Free water on Eastbourne seafront – but hold your nose

Historically it’s only on rare occasions have I ever ventured into men’s toilets.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 9:44 am
Eastbourne Bandstand toilets SUS-210414-104136001

If a queue for the ladies’ loo is reaching snake-like proportions stretching for more than half a mile and I have carefully studied the comings and goings of the virtually empty neighbouring men’s, then I will shoot in, avert my eyes and keep my head down.

They’re not salubrious places by any stretch of the imagination and have a distinct aroma which all the air freshener in the western world can’t seem to get rid of.

So, it’s a shame that one of the few places that dispenses free water is situated inside the gents’ loos on the top promenade by the bandstand. If you are thirsty – and brave enough – to venture in there, be sure to hold your nose at all times.

Still, mustn’t grumble. Free water is free water and the more refill stations we have the better so we can refill our water bottles time and time again instead of continuing to buy bottles of the stuff.

According to the experts, using water from a refill station costs 500 times less than the same volume bought in a bottle.

As Eastbourne aims to become carbon neutral by 2030, never having to buy a bottle of drinking water again would seriously help eliminate single use plastic. Aside from the aforementioned refill station in the doorway of the bandstand loos, there is a stand alone dispenser by the steps before the Western Lawns, one on the pier, another which is temporarily closed at The Redoubt and a refill station has recently been installed outside the toilet block at Harbour Reach – west of the water treatment works.

I am reliably informed you can now walk all along the seafront from Birling Gap to Sovereign Harbour without ever having to buy a bottle of drinking water again. There’s a handy little app – called Refill – for your phone too which tells you where refill stations are located and which places around Eastbourne will let you fill up with drinking water free of charge. It’s worth a download.

I realise it’s only a certain percentage of people who can afford to rent a seafront chalet or hut from the council but I’m starting to feel sorry for some of those who do.

The seafront huts at the Wish Tower have seen the same recent price increase – from £635 to £1,000 – as others further along the prom which are larger and far more steadier. Many look ramshackle and have not seen any maintenance from the council for some years.

A number of them have large holes in too so mice and rats can get in and take advantage of the facilities. They urgently need some TLC from the council to justify a rise in rents.

There’s far more nice people in this world than unpleasant ones and that’s reflected in the actions of Pevensey Bay villagers this week who upon hearing an elderly and unwell lady had £500 stolen in a distraction burglary, set about recouping the cash through an appeal. The lady had been saving to get her garden spruced up and at the time of writing, donations are flooding in to The Castle Inn at Pevensey Bay for her.