Call me a sentimental old fool but I love a red telephone box. It brings back memories of happy days – way before mobile phones were invented and not everyone had a landline – and therefore always having to have a two pence piece in my pocket to make a call. Then as teenagers we would have a crafty drink in there away from prying eyes. Nowadays my love of the iconic boxes is more to do with preserving our heritage and loving nostalgia. That’s why it’s good to see the residents of Stone Cross fighting to keep the disused box on Lion Hill opposite the Red Lion pub at St Luke’s Church. The K6 box, I am reliably informed, was designed in 1935 to commemorate the silver jubilee of King George V and was consequently known as the Jubilee kiosk. It was the first red telephone kiosk to be extensively used outside London. But now it and many others are no longer wanted by BT and have been earmarked for removal. Sadly Westham Parish Council resolved not to adopt the box when it came up on the agenda in January but now maybe with almost 200 signatures from villagers, councillors might think again. Or perhaps a charity would come along and adopt it. As much as I particularly love the idea of turning it into a bar, albeit a very small one, or tea and coffee outlet, it would make a great home for a defibrillator. I hope somebody will step forward and save not only the day but this very iconic British landmark which is a part of the village landscape.
As predicted in last week’s ramblings, the changes to parking restrictions in roads around Lower Meads, especially near Eastbourne College, have gone down like flat warm beer with everyone feeling sympathy on one hand for the residents but concerned as to where exactly commuters are going to park. This is by no means a done deal yet: the consultation by the parking gurus at East Sussex County Council runs until May 25 so as many people as possible need to make their views known so some form of compromise can be reached.
It was the annual mayor making ceremony at the Town Hall recently so many congratulations to Eastbourne’s new mayor Gill Mattock. Gill is a lovely lady who, despite being what Eastbournians call an “incomer” (she moved to the town in 1971), is passionate about our resort and since being elected to the Liberal Democrat administration at the Town Hall has worked tirelessly, alongside finance bosses, to get the council’s accounts in order and learnt to balance the books to prevent cuts in frontline services. She took her role of lead member for council finances particularly seriously, learning along the way and now she is mayor she has had to adopt a strictly neutral position and will no longer be holding the purse strings. Let’s keep our fingers and tootsies crossed that whoever fills the shoes she left empty will be just as vigilant and on the ball when it comes to doing the maths.