The fascinating history of Eastbourne’s East End from 1850 to 1950 is the subject of an illustrated talk at the Under Ground Theatre on Saturday (February 21) .
The speaker, Alan Wenham, is well known by many as chair of 3VA and his involvement with the University of the Third Age.
Alan will describe how the artisans’ quarter behind the original Sea Houses was unkempt in the early 1860s, inhabited by fishermen, blacksmiths, building labourers and laundry workers.
Eastbourne was fast becoming a prosperous and attractive place for the wealthy to live, but life in the working class east side was a very different story for its inhabitants.
Many were uneducated and some were impoverished by chronic seasonal unemployment and sought solace in the local taverns.
Philanthropists were concerned about such poverty and set up social clubs for working men and women, the Salvation Army arrived in 1890, and entertainment was available in the form of cinemas and music hall theatre.
The talk starts at 2pm on Saturday February 21, and on the day the UGT is open from 10am for free music by Simon Joslin, with the bistro open until 4pm to enjoy soft or alcoholic drinks, tea, coffee and light snacks.
Admission is free, but donations will be welcomed by theatre staff.
And with full recognition that the UGT has no disabled access, as part of the venue’s ongoing commitment to be accessible to all, the event will be filmed and available on DVD to anyone unable to attend.