According to latest figures, Eastbourne has lost nearly a third of its pubs since 2010 with 15 pubs and bars closing their doors for good. It made me think about some particular old favourites that aren’t there anymore and may ring a bell with some of the older generation. Remember the Painted Wagon in Pevensey Road, Butlers in Bolton Road, the Rose and Crown, Archery Tavern, Beach Pub, Black Horse, the Ocean Wave? And then in more recent years, the Lodge, the Roselands club, the Parkfield and who could ever forget the Lottbridge Arms, more affectionately known as the Grotty Lotty? Like it or not, pubs are a vital part of our communities and it’s a real loss to that community spirit when a “local”, faced with an increase in financial pressures, rates and taxes closes up and eventually becomes another block of flats, housing estate or supermarket. If you have a “local” do try and support it at least once a week – and keep that very British tradition alive and the town’s economy vibrant.
While there will, I’m sure, be much consternation about the fact a portion of money from penalty charge notices issued to drivers in Eastbourne is being used to pay for traffic improvements in Terminus Road at the moment, some eyebrows are also being raised because a number of parking machines in King Edwards Parade are currently out of order and people can instead pay using their mobile phone via the RingGo app. Fair enough so far but those paying through the app pay an extra 20p for the privilege on top of the parking charge. The man in the know at East Sussex council tells me the machines are now obsolete and along with all parking machines in the town, will soon be replaced by new machines, which should be in place by early autumn and therefore it is not considered cost-effective spending money on repairing machines which are soon going to be replaced anyway. Now you know.
The times are certainly changing at Eastbourne Railway Station too with the former entrance out to the taxi rank boarded up and the new entrance to the side leading out opposite the Enterprise Centre now open. The facelift for the station has also seen some familiar shops move. But don’t fear – the shoe repair and key cutting man has been located and his new shop can be seen on the concourse opposite WH Smith.
Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted Eastbourne’s own Greg Draven on the small screen in the latest TV advert for Haribos, the little sweets that kids and grown ups love. I’m delighted Greg is following his dream and is doing well as an actor, voice artist and of course, drummer. Well done buddy.
There’s some familiar names on the birthday shout out this week, the first week in August (where has the year gone?!) - Bob Hammond will be blowing out a few candles along with Sheila Roberts, the lovely bundle of fun that is Bex Moloney, Lucy Winder, Amanda Rae and the world’s greatest ever neighbour Meryl Plant. Happy birthday one and all.