear Chalkwell beach as well....if only we lived on his planet....where EOD operators grow on trees !!!
The problem now is because Southend Council have decided the beach area is unsafe, they need to recitfy the problem before they can consider it safe enough to re-open. Sounds simple enough, except that....they need to identify the area that needs to be cleared and to what depth it needs to be cleared. If, for example they wish to clear from the eastern end of the beach where it meets the Ranges, to the Coastguards, all of which will have some level of explosive contamination, and from the sea wall to the spring tide low water mark....then that will take around 2 years to complete, depending on how many explosive search trained personnel they can find. The MoD i.e. Armed Forces do not have the manpower to support such a large scale operation. Civillian contractors are expensive. So the only way out of it is to do a limited sweep in the most used area and hope for the best. Meanwhile the Lib Dem mouthpiece Peter Wexham ( World Authority on Everything)..wants the MoD to clear Chalkwell beach as well....if only we lived on his planet....where EOD operators grow on trees !!! Bluebs
  • Score: 6

12:55am Sat 10 May 14

kensbowling says...

looking at photos of the underslung machine guns, they may have come from a Dornier Do.17, one of many that were shot down around the mouth of the Thames Estuary in August and September 1940 raids, there could well be substantial historic WW2 aircraft wreckage which has now surfaced further out to sea. Perhaps they should do an aerial survey at low tide and further out around the mouth of the estuary. They may come up trumps !!
looking at photos of the underslung machine guns, they may have come from a Dornier Do.17, one of many that were shot down around the mouth of the Thames Estuary in August and September 1940 raids, there could well be substantial historic WW2 aircraft wreckage which has now surfaced further out to sea. Perhaps they should do an aerial survey at low tide and further out around the mouth of the estuary. They may come up trumps !! kensbowling
  • Score: 0

8:46pm Sat 10 May 14

sesibollox says...

kensbowling wrote:
looking at photos of the underslung machine guns, they may have come from a Dornier Do.17, one of many that were shot down around the mouth of the Thames Estuary in August and September 1940 raids, there could well be substantial historic WW2 aircraft wreckage which has now surfaced further out to sea. Perhaps they should do an aerial survey at low tide and further out around the mouth of the estuary. They may come up trumps !!
Its amazing what has been found, though not for public
[quote][p][bold]kensbowling[/bold] wrote: looking at photos of the underslung machine guns, they may have come from a Dornier Do.17, one of many that were shot down around the mouth of the Thames Estuary in August and September 1940 raids, there could well be substantial historic WW2 aircraft wreckage which has now surfaced further out to sea. Perhaps they should do an aerial survey at low tide and further out around the mouth of the estuary. They may come up trumps !![/p][/quote]Its amazing what has been found, though not for public sesibollox
  • Score: -2

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