136 Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XL
East-Bourne Branch, a little N. of the Bedford Well waterworks, it was to have passed to the W. of Rodmill Farm and so across to the Downs, penetrating the hill by a long tunnel, the W. mouth of which would have been near East Dean. Thence after a shorter tunnel the line would have been in the open along the valley in which the village of West Dean lies, and so crossing the Cuckmere near Exceat and passing by Chington Farm, S. of Sutton, it would have joined the existing Seaford Branch a little to the W. of the Seaford Station. Unfortunately for East-Bourne and Mr. Gilbert a change took place in the General Manager's Department of the Brighton Railway, and the new Manager Mr. (afterwards Sir Allen) Sarle, who had no large ideas on any subject, was hostile to the scheme, and persuaded his directors to withdraw from their obligations with respect to it; and so it came about that the Act was repealed.
In 1899 a proposal was brought forward for a light Railway from Robertsbridge to Pevensey, and I wras asked to give evidence in support of it which I promised to do, at the Inquiry before the Commissioners held at Pevensey on July 13, 1899. The project, however, fell through, but I do not remember exactly why it failed. At any rate it was a pity, because such a line would have opened up a large tract of rich agricultural land, and have given the farmers an outlet for their produce, and so have improved the prospects of agriculture in that part of Sussex.
Imitating, as one might say, the policy of the Duke of Devonshire in East-Bourne, Earl De La Warr, who has done a great deal for the developement of Bexhill, thought iu 1899 that the time had come to provide Bexhill with better accommodation than it had from the Brighton Company by reason of the fact that the route from London to Bexhill via Lewes was a great way round. Accordingly he inspired a proposal for a line from Rotherfield to Bexhill direct, with connections at the N. end with the Brighton Company's lines at Groombridge and with the South Eastern Company's lines at or near Frant. It is evident that such a scheme