OUT IN THE FIELD: Litter strewn verges are an eyesore

Ice Rink at Eastbourne Railway Station E51067K
Ice Rink at Eastbourne Railway Station E51067K

Like many others, I marvelled at the Bolero ice dance routine by Olympic champions Torvill and Dean way back when and have always been a huge fan of ice skating. I recall one Christmas a makeshift rink was set up in the railway station car park and another time in Fort Fun. Since then anyone wanting to slip on their skates has had to go to London so it’s particularly pleasing to see that support for a rink in Eastbourne is growing rapidly. That is thanks in part to Engineering Eastbourne, a project launched recently to encourage young people to get into engineering. While some of the suggestions coming from the young people may be ambitious – although I quite like the idea of the railway lines from here to London being converted so we could jump aboard autonomous vehicles – the dedicated mountain bike track and ice rink have struck a chord with people that can actually make this kind of thing happen. The potential footfall of such attractions will run into hundreds of thousands and would be a huge boost to the town. Follow @EngineeringEastbourne to get involved and we just might be able to turn one of these ideas into reality.

A couple of years back I was up north for a work event and the one thing that struck me as we drove along the roads was the amount of litter and debris strewn along the grass verges. I said to my colleague at the time that we didn’t have that problem “down south”. Sadly, that isn’t true anymore and many of the roads’ verges are littered with rubbish. Now a group of volunteers are doing something about it and the Litter Warriors have already made their mark collecting up litter – eight large bags of plastic, glass and paper – along a 600 metre stretch of the A259 between Seaford and the River Cuckmere in just one hour. They next plan to tackle the A26 and A27 and make these roads litter-free zones. One particularly bad area is the road between Pevensey and Westham Railway Station and the roundabout with Priory Road. The hedges are strewn with litter and it isn’t helped by a certain waste management company in the area whose lorries frequently leave the industrial estate with loads not secure and tonnes of shredded paper ends up all over the road, on the verges and in people’s gardens. The Litter Warriors campaign is called On The Verge and details are on Facebook for those wanting to join in and make a difference.

Just one person dominates the birthday shout out this week and that is the lovely Eve Riddington from Northbourne Road, who celebrated 80 years young last weekend. Eve has been a resident of St Andrew Norway, as it was known, for much of her life. Her late husband Tony was a Labour Party stalwart and there isn’t much about the area’s history that Eve doesn’t know. So a very happy belated 80th birthday.