Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

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

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Chap. IV.] A Tour round the Sea Houses.                   49
early in the 19th Century for the specific purpose which its name suggests, and that it is the building which is sometimes mentioned in old books under the name of the " Assembly Rooms," but of this I am not at all certain. This house, now called Tjivingstone House and numbered as * 14 Seaside,' still remains, externally unaltered.
The Government property at the Seaside comprised the Government House or Officers' Quarters, a brick-built office near it, and a smaller house inside what was known as the " Ordnance Yard." During, or perhaps after, the Crimean War, a Military Hospital was built in the yard away from the high road. Then, immediately to the E. of this, there was a large open space used as a drill ground and for gun drill. Though there were no buildings between this ground and the seashore, and therefore there might have been gun practice from the guns in the ground at a floating target. I cannot remember whether there ever was any such gun practice with shot. There was with blank charges, because being down there one day in 1855, I was allowed by the Militia officer in command, to pull the lanyard for firing a charge.
The Officers' Quarters were once occupied, long before my time however, by a Colonel Gordon and his family, all of whom were known to my people. Two of the daughters were twins, and not only when they were born, but until they became grown-up girls, it was necessary that one should have a red and the other a blue ribbon round her arm, because they were so exactly alike as only to be distinguishable by their ribbons. I am sorry not to possess what I once remember seeing, a privately-printed account of this remarkable family. The two daughters grew up and one of them, married, came to East-Bourne in 1867, on a visit, when I made her acquaintance.
The King's Arms Inn (and the block of houses of which it formed one) has disappeared, and the substituted block of houses bears the absurd name of " Jubilee Terrace."
The Great Redoubt was one of the fortifications put up by Pitt in 1806, in anticipation of a French Invasion.
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