OUT IN THE FIELD: Banana Tree splits from Eastbourne town centre

Banana Tree ... closing its doors

Banana Tree ... closing its doors

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There was a collective groan of disappointment this week among friends and colleagues when news broke that the Banana Tree in Grove Road is to close its doors early in the new year. It’s been the go to place for the last 26 years for women – and especially men at Christmas – looking for that something different gift wise and it was a hugely popular addition to the row of independent shops outside the main shopping area. Sadly, Lucy and Jill and the rest of the lovely ladies who work there will be finishing up sometime in January to pursue other ventures and Lucy and Jill are both looking at online ventures. The Internet’s gain is our loss.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and in traditional fashion the festive drink and drug drive campaign by Sussex Police began yesterday (Thursday). Hundreds of officers will be out morning, noon and night testing motorists for drink and drugs at the roadside. And like last year the names of those convicted will be released by the police and published in newspapers and online which will hopefully make motorists think before they put their lives and others’ at risk.

I must apologise to Ron Manktelow who I forgot to credit for using his lovely old photograph of Bourne School, when it was in Willowfield Road, in a recent edition of the Looking Back pages. Ron’s son Kevin is a member of that great Facebook nostalgia page Gone But Not Forgotten - Eastbourne’s Vanished Shops and said I could use his father’s photo and I credited Kevin instead of his dad. I am always so appreciate of the members’ help and advice when researching the town’s history and if you haven’t looked at the page, prepare to spend a couple of hours taking a trip down Memory Lane enjoying photos of Eastbourne in days gone by.

While we are on the subject of yesteryear, I wonder if anyone can help track down a photo of what I believe was a picture of a bomb which had caused damage in The Goffs during the Second World War and was still embedded in the ground.

And finally, congratulations to the lovely Vonnie and Brian Allan who were rewarded for their tireless hard work at the recent You Raise Me Up awards and thank you evening at the View Hotel on Eastbourne seafront. The couple have been staunch supporters of the Willingdon based charity, which provides practical, emotional and financial support for families who lose their children unexpectedly, since the untimely death of their son Lewis five years ago. Whenever anything needs doing, Vonnie and Brian are the first to put their hands up and volunteer and the award is so very well deserved.

I am swapping my usual pre-Christmas Guinnessfest in Ireland for a trip up north to Leeds for the next few days so see you in two weeks.

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