For the people of Frinton, their Victorian railway gates were a proud symbol of their heritage and old-fashioned values.Boooo……! Another blow for conformity and ‘sameness’.
The seaside resort has always clung tenaciously to its past and it was not until 2000 that the first pub was allowed to open for business.
But - in an operation carried out in the 2am darkness - Network Rail chiefs have removed the crossing gates to replace them with their modern equivalents.
It seems they were unsuccessful in gaining English Heritage listing for their gates, so allowing Network Rail’s actions. Which, given some of the eyesores gaining listed status, beggars belief….
Terry Allen, the town's mayor, said: 'Paris has its Eiffel Tower, London has Tower Bridge and in Frinton we have the gates. Everyone seems to want to change us.But we can’t have people deciding for themselves what kind of railway gates they want!
'It is gradual erosion, once you let things slip we will become just like any other resort and we don't want that.'
Pretty soon, they’ll start to think they can decide on how (and by whom) they are represented in local councils and Parliament, rather than accepting whoever the party puts in place, and that would never do…
So individualism is stamped on once again.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: 'We appreciate the importance of the level crossing gates to the people of Frinton. We'll be looking to donate the old gates to be preserved by the local community.'That’s a nice gesture, but utterly pointless. They don’t want the gates as a pretty piece of sculpture for the village green.
They wanted them as working objects on the level crossing where they belonged.