In Days Gone By with John Dowling

1912

RESIDENTS in the area of Sea Road were startled on Monday morning by the sound of a loud crashing of glass. Three large panes of glass, the windows of the Bexhill Water and Gas Company, were smashed by a milk cart running into them. It appears that the cart, a four-wheeled one belonging to Mr. J. A. Osborne, of Ingram’s Farm, Ninfield, was being driven down Sea Road at about seven o’clock. The horse slipped by the tram lines on the railway bridge and in being pulled up by the driver commenced to plunge. The shafts snapped off and the horse, finding itself free, careered down Sea Road.

THIS is good news. The Pleasure Grounds Committee recommended that a public bathing station for men be allocated between groynes No. 10 and 11 between 6a.m. and 8a.m., the Beach Inspector to be in attendance during the hours referred to, to secure as far as possible the safety of the bathers. The Committee point out, however, that the establishment of a bathing station will not prevent bathing from any other part of the beach, although they point out that the provision of the bathing station will render a more direct supervision of the area practicable.

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1962

A TRUMPET fanfare from the roof of the De La Warr Pavilion will herald the opening of the town’s most impressive musical event, the third annual Festival of Music, next Tuesday. The fanfare, by trumpeters of 257 (Sussex Yeomanry) Royal Artillery, T.A., will be from Wagner’s ‘Valkyrie,’ and will provide the first notes of a feast of music lasting three days.

EAST Sussex County Council are being recommended to make a bye-law for the control of beach radios, and if approved next week it will be effective in the administrative county, except for the boroughs of Bexhill, Hove, Lewes and Rye, which have their own bye-laws.

1972

WHEN eight year-old Andrew Keeley found a plastic bag at the base of a tree near his home he set off a chain reaction of police inquiries which spread from London to the West Country. The plastic bag contained what appeared to be a haul of stolen silver. The trouble is that despite the intensive inquiries police have been unable to link the find either with a robbery or a distressed owner.

SEVEN-day trading, forecast recently by one Bexhill shopkeeper, has quietly come to the town. But a spokesman for Acres the bakers told the ‘Observer’ this week that its branches in Bexhill and Hastings were opening on Sunday for a trial period.

1982

TWO girls have been expelled from a top public school for illicitly visiting the temple home of a “king” witch. White witch Alex Sanders claims visits to his High Street, Old Town, cottage continue. But the school dismisses the claim as “unsubstantiated” and says investigations which last term involved police and the Church will not be re-opened.

A NEW money-raising venture by parent-teacher associations has upset traders. Sales of “seconds” clothes and linen have proved a money-spinner for many schools struggling to pay for equipment but businesses are not so gleeful. Bexhill chamber president Simon Napier said: “We have received complaints from local traders about the sales.”

1992

SAFETY surfacing bought for children’s playgrounds in Rother is lying unused in storage according to a Bexhill councillor. The claim by Cllr Mrs Margaret Jones comes after two Bexhill parents have told how their children have been hurt in accidents in playgrounds not yet subject to the council’s seven-year safety programme.

IN the week that Network South East announced that losses had doubled to £180m, two British Rail executives travelled to Bexhill with news that ‘there is light at the end of the tunnel.’ The station at Bexhill has one of the longest platforms in the South, and still echoes former glories when steam trains, hauling 14 coaches, brought holidaymakers to the town in their droves. But the station has come under fire recently from passengers who have fallen foul of locked toilets, or complained that there is nowhere to buy newspapers or refreshments.

2002

RAILTRACK has produced revised plans for Bexhill station, based on consultation with Rother and other interested parties, which it hopes will find favour with the planning committee. Rother had been concerned last year that reducing the canopy lengths would put passengers at risk from vandals on the footbridge. Railtrack says the extreme ends of the platform are rarely visited by passengers and that being able to see any danger from above would reduce the risk rather than increase it.

A LONG-established Bexhill nursing home is closing with the loss of around 36 places. Seven of Bexhill’s 73 residential and nursing homes have closed in the last 12 months. Five others face financial hardship which will undoubtedly lead to their closure in the next couple of years. Galleon Homes, owners of the latest home to close, Seafield Lodge in Dorset Road, issued a press statement in response to Observer inquiries but declined to add to it.