AS we have the privilege to appreciate, Bexhill-on-Sea is a wonderful town in which to live and work, blessed with a benign climate, low crime rate, an enviable individuality and folk who are generally warm and friendly.
It gives the place an air which is reassuring for residents and appealing to those who come to visit and perhaps find themselves wanting to stay on much longer.
As one visitor recently discovered while researching an article for a national newspaper, that could mean well beyond one’s 100th birthday, since Bexhill and Rother have an outstanding reputation for longevity, as confirmed by last year’s census.
Unfortunately, having such a high percentage of centenarians paves the way for a plethora of jokes along the lines of Bexhill being God’s waiting room, the last chance saloon and all the rest of it.
Many Bexhillians used to being the butt of such humour simply shrug their shoulders and get on with life, but as the Friday Feature in your new-look Observer makes clear today, the town is a lot more vibrant than the cynics might suggest.
Most recently it gained a real feather in its cap with the success of its first sea-angling festival, born out of a squabble over bye-laws that ended up bringing 10,000 visitors to the seafront.
Earlier in the year the same promenade witnessed completion of the £5.6 million Next Wave project, while the De La Warr Pavilion and local supergroup Keane can fairly lay claim between them to having now put Bexhill firmly on the map.
Our local MP is a government minister and Bexhill is a favourite with such celebrities as Graham Norton and Eddie Izzard.
In short, there’s a lot going on in this town of ours that the casual visitor may fail to see, and so it behoves us all - young or old - to champion Bexhill’s achievements whenever the chance arises.
You may be sure that it is a challenge that this newspaper, proud of its long association with Bexhill and its environs, will take up at every turn .
• READERS’ PANEL - we’re still after volunteers! Three ladies have got in touch with the Observer with their details, but we could do with three more residents, of any age and gender. So if you feel like answering a set question on life in Bexhill each week, e-mail email@example.com with your details, plus a photograph. Many thanks in advance from the editorial team.