Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

An Account of, notable events, Persons and town history - online book

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

Chap. XV.]           Early Main Drainage.                       199
This outbreak led to a panic amongst the visitors ; so much so that in their hurry to get away many consented to travel in railway trucks, railway carriage accommodation having failed. The special pressure was on the Monday after a sermon at Trinity Church on the Sunday, in which the preacher dwelt on the magnitude of the epidemic, and on the lessons to be drawn from it. A local doctor, by way of mending matters, wrote to the Times to say that residents were not suffering much— only visitors (!). Mr. R. Hanbury, M.P. for Middlesex, then occupying Frohsdorf House, lost several children. Naturally, few people cared to come near the place in 1864. ReDts of furnished lodgings fell enormously, and a new and much lower stratum of society came into the place, and was never shaken off.
As regards the drainage, this matter was taken in hand by the Local Board in 1864, who decided in the first instance to spend £6000 in a Main Drain to carry the sewage of the town out to sea in the direction of Langney Point. The Duke of Devonshire offered in the first instance a contribution of £1000, to which the Gilbert Trustees added £500, but it was soon found that the sum proposed to be spent was wholly insufficient for the purpose, owing to the expensive and troublesome work of carrying the Main Sewer across the Crumbles. When it became evident that the burden of the cost would be far beyond what the town with its then population and rateable value could bear, the Duke of Devonshire very handsomely came forward and undertook to complete the scheme whatever it might cost beyond the £10,000 set apart for sewerage purposes by the Local Board, but the Gilbert Trustees did not join in this supplementary gift. The Duke's offer proved a tremendous burden to him, and I believe that the cost of the first Main Sewer, which was inaugurated in 1866, did not fall far short of £60,000. Its completion gave scope for great demonstrations of joy on the part of the inhabitants, but I was unfortunately unable to be present, being detained in London. In the Plate recording the opening ceremony the shape of the high hats in fashion then should be noted. (Plate XXXIX.)
Previous Contents Next