After a troubled recent past, the Bawsey Pits could now be facing a bright future
- Credit: Ian Burt
It is a beauty spot with a troubled recent past. But, as DAVID BALE reports, Bawsey Pits could now be facing a bright future
A country park where two people drowned two years ago could be facing a brighter future, with its new owner keen to give it a new lease of life.
Bawsey Pits, a former sand quarry near King's Lynn, has been sold for an undisclosed fee by minerals firm Sibelco to Stephen Bacon, who runs a waste recycling firm in the area and owns the neighbouring woodland. A deal for the site with Lynn businessman Kevin Salter fell through earlier this year.
The land includes the remains of the former Gayton Road railway station in Bawsey, and Mr Bacon wants to work with train enthusiasts to bring some life back into the station yard and recreate a bygone age.
His great-grandfather, Jonny Bacon, was station master of the award-winning railway station.
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He said: 'I hope people will be able to dine in luxurious stationary carriages while soaking up the ambience of a beautiful time in history and enjoying the views.
'My father, grandfather and great-grandfather have all shared my passion and have all lived and worked their lives in Bawsey; it's our family home and our legacy to the next generation of my family.
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'It's such a wonderful opportunity to recreate a moment that we can share with loved ones, subject to planning consent, of course, and I hope that it will give generations of pleasure to us all.'
Mr Bacon, 42, is considering introducing a café and toilets to the site, which must be sustainable in the long-term. He also wants to work with charitable groups to put on fundraising events.
The site has been a country park for decades, but its reputation has been marred by anti-social behaviour and, in 2013, a teenager and a man drowned on the same day when 'no swimming' notices were ignored.
A public consultation following the drownings attracted more than 600 responses and revealed a clear desire for the park to be given a new lease of life.
Mr Bacon added: 'I am absolutely passionate about making this park the most beautiful one you can imagine.'
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