Positive things are happening

Your correspondent reports that the Bexhill Town Forum is having some difficulty with it’s constitution, re a possible lack of democratic access [“I hope all will have their say” July 10].

This does seem to have been an almost inevitable outcome with nearly every organisation of this nature that has been set up in recent years.

It’s a shame and I hope the meeting on the 17th goes well especially as some positive things are happening.

As an example, the new owners of the former Bell Hotel in the Old Town have done a remarkably thorough job with its restoration from the cellars to the roof-much more than I would have hoped for!

Not only did they recognise the obvious potential for the building as Residential Units, they have maintained their commitment to a commercial usage on the south east corner. More recently the original doorway opening [on the diagonal and perhaps dating from the Victorian Period] has been re-instated.

These outcomes are the next best thing to having retained the hostelry in a classic English village that [until 1968] still had its a Manor House, Public House and Church.

I’m even hopefull that we might see a smaller scale “Bell Bar” in that space eventually.

The great work that has been carried out on one of Bexhill’s iconic primary buildings should guarantee its survival for a very long time to come.

Staying with the licensed trade, the purchase of the former Curzon Cinema by the Wetherspoons chain has upset a number of people but it’s development is now going ahead and I think it will benefit Bexhill greatly.

A Vintage Technology Website that I frequent has recently sought help with a 1940s TV set that is going just be installed in the newly re-furbished John Baird Public House in Muswell Hill-near the “Ally Pally” TV Mast.

Without going into too much detail this led me to point out that John Logie Baird lived in Bexhill in the forties and developed a colour TV system but this was all halted when he died here in June 1946.

It’s the 70th anniversary of his death next year and I have always felt him to be seriously underappreciated.

He’d lived and worked in Hastings during the 1920s and they now have a John Logie Baird Wetherspoons pub to celebrate him.

Hastings always seeks to make the most of it’s JLB Heritage and this is an example Bexhill could usefully follow!

Wetherspoons tell me that they do research via an in-house Historian when naming a new outlet but do welcome suggestions from the community.

I’m not sure they were aware that JLB is common to both towns but I will be suggesting that they could consider a twinning initiative with Bexhill, having an outlet named say “The Baird” or “The Baird Court”.

Even if it’s ultimately named after the Cinema, Baird piped his TV input into cinemas in the thirties so it would still be appropriate to include him in some way.

The Railway Station, now much improved, finally has some tourist information on it’s exterior but one of the things that a Town Forum could work towards would be a cast iron signpost immediately outside, as the first thing that visitors encounter.

I suggested this in 2006 and when Baird Court was redeveloped shortly afterwards.

It could have three arms, pointing to the adjacent site of JLB’s home , the Old Town area and the Seafront/DLWP location.

Dave Walsh

Rotherfield Avenue

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