OUT IN THE FIELD: Deer in Westham, Eastbourne’s simply the best seafood restaurant, new stores in the Arndale and the birthday roll of honour

Eastbourne town centre Improvement scheme (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180111-110230008
Eastbourne town centre Improvement scheme (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180111-110230008

The long running saga over the state of the lovely village pond in Westham rumbles on and now it seems we have some good news at last. A management plan is finally being drawn up by the parish council and the good folk from County Clean will begin a clean up operation from Monday morning. I had to chuckle though when I saw in the aforementioned management plan – to address the problem of thick green sludge, rats and dead fish – that grazing deer may well be responsible for nibbling away at some wetland plants which could help with the ecology of the pond. Deer? Grazing? In a fairly built up area of the village? I think not. Deer are among the shyest creatures you could meet and tend to live in woodland. Not in the middle of a village with cars whizzing along and hordes of schoolchildren walking past twice a day. My family have lived in Westham since I learnt to tie my own shoelaces and not once have I ever seen a deer in what is left of the countryside around the village. As my good friend Nigel, who has lived opposite the village pond for 30 odd years, remarked: You are more likely to see the late Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sitting on a bench by the pond eating her packed lunch than a deer grazing there. Quite right, Nigel, quite right.

Staying on the subject of village life, when I was finally able, on Friday night, to leave my unscheduled three week October stay in my sick bed (thanks to a nasty bout of neuralgia), I ventured to Simply Seafood & Grill in the High Street to see if the food in the restaurant, previously known as Horeau’s, was as good as the neighbouring fish and chip take-away. I am pleased to report it was. Simply wonderful and a real gem in the village’s crown jewels.

The topic on most people’s lips at the moment seems to be the never-ending roadworks in Gildredge Road, Cornfield Road, Station Parade and Terminus Road. But there is some good news in store as I discovered when I went behind the scenes with highways officials this week. With Christmas “just around the corner”, everybody has agreed that the roadworks should be brought to a halt in Terminus Road’s former Diesel Alley throughout December to make the area more attractive for shoppers. By then the bus lane through the middle should be completed and the bulk of the pretty granite paving finished. So, there won’t be any men in high vis jackets working away and sadly this year too, there won’t be any Christmas lights up in that stretch of Terminus Road either. Neither will there be the hugely popular Neon Noel light spectacular on the Town Hall. Thankfully though, the Christmas Market is back in the pedestrianised precinct. And we will have a few shops in the brand spanking new Arndale extension open. FatFace was getting ready to open at the time of writing. Alexa: Play Fairytale of New York for me, please.

Finally this week birthday congratulations to Karen Smith (nee Bowles), Adam Wake, Frank Woods, Shirley Moth, Karly Hobden and Steve Snell.