134 Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XI.
point of date—in 1873 the Brighton Company constructed the Willingdon and Pevensey spur line ta facilitate communication between East-Bourne and Hastings. This was celebrated by a luncheon at the Cavendish Hotel, given by the Directors to certain East-Bourne and other people on August 1, 1873.
In 1877, a proposal was put forward by Mr. G. A. Wallis, nominally at the instigation of the Duke of Devonshire, for a line to be made by the South Eastern Company from Ticehurst Road station into East-Bourne. The avowed idea was to bring the City of London and East-Bourne into closer contact, and so to encourage City men of business to take up their residences at East-Bourne. Nothing came of this scheme which never even took a definite shape before the public. One serious-objection to it was that from London to East-Bourne via Ticehurst was too roundabout a route to mean any substantial saving either in time or distance for London to East-Bourne passengers.
Mr. Wallis's ambition to pose as a Railway Promoter and Engineer having been foiled in 1877, underwent a large developement in the course of the next few years, and the Session of 1883 witnessed what may be considered the last extensive and serious aggression on the Brighton Company. Just about that period Mr. Wallis was very much en evidence, becoming first Mayor of the new Municipal Borough of East-Bourne, and eager to become its first M.P., to celebrate which event (though it never came off) a magnificent champagne supper was organised but could not be eaten.
But to return to Railways. Mr. Wallis fathered a scheme for a line to run as nearly straight as possible from Beckenham into East-Bourne, 48J miles long, over which access into London was to be obtained by means of the lines of the Chatham and Dover Company between Beckenham and Victoria and Beckenham and Ludgate Hill. It was to pass through Tatsfield, Edenbridger Uckfield, and Chiddingly, cross the Brighton line to the W. of Polegate, and so into East-Bourne. The distance from Ludgate Hill to East-Bourne would have been