OUT IN THE FIELD: Annemarie Field’s weekly look at life in Eastbourne

It’s many years since I planned a wedding but I do remember how stressful it can all be trying to make it a dream day without the added hindrance of your wedding venue closing up without warning and your deposit disappearing as the aforementioned place goes down the swanny and your cash with it. So I feel terribly sorry for those couples planning their nuptials who found out the English Wine Centre at Alfriston was up for sale at auction in February and the company behind it had gone into voluntary liquidation. The brides and grooms also found themselves on a list of creditors as the £1,500 each couple handed over to company directors Rob and Annette Blackman is now part of a £100,000 debt that the firm managed to acquire in a year’s trading. While the collapse of any business is also unfortunate and upsetting for those who built it up, there is no excuse for a complete lack of communication between the Blackmans and the engaged couples they signed contracts with. The first they found out that their wedding venue did not exist anymore and their contract wasn’t worth the paper it was written on was when auctioneer Clive Emson announced the barns that make up the centre was up for sale. Then days afterwards came a letter from Mr Blackman saying he was devastated he and Annette had to close the centre and let people down. But no mention of their £1,500 deposits. Some of the couples have been lucky enough to be refunded by their bank or credit card company. One or two had wedding insurance which apparently protects against this kind of mishap. I didn’t know such a thing existed. Now there are scores of people trying to find alternative venues for their original date so they don’t lose other deposits with photographers, florists and the like for changing days. Love may be well blind but this wedding organising lark is certainly an eye opener.

Monday, 28th January 2019, 3:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:31 pm
Terminus Road and Ashford Road traffic improvement scheme SUS-190124-130301001

If you’re looking for something to do for charity in the next month, then get tossing. The St Wilfrid’s 2019 Pancake Race is to take place in Terminus Road on Tuesday March 5 starting at 1pm. Places are limited so get your team in early and register before February 22 with Simon Cosham at the charity in Broadwater Way. No doubt, the organisers will be hoping for better weather this year.

How good is it to see the newly laid road outside the railway station being used while the other half of the carriageway is now resurfaced? It’s all starting to take shape and looks really quite swish. But won’t it make the other end by Bolton Road look like the poor relation methinks.

I may have already mentioned there is nothing dry about my January. I take my hat off to those that want to abstain. But in my humble opinion, it’s cold, dark and grim enough already without banishing the bottled grapes or whatever takes your fancy for 31 days of the month. With that in mind, I am heading off for some R and R in the Emerald Isle next week and to meet the newest member of our family born in December, so I am back in two weeks.