Hoteliers back web crackdown

Eastbourne Hospitality Association has welcomed a watchdog announcement that enforcement action will be taken against leading online hotel booking sites for misleading selling tactics.

Eastbourne Grand Hotel staff SUS-190121-103800001

Royal reporter pens book while staying at Eastbourne hotel

Staff at the Grand Hotel are pictured with a new children’s adventure book called Sammy The Seagull – Guardian of the Grand Hotel Eastbourne – which was written by Neil Sean, the royal reporter for CBS, Sky and Fox News during a recent stay at the iconic hotel.

Terminus Road and Ashford Road traffic improvement scheme SUS-190124-130301001

OUT IN THE FIELD: Annemarie Field’s weekly look at life in Eastbourne

It’s many years since I planned a wedding but I do remember how stressful it can all be trying to make it a dream day without the added hindrance of your wedding venue closing up without warning and your deposit disappearing as the aforementioned place goes down the swanny and your cash with it. So I feel terribly sorry for those couples planning their nuptials who found out the English Wine Centre at Alfriston was up for sale at auction in February and the company behind it had gone into voluntary liquidation. The brides and grooms also found themselves on a list of creditors as the £1,500 each couple handed over to company directors Rob and Annette Blackman is now part of a £100,000 debt that the firm managed to acquire in a year’s trading. While the collapse of any business is also unfortunate and upsetting for those who built it up, there is no excuse for a complete lack of communication between the Blackmans and the engaged couples they signed contracts with. The first they found out that their wedding venue did not exist anymore and their contract wasn’t worth the paper it was written on was when auctioneer Clive Emson announced the barns that make up the centre was up for sale. Then days afterwards came a letter from Mr Blackman saying he was devastated he and Annette had to close the centre and let people down. But no mention of their £1,500 deposits. Some of the couples have been lucky enough to be refunded by their bank or credit card company. One or two had wedding insurance which apparently protects against this kind of mishap. I didn’t know such a thing existed. Now there are scores of people trying to find alternative venues for their original date so they don’t lose other deposits with photographers, florists and the like for changing days. Love may be well blind but this wedding organising lark is certainly an eye opener.

Homeless in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-170126-094015008

OUT IN THE FIELD: Street beggars, homelessness and a new cinema is in town

Regular readers will know I am not the Towner’s biggest fan but even I can’t stop raving about the new cinema on the ground floor of the concrete carbuncle. The auditorium seats more than 80 people, has a diverse programme of upcoming films with recent releases (we saw Widows recently and Olivia Coleman in The Favourite is on next month), documentaries, family screenings, queer film and screen classics. And it’s just £8.50 or even cheaper for members, concessions and students. Tonight, no doubt, the roof will be raised at the mayor’s fundraiser: The Greatest Showman Singalong. I cannot wait.

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