After a balmy summers evening talk in the garden at the rear of Alfriston’s Ye Olde Smuggler’s Inne on July 13, 2004, most of us went home quite contented.
Ironically the talk by Johnnie Johnson was entitled Crimes and Criminals of Sussex, a subject that Johnnie revelled in. However, at about 3am the next morning, July 14, the landlord Robert Scott and his wife Maureen had a serious crime inflicted on their hostlery.
An errant driver had struck the historic Market Cross and ricocheted across to the Tudor Inn demolishing its exterior wall. The car reversed from the bar and sped away, leaving the community with a most unlikely tourist novelty.
Remarkably there were no injuries, but the villainous driver was never found. Seaford artist Abigal Barker created an eye-catching mural to depict the intrusion on hoardings that were erected while restoration works took place over the following months.