THE Largs maverick whose sit-in protest is credited with halting the seafront being turned into a car park 28 years ago has waded into the latest parking row.

Harry McEachan, 83, led a community group including students, nursery groups and townsfolk to camp on the coveted green grass in front of Nardini's to halt council diggers during a 10-day stand-off.

Wth the current shortage in spaces resulting in petitions for and against a car park at Barrfields putting green, Harry believes the town may finally need to forego some of its dear green space.

Harry said: "It looks as if something will need to give.

"For me a better place would be the putting green in front of the Benedictine Monastery as that would be good for all the mothers taking their kids to the children's car park and the skate park.

"Also, if there is a charge for this new car park, the money should go to the Largs Common Good Fund for the benefit of the town.

"They could also look at a double deck car park at Morrison's supermarket. Other places have done this quite cheaply I believe.

"Even at the peak of the summer months, most car parks will lie empty except for busy congested weekends. This is why nobody wants a big amount spent on car parking when we need so many other things in the town.

"The grass from the lifeboat station up to the Vanduara could be use, but of course people at Vanduara might not be happy at that. It would make the pond area busier and you could possibly move the Viking Festival showpieces up there."

Harry added: "In terms of Barrfields, and the other putting green at Mackerston, it might be worth doing a survey to see which is used least?

"In the end, it doesn't matter where you put the car park - people are going to object."

Reflecting on the battle to save Largs seafront in 1991, pictured, Harry recalled: "That grass separated the prom from the main road and had the palm trees. It had to be saved.

"I was in the Brisbane House Hotel and was told that Sunday night by the owner that the council work on the seafront was due to start on Tuesday morning.

"I said I didn't trust them and would set up a tent that night. And sure enough on Monday morning, not the Tuesday, a bulldozer arrived with two or three officials.

"I said 'You can't do that - you are going to make the people of Largs very unhappy.

" I phoned up Patricia Perman and she phoned round the local nurseries and got the mums and weans involved. It felt like half the town came along.

"I told them to bring their buckets and spades along they started shoving all the earth back in the diggers had moved.

"More and more people came along with tents and it developed from there into a full blown protest.

"Nardini's provided a great big barbecue and other shops and businesses in the town helped and we were able to set up a rota so there were always a number of people present."

Literally thousands of cars peeped their homes in response to signs urging drivers to 'Honk to save the seafront'.

We reported how there were 20 tents on site housing over 50 people each night to ward off the council's contractors, with hundreds involved in the daytime protest which eventually saw the council back down.

Pics: John Keachie.