Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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172                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XIII.
was such a nice man ; so civil and pleasant; he has promised to look out for us on our return journey and he will convey us back to Shoreditch for the same charge of 7s. Qd. I am to wave a pocket handkerchief out of the window when I arrive at London Bridge Station ! ! " I need not quote to a 20th Century reader the London cab fare for " under 2 miles " plus a few pence for luggage and pourboire.
Mr. Pitman was very particular that his school staff should be good disciplinarians, and should stick to their work. Accordingly, he would never allow his Head Teacher, Mr. Joseph Welch, to become a member of the Town Council; and it was not until a new Vicar came on the scene that the said Teacher obtained municipal honours, and eventually acquired an Alderman's gown and great fame as an orator.
During many years, one of the " events" of the summer was the Annual School Feast on the Links for all the children of the National Schools. Mr. Pitman and his family managed them, and right well he did it. I find that my earliest attendance was in 1852, and that between then and 1888, I was present at 15 of such treats. They were held in the last week in July or the first fortnight in August. They were discontinued soon after the last named date as the numbers of children had grown so great as to render one general Treat for all the schools of the town too big an undertaking. The finale was always a scramble for Dutch cheeses down the steep part of the Links.
Mr. Pitman died in 1890. His long Vicariate of nearly 62 years is commemorated by the " Pitman Institute " in Church Street, erected at a cost of 1347. Extras and furnishing brought up the total cost to about 1600. It was opened on October 21, 1892.
The idea has been mooted that the Old Parsonage House on the N. side of the Churchyard should be acquired and fitted up for such Church purposes and parochial business as cannot conveniently be dealt with at the Pitman Institute. I hope some day to see this ■excellent idea carried out.
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