Mischievous holidaymakers from days gone by in Eastbourne

Photographs of the Retreat Guest House on Pevensey Road next to the former Congregational Church, now demolished, have featured in the Herald before and historians have uncovered some more images.

Saturday, 21st April 2018, 4:15 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:34 am

In May 2016, under the heading of Dapper Indians, the Herald published a photo of a group of guests at the Retreat which included some stylishly dressed Indians. Gowland’s directory shows that Mrs Jervis was in charge of a guest house at numbers 48 and 50.

Historian Lloyd Brunt has now come across another showing a larger group of guests who posed outside in 1913 for local photographer, George Austin.

Lloyd writes, “Again there are a number of Indians in the group, but their presence remains a mystery. Perhaps the Congregational Church had a sister organisation in India.

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“Anyway, back to the photograph: it shows that nothing changes – get a group of people together and there is always a joker in the bunch. Look at the detail from the picture and you will see a man holding a stuffed bird above his friend’s head.

“The older ladies are not amused. Spoiling a holiday snap, they seem to be thinking. The younger woman has swivelled round in surprise, blurring her image and the dog has moved too.

“I hope your readers will be as amused by the situation as I was. It’s amazing the photograph has survived for more than 100 years to entertain us today. But what a shame that we no nothing about the guests themselves.

“There are more of our archive photographs on our website www.edflhg.uk/archives and the East Dean & Friston Local History Group hold monthly meetings at our village hall.

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“Again there are more details of these and other items on our website.”