OUT IN THE FIELD: All aboard if you can get through crowd

It's all very exciting finally seeing the extension to the Arndale Centre taking shape with the hoarding up down the stretch of Diesel Alley where the shops and Gildredge pub are soon to be demolished.

Saturday, 18th March 2017, 12:00 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:53 am
The work at Seaside Rec has been ongoing for months as Southern Water carries out drainage improvements

But with no pedestrian access along that stretch, it’s causing something of a bottleneck on the opposite side where people waiting for buses, shoppers trying to get into the shops and passers by are jostling for space to get from the London and County pub end to Banker’s Corner and back.

I have taken to embarking on a short cut up and down Station Street to get to and fro lest I be forced out into the road by the throngs of people and hit by a bus. I dread to think how much worse it will get when the language students arrive in town which by my reckoning will be any moment soon.

Almost two years since the untimely death of 36-year-old Eastbourne born and bred Emma Crowhurst, exactly what happened that night on Sunday April 25 2015 remains a mystery.

An inquest this week heard that despite a lengthy and vigorous police investigation – after Emma was found with severe head injuries in the street – and hundreds of people were spoken to, it is still unclear whether Emma was pushed by an unknown assailant who she had been heard arguing with, or whether she fell.

Emma was rushed to Hurstwood Park Neurological but despite surgery she died days later. There was insufficient evidence to show a killing and not enough evidence to show it was a tragic accident.

How awful for her poor family and friends that they will never know the truth. But somebody somewhere knows the truth of what happened to Emma.

She was a member of the street drinking community but despite that and a troubled life, was a likeable and popular character who loved her family and was a free spirit who looked for fun. RIP Emma.

I and many others hope that one day the truth will come out and somebody will be brought to justice for what happened.

Emma’s story reminds me of the case of Jessie Earl, the Eastbourne art student who went missing in 1980 and whose remains were then found nine years later hidden in scrubland at Beachy Head. Again, despite a long running and probing murder investigation, Jessie’s killer was never uncovered. Maybe some day someone will say something or do something to give these two families the answers they so desperately want.

I am not alone in wondering what is going on at Seaside Rec these days. Lots of folk have been in touch to ask why contractors – or at least their machinery and materials – have been in situ in the much loved and popular park for the last six months.

Back in September we were told Southern Water contractors had begun a major improvement scheme to stop the sewers flooding every year around the area and especially in Gilbert Road. Apparently the company is building storm tanks aimed at alleviating flooding and we have been on to Southern Water this week to find out when the work is likely to be completed ...