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THIS WEEK WESTHAM COMMUNITY NEWS: Our beloved village pond


COMMUNITY Langney Community Library: Grand Opening


BUSINESS Media Release: Art Gallery for the Bay

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credit: Sussex Agricultural Express: 17 November 1899

The re-birth of the Bay Hotel: With the visitor jewel in our crown about to be restored, what will be the consequence for Pevensey Bay?

On Thursday 15 August 1899, Mrs Youell turned to the Morning Post in London to advertise her property in Pevensey Bay, a “nice little house, seven rooms, close to the sea, to let from the 19th August, furnished, including linen and plate and bathing tent”. The rent was 2 and a half guineas.

There was a late Victorian boom beginning to happen in Pevensey Bay in that year. Also, Mrs Youell advertised in the Morning Post “a larger house, grand sea and country’.

The railway had arrived fifty years before Mrs Youell had posted her advertisement.

Westham and Pevensey railway station opened on 27 June 1846 as part of the opening of the line between Lewes and St.Leonards (Bulverhythe). The railways transformed the seaside, working people could come for a day out. Millions each year took the opportunity to have a day out, ‘by the seaside’.

On the day he West Pier opened in Brighton, in 1866, contemporary accounts suggest that as many as 50,000 people took the opportunity to be there.

In Pevensey Bay, they also began to come and stay. This tradition has continued for over two hundred years. Before the railways was the horse and cart.

A fifth generation taxi driver told us that the first recorded such trips to Pevensey Bay from Eastbourne held as an account in his family, was in 1818.

Three months after Mrs Youell posted her advertisement, on Friday 17 November 1899 in a local Sussex based newspaper, an announcement was made that transformed the fortunes of Pevensey Bay.

The Sussex Agricultural Express recorded that Mr. James, from Battle, applied for the final order confirming that the new Bay Hotel In Pevensey Bay, “which had been erected for Mr. B. B. Holmes”, had been “completed and the application was granted”.

Both Mrs Youell with her advertisement in the Morning Post in August in 1899 and Mr B.B Holmes with his erection of the Bay Hotel in November 1899, knew what they were doing. The late Victorian boom with holidays by the seaside was bringing to Pevensey Bay a new era.

Over the next three months the Pevensey Bay Journal is to tell the story of the Bay Hotel, from the story of the ground on which the site now stands, to the present day and the restoration project.

Utilising contemporaneous accounts from local newspapers held at the British Museum and other newspaper worldwide archives, we piece together, in episodic form, the story of the Bay Hotel, as told in the local press.

We begin with the day the building was signed off and completed on Friday 17 November 1899 and the story will take us to Monday 28 January 2019, when the new owners begin the project to faithfully restore the building to a former glory.

Our account is to be published in the Pevensey Bay Journal, editions 26-28 as a series of special four page insert newspapers inside the Journal.

Will the restoration and development project that begins tomorrow do more than restore the fortunes of the Bay Hotel?

With the visitor jewel in our crown restored, what will be the consequence for Pevensey Bay?

Are we about to see the birth of a new era in the fortunes of Pevensey Bay as a unique visitor destination?

So much has changed since Mrs Youell advertised her nice little house with seven rooms in Pevensey Bay in the pages of the Morning Post in August 1899.

So much has also changed since Mr. James, from Battle, applied for the final order confirming that the new Bay Hotel In Pevensey Bay, which had been erected for Mr. B. B. Holmes, had been completed.

We now live in the Digital Age, but technology has always driven change. The birth of the seaside in this country came with the arrival of the railways.

Localism, the interest in history, (oarticularly social history) nostalgia and the search for unique places as holiday destinations has grown to be part of the heritage industry.

Karen Hudson, manager of the Bay Hotel, commented (27 January), “I am really excited to learn all the history of this beautiful building and even more excited to continue my own journey with this grand old dame and her new owner”.

Who is to say that a digital search online, alighting on the re-birth of the Bay Hotel in Pevensey Bay, restored to the former glory of 1899, is not going to attract new interest for short-stay breaks in this hidden jewel in the crown of Sussex?

In Words and Deeds: The re-birth of the Bay Hotel, begins in the pages of edition 26 of the Pevensey Bay Journal.


In Words and Deeds: The re-birth of the Bay Hotel
© The Pevensey Bay Journal 2019, all rights reserved
We would like to thank the new owner of the Bay Hotel, the project management team on site and Karen Hudson, manager of the Bay Hotel, for the help and support being provided, as we piece together this story.