Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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Chap. XIX.]                  A Snow Hut.                               239
•consolidate the mass as much as possible. Make the top -of the 7-ft. wall as nearly level as possible, and lay across it some straight wooden poles—say a dozen in number, parallel to one another [we nsed Surveyors' poles]. On the top of these lay clean straw to a thickness of 3 or 4 inches. Then on the top of the straw place snow to the thickness of about 2 ft., and ram it well by -a person of light weight treading on it. If the work has been well and carefully done, the wooden rods may be pulled out, and such of the straw as seems inclined to drop may be allowed to drop and be carried away, and the hut will be complete when the holes in the wall, caused by the removal of the rods, have been filled up. A hut thus constructed at The Gore in December 1849, remained habitable, so to speak, for 3 weeks, and tea was served in it. Of course, if there is any doubt as to the snow holding together and the roof remaining sound, the wooden rods had better not be pulled out, but the tout ensemble of the structure is greatly improved by the roof showing nothing but snow with a little straw sticking to it.
Snow lay on the ground again at East-Bourne for a prolonged period in January and February 1855. This was the celebrated " Crimean Winter." At Brighton, where I was at school, I remember seeing the water frozen on the seashore.
East-Bourne Postal Arrangements in 1874.
The year 1874 saw the 26th anniversary of the running of trains from London to East-Bourne, but will it be believed that, notwithstanding this railway communication, the ordinary Night Mails to East-Bourne reached East-Bourne by train from London via Staple-hurst, in Kent, and were thence conveyed 40 miles across country by a horse and cart; and vice versa! As the conveyance was accomplished by night, the inhabitants generally knew nothing much about the matter, though visitors were a little surprised that, notwithstanding the fact that East-Bourne was only 60 miles from London,
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