I am sure I am not the only one to be slightly amused by the rather large road sign which has taken pride of place at the bottom of Gildredge Road by the railway station. The sign outside the London and County Pub tells drivers they can go straight ahead for the town centre and ring road or turn left for the Town Hall, Police Station, Law Courts, Industrial Estates, Hospital, Parking and Railway Station. But hang on a minute, rewind back. The law courts in Old Orchard Road closed up three years ago with everyone now having to hike it over to Hastings. And the police station in Grove Road – along with its wonderful social club – closed some nine years ago. Admittedly, there is a front counter at 1 Grove Road where the police moved in with Eastbourne council to “share services” (cut costs). But you would be hard pressed to call it a police station. The signs were installed by the county council and what a complete waste of time and money that has been. It’s enough to drive you round the bend.
While the untimely death last year of fishing stalwart Brian Allchorn did not pass me by entirely, I am saddened to say I did not write an obituary for the Herald of which he was so deserving. So it’s lovely to see (on page 2) that Brian’s family has donated a trophy in his memory to Eastbourne Rowing Club which will be presented after the annual Regatta. Brian was part of the most famous family within Eastbourne’s seafaring community and a highly respected member of the whole of the boating and fishing fraternity. Brian was the great grandson of Edward Allchorn, the founder of Allchorn Pleasure Boats, and the Allchorns have been part of the Eastbourne lifeboat crew since 1833 with up to four family members in the crew at any one time. Brian himself served on the lifeboat from 1955 to 1960. Family and friends have quite rightly described him as a man of massive honesty and integrity with a gem of a sense of humour to boot. He was also a fount of all knowledge when it came to the history of Eastbourne and knew it like the back of his hand. He was always happy to help me way back when I was a young cub reporter and needed to know something about a certain place or a family link to something. What would be really fitting is that when the fishing quay gets underway at Sovereign Harbour, he could again be honoured for his contribution to the town’s fishing and boating community.
According to latest figures, more than 350 drivers using mobile phones in the south east were spotted by an unmarked HGV supercab in the past year in a bid to improve safety on the region’s high-speed roads. The supercabs allow police officers to film evidence of unsafe driving behaviour by pulling up alongside vehicles, and drivers are then pulled over by police cars following a short distance behind. I wish we could have one in Eastbourne. Just for a day. The amount of people in cars I cycle alongside who are glancing down at their phones in their hands is unbelievable. It gets right on my twig.