Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Eastbourne (Part 1)

It has been a while since my last posting, but here we are again. A sunny day in February, the kind of day when it is too warm to wear a coat but too chilly not to, was just the right time to pay a visit to the seaside town of Eastbourne and to visit the Towner Art Gallery for the first time.

We normally start off at the railway station, so we will again.


The station is on the end of the line from London, and therefore not surprisingly can be found in Terminus Road. The current station building dates from 1886, and was designed by the appropriately named F.D. Brick. Grade II listed, it features this fine clock tower.




The overall fine appearance is only marred by damage to one of the clock faces.


The rest of this posting traces no thematic journey, it merely follows the route I took. So if you fancy a walk of 20,000 steps, let's now move north of the town centre to Eldon Road, location for the Cavendish School.




Unfortunately I don't know much about this building, other than it was opened as the Girls' High School in 1939.




So, it is back towards the main town centre, to visit the Town Hall building of 1886.




The clock, by Gillett & Johnston, was installed in 1892.








A bit later on, after a long slog up a hill, you get this alternative perspective on the Town Hall, with a windmill lurking in the background.



But before you go up the hill, don't forget to pass by All Saints church on the junction of Grange Road and Carlisle Road. The Borough of Eastbourne has 40 churches, but I will only be covering four in the town (partially because the others I saw were devoid of clocks, and partially because I didn't have the time or energy to visit any other local settlements).





All Saints was completed in 1880.


And again the view from up the hill.




The reason for going up the hill was to visit St John the Evangelist. Although I do love the tree with its bare branches set against the blue sky.


This church dates from 1869, but was substantially destroyed by bombing in May 1942. As the plaque below notes, the tower was the only part of the building to survive.















The next clock illustrates the need to keep your head up and eyes peeled. Retracing my steps from the church, I glimpsed this clock tower which I had totally missed earlier. It is actually on a private house on Fairfield Road, immediately opposite St John's.





The purpose of my trip was to visit the Towner Gallery and its excellent current exhibition "A Certain Kind of Light" (on until 7 May 2017 see www.townereastbourne.org.uk). So please indulge me while I show two pictures of the exhibition and one of the building itself.





The Towner Gallery is next door to the Devonshire Park Lawn Tennis Club, which opened its first court in 1879. It now hosts a major ATP tournament in the run-up to Wimbledon.





On to Eastbourne College, a co-educational independent school established in 1867. The main building, with its central tower, is just crying out for a clock, but I had to go round the side into Blackwater Road to find this example.








The school has an interesting list of old pupils, which includes Aleister Crowley (the sad, bad and dangerous to know occultist) and Eddie Izzard (the transvestitite, multi-lingual comedian, actor etc), and (perhaps only of particular interest to British people of a certain age) Michael Fish and Bob Holness (who famously didn't play the sax on Baker Street, probably because he was too busy having a Pee).

Let's get back to clocks. This is Ragers & Roberts estate agents on Cornfield Road.




Time now to wait for Part II.