Eastbourne follows in footsteps of history

Those behind the heritage trail are pictured at the launch
Those behind the heritage trail are pictured at the launch
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The East of the Pier Heritage Trail will bring local history onto the streets and those behind the project are also hoping it will bring more footfall to the Seaside area.

The project is being funded by some of the £2million given to the town by the Conservative Government in the aftermath of the Eastbourne Pier fire but sponsorship is needed for ongoing maintenance costs.

It was launched at the Leaf Hall, which will also be one of the focal points on the heritage trail.

By April, a series of information boards will be erected in the area east of the pier and locations include Pier Gardens, Marine Gardens, Redoubt Gardens, Sea Houses Square and Marine Parade Island.

There will also be History Corners too – in the Royal Hippodrome, The Crown and Anchor, Leaf Hall, Christ Church and the Redoubt Pavilion - and a digitrail accessible through smart phones and tablets.

Alan Wenham is part of the East of the Pier Coordination Group and said volunteers had been working with the support of Eastbourne Borough Council on the project to bring local history quite literally on to the streets.

“Not many people know that the first ever Russell and Bromley store in the country was east of the pier or that Caffyns had a garage in that part of the town,” said Mr Wenham.

“East of the pier was the first purpose-built shopping area of Eastbourne.

“That is what the heritage trail is all about, explaining the area’s history, and designed to provide interest to visitors and residents alike, complement efforts to rejuvenate the Seaside area and to be an educational tool.”

The digitrail is also circular walk from the pier down Seaside Road and Seaside and along the promenade from the Redoubt back to the pier using mobile phones and tablets which give descriptions of historical points of interest along the way and complemented by old photographs of a particular spot.

Mr Wenham said he hoped people would support the scheme and provide sponsorship.

“A capital grant has been secured and this fully meets the implementation costs,” he said.

“It is however a condition of the grant that on-going maintenance cannot be funded.

“The East of the Pier Group is keen to see responsible legacy arrangements in place and will be inviting sponsorship in order to create a small maintenance fund.

“The Eastbourne Society, a properly constituted charitable body, has agreed to administer this. Sponsors can have a plaque on a set of information boards or in a History Corner, or be acknowledged on student worksheets or children’s quiz sheets.”

Anyone wishing to help with sponsoring should call Sharon at Identity on 469111.

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