Many years ago people believed that the Earth was flat and I understand there are still some who belong to the Flat Earth Society.
Perhaps some of those who are not happy with the changes being made on Eastbourne Pier are part of that society.
Why is it that so many people are opposed to change? If mankind did not make change, we would still be living in caves and wearing animal skins.
Before anyone criticises Abid Gulzar, the new owner, they should perhaps reflect what has happened to the pier in recent years. It had been neglected and was starting to look drab and dreary. Were the moaners now really happy with the state of the pier previously? I would suggest not. We can only speculate about the cause and the circumstances of the fire in summer 2014 on the pier. But we do know that of the insurance paid out, Mr Gulzar wouldn’t have got a penny because he wasn’t the owner at the time.
I believe that Mr Gulzar is a very enterprising individual who has the good of the town at heart and he is, quite rightly, keen to bring more visitors into Eastbourne.
He started by investing in hotels and, yes, he did upset some people – including the borough council – with what I would call his flamboyant manner. Nobody would say he is modest and his gold car certainly gets noticed!
The pavement outside The Mansion Lions Hotel was in a very poor state until he paid for it all to be repaired. All for the good of Eastbourne.
Recently he bought The Boship Lions Hotel at Hailsham. He immediately invested money to repair the driveway and rejuvenated the pond area with some pedal boats. He is employing many local people both in his businesses and also service providers that he uses. Some of the moaners forget that, I fear.
Now onto Eastbourne Pier. Some took offence at his sign ‘Sheikh’s Pier’ but surely we all realise that was to make us all smile. WE all know it will always be Eastbourne Pier but, just as we may give our cars a pet name, that is what Mr Gulzar has done here. Nothing more.
Very few things are free these days, and who knows if he will introduce a charge to go on the pier. If he did, it would be no different than paying the council to use a deckchair in the summer.
We should be grateful for what he is doing for Eastbourne and stop moaning! Those of us who remember Maurice Skilton, will realise that Mr Gulzar is doing the same thing, by bringing some LIFE into Eastbourne to encourage more visitors who will spend their money in our town.
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