Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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22                   Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. II.
independently, and no girl'is to be admitted who is deficient in conscientiousness and firmness; and upon this point the reports of the phrenologists are to be conclusive evidence.
My wife and I once dined with this remarkable woman at her invitation, though we were but slightly acquainted with her. She afterwards went to live in Surrey, near Leith Hill.
As regards De Walden House (or rather, now,, houses) a story may be told. It was built by the Lady Howard De Walden whose gigantic fortune was the talk of London in the " Eighties." The East-Bourne Water Company charged her with a Water-rent of 30 a year which she deemed excessive. Failing to get redress on appeal she decided to sink a well for herself and did so, saving the 30 a year charged by the Company ; but as the well cost 1000, to say nothing of the annual cost of her pumping, it is a little difficult to see how Her Ladyship saved money by the enterprise she had shown ! However, she professed herself highly satisfied, on an occasion when I had tea with her, March 15, 1898, just after the new works had been finished.
I shall have something more to say about Meads when I come to deal with St. John's Church in my Chapter on Ecclesiastical affairs (Chapter XIII., post.)
As to Beachy Head I may say that there has been a tremendous falling off in the numbers and, I believe, in the variety of the birds frequenting it compared with the state of things which prevailed, say, in 1850.
One day during the severe winter of 1855 two young men named respectively Bethel and Cobb went out to shoot wild duck on the Cuckmere near Exceat. They thought to return to East-Bourne along the beach and under Beachy Head, but were overtaken by the tide and tried to escape by climbing the cliff. Bethel was frozen to death; Cobb was rescued, but not till the next morning when he was found by a dog belonging to a coastguard. I knew J. W. Cobb ; he afterwards took Orders and became Vicar of Kidmore End, Oxfordshir e
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