Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

An Account of, notable events, Persons and town history - online book

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Old East-Boubne and Meads.
M Wizlh tatft tat about \\t f&obm."—(Comedy of Errors.)
Willingdon. — A Tragic Picnic. — Ratton.— Entertainments there.— Mr. W. B. Thomas.—The Thomas Family.—Great Snow Storm.—A Pre­historic Battle.—Skeletons.— The Cemetery.—The Gore.—Motcombe Pond.— Old Postal Arrangements.—The Old and the New Vicarages.—Compton Place Road.—The Gilbert Family.—Major Willard.—Compton Place.— Lady Fanny Howard.—Mr. R. B. Stone.—Meads.—Mr. Caldecott.—Holy­well.—Tivo Picnics there.—The Countess De Noailles.—Lady Howard De Walden.—Tragedies at Beachy Head.—The Lamb Inn.—East-Bourne Fair. —Water Lane.
I HAVE found some difficulty in deciding how best to put together in a readable shape the materials
which make up this and the 2 following chapters. After due consideration I have thought it would be best to suppose that I was taking my readers for a walk all round East-Bourne, stopping here and there wherever I remembered a place or an incident worth mentioning.
I will begin with Willingdon because the road thither was my favourite walk in my younger days, and I often passed along it on foot or driving. The Vicar of Willingdon in 1850 was the Rev. H. James who lost his life at Beachy Head under peculiar circumstances which were never quite cleared up. He and his wife and two children were members of a picnic party which assembled at the Head, and in the course of the day he and a friend started, proposing to descend to the shore. After a while the friend returned alone to the picnic party wondering what had become of Mr. James, who insisted on making the attempt to descend in spite of remonstrances as to the danger involved. In the end he lost his footing, fell to the beach, and was killed on the spot. Mrs. James
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