Docks get £5m boost

By David Barnicoat

A FIVE million pound cash injection over the next three years will set Falmouth Docks on course for a brighter future.

Owners A&P Appledore intend investing over £5 million in the shipyard as part of an overall £12 million investment programme to steer Britain's leading shiprepair company to a good market position.

The move will, they say, ensure they are in good shape to tackle the volatile shiprepair industry in the run-up to the year 2000.

The good news comes less than a week after unions and management thrashed out a deal on jobs which saw 100 men lose their jobs as part of A&P's survival plan.

A&P's operations managing director Mr Steve Jervis said that between five and six million pounds would be invested in the Falmouth facility.

"We have to dredge the Docks Basin, expand our steel-making facilities and bring certain areas oft he yard into line with new regulations. A sum of £500,000 will be spent on new computer equipment to speed up our estimating procedures and control finance. We have to buy the new environmentally friendly hydro-blasting equipment for blasting ships," he said.

Diamond couple say 'We've always got on well together'

By Hugh Cadman

LIKE so many, Bert and Dod Harden would come on holiday to Cornwall and hope one day to retire down here. Unlike so many, they have just celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary.

The couple, of Trebarvah Close, Constantine, met at a party in London and were married at St Andrew's church, Willesden Green, in 1934. Mr Harden, now 86, was a chef at Lyons Corner House in Piccadilly at the time and after war broke out he drove ambulances in London.

After the war he was a commercial driver for many years while his wife, who is disabled with a paralysed leg, had a part-time job as an inspector of brassieres and corsets at a factory in Park Royal.

They had spent so many holidays in Cornwall that it was natural for them to retire to Constantine 30 years ago.

"People down here are so friendly. I would not want to go back to London," said Mrs Harden, 87. They had found no trouble in being accepted by the local community, she said.

The couple have relatives in the county and Mr Harden still plays his accordion at clubs and gatherings 60 years and more after teaching himself. "Mind you it is getting a bit heavy for me now," he said.

Over the years, they had noticed Cornwall becoming "more commercialised", he said, "but we still like all Cornwall." The couple celebrated with a holiday in Paignton and are looking forward to another tour of Wales.

Mr Harden put their vigour down to "commonsense, regular meals and rest in the afternoon". He added: "We have always got on well together."

'Death knell' claim

By Helen Thomas

THE Government's plans to put off building a new sewage treatment plant in Falmouth until the turn of the century 'has sounded the death knell for the town's tourist industry," it has been claimed.

News that the new treatment works, scheduled to be up and running by the end of next year, will not now be built until at least the year 2000, has been met with anger and dismay locally.

Paul Nichols, who runs the leisure facilities at Swanpool Beach, said: "In my opinion it is the end for Falmouth.

"If you take the rate of decline in tourism and if you project it forward to the year 2000, there will be no tourism in Falmouth – it will basically be gone. Tourists will now select blue flag towns in preference to Falmouth."

He added: "I certainly feel that the public awareness of beach pollution is paramount in their minds when they select an area. We will lose out totally to the other towns that have been carried through on the 'clean sweep' operation.

"This town cannot survive another five years without this system. After the year 2000 we will have to rebuild our reputation. We are in a no win situation."