Any visitors arriving in Eastbourne (well, those who are lucky enough to find a train to bring them here) and alighting at the railway station to head into town could be forgiven for thinking they have arrived in a slightly derelict run down shopping area due to the row of boarded up shops on the left hand side of Terminus Road in Diesel Alley. All the shops from the former Gildredge Pub on the corner to where the newsagent was once are now empty and ready for demolition. The only exception is Specsavers which is to move to the other side of McDonald’s very soon. You and I both know the parade of shops are to be knocked down to make way for the super duper extension to the Arndale Centre but visitors to our town don’t. We are told demolition is due in spring but wouldn’t it be a nice idea in the meantime if brightly coloured hoarding which currently surrounds the old Gildredge Pub could be extended? Or even notices telling people what is going to happen with artist’s impressions placed on the windows of some of the empty shops?
While on the subject of Diesel Alley, I do hope some provision is being made for the bus drivers who have been displaced with the closure of various premises along Terminus Road ahead of the Arndale extension and no longer have anywhere to rest their wearies or have a smoke break. They look so forlorn in all weathers standing outside the old Argos shop with nowhere to go...
The dispute between Southern Rail and drivers and conductors rumbles on, and I hear that as well as the shoe repair man and cafe owner in the railway station feeling a dent in their takings, independent taxi drivers who wait for pick ups outside the station are getting cross and are now also feeling the pinch, with fewer customers especially on strike days when the station is deserted. This week a British Transport Police van was parked outside the station all day and BTP officers were inside the station in case, one presumes, to intervene should a war of words break out between the striking staff on the picket line and the disgruntled cabbies.
There’s been plenty in the news this week about the pressures on hospital accident and emergency departments and our own DGH is no exception. Too many people either forget or are unaware that A&E is for genuine life-threatening emergencies, such as loss of consciousness, persistent, severe chest pain, breathing difficulties, severe bleeding that cannot be stopped, severe allergic reactions, severe burns or scalds or fits that are not stopping. Always remember: A&E is not an alternative to a GP appointment and put quite simply, A&E isn’t there to kiss it better either.
And finally this week: it’s not my half a century celebrations until next year but plenty of my friends and loved ones have their 50th birthdays coming up in 2017 and the first is my young at heart friend and former school chum Keith King, who turns the big five-o on Sunday. Happy birthday Keith.
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