What will our visitors think?

A WALK along the seafront the other day had me wondering what sort of impression a visitor to Eastbourne might take away.

Coming along the promenade from West to East you encounter, at one of the prime locations in Eastbourne, the demolition site of the former Wish Tower cafe with ugly scaffolding jutting out on to the prom.

Further along there is obtrusive construction work on the lower level of the Bandstand, many of the glass panels of which have been smashed but not replaced.

As you approach the pier, you are greeted with the sight of rusting, abandoned winches and other machinery at the edge of the beach once used by the operators offering boat trips to Beachy Head.

As if that was not bad enough there is even some building/refurbishment work a little further along under the pier, parts of which incidentally are badly in need of a little TLC, with attendant machinery and building materials once again detracting from what would otherwise be a pleasant perspective.

I appreciate building and restoration work needs to be undertaken, but why could it not be better timed so summer visitors could see the seafront, the obvious main holiday attraction of Eastbourne, at its very best?

A returning holidaymaker might also wonder why the Congress Theatre facade is still draped in canvas, meant presumably to be temporary fixtures during renovation work but which appear to have taken up permanent residence.

It is to be hoped the eyesore of scaffolding at the Wish Tower does not linger nearly as long as those ageing coverings at the Congress.

We need to continue to attract holidaymakers and to do this must present it as attractively as possible, especially in high season. The powers that be should ensure Eastbourne’s natural charm and beauty are allowed to shine through, unhindered by blemishes which, with more careful planning, could largely be eradicated.

Shabbiness has a habit of taking root and increasing. That must not be allowed to happen and it is certainly not an impression we want holidaymakers to depart with.

ROBERT COWAN

Meads Road