The television came to Eastbourne today, and I was interviewed. Yep, little me. They wanted to know about the town’s history, and of course there was no-one else to ask.

Eastbourne Council wanted a local interesting person to be interviewed, as well as the chairman of the Hospitality Association, and a prominent hotelier. The others said their pieces outside their own locations, I was on the dotto train.

We have a great free air show every August, lasting four days. It has been running for well over twenty years, initially lasting two days but it just grew and grew. At the beginning it was organised by local businessmen and hoteliers in conjunction with the local council, but the demands outgrew the enthusiasm so the council now arranged the whole thing.KODAK Digital Still Camera

The BBC have a local station and every day at 6.30pm have a half hour of ‘South East Today’. August Friday’s have a different seaside location, and August 14th is Eastbourne’s turn, coinciding with Airbourne.

The BBC wanted to pre-record a three minute segment, as the crowds are so great on the day that it is difficult to move about much from the static location and interview who they want to.KODAK Digital Still Camera

We have two seafront dotto trains, each with three carriages behind the engine. They toot toot along the promenade and road where appropriate, at a very reasonable £2 per journey or £5 unlimited all day ticket. As BBC filming, we had our own private reserved carriage.

Programme presenter Paddy O’Connell wanted to know about the typical Eastbourne visitor, what attractions they would enjoy, and why stay in Britain for a summer vacation instead of travelling further.

He and I sat in the reserved carriage with cameraman Graham, as he held the muffled microphone below out of sight.

The train bounced away along the promenade, with Graham attempting to concentrate on filming, retaining his balance, and recording a great segment with me as the star.

The dotto train route takes the passengers along the flat four mile promenade past the Carpet Gardens close to the pier – Gardens looking good this year – and the slow pace means you can look at the Victorian terraces, mainly hotels but some expensive apartments. The only five star hotel on the south coast is Eastbourne’s Grand, plenty of four star establishments, and the subtle colours of the buildings. Nothing garish, not allowed under ancient covenants administered by the Dukes of Devonshire over the years.

Presenter Paddy lives in London, and was unable to leave his dog at home for the day, so brought the lovely little short haired pooch to the seaside for the day. Sorry, no idea of the dog’s breed or name. Shame on me.

Now for photos. I had my camera on the wrong setting, so it was recording video instead, and I have no idea how to obtain a still photo from it!KODAK Digital Still Camera


Harry Pope is Eastbourne’s only sight-seeing guide. More on www.harrythewalker.com and www.harrythewriter.com




About Harry Pope

Very few writers earn more than £10,000 annually. Harry is one of the poorer ones. He is no longer middle-aged, as he knows no-one who is getting on for 140. Literary success has come with an attempt at maturity – failed both – but marital stability with Pam has more than compensated. He is an accomplished speaker, talking on a variety of topics, including how not to run a hotel, buried secrets, and what’s it worth. See Harry The Talker. He has five published books, see Harry The Writer. He is Eastbourne’s only licensed sight-seeing guide see Harry The Walker. He has a daily blog see Harry The Blogger. The only site not purchased is www.harrytheeverything.com but that might come, who knows. He was a London funeral director for many years, then started Cheam Limousines in 1990, selling some thirteen years later. Arriving in Eastbourne in the Summer of 2003, Harry and Pam first bought a small guest house, then a large hotel, which proved to be disastrous because of their business partnership with a moron from California. He now walks, and talks, sometimes both at the same time.