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A Journey of Discovery in East Sussex

Day One - Beeston-Nottingham to Bexhill-on-Sea - Great Expectations

Sunday 9th August Things were packed in my car, garden instructions left with my son Marcus (who was joining us Wednesday afternoon by train) and consecutive neighbours George and Harry. My first staycation foray into our beautiful British countryside on the East Sussex coast. Memories came flooding back of my visit when my sons were younger going to stay with Uncle John and enjoying the steam train journey to bewitching Bodium Castle and then an awesome afternoon at Bateman’s, Rudyard Kipling’s family home. This time, I had my prepared wish list of places to visit but knew we’d consult at breakfast time depending on what venues were COVID safely open to the public and then booking our entry tickets online. Strange yet memorable times we are encountering so planning daily routes were key.


De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea. Photo credit: Marysia Zipser

Driving down was a relatively smooth and uninterrupted traffic journey. My senses were alerted when I turned right off the M25 onto the A21 road. Village prettiness and sweeping views were attractive side glances as I headed downwards towards Bexhill. At 3.45pm I turned into the town’s De La Warr Pavilion car park and stopped. Another drink of water and a munch of sandwich and then I climbed out and stretched my body, breathed in several gulps of sea air and walked to the pavilion beachfront. I’ve always loved this place since childhood on the South coast with Mum, Dad and my two brothers. My elder brother John has made Bexhill his home after thirty odd years, after being an Art & Design student at Leicester Polytechnic (now DMU) in the early 1960s and now a Pentecostal pastor. He’s also a regular visitor to the DWLP for concerts and exhibitions, keeping me updated on all their activities, so I was really looking forward to discovering more cultural leisure spots on this visit.


For the record, I enjoyed my ‘Humanities’ years at University of Nottingham, as a mature student, and do recommend to those wishing to follow the Heritage Tourism pathway, that they pursue this course of learning. Several modules spring to mind at this point that accentuate my passions - Sense of Place, the Culture of Leisure, Medieval Castles of England & Wales and the Crusades (both with Dr Pamela Marshall), Modernist Architecture, William Morris and Arts & Crafts Movement, the Bloomsbury Group, and so many intertwining English Literature studies, all relevant to this region. Every subject studied flows nicely into a circle of knowledge that prepares one on any journey of discovery.

As I walked towards the front of the pavilion De La Warr Pavilion - Bexhill On Sea, East Sussex and admired more of this stunning sea front, my ears pricked up to hear an eloquent voice from on high. I know those dulcet ones I thought. I strolled to the entrance and then saw a What’s On poster. Ah, of course...it belonged to Eddie Izzard!

​I sat down at the patio cafe/bar, listened intently to Eddie and took a few photographs. From my photo, you can just see him in his red dress and ponytail swishing on the roof terrace relating his work-in-progress solo reading / performance of Charles Dickens’ classic epic Great Expectations.

His show, as the poster and social media say, is 'to celebrate the reopening of the DLWP, LIVE from the rooftop in COVID safe conditions. The show will go ahead come rain or shine. A tale of convicts, mystery, friendship, rivalry, unrequited love, revenge and redemption'. All profits going to the DLWP. ​ ​For those of you due here this week, please book your tickets as quick as you can, a real treat! His show continues until Sunday 23rd August so go onto https://www.dlwp.com/event/eddie-izzard-greatexpectations20/ or https://eddieizzard.com/en/shows

Well, what a welcome for me at Bexhill is all I can say! I happily drove off to John and Christine’s home a few minutes away where I enjoyed my first evening of family get-togetherness. So much to talk about with great expectations to come. Now I’ve got you hooked and booked, please enjoy my next instalment of East Sussex journey of discovery blogs over the following seven days... To close my Day One, here is a pertinent extract from ‘Great Expectations’

That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.” ― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations Marysia Zipser Find me on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn

Website ART - CULTURE - TOURISM - Home Facebook Art Culture Tourism - International - Home Facebook /marysia.zipser.7/ Twitter Art-Culture-Tourism (@MarysiaZipser) LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/marysia-zipser- Email marysia@artculturetourism.co.uk ​ Below are some example paperback covers of Great Expectations.