OUT IN THE FIELD: Theatre closes, a new museum and loving Eastbourne in the sunshine

Nature Valley International Tennis at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180628-095524008
Nature Valley International Tennis at Devonshire Park, Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180628-095524008

They say a new broom sweeps clean and while it is a terrible shame the Under Ground Theatre had to close suddenly this week due to issues with leases and so on, it’s good to hear there is a new guard taking over the helm at the venue. It has however left some shows without anywhere to perform and one in particular is a Macmillan Cancer Support fundraiser in September organised by Maureen Kilgour in memory of her son who died in 2005. All the performers are signed up and the only thing missing is a venue. If you can help Maureen stage the show and raise much needed funds for people living with cancer and their families in Eastbourne email mkilgour@hotmail.co.uk or call 640955. And hopefully pretty soon, everything will have been sorted and performers and musicians alike will soon be treading the boards again at this popular little jewel in Eastbourne’s crown.

And while we are on the subject of sparkles isn’t it wonderful to see Eastbourne shining in all its glory during the Nature Valley International Tennis Tournament this week. The town has come alive, there’s a wonderful relaxing atmosphere and even a friend said to me how great Eastbourne looked on the small screen. “It looks like we live in the Riviera and when you live here you forget just how beautiful it is and how lucky we are,” she said pushing her trusty bike back from the tournament on Tuesday evening. Okay, the area outside the station and Terminus Road where the Arndale Centre extension is under construction may look a bit of a mess at the moment but it’s a sign of great things to come. And hopefully the thousands that have flocked to the town to see the likes of Murray and Konta on court will return another time to see what more is on offer.

After months of banging on in everyone’s ear and nagging anyone that would listen, local historians – and myself included – have finally learned that a long awaited local history museum will become a reality in a pop-up venue in part of Victoria Mansions in Terminus Road. The plan is to open the pop-up facility in February to finally show off among other things, some of the artefacts that have been hidden away since the Local History Museum within the old Towner in Gildredge Park closed down. A purpose built museum was of course in Eastbourne council’s Local Plan but I guess a pop-up facility is as good as we can expect in these times of austerity and central government funding cuts. And if there is enough support behind it, with a bit of luck it may well become a permanent fixture.

The large drain cover on Seaside as you drive off the Bird’s Eye roundabout towards St Anthony’s Avenue has been clanging and banging for some time now as drivers pass over it. This week I noticed it is surrounded by white markings which might just mean it will be fixed.