OUT IN THE FIELD: ’Tis the season to find festive spirit


Regular followers of my witless banter in this fine newspaper will know I don’t have the greatest tolerance when it comes to unpleasant street drinkers scaring people in the town centre outside M&S. And it would seem there are others out there who take an even harder line. One writer this week, who signs off as Mother Christmas, suggests introducing some modern day stocks and writes, “Put all the drunks into a large wire cage in the town centre and leave them until they are either sober or frozen. Keep our national health services for the genuine cases. Human rights? Bah humbug. Let’s find our responsibility and good manners again.”

Another interesting letter dropped in the in-box recently from Janet Gadd on the subject of Folkington or Fo’ington. Janet shares my irritation at current pronunciation of local names and says, “What about Michelham and Micheldene? When did they get a K sound in them? Alfriston is another one. Should that be spelled Orlfriston? Also, the Cuckmere is the only river known as the Cuckmere River rather than the River Cuckmere. And what a shame we have lost the Golden Galleon at Exceat. Or Ex see at. Or...”

The one guaranteed to rile me is Westham being called Westum.

Eastbourne’s Christmas lights were turned on amid a festive extravaganza last week and it was lovely. What was even nicer to see was one shop – Chatfields Jewellers in Cornfield Road – showing everyone the true meaning of the Christmas spirit and giving away free mince pies and mulled wine.

Police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne held a Community Conversation event at the Winter Garden this week asking for people’s ideas and input on policing priorities in Sussex in the future. It was a poor turnout so I hope nobody starts moaning when the police service isn’t what they hoped for in years to come...