Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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220                Old Memories of East-Bourne. [Chap. XVII.
transaction of public business had again to be discussed, by way of stimulating the Local Board. At a further meeting on March 28, 1879, the matter was again considered, and the discussion adjourned for 3 months because the Local Board was including the purchase of a site for a Town Hall in its Bill for building a sea wall. The Board obtained its Bill and therewith powers to borrow money for buying a site and building a Hall. A new element of discord soon arose as to who should be the Architect, and what sort of a building was it that he was to design ?
On July 7,1879, the Local Board resolved to borrow £5000 on account of the proposed Town Hall. Then on November 3 it was decided to accept the Duke of Devonshire's offer to sell the Stocks Bank site for £3000, and the general plan suggested was approved, though final protests were made that the site was out of the way and too far to the W. On April 5,1880, after 23 designs had been submitted in competition, a premium of £75 was awarded to Mr. W. T. Foulkes, of Birmingham, and •of £50 to Messrs. Barry, of Liverpool. These decisions were not, however, signs of progress, but quite the reverse. Opposition was offered to the adoption of any •designs so costly, and the Board's Surveyor (Mr. E. W. O. F. Schmidt) was instructed to prepare a "cheap" plan. This he did. His plan was supposed to work out to £13,305, a figure which reconciled the " Do-nothing " party to doing something — at last, and the Local Government Board authorised the borrowing of the necessary money, making up the total for Town Hall purposes to about £16,000. But this wras not the end. Mr. Schmidt's plans were very generally condemned. I having lost my seat at the election of 1880, the •Committee was re-constituted under a new Chairman.
On March 5, 1883, the following significant Minute appears in the Local Board Minute Book :—" Resolved : that with a view to allaying the uneasiness which prevails, all plans for a Town Hall be referred to a London architect of eminence."
Mr. Henry Currey was selected as the expert adviser,
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