OUT IN THE FIELD: Hampden Park is a gem of a place

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As a new, albeit temporary, resident of Hampden Park, not to mention part-time bus user, I have been making some observations of this lovely quirky little suburb and more importantly the park itself. While much has been done by the Friends of Hampden Park to improve the park, the first corporation-owned park in Eastbourne and opened in August 1902, today’s local council is, I feel, missing a trick with this little gem. After a few scoops one evening at Eastbourne Rugby Club, I decided to take a short cut home through the park but quickly wished I hadn’t. There are no marked out footpaths and no lights through the park and while I know I would probably frighten the wildlife away, I wouldn’t be so sure about anyone lurking in the bushes. And then there’s the cafe. I appreciate it’s a lovely little place for a cuppa and a snack but it would be nice if it was a cafe during the day and a restaurant at night. The park has so much potential, a little calm oasis in the middle of what has become a very large village. It could become a venue for small concerts, a real destination and all within walking distance of the railway station. Particularly when you soon realise that after the demise of the Grotty Lotty and Parkfield hostelries, there are now sadly no pubs in Hampden Park.

I’ve been singing, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” since mid-October so it’s nice to see such a fuss being made of the festive lights in the town this year as well as the corporates and “biggies” like M&S and banks putting their hands in their pockets to pay for festive lights. The lights were switched on last night and tonight it’s the turn of the Little Chelsea Little Christmas event from 5.30pm. See you there.

Lastly, 6pm next Tuesday evening at the Winter Garden is a chance for people to tell crime commissioner Katy Bourne what priorities are most important when it comes to policing issues. It’s open to everyone so go along.