Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. XVII.] Proposed Town Hall.                       219>
be appointed to enquire into the question of finding a suitable site for a Town Hall and Public Offices : and to report to the Board (1) the cost of obtaining the same ; (2) the amount of accommodation which it is desirable should be provided; and (3) what financial obligations it is fitting that the Board be prepared to undertake in connection with the matter." The Chairman, Mr. R. J.. Graham, made a mild protest that " he was not strongly convinced of the absolute necessity of such a building, except so far as public office accommodation went. He certainly did not hold the views that it was the province of the parish to build a place for concerts and balls.'r On this Mr. Insoll very properly remarked :" That is not Mr. Chambers's proposal." At the end of the debate, the resolution was carried unanimously, the Chairman comforting himself by saying " The resolution does not pledge the Board to anything." Of course, I scouted Mr. J. Sheridans's suggestion that I should withdraw the motion.
In due course the Committee met and I had the-honour of being appointed its Chairman, and remained such till October 1879, when I resigned for private reasons. The Committee presented their Report on June 1, 1874, and after discussing various alternative sites, recommended the purchase for 3250 of Nos. 1 and 2 South Street as a site ; and asked for authority to advertise for plans and offer a premium of 150 for the best design. When the Report was discussed, there was a long discussion ending in an amendment being carried, moved by a jelly-fish member that the Report be withdrawn which the Eastbourne Chronicle report said was agreed to with ''laughter" !! From the next paragraph, it will be seen that our subsequent proceedings, though earnest so far as the Committee and myself were concerned, were not open to the charge of hasty and precipitate action !
After 1874, there followed the controversy as to site already mentioned, and so it came about that four years later, at a Vestry Meeting held on November 7, 1878,. the question of the necessity for a better room for the
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