Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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56                   Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. V.
A three-days Bazaar at the Devonshire Park followed the stone-laying on July 26, 27, and 28, at which most of my family assisted.
When the hospital was finished and its opening on June 30, 1883, had to be considered, it was decided that a very much more ambitious programme should be carried out. For this purpose 4 distinct bodies were called upon to co-operate. There was the Local Board as the Public Authority, the Hospital Committee, a Committee of Townspeople, and the East-Bourne Water Company. The Water Company were concerned because the inauguration of 2 large new pumping engines at the Bedford Well Works was to be one of the items in the day's proceedings.
The official programme was a very complicated one and the settlement of the time-table was somewhat a speculative business, including as it did, besides the matters already mentioned, a visit to the All Saints' Hospital at Meads, and a tea-party at Compton Place. However, the programme having been carefully thought out by the Reception Committee of which I was Chairman, it was found possible to carry it through without any material difficulty. The principal spectacle from the sight-seeing point of view was the procession of 26 carriages round the town, escorted by a detachment of Mounted Police, and the 4th Dragoon Guards brought over from Brighton for the purpose. The public luncheon to celebrate the occasion took place at the Devonshire Park at 2.30 p.m. It must have been a very fatiguing day for the Royal Visitors, and their only respite was during the hour dedicated to afternoon, tea at Compton Place. Only a few invitations were issued for that. To these was prefixed the customary formula " To meet their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales." The party assembled for tea were photographed, and in the photograph (Plate XXIII.), I recognise the following faces: The Prince and Princess of Wales, Princess Ella of Hesse in the centre, Lady Fanny Howard in a bath-chair, and then, reckoning from left to right, Mrs. F. W. H. Cavendish, Mr. F. W. H.
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