Your letters - September 17

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Get behind heritage

HERITAGE Open Days are a wonderful opportunity for the public to visit thousands of buildings and places across England which are usually closed to the public or charge admission.

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This year's open days were between September 9 - 11 but, to the best of my knowledge, no events took place around Bexhill.

I appreciate that many people, mostly as volunteers, already spend a lot of their time and effort promoting Bexhill's rich heritage to both visitors and residents alike, but in my opinion we are missing out on a further chance to showcase the town's fascinating history.

What about a behind-the-scenes tour of the De La Warr Pavilion; free admission to the Museum for a day; tours inside the Town Hall including a look at the civic regalia; a peek inside the Clock Tower on West Parade or the air raid shelter on Sea Road; conducted visits around the Manor Gardens; inside views of the Colonnade; promotion of the Motoring Heritage Centres at the Mermaid and the Cooden Beach Hotel?

Could we get access to the Curzon Picture Playhouse in Western Road or Bexhill West Station? We have many interesting churches and chapels which could be open for viewing and they could boost their restoration funds by the discrete placement of a collecting box.

Many private houses around Bexhill have interesting architectural features which the owners might be willing to show off for a day. Again a collecting box for the houseowner's favorite charity would not seem unreasonable, especially if a restorative cup of tea and biscuit was available.

Although such events would of course mean extra work they are only for one or two days of the year rather than a long-standing commitment to public access. Our town has so much to offer and to be proud about, so how about giving Bexhill Heritage Open Days 2011 serious consideration?

It would also be an ideal opportunity to unveil the town's third blue plaque or an honour board for the 14 recipients of the freedom of Bexhill.

PAUL WRIGHT

West Parade

Bexhill-on-Sea

Library thanks UAE

WE are a community library operating out of Little Common Community Centre.

We were the recipients of a gift from the UAE this year.

As we receive no grants whatsoever from any other source we and our readers know what a great help this is to us in maintaining this library.

Whilst the government believes libraries should be community hubs with computers, information centres and maybe a reference book or two, here at Little Common Library we know there are still people who believe a library should contain books to be read purely for pleasure.

As an older community our readers seem to believe this as well.

They want up-to-date books, fiction of all types, biographies, some topical non fiction and a good selection of large print.

This is what we aim to have in our collection.

We now have just over 2,500 books regularly changed with new additions. Five hundred were replaced this year. These are loaned, free of charge with no fees for late return.

We run the library with 32 volunteers on Tuesdays from 9.30am to 4pm and Friday mornings from 9.30am to 12.30pm and offer any help our readers might need.

None of this would be possible without the generous support of our friends.

Anyone who enjoys a great place for a good read"should visit us and see our excellent selection of books and meet our friendly Volunteers.

We certainly believe we have benefited from the friendship of the UAE.

Yvonne Pearson

Secretary

Little Common Community Library

Congratualtions, DLWP

CONGRATULATIONS to the De La Warr Pavilion on its 75th anniversary on August Bank Holiday Monday.

I'm sure everyone will agree it was a grand show. And the weather was beautiful.

Some of the acts were only assembled in the morning.

We enjoyed the young gymnasts, also the drummers, the choir and the orchestra.

So a wonderful day was had by all and there were enough people making up the anniversary photograph too.

Thank you. My friend and I enjoyed the time we stayed there.

S COWAN

Preston Road

Bexhill-on-Sea

Cut down paperwork

EACH year, 750m is lost to charities because of the bureaucratic paper requirements of the HM Revenue and Customs.

Currently the HMRC wants to actually see a signature on a piece of paper to say that the charity donor is a tax payer who has paid sufficient tax to warrant retrieval of that tax for the charity receiving the donation.

Charities Aid Foundation research claims that if the HMRC allowed a streamlined, on-line "Gift Aid" donation facility it would save the government 5 on each Gift Aid charity claim.

There are around 180,000 charities in England and Wales and so this would amount to a saving of millions of pounds for the government, given that each charity submits numerous Gift Aid claims per year.

Our Prime Minister, David Cameron, has asked for suggestions where cuts can be made. Well, as the Bible says: "look at the plank in your own eye".

