Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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30                   Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. III.
the name of Bourne Cottage. Here there lived a lady by name West, who afterwards married a Major Wilford, R.A. Miss West was a very hospitable woman and used to give what in those days were regarded as great parties at Christmas in spite of the smallness of her house. I remember going to one of them on January 20, 1859, but this was after her marriage. Her personal appearance was peculiar, her mouth being rather at the side of her face than in front, and twisted up in the corner. Major Wilford spent the whole of his time in walking. No matter the hour of the day or night, or the weather, or summer or winter, you would be certain to meet him somewhere in the place walking at the rate of about five miles an hour. He had one favourite way of stigmatising a man who if he had any religious tendencies, was objectionable to the Major. Such an one was " only a psalm-singing yea-nay fellow." Next beyond these houses we came to a sawyer's yard and a Wesleyan Chapel bearing the date of 1810. This was sold to the Baptists sometime in the " Sixties " and was converted into an ironmonger's warehouse about 1880, or earlier. Subsequently it was wholly trans­formed. Its history supplies a characteristic illustration of the way in which Dissenting places of worship become secularised, the congregations migrating. The last house on this side of the road was once the "Mechanics' Institution," alias the "Literary Institution." Immediately opposite Grove Road, in the prolongation which now constitutes Grange Road, there was a field used from time to time for circuses and shows of various kinds as also was a field behind the Squirrel. I remember one such show which included in its attractions some performing fleas which drew miniature carriages made, I rather think, of very fine brass wire.
The licensed house at the corner of South Street, now called the New Hotel, used to be called the New Inn, and was the arrival place and starting place of the London coach in coaching days. Hard by there used to be a brewery which, when I knew it, bore on its front gate the highly respectable inscription " Established
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