From: John Macdonald
Two letters in the Herald caught my eye. Firstly from C. Stone headed ‘Scruffiest town in N Europe.’
Whilst I doubt that Eastbourne can rightly be described as such, there is no doubt in my mind that it is nowhere near the neat and tidy town it used to be.
The fault, in my mind, lies in the 1973/4 Local Government re-organisation, when we lost our County Borough status, as a result of which many former functions of local government were transferred to the county council, amongst them being maintenance of the roads.
In the good old days, our council rarely did road repairs, certainly in the town centre and seafront areas, during the holiday season from May to October.
The manner in which road repairs are carried out today has turned most of Eastbourne into a real mess.
I recognise that much of our infrastructure is in need of updating but there must be a better way of doing it.
Wherever you go there are road works, often protected by traffic lights, and frequently unattended sometimes for days at a time.
The worst example of chaotic conditions is the junction of Gildredge Road and Terminus Road.
Granted, major disruption is caused due to the enlargement of the Arndale Centre, but does it really need to be for such a long time and so chaotic?
Is the near side lane of Gildredge Road a bus lane or is it not?
It is marked as such but nobody appears to take any notice of it and many cars use it so causing major chaos to the Terminus Road end when it is down to one lane only and there is no access to Junction Road, without going round the roundabout at the bottom of Grove Road.
Our elected representatives on the county council appear to have no influence on matters affecting Eastbourne.
Secondly, from Brian Green, headed ‘Keep the Arndale Name.’
I was delighted to find that I was not the only person who thinks the renaming of it as The Beacon Centre to be a lot of nonsense.
Arndale Centre is a nationally recognised name for quality shopping centres.
People likely do not know why they are so called. Prior to my coming to live and work in Eastbourne in 1958 I worked for six years at Charles Hagenbach Ltd, a family Swiss bakery and restaurant business in Wakefield, whose managing director was Arnold Hagenbach.
He was not a baker, but rather a first class businessman who anticipated the post-war growth in property values, and who, with a partner Sam Chippendale an estate agent of Bradford, set up the Arndale Property Co as a public company in 1947 with a shareholding of £25,000.
He had to hawk the shares round his friends and family to get the issue take up as it was a Public Company.
In my time in Wakefield the Arndale Property Company merely possessed one building, namely the cottage in Sandal in which lived the works manager of the bakery company, i.e. a tied cottage.
The new centres began to be set up in the year 1958/59. In 1964 the company was sold to Town and City Properties Ltd for a multi-million pound sum after which both Arnold and Sam retired.
Eventually it ended up as part of the portfolio of Legal and General Insurance company. There are dozens of Arndale Centres throughout the United Kingdom, bearing a name that is nationally recognised.
Why therefore change it to something which currently nobody knows?