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From Food and Beer to Piracy and Plague – The Secrets of Eastbourne’s Past Revealed

5 June 2019

Discovering what was on the menu for the former residents of Eastbourne and uncovering the coveted recipe for Eastbourne Rug - the town’s infamous drink - are just some of the topics to be discussed at the next series of Culture & Cake talks at the Eastbourne Redoubt.

Tudor EastbourneOn Saturday 8 June, Heritage Manager Jo Seaman will be examining the evidence for what people in Eastbourne have been eating since the Stone Age in ‘Eating for Eastbourne’.

This lively talk will look at how archaeology, science and tradition have helped to determine what the ancestors of Eastbourne consumed. Historical secrets will be discussed including if Iron Age Eastbournians were actually fish phobic, how teeth are the key to recording eating habits and even why cess pits are so interesting!

On Saturday 13 July, Heritage Officer Katherine Buckland will be solving the mysteries of Eastbourne’s often forgotten century with tales of plague, piracy and pies in ‘A Century of Secrets’.

History lovers are invited to explore the suspicious stories of the 17th Century Wilson family and find out how locals protected themselves from the plague. The talk will take audiences on a travel through time to find out how the town armed itself to defend the small but growing population from the Spanish Armada and the marauding Civil War soldiers all while witnessing the disastrous Battle of Beachy Head.

From the journey of the unreliable Thomas Wilson to his suspected kidnapping into slavery; this talk will uncover Eastbourne’s morals through the stories of the ordinary people living in the town 400 years ago.

This year, the themes for all of the Culture & Cake talks have drawn their inspiration from the stories told at the Story of Eastbourne exhibition. This free exhibition is located at 248 Terminus Road and tells the town’s remarkable story through the eyes of the historical characters that lived and worked here.

Both Culture and Cake talks start at 2pm at take place at the Eastbourne Redoubt. Tickets cost £6 and include a drink and a slice of cake.

Tickets available at the Eastbourne Redoubt, telephone 01323 410611, or Eastbourne Tourist Information, or book online at

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