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On Eastbourne seafront there is a hotel called The View. Until the 1960s it was a bomb site, because previously it had been the Park Gates Hotel. This is on land owned by the estate of the Duke of Devonshire.

When it was re-built, the hotel was a convalescent one for members of the Transport and General Workers Union, every room had a sea view, and when opened in 1966 by TUC General Secretary Jack Jones had cost £3m.

But I heard more of a background story.

A senior Labour politician told me that the TGWU had approached the 11th Duke of Devonshire at his Chatsworth estate, and asked if he had any land or property in Eastbourne, on the seafront, that would be suitable as a convalescent hotel for their members.

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In the post-WW2 period the unions were desperate to maintain their influence on working lives, and this involved the welfare of their members.DSCF0465 (Small)

This facility was not to be free, but the high quality of the establishment was to be renowned. The TGWU at the time had a very large membership, and vast funds, so a project such as a new seafront hotel was well within their financial abilities. However, the Duke, being a canny businessman, asked if there might be a trade off, with land elsewhere in the country to be exchanged.

The Dockers Union was part of the TGWU, and they owned vast areas of Docklands that was derelict after WW2 bombing devastation. The land had been mostly cleared, and was awaiting decision as to future development.

It was not a particularly wealthy area of London, so the Duke agreed to take Docklands land in exchange for the Eastbourne seafront. And that is why Devonshire Estates owns part of Docklands.DSCF0464 (Small)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What makes this all the more interesting is the fact that the majority of land between Eastbourne pier and the foot of Beachy Head cliffs descends from the Devonshire Estates ownership, and if any property owners want to change the usage, or add to the property, then permission must be sought in exchange for a fee.

Yes, they might buy the freehold, but they still have to obtain this permission. The same rule applies for any Devonshire land. Anywhere.

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About Lyn

LYN FUNNELL CV (well, sort of!) Lyn had very successful careers as an Air Hostess, Sales Rep, (she was one of only a couple of women. She beat all the men regularly, becoming the Top Rep in the UK, and 2nd in the world.) And then Catering took over. She did everything from the washing-up, to Silver Service Waitress, and Chef. A few times, she had to cook the meal, dash round the other side and Silver Serve it! In between all this, she wrote as often as she could, building up a reputation as a published short story writer, (Horror and a twist in the tale,) and a Poet. She has appeared as a Performing Poet, and a Demo Chef. Then she discovered the world of the Food & Travel Writer. And that’s what she has continued doing to this day. Her main hobbies are Cookery and entering Competitions. She has won many prizes, including holidays and a moped. She enjoys entering Competitions, submitting her original recipes. She was first in many Competitions, including the Good Housekeeping Millenium Menu, Fruits of France, Bernard Matthews Turkey Recipe, and appeared on BBC’s The One Show Spag Bol contest. She was one of three Finalists, coming 2nd, which makes her Britain’s Spag Bol Queen! Now she runs B-C-ing-U! and loves it! After several years of being messed around by Editors, and having loads of contacts, Lyn formed her own online Magazine, vowing to treat her writers fairly, and to do everything possible to further their careers, publicise their books, etc. She now has a band of excellent regular writers, and the Magazine’s going from strength to strength! Lyn’s online published books; Adverse Camber A collection of my published poems. The First Book of Short Stories The Second Book of Short Stories The Third Book of Short Stories. Many of these stories have been previously published. St Anthony of Padua. The Patron St of the Old. A story of one woman’s terrible ordeal in a Home, and her family’s rescue of her. The Girl Who Watched. A Cuban girl is attacked by an English journalist & what follows! Willy the Whizz & the Wormhole. Suitable for Young Adults, aged 15-95! Get Out Of Debt And Stay Out – Forever! Unsympathetic, hard-hitting, realistic solutions to your problems. All these books are published by Andrews UK Ltd www.andrewsuk.com No, I didn’t pay them to Vanity Publish! They’re all available from Amazon, and many other online publishers. LYN FUNNELL.