THOUSANDS of concrete blocks which were strung along north Northum-berland’s beautiful beaches in 1940 as defences against enemy tanks may disappear from the scene within the next few years.
The beaches between Warkworth and Berwick lie in an area designated as of outstanding natural beauty and it’s chiefly because of this that Northumberland County Planning Committee is preparing a major clean-up of war-time debris.
The committee has approved a pilot scheme to blow up 48 two-ton blocks on Warkworth beach. High tides and shifting sands have thrown them into a ragged line, partly hiding some and tilting others high above the surface.
“We consider it will be a useful experiment and if successful it will probably be continued on other beaches along the coast,” said a county planning official. “It will certainly improve the appearance of the beaches quite considerably.”
The committee has long regarded the blocks as eyesores and has now accepted the tender of a local building contractor to demolish them with gelginite at a cost of about £4 per block.
It has applied to the National Parks Commission and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government to secure a Government grant for the scheme.
“The contractor intends to use the debris for hard core in building projects, and has been able to keep the demolition price to a reasonable level,” added the official.
The blocks on Warkworth beach, and on those further north, are at points regarded as natural landing places for tanks during the war. Nowhere are the blocks more noticeable, or probably more dangerous, than at Alnmouth where there is a double row running the full length of the foreshore.
Alnmouth Parish Council has been concerned about them for a number of years and would welcome any action.