OUT IN THE FIELD: When is a Barnhill a Barn Hill?

James Bell as Gomez in the Addams Family
James Bell as Gomez in the Addams Family

Last month I went along to the memorial service and unveiling of a new interpretation board to the SS Barnhill, the vessel sunk by a German bomber in May 1940, on the beach at Sovereign Harbour and since then much has been said about whether the ship was SS Barn Hill or SS Barnhill. A spirited debate has taken place on the two Facebook nostalgia groups Gone but not Forgotten and I Grew Up in Eastbourne as to whether the troubled ship was one word or two with historians and official records quoting the two word version and local fishermen, sailors and RNLI stalwarts insisting it has always been one. Whatever the correct word count, the interpretation board was the result of a lot of hard work and effort by volunteers, enthusiasts and historian Andy Saunders who initiated the project and did all the research. The most important thing is that the loss of the vessel, her crew and those merchant seamen who died were all appropriately remembered and will be for generations to come.

As election fever reaches an all time high, candidates start knocking, and all manner of political literature drops through the letterbox, is there any limit to the size of the party political boards appearing in people’s gardens and on fences? Take a drive down some Old Town roads and you could be forgiven for thinking an over-zealous estate agent has started up. And still another 25 days to go.

Huge congratulations are due to the Rattonians cast of the Addams Family at the Congress over Easter – a wonderful, polished, professional show bursting with talent, notably James Bell as Gomez and James Hookway as Uncle Fester. I look forward to the next offering: Legally Blonde in the summer.

It’s all change this week and I have moved along with the letters. I have a new home, a fresh resting place – in the columns of this fine newspaper anyway as my house moving saga drags on.