Is Brooklands another missed opportunity?

Brooklands park in East Worthing
Brooklands park in East Worthing

Harbour Park to the west, Drusillas to the east – two frequent destinations which bring back many happy memories from both childhood and parenthood.

Yet going back nearly 50 years since I first visited Littlehampton funfair as a five-year-old, Worthing has had the opportunity to have something to equal both of the aforementioned attractions but over the years has consistently fudged the issue.

Ian Hart

Ian Hart

The size of the land at Brooklands, even allowing for the boating lake, could have accommodated an impressive facility which would attract visitors in their thousands.

If you look how Littlehampton has evolved over the years, what would a similar sized funfair have done at Brooklands?

You could have incorporated rides, crazy golf, and still had the lake and the train.

What could that have done for the local economy? Not only income but employment?

It almost harps back to the 1930s when Billy Butlin wanted to build his holiday camp near Goring rather than Bognor.

Again, what would Butlin’s have done over the past 70 years for Worthing’s local economy?

Back to Brooklands, you couldn’t have a better site for it – opposite the sea and not that far from the town centre – yet a succession of operators, one of whom is a long-time family friend, have been stifled over the years when trying to develop the amenity.

Over the years I’ve lost count of the number of friends, not just from around this country but around the world, who have visited me in Worthing and taken a trip down to Brooklands, and they’ve almost all, to man or woman, said you could do so much with this, yet it looks so tatty.

The land is clearly not going anywhere and we will all go past it for years to come.

Will it become known as one of the town’s biggest missed opportunities?

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