Celebrating our heritage

James Owen - special display
James Owen - special display

Eastbourne Heritage Centre is getting ready for extended opening hours at the end of the month for the next few months.

Until Saturday March 28 the centre in Carlisle Road is open on Saturdays only from 10am-­4pm but from Monday March 30 until the end of October it will open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 2pm-­5pm, Fridays between 10am and 1pm and Saturdays 10am-1pm.

The Front Line Eastbourne exhibition about being the most heavily bombed town on the south coast during WWII is on until Easter at the centre.

After that the main exhibition for 2015 will 
be Eastbourne Views by James Owen from May to October.

Opening on May 2 there will be an additional special display for two weeks only of the largest collection ever brought together of original James Owen watercolours of Eastbourne and district painted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Many works will be loaned from private collectors and have never been seen in public before, there will also be a selection from the Towner Collection.

In addition more than 50 of the known postcards reproductions of James Owen’s watercolours will also be shown.

James Owen’s great ­great­grandson, Russell, will be in attendance during the special two­ week period to talk to visitors about the watercolours and postcards, and he will also give two talks in our cinema bringing us up to date with his findings about the life of his ancestor.

Reproductions of some of the James Owen postcards and other merchandise, exclusive to the Heritage Centre, will be available from the shop.

This year is also the 80th anniversary of the opening of Eastbourne’s Grand Parade Bandstand.

The first concerts were given on 28 July 1935 with a total of 10,400 attending 
all three concerts and 
paying 3d each.

The Heritage Centre 
will be highlighting its display and scale model of Grand Parade Bandstand and will include screen images showing all four bandstands that once stood along the seafront, and one on the Pier.

To coincide with the 80th anniversary there will be an opportunity in July to enjoy the immensely popular talk Eastbourne’s Five Bandstands and Music in the Town by Owen Boydell.

The shop will also stock merchandise featuring the Bandstand to include greetings cards, tea towels, mugs, and fridge magnets for visitors to take away as souvenirs.

Tickets to the centre are valid for 28 days and admission is £3 for adults, senior/student £2.50, £1 for a child and family tickets are available for £6.

For more information and to check the opening times of the Heritage Centre visit www.eastbourneheritagecentre.co.uk or telephone 411189.