First it was the gasworks, then it was the cement works, later it was Universal Coatings.
Next, a short-stay firm intervened called King something or other who produced, within 50 feet of old people’s flats, smoke so black, thick and poisonous it could have been bagged.
This happened intermittently. The Lewes environment department spent more time trying to locate the problem than any other complaint, was what they said to Mr Baker in answer to his letter, when I requested his intervention. Obviously, they monitored on clear days.
Norman sent me copies of the correspondence together with a note saying, don’t worry, they say everything’s okay.
This all happened a long time ago, so it doesn’t matter any more. But what I’m moaning about now is the incinerator, our very own, lodged snugly and picturesquely in a valley between the hills of the beautiful South Downs, near a watercourse with an onshore wind.
What better place to send the smoke – it’s not steam it’s smoke and it’s very nasty – to Croydon.
At least that is what officials were told, I understand. Actually it doesn’t go any further than Lewes and most of it drops in my garden and on my chest causing me discontentment, as you might say.
The question I ask is who can I complain to? And will anyone do anything about it? There was an old Lewesian joke that if a difficult problem arose in the vicinity, someone from London should be sent for – I wonder is this the answer? Or are all the Londoners in Lewes now? Alternatively, perhaps, should I appeal to the incinerator operators to ease up for a couple of days so that I may finish pruning my rose tree and cut the grass before it rains again and then I’d promise to go indoors and stay there and not even do my midnight walking anymore – it’s worse after dark anyway and I do need an early night.
PS. With regard to the problematic Universal Coatings who were discharging a variety of chemicals Methyl Ethyl Ketone, including solvents and the like, a specialist from London was sent for finally and who eventually solved the effects of the miasma by inducing the firm to change their processes. But not before my vocal chords were ravaged – and there, I used to be better than ol’ Blue Eyes especially in the bath.