The importance to Seaford of its view of the Seven Sisters and the Coastguard Cottages was emphasised by all three invited speakers at a Celebrating Seaford special event on Friday 15th September.
Town clerk James Corrigan, Coastguard Cottages long-term resident Carolyn Mccourt, and Firle, Beddingham and Glynde vicar Peter Owen-Jones were all agreed on the principle of guardianship to safeguard the iconic view which earns many thousands of pounds of revenue for Seaford through being used as location for TV series like Luther and Foyle’s War, films like Atonement – screened that evening – fashion shoots and documentaries.
Panel chair Hilary Miflin pointed out that the scene is the most popular screen saver in the world, attracting a huge number of tourists.
Mr Corrigan, who is so passionate about the town and its countryside that he travels 340 miles each way to work there during the week, spoke of Cuckmere Haven spearheading what he called Brand Seaford. “At the moment visitors tend to get off the bus on the wrong side of the river and don’t see the view,” he said.
Left to right: Peter Owen-Jones, Carolyn Mccourt, James Corrigan and Hilary Miflin
Photograph by Ben Miflin
Mr Owen-Jones, an author whose walk along the South Downs Way from Eastbourne to Winchester was shown on BBC 4 in February, spoke of his huge love for the area, and Ms Mccourt, who has lived at her home perched on the edge of the cliff for nearly 30 years and acts as location manager, spoke about Cuckmere Haven SOS, the charity which is seeking to raise money to stop the Cottages and the historic Cable Hut from slipping into the sea. They are protected from the south by a concrete wall but not from the east where residents and volunteers had to shore up the land after vicious storms in 2015 threatened the houses and the beach beneath.
Atonement is set during World War II and before watching the film, the audience at the Barn Theatre was transported to the 1940s by the Pop Up Singers.
Cover photograph by Craig Dickinson.