THE demolition of the Wish Tower restaurant is the opportunity Eastbourne needs to establish a proper history museum.
The Marshtello Railways Association aim was to have the Martello Tower beside the restaurant, converted into a museum with a joint ticket to it and the existing tiny Heritage Centre (H.C.), so encouraging visitors on the seafront to visit the H.C.
But now with the restaurant building to be replaced it should incorporate a museum with the restaurant having historical displays on its walls and the Martello Tower converted into an extension of the museum with a joint ticket with the H.C.
At long last there would be a museum big enough to house a history of Eastbourne from its origin to the present day, including its suburbs (the H.C. only concentrate on Victorian and Edwardian central Eastbourne), with a separate display about the seafront structures (the bandstand, the pier and the closed tramway).
I was to have had a temporary railway and tramway exhibition at the H.C. this year but due to a change of management at the H.C. this was prevented.
Whilst some of the exhibition photographs are now in my first book, East Sussex Coastal Railways, I have not been able to include terrific aerial images of the Crumbles Branch Line showing how Roselands and the Crumbles have changed due to copyright reasons.
However, this would not have stopped them being displayed in an exhibition.
If the museum I suggest was built and professionally run these pictures could be permanently displayed.
I would like to point out that I have instructed my publisher (Lindsay Woods of S.B. Publications) to donate my tiny profit of the next years’ sales from volume 1 of my book, to Fight for Sight campaign to help Chloe Laslett save her eyesight, whilst volume 2 (when published) will be to fund a retreat centre for medically neglected.
Therefore, for those who purchase East Sussex Coastal Railways volume 1 will supply them with images of Hampden Park Station and Snailham Halt, which the publisher mistakenly left out, if they forward me a stamped addressed envelope to forward the images back to them.