Michael Palin has called for Southwold’s “unique character” to be protected after campaigners were defeated last week in their battle to stop a national chain opening in the town.

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The TV travel presenter and Monty Python star said it was important to protect Southwold’s “harmony” to prevent it becoming like other seaside towns across the country.

It comes after Costa Coffee was given the green light last week to open a café at 70 High Street – a move which objectors fear will harm the business of its independent traders.

Speaking at an event tonight (Thursday, August 23) to re-launch Southwold’s Electric Picture Palace cinema, he said: “I don’t think anywhere can totally resist change, but Southwold is a very special place. It’s a town full of harmony and architectural features that go together beautifully and the fact that is still here is wonderful.

“I wouldn’t be very happy if they started knocking through walls and putting in big supermarkets.

“Southwold has got a uniqueness that comes from being slightly cut off, but we have to keep its unique image because we do not want it to look the same as every other seaside town.

“The place has such a wonderful feeling – why would you want to change it much?”

The legendary comic developed an affinity with Southwold after holidaying in north Suffolk as a child and went on to meet his wife Helen in the town, while his parents retired to the area in 1966.

6 comments

  • I don't think that opening one Costa cafe in the town will make that much difference to the high street. Southwold has always been a unique place and I'm sure the residents will continue to fight to retain its individuality as they always have in the past. It was always mothers favourite place to stay and I often go with my family to have a wander along the sea front and the pier and then head down the other end to admire the views across the river to Walberswick.

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    Mrs Meldrew

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

  • went there yesterday.not my favourite day out.

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    bookworm

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

  • Southwold is a fossil and I`m sure is capable of preserving that uniqueness a while longer. Wait until Wetherspoon`s come to town..... choice of beer at affordable prices. Sensibly priced food. Finding a suitable site might be difficult. Swan or Crown, maybe? Or a tasteful conversion of Adman`s brewery?

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    Mad Brewer

    Friday, August 24, 2012

  • He does not appear to have said anything specific about Costa opening so I don't think we can assume he is against it. He speaks about preserving the character of the place, and one coffee shop is not a threat to that.

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    a fine city

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

  • The town was hideous beyond belief this weekend. Why when we have a lovely common, a seafront, lots of greens with seats would anyone want to sit cross legged on the pavement outside the chip shop stuffing food into their mouths with both hands ? We don't need Costa to lower the tone - we are there already.

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    bathgirl

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

  • yeh --Walberswick--the only village to have a sign warning they charge £3 just to enter it.very friendly.

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    bookworm

    Friday, August 24, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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