OUT IN THE FIELD: Pass me my lipstick - and feather boa

Victoria Place in 1910, looking down from the seafront towards TJ Hughes
Victoria Place in 1910, looking down from the seafront towards TJ Hughes
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Sometimes when you’re wrong in life, you just have to put on your best bright red lipstick and fall on your sword and that is what I need to do this week. My proverbial rap on the knuckles comes courtesy of Michael Partridge who quite rightly pointed out the error of my ways when I recently and publicly backed plans to rename the seaward end of Terminus Road in to something more fancy like The Piazza or the Boulevard. As an Eastbournian, although not quite old enough to recall, I should have remembered and Mr Partridge, the second in command at the Local History Society, reminded me that long ago that part of Terminus Road was of course called Victoria Place, presumably in honour of the then Queen. The name remained until January 1947 when, despite the upset of Eastbournians, Victoria Place was renamed as a part of Terminus Road. Mr Partridge points out The Piazza is Italian and Boulevard is French. So, a quick and complete 360 degree turnaround from me and I have to agree with the local historians that the original name of Victoria Place is reinstated or failing that – and this is my opinion not the society’s – Victoria Square or Victoria Parade.

I completely forgot last week to give a huge pat on the back to the theatres team at Eastbourne for bringing 70s rock band Hawkwind to the Winter Garden. It was a fantastic night, great to see them in Eastbourne and a real trip down Memory Lane meeting up with people you hadn’t seen since we had all packed our paisley dresses and Afghan jackets away.

And there’s more good news on the theatres front as it’s time to dig out the stockings, feather boas and sequined jackets as The Rocky Horror Show comes to the Congress Theatre in September. My tickets are already booked and I am stocked up with rice, newspapers and water pistols!

Another Eastbourne character passed away at the weekend – Sussex Cars boss Chris Islip. Chris was a larger than life character, very popular and well-known who was passionate about the taxi trade and wanting to see a better deal for passengers in the town, which didn’t always go down well with a small minority of others but he didn’t care. He was also very generous and Sussex Cars sponsored local events and stumped up cash for worthy causes. He touched a lot of people’s lives over the years and won’t be forgotten.

Next Thursday (April 21) is the Queen’s 90th birthday and once again Eastbourne council’s events team will be pulling out all the stops with a seafront party, beacon lighting, torchlit procession, a giant sing-a-long Happy Birthday to Her Majesty and fireworks at the Bandstand– all for free. I remember when the events team put on one of the best ever parties and more than 10,000 people crammed on to the field at Princes Park for the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics which coincided with the last night of Airbourne. If next Thursday night is half as good as that memorable night in the summer of 2012, it will be worth going. See you there.

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