An important anniversary for our town’s history

It was surprising but nice to hear from Jackie B personally via the letters page of the Observer and it’s certainly a first for me!

If you weren’t actually complaining about Wetherspoons per se Jackie that’s great but I’m afraid it didn’t come across like that on April 29 – especially as they own the property!

Just to make sure I was being reasonable I’ve checked again down Western Road a couple of times recently. The premises may not be a picture of elegance but they are very professionally secured.

The suggestion was always that work would start in May, as I said but large projects often encounter a delay. I agree that more information might help though.

Recently I’ve been visiting the Kino-Teatr Cinema/Theatre in St Leonards.

That was once a Curzon Picture House like the Bexhill one and has had several re-incarnations. The latest is quite impressive but I’m sure there would have been some delay/disruption up the narrow Norman Road during it’s development.

If you recall, I was originally trying to get Wetherspoons interested in a John Logie Baird ‘twinning’ with their nearby pub of that name but their ‘consultation’ process didn’t seem to be any better than the council’s.

Signs on the way in to Hastings suggest it’s the home of television. However, JLB’s most important work was not carried out in 1922 but during the Second World War and afterwards while he lived and died here in Bexhill. It’s a mysterious, fascinating and significant story that Bexhill really should capitalise on.

Apart from the EU Referendum, the most significant date in June is the 14th which is the 70th anniversary of his death at Baird Court in 1946.

This was just before he was due to unveil the latest version of his colour TV system in London. The building has gone but there is a Blue Plaque on the subsequent developments, near the station, named after him and his home town Helensburg.

You are certainly on much firmer ground regarding the Granville Hotel Jackie, the site of which wasn’t even screened off properly for years. I used to stay in Jameson Road and became a regular customer.

What a classic building that was – even the gents was a work of art with the ‘fish tanks’ connected by copper and brass piping complementing the truly amazing Edwardian tiling.

I’d say it’s destruction by fire was a major disaster for the whole of Bexhill. Something seems to be finally happening there but the town has already lost forever one of it’s iconic buildings. At least the Curzon is still with us!

Dave Walsh

Rotherfield Avenue


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