Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. XIV.]            School Deficiencies.                          193
St. Saviour's parish took its share in meeting the demand for more school places. By means of a bazaar about £450 was raised. As I was not directly engaged in that I have no right to deal with it here, bat one of the " side-shows " at the bazaar deserves record. There was what was called a "Museum and Fine Art Exhibition," the admission fee to which was sixpence. This display, having regard to the ecclesiastical odour about the whole concern, must be characterised asa " pious fraud." For instance an " Illustrated edition of the Spectator " turned out to be a spotted potato ; " A working model," a toy windmill pulled with a string ; " A coat of mail," a man's ordinary coat; " An instrument of torture of the nine­teenth century," a pair of stays. " A stirring subject " was not a picture, but a spoon; in the same way, " All alone " was a brad-awl; " Done brown," a piece of toast; " The light of other days," a flint and steel; " The Lynx at rest," a pair of sleeve links; " Portrait of a perfect beauty," a mirror, wherein the spectator beheld himself; "View of the Black Sea," the letter C written in black ink ; " Departed spirits," an empty gin bottle ; "A home circle," a wedding ring, and so on.
This special effort met the necessities of the case for several years, but in 1893 the growth of the town had brought about another great deficiency of accom­modation which required a very special effort to meet it. Determined to keep out a School Board, Churchmen put their shoulders to the wheel and raised the large sum of £11,000, and so did keep out a School Board. The spirit which actuated the Dissenters at this time is sufficiently shown by their having put great pressure on the Education Department to decree the formation of a School Board, and by their having in a very spiteful spirit brought about the closing of the Wesleyan School in order to create a new deficiency which they hoped and expected Churchmen would be unable to face, but in this our Dissenting brethren were " sold."
The financial part of the movement was brought to an end by a fancy bazaar on a colossal scale held at the Devonshire Park in the month of June 1895. The o
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