OUT IN THE FIELD: Food, fishing and pantomime fun

NatWest, in Hampden Park's Brassey Parade, was the target of a raid on Wednesday
NatWest, in Hampden Park's Brassey Parade, was the target of a raid on Wednesday

Hampden Park doesn’t seem to have much luck when it comes to armed robberies. The post office was regularly targeted in years gone by and this week a lone gunman struck as a security guard was delivering cash to the NatWest branch in the village. I can’t help but wonder if the situation possibly isn’t helped by the fact that you have the town’s main police station on the other side of the railway level crossing and by the time the alarm is raised, the line gates are up, the raiders have well and truly disappeared along with their bags full of stolen booty.

Ever since as a young reporter I covered the TVS National Sea Angling Championships for this fine newspaper in the early 1990s, I have a large degree of empathy with fishermen and local anglers, and have been following the debate on what are described as unfair EU restrictions on recreational sea bass fishing. Under new EU quotas, fishing for bass will be banned completely for the first six months of the year and restricted to one fish per angler and one tonne per month for inshore commercial boats. I know something has to be done to address the declining state of the stock, to protect jobs and livelihoods but it all sounds terribly unfair and mean to me.

It’s all change at the Hydro Hotel soon when current general manager Ian Turnbull moves on to pastures new and takes over the helm at The Hawthorns retirement living complex in Carew Road. A replacement hasn’t been appointed as yet but they will surely be big shoes to fill. Not only is the Hydro a lovely hotel in a great spot, but over the years Ian and his staff and guests have raised tens of thousands of pounds which has benefitted specifically local charities.

Following my fact finding mission to Carluccio’s last month and ahead of a planned trip to Wagamama in Brighton to check out the delights of the Japanese style restaurant before it opens in the Arndale Centre, I was out and about in Eastbourne and my favourite restaurant of the week is Dave’s Gourmet Burger Company in South Street. I’m not sure about the pay as you go approach (you order and pay at the bar ahead of your meal) but the reasonably priced food and vino more than makes up for it.

Christmas may be a dim and distant memory but panto season is returning this weekend – oh yes it is – at the Hippodrome Theatre with Eastbourne Stagers’ production of Dick Whittington. Lots of Little Treasures, my own included, have been working really hard to put the show together so if you fancy supporting them, as well as a lovely couple of hours at what is, in my opinion, Eastbourne’s nicest theatre, the show is on tonight (Friday) and tomorrow afternoon and evening. Tickets are available at the box office.

Finally this week, a very Happy Birthday to the lovely Angela Gallen from Cobb PR who is celebrating her 40th birthday, also to Colin Hopgood, aka Hoppy, on his special day, and to Rachel Ainsley, who has been at The Dolphin coming up 10 years next week.

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