Recently tasked with providing a day out for my five and seven-year-old granddaughters I decided to visit Hastings.
What an excellent variety of things to see and do!
Free museums, art gallery, funfair, miniature railway, arcades, funicular (although currently out of commission), Sealife Centre and small boating lake.
All within easy reach and a short distance of each other.
When I arrived in Eastbourne 28 years ago it was possible to take a pedalo on Princes Park pond and a boat trip along the coast from the beach. Eastbourne also had the quirky Museum of Shops and rather lovely Butterfly Centre.
All that there is to see in Eastbourne is not at all entertaining for children.
The town desperately needs to attract resident and visiting children, along with raising its game regarding rectifying the seediness of the town centre.
It would be absolutely wonderful to see facilities, entertainment and experiences targeting families along the promenade on a permanent basis.
Better yet, provide something like an ice rink near the seafront. As the nearest ice rinks are in South London, Guildford, Essex and Kent there is little opportunity for young people from Eastbourne and environs, and the rest of Sussex, to be able to access them easily or safely.
We have an outstanding in-line skate hockey club (Eastbourne Edge) which has produced GB level players, together with roller derby teams and roller discos. All of these would relish the opportunity to skate on permanent ice.
Does this town, in the 21st century, wish only to maintain its status as “God’s Waiting Room” rather than “a lovely place to visit”?