Out in the Field with chief reporter Annemarie Field: What has happened to those once quaint seaside streets

IT’S VERY sad news that a homeless man is fighting for life after an attack in Langney Road earlier this week.

The fact it comes so soon after the murder in nearby Ceylon Place is particularly frightening.

I know it’s a sign of the times and society is changing but what is worrying is what has happened to those once quaint seaside streets.

I am Eastbourne born and bred and grew up in Pevensey Road when it, along with Ceylon Place, Langney Road and Bourne Street, was at the heart of Eastbourne’s guesthouse land. My parents ran one of the many guesthouses which were popular with SAGA holidaymakers and all the guesthouses were beautifully kept with their hanging baskets outside and you could leave your front door unlocked...

Then, the price of foreign holidays dropped and those holidaymakers who chose Eastbourne as their holiday destination every year discovered they could enjoy an equally cheap and cheerful holiday on the Costa del Sol and it sounded the death knell for the vast majority of those guesthouses which eventually became houses of multiple occupation, filled with people who saw Eastbourne as a soft touch where they could sit on their backsides and claim benefits.

There are some lovely parts of Pevensey Road and the surrounding streets and some even nicer shops – but some parts have really gone to the dogs. I wouldn’t feel safe walking around there. There are too many people about now who would steal the eye out of your head and come back for your lashes later...

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I HAVE no co-ordination at all. Balance, to me, is a large white wine in one hand and a cigarette (I am trying to kick this particularly obnoxious habit) in the other. I’m useless at aerobics and even have trouble doing the hokey cokey but I have found something even I can manage – zumba.

For the uninitiated, it’s a combination of Latin and international music that you can dance and exercise to, it’s great fun and there is a class at The Atlantis on Eastbourne Pier next Saturday April 2 at 2.30pm to raise much-needed money for the wonderful Macmillan Cancer Support charity.

Cancer is a horrible disease which affects us all in some way and while the wonderful people at Macmillan Cancer Support can’t get rid of it, they do so much to help improve the lives of people affected by cancer, providing practical, medical and financial support and a push for better cancer care. My father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September 2008 and six weeks later he died. What kept us going (and still does) is the superb Macmillan Cancer Support service right here in Eastbourne.

So please support this worthwhile charity event. Get your lycra on and I’ll see you there!