OUT IN THE FIELD: Trains, buses and shopping centres

The signs are live, up and running after a year

The signs are live, up and running after a year

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Like most people I tend to scour the Hatches, Matches and Dispatches columns in the Herald each week and I was saddened to see that an old contemporary of mine had suddenly passed away far too young. Darren Purnell was a real Eastbourne character in his day: he worked at the Regal amusement arcade in Seaside Road with Michael Pinder and was quite entrepreneurial for his time (I am going back 25-plus years ago) selling individual cigarettes under the counter for just five pence. Mind you, that was back when Ziggy’s did a 50 pence a pint night and Diplock’s was the place to be seen. Condolences to his family. RIP Darren. I hope you’re at peace and having a ball.

Finally, and after more than a year of waiting, the state of the art bus stops dotted around Eastbourne have been switched on and are working. No more signs saying test: they are giving real time information on when the next bus is due along. Well done, East Sussex County Council: finally some good news to report.

While we are on the subject of the county council, it would appear our moans and groans have reached the right department at County Hall in Lewes and that wretched pothole in Hyde Gardens, that could have swallowed a child whole, was finally repaired yesterday (Thursday).

Train provider (although I use that term loosely) Southern might like to take some lessons from the bus companies when it comes to telling people where to get on and off trains. Last Saturday at the station while taking my first born for a day out in Brighton and completely confused as to which platform which train was on at Eastbourne, the station announcer apologised profusely that one of his colleagues feeding the departure information to the real time signs “didn’t know what he was doing”. This seems to be a regular occurrence and poor passengers hopping off the wrong train a familiar sight.

There has been much speculation about the future of Langney Shopping Centre in recent weeks and finally this week it was revealed it had been sold with a price tag of more than £19 million. I like LSC and for many people living in the area, it’s a lifeline and help many elderly people maintain their independence. That said, however, I hope the new owners give it a good makeover to bring it in to the 21st century and employ somebody who at least knows how to mark out parking bays because the car park there is one huge ugly mess.

Arguing about politics doesn’t really float my boat and I have no particular political persuasion either way but I feel a tad sorry for MP Caroline Ansell. She’s had a bit of a bashing since she was elected for not being seen enough and not being seen doing enough. Yet when she does start speaking out, she gets a flood of abuse from those same people. The poor woman can’t seem to do right for doing wrong. It’s been less than a year than she was elected and is still probably finding her feet. I’d like to see some of her critics commute to London, deal with a shed load of casework in Eastbourne and still have a family life.

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