History centre idea supported

WHAT an excellent idea Tony Crooks (letters, January 28) has in converting St Elisabeth’s Church into a local history centre. Using it for local society meetings and archives where researchers could go to do research is a very good idea. A lot of archives are stuck in Lewes at present.

Having it for exhibitions is also a good idea, but I would suggest the church should be for parts of an exhibition which couldn’t be fitted in elsewhere.

The main location for exhibitions should be on the seafront so to attract the maximum number of visitors.

Mr Crooks may not know there is the Heritage Centre, for which back in September, the Marshtello Railways Association agreed with the centre committee to supply photos and a lot of text from which they could select for a display.

When it became apparent the committee didn’t know how to use their new printer/scanner I bought a new computer to scan very rare photos on loan, printing off 100 copies so they could display them. This now means a railway and tramway display may go ahead at thecentre this year.

Incidentally, Mr Crooks may not know of the Heritage Centre as it lacks a Press Officer, which means the thousands being spent on a refit may not be known (as a volunteer there for the past two years there are sometimes afternoons where no one comes in).

A press officer would be welcome. We at the MRA (which I co-founded) have the aim of having the Martello Wish Tower converted into a museum with one floor about the seafront’s history and the other for the general history of Eastbourne’s development (25 per cent on the three railways and tramway), so catering for both locals and tourists.

In addition, a sea-life information board would be erected, informing visitors of what they’ve seen in the water, such as a large pipefish.

A joint ticket to both the existing H.C. and the Tower would encourage visitors on the seafront to then visit both. This would give Eastbourne a historical centre as good as the Seaford Museum.

So maybe Eastbourne Borough Council could apply to the Heritage Lottery fund and English Heritage as Mr Crooks suggests, but not just to fund the church but the Wish Tower as well. I will speak to my other members about adopting Mr Crooks Church suggestion as an additional aim for us.

Paul O’Callaghan

Marshtello Railways Association

Granville Road