Inefficiency and waste by government departments angers tax-payers who foot the bill. Here is one way that the government, tax payers and charities would mutually benefit.

But has this new coalition government the determination and "oomph" to take the necessary decisive action? I doubt it.

Despite the rapid electronic response via the web and e-mails we still have to endure the lethargy and bureaucracy of those who sit at their PCs and make the decisions. Or have I hit one of their nerves?

TONY SMITH

Brownbread Stud

Ashburnham

Well done, rowers

ON Saturday I witnessed some true acts of heroics at a small rowing lake in Somerset. I cannot describe the months of effort that was unveiled during each seven-min race, though the tears of pain and defeat were a small indication to those who stood consoling.

The supporters travelling hundreds of miles to cheer Bexhill's representatives remain the best in the country '“ and we all thankyou for that.

Congratulations to Jemma '“ for securing the only coastal win that day. Well done to you.

For the rest of the crews, who fought so bravely, but were denied the fairytale ending to the most successful season in the history of Coastal Rowing, you have all made our club, your families, and this town very, very proud. We should all walk taller, with our heads held high, as the club moves forward into a new and exciting rowing era.

For those who are not familiar with efforts rowers put themselves through, I find this quote sums it up nicely:

"Marathon runners talk about hitting 'the wall' at the twenty-third mile of the race. What rowers confront isn't a wall; it's a hole - an abyss of pain, which opens up in the second minute of the race. Large needles are being driven into your thigh muscles, while your forearms seem to be splitting. Then the pain becomes confused and disorganised, not like the windedness of the runner or the leg burn of the biker but an all-over, savage unpleasantness. As you pass the five-hundred-meter mark, with three-quarters of the race still to row, you realise with dread that you are not going to make it to the finish, but at the same time the idea of letting your teammates down by not rowing your hardest is unthinkable... Therefore, you are going to die. Welcome to this life."

Congratulations to all, and let's celebrate our year's success (and future club house) in true style!

Mark Mitchell

An 'old' Bexhill rower

Discarded trolleys

YOUR newspaper has printed several articles and letters giving publicity to Antony Gormley and Tomoko Takahashi but has made no mention of our young local artists responsible for the contemporary installation of discarded shopping trolleys adorning the cliff face at Galley Hill.

I fear that lack of press coverage and public support will provide the council with an excuse to someday close this exhibit and remove it to the tip.

PETER EXLEY

Hawkhurst Way

Bexhill-on-Sea

From the ashes?

I TOOK a stroll along the promenade recently, and got a distinct impression through the wire of the Next Wave exhibition, of a bomb site of twisted steel, concrete grave stones, memorial benches broken and tied crudely with blue string, empty cans of drink and debris, bricks and wooden sleepers, resting earth movers, all of which reminded of a ground- zero style cemetery site for Bexhill's past and touching sea-front tradition.

Lets hope that out of the ashes of such wholesale desecration can emerge a shining new vision that the people of Bexhill deserve.

MADDY BERNARD

Hamilton Terrace

Bexhill

Cure for depression

I HAVE just found a cure for people who are down and depressed. Don't visit your GP, instead, go along to the free exhibition at the De La Warr Pavilion '“ it is the biggest load of rubbish that has ever made me laugh in the name of art. I regret I was not there when the dustcart discharged its load in the gallery; if this is art I feel as though the ratepayers of Rother are being hoodwinked. Remember, we still pay a very large subsidy to the running of the Pavilion and if this is all they can do to enlighten and entertain us then I think the management should be changed. They no doubt spend a great deal of this subsidy on this junk when they could be paying for decent artists to display their work.

PETER MORGAN

Harewood Close

Bexhill-on-Sea

Entertainment variety

WHAT a great variety of entertainment is being offered at the White Rock Theatre, Hastings. From September through to December there is a fantastic amount to see, from comedy, classical music, ballet and blues, culminating in the pantomime, Cinderella.

What is our "iconic" De La Warr Pavilion offering? I rest my case.

J TOLLETT

Bidwell Avenue, Bexhill-on-Sea

We've witnessed many changes

I WOULD like to say how much I agree with Pat Bruce in her letter (Bexhill Observer, September 10). We moved here in 1978 in connection with work and loved it, so decided to stay. We have witnessed many changes, not all for the better. Everything Pat Bruce mentioned brought back memories of how delightful the town was. It had a character of its own and we enjoyed the local concerts, lectures, amateur dramatics and painting displays by local artists.

