2 Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. I.
may possibly have some interest for certain people, but it would be affectation on my part to hold out any idea that they could be of any public importance. Indeed my sole justification for going into print on such a theme is that I lived in East-Bourne for 29 years straight off (1873-1902), and spent there a large portion of the previous 22 years. Say for the present purpose that 22 added to 29 make 60.
I began keeping a diary on January 1, 1854, and have continued to do so with hardly the break of a day ever since. I shall therefore not draw wholly on my imagination for my facts ; and during the whole period, I have stored up newspaper cuttings and printed papers of every sort relating to East-Bourne.
Before I make a start I will answer in print a question which has been put to me scores of times by word of mouth, "Why do you spell East-Bourne in two words and with a big B ? " Answer : Because William the Conqueror's tax collectors did so when they made the Domesday Book. They called the place " Borne." Another answer might be, because the two chief owners of the soil, the heads of the families of Cavendish and Gilbert have always done so and still do so ; whilst a third reason which ought to carry weight in these £ s. d. days is that, without any question, the one-word spelling by putting into prominence the syllable "East" has done much to prejudice English people living outside Sussex against our town as being "evidently from its name" an east-wind sort of place. I have heard this urged many times by people at a distance as a reason why East-Bourne could not possibly be a desirable place of residence. Moreover the one-word spelling is apt to engender the pronunciation of Easbun which is hideous. As a last shot I will remark that in my younger days the common name of the place amongst all ranks was, in conversation, very generally "Bourne," descending, with the cottagers, to "Boorne."
I propose in these notes to adhere as far as seems convenient to the chronological order of the matters dealt with, but as I go along it will certainly be found desirable