It's Easter egg-citement as a beach in Weymouth which has been closed off to the public officially reopens.

The Friends of Castle Cove Beach Charity say the grand opening of the steps down to Castle Cove Beach will be this Saturday.

And cutting the ribbon will be Brian Wilkins, 82, who has been using the beach since 1938 and been an enthusiastic supporter of the campaign to get it back open.

The area has special memories for him – he remembers climbing through barbed wire on the sands to go swimming in 1940, watched ships leaving for D-Day in 1944, got engaged to wife Joan by the pier, and worked there hiring out deckchairs.

Mr Wilkins featured in the Echo on Monday after being knocked into Weymouth Harbour by his mobility scooter.

The steps have been unofficially open for the last two weeks.

“We’re finally here,” said Steve Elsworth from the Friends. “The steps are beautiful. It’s wonderful to be back on the beach again, and the public reaction has been ecstatic.”

Building the steps was the last hurdle to restoring full access to the popular beach.

Castle Cove has been blocked off for more than five years although it has been accessible at low tide by walking along the coast.

The footpath to the beach from Old Castle Road was closed by Dorset County Council but has since been partially reopened. Subsidence prompted the removal of an access staircase down to the sands.

The Friends, with support from the community, have been working on restoring access.

Local firm David R. White Ltd constructed the new wooden steps, which are similar to the steps that was removed in 2013, but are mounted on scaffold poles so that they can be dismantled and rebuilt if the land starts to move.

Mr Elsworth said: “A lot of people have helped us to build these steps. “We need to thank the community for getting behind us so enthusiastically, both Weymouth and Dorset Councils and their officers, local businesses which have donated money, and the landowners for leasing us the land. But the biggest thank you goes to our supporters who have been rock-solid.”

He added: “The steps are a remembrance of people we love, and a welcome to our children, grandchildren, and generations to come.

“The beach has been enjoyed by the public for the past 100 years; we hope they will be able to enjoy it for a hundred years more.”

The steps will be opened at 1pm on Easter Saturday, April 20.

Everyone is encouraged to wear brightly-coloured clothing or fancy dress. There will be games for children, and then a mass swim in the sea.