132 Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XI.
sections—the first, from Hailsham to Heathfield, in 1880. After the line as a whole was opened it was a long time before the earthwork settled down into a safe condition, owing, especially, to constant slips on a high embankment near Mayfield. Indeed during one winter the line was closed against all traffic for a whole month, and even now speed limitations are insisted on by the Board of Trade.
The foregoing paragraphs by no means exhaust the railway history of the last 40 years in its bearings on East Sussex and East-Bourne, and some mention, however concise, must be made of some other projects, hardly any of which were ever carried out.
By very far the most important of these abortive projects was the scheme launched in 1868, for a general amalgamation of the Brighton, South Eastern, and Chatham Companies into one united concern to be called the " Great Southern Railway." The Companies having* been cutting one anothers' throats for many years,, suddenly became a " happy family." Their joint Bill passed the Commons, and would have became law had not Lord Redesdale in the Lords, insisted that the South Eastern scale of fares, which was very high, should not rule the fares of the Amalgamated Company, but that the fares should be on the lower or Brighton scale. This the Companies would not agree to, and they abandoned their Bill which was never afterwards revived. How much Sussex owes to Lord Redesdale as to this-has never, I think, been realised. For instance, the rejected South Eastern scale was for 1st Class four pence per mile. I forget the other figures. I have paid myself \.&. a mile on the South Eastern Railway.
It was felt that this Bill would be so prejudicial to the interests of East-Bourne, that the Vicar and Mr. J. Sheridan were appointed at a Vestry Meeting to act with Brighton, Hastings and other towns in opposing the Bill.
I have already stated that the settled policy of the Brighton Company was to blockade all the approaches to Brighton. What this policy meant, was very frankly confessed by Mr. Laing, the Chairman of the Brighton