Now throughout this summer we have lost our promenade. We all wait to see whether the proposed shelters will really do the job. We experience very strong winds during winter and summer.

Destroying a well-loved area, especially at a time of national stringency, makes little sense to me. Money could have been used on so much else - for example, to replace the glass windbreaks in front of the De La Warr Pavilion.

Perhaps the outcome will be a project to satisfy, admire and cherish '“ otherwise the many critics will ponder on the thought, "Bring back yesterday '“ bid time return!" Isn't it time we had councillors who reflect the wishes of local people? Can we have the names of those who pushed this upon us?

DEE WILSON-PERRY

Saltdean Way

Little Common

Trees and skateboarders

FIRSTLY, regarding the recent letter concerning the reduction of trees in Bexhill. I made a suggestion to the council for grass verges to be replaced with shrubs and trees, especially in Pebsham, which would reduce the cost of grass cutting and improve all the roads which look quite bland. No response.

If everybody looked after their "plot" then cost would probably not be an issue .

Secondly, the revamp of the West Parade has certainly not considered the added attraction for skate-boarders to use the excellent new facilities, namely rounded concrete kerbing. What an invite!

I cannot understand why the kerb edges are not made to accept the rough usage encountered with a skateboarding/BMX activity.

I would enjoy watching the youngsters performing their acrobatics along the seafront but feel the damage will cause a lot of concern.

Bit late now, but get ready for an annual repair bill. Don't blame the kids - blame the lack of forethought by the designers and council.

Roy Goodall

Top Cross Road

Bexhill

More entertainment wanted

IT WAS a pleasure to see that you gave so much coverage to the De La Warr Pavilion celebrations.

It is a shame that the current management ignores the original purposes of the Pavilion, which was to provide entertainment for the people of Bexhill. The recent pre-occupation with the art gallery and seeking grants from the lottery and other sources has seen Lord De La Warr's good deed wasted.

The general manager makes no secret of his lack of interest in the theatre which comprises the largest facility in the building. He has been heard to say on a number of occasions that he will not have common entertainment, such as Ken Dodd, in the building.

Whilst on the subject of the Pavilion, why can Rother District Council not make it a requirement that its large annual grant be conditional on providing a tourist information booth?

William Ward

De La Warr Road

Bexhill

Dogs for Disabled walk

I would like to say a huge thank you to all the energetic people and dogs who took part in my Sponsored Dog Walk which took place along Bexhill seafront on Sunday June 20.

We raised a massive sum of 686 for Dogs for the Disabled which is absolutely brilliant. It was great that so many people turned up to give their support, and my particular thanks go to Pete who collected 248, and also to Arthur, Mary and Dean who provided the music and dancing along the way which gave us all the incentive to complete the 10K walk! We were lucky with the weather and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Also I held a collection in Devonshire Road on August 7 which raised a further sum of 269.76 for the charity.

The total amount collected at these two events was 955.76 which will help send me on my way to Nepal where I will be trekking in April next year for Dogs for the Disabled. My webpage is www.justgiving.com/janestrickland2

Thank you so much once again to everyone who donated; I am extremely grateful to you all.

Jane Strickland

Dunstall and Donaldson

Parkhurst Road

Thanks for generosity

THE shipmates of the Bexhill branch of the Royal Naval Association would like to thank the manager and staff of the Little Common Co-Op for allowing us to hold a charity collection outside the store on Saturday September 4.

Through the generosity of the wonderful customers we achieved the grand total of 348.83 - thank you all, every one of you.

This money will be added to our other charity collection monies and will be shared out amongst various seafaring charities when our committee meets at the beginning of October.

If you were a member of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, WRNS, QARNNS, Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Merchant Navy or have an interest in seafaring matters, please come and join us at our monthly meetings.

These are held at Egerton Park Bowls Club on the fourth Monday of each month.

The next meeting will be held on Monday September 27 at 7.30pm for an 8pm start.

FRED CLAYTON

Hon secretary

Bexhill Royal Naval Association