A pensioner who says the people of Eastbourne are unfriendly is on a one-woman mission to spread some Christmas cheer across the town.
Joan Vernon says she and her friends feel Eastbourne is a lovely place to live but the people let it down.
Mrs Vernon said, “As I walk around the town I smile at people and they just look at me grimly.
“It seems the community feel has gone and I see lots of people walking along on their own with a grim face.”
The 78-year-old explained she was born and bred in Eastbourne but then spent most of her life travelling and living abroad.
She said almost everywhere else in the world is more friendly than Eastbourne.
Mrs Vernon is a regular at Fiesta Bistro, opposite Eastbourne Library .
She visits the cafe nearly every morning and says she enjoys talking to the other regular customers over a cup of coffee.
She said, “We all sit there and we all say hello to each other.
“It is nice to be friendly while having a coffee and they all say the same thing.”
She explained the people who went to the Bistro did not used to speak to each other but she had encouraged them to be friendly.
When asked what her message would be to the people of Eastbourne, Mrs Vernon said, “Simple. Greet each other, say hello, say good day and make people feel they belong to this town and this community.
“You can walk from one side of town to another without anyone saying a word to you. People seem vacant and unaware of others.”
Mrs Vernon says she will continue to greet people in the street and smile at passers-by. She hopes others will start to follow her lead for the Christmas season.
See this week’s Your Say on page 8 to find out whether other residents thing the people of Eastbourne are unfriendly.
What do you think? Visit www.eastbourneherald.co.uk.