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Pier closure keeps anglers away

PUBLISHED: 16:54 09 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:22 03 July 2010

Dismay: Brothers Paul and Terry Bowles.

Dismay: Brothers Paul and Terry Bowles.

ITS spiky finger poking out from the shore, Gorleston pier has been a popular place for fishing down the years.

Whatever the weather, anglers would be found perched on the pier casting their lines into the sea.

Angler: Kenny Nash

ITS spiky finger poking out from the shore, Gorleston pier has been a popular place for fishing down the years.

Whatever the weather, anglers would be found perched on the pier casting their lines into the sea.

But last month port bosses suddenly closed the car park at the previously popular fishing and wave-watching spot.

Owners EastPort said the car park had been closed indefinitely because the uneven surface made it unsafe to use.

On Tuesday, just a handful of fishermen were dotted along the pier and quayside, their rods dangling above the waves.

Gorleston brothers Terry and Paul Bowles have both fished from the pier since they were boys and expressed dismay of the closure of the car park.

Paul, 50, said: “It is a right pain for fishermen; we have to carry our gear from the harbour side now. We have fished here since we were lads, but the number of anglers have gone down since the car park closed, especially amongst the more elderly ones.

“Previously there would have been between 10 and 12 fishermen here every morning, now there's hardly anyone here.”

Paul, 60, blamed irresponsible drivers for the decision to shut the car park, sections of which had previously been cordoned off.

He said: “This is the fault of some drivers who moved the barriers because they could not be bothered to walk a few yards and wanted to drive up the pier.”

Alf Boggis told the Mercury he had never seen the pier so dilapidated and fewer and fewer fishermen were using it.

He said: “This should be a popular spot for anglers, but fishermen who used to come here are going elsewhere.

“Shutting the car park is counter productive, it needs sorting; these bosses are just hiding behind health and safety.”

Occasional angler Michael Adams, from Rollesby, was hoping to land a catch from his spot on the quayside.

“I like fishing on the pier, but it is inconvenient carrying my gear up there,” he said. “It doesn't make a lot of difference to me, but I'm sure it has the proper fishermen. I would expect to see a few more anglers up here on such a nice sunny morning.”

Retired lorry driver Kenny Nash had travelled from Hingham, west of Norwich, to indulge in his passion for angling.

He said: “The pier would be my preferred fishing spot, but I suffer from arthritis. My fishing gear is heavy and I don't want to carry it too far.

“This is a great place to fish, but I have been going to Lowestoft more recently where you can still park on the pier.”

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