OUT IN THE FIELD: Remember the sleigh rides in Eastbourne’s Bobby’s and Daniel O’Donnell

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It would seem I wasn’t alone with my upset at members of the audience taking pictures of, and filming, Daniel O’Donnell on their mobile phones during his recent concert at the Congress. A fair few people have been in touch saying it also distracted them and some have written to the theatre to voice their upset that staff did not intervene and tell the offenders to put their mobiles away. Theatre staff are not to blame though. I have it on good authority that in the case of the Irish crooner, his crew made it very clear that they encourage both photo and videoing and did not want Eastbourne Theatres staff to stop any of this happening, against our better judgement, as they know only too well that these can impact on other people’s enjoyment of the show. The poor staff say unfortunately on this occasion they “felt impotent in dealing with what is standard Congress policies of no photos or recordings during performances”.

I felt very sad reporting the news that Debenhams would be leaving its Terminus Road building on January 24. Like most people of a certain age, I remember it when it was Bobby’s and growing up in Eastbourne the fantastic ‘magical’ ride to see Father Christmas. Every year we would move and rock in the “sleigh” to get to Lapland to see Santa past changing scenery, which was usually decorated windows. It’s one of those special childhood memories. You got on and off in the same place but somehow you had travelled some way. Then there was the year you had to “walk miles” through decorated caves (through the basement of Debenhams) to get to the grotto. It must have had a lot to do with our own imaginations. Father Christmas was also “the real deal” and you came away with a present. That was also when there was no pedestrianisation outside and two way traffic – the good old 1970s.

I know they get stick by the bucket loads but I am always pleased to see the parking wardens outside schools. They were outside two schools on my journey into town the other day moving along parents in cars who obviously think the zig-zags and parking rules apply to everyone else but them.

If you are ever at a loose end on a Thursday night and love a bit of “two fat ladies”, “all the sevens” or “Kelly’s eye”, bear in mind it is bingo night at the Eastbourne Working Mens Club in Firle Road. It’s open to non-members for the night with reasonable club price drinks and, I am told, a real hoot too.

My little culinary find this week took me further afield to Hailsham and new eatery B12, which was Chapter 12 and has now been taken over by Melvyn Funnell-Strange of nearby Bucklers Cafe and The Deli fame. B12 is just what Hailsham has been crying out for. The homemade houmous with roasted peppers and pumpkin seeds is the best ever. And as an added bonus, B12 is just a couple of doors down from the wonderful gift shop Millies.