Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

A Brief History of Bohemia – part 6 – Tower Buildings

By Edward Preston (Aug 2008)

The Tower Buildings complex was obtained by Mr Edward Burchatt Wingfield – an entrepreneur of his time – running a furniture removal business, building properties and much more. He used the building as a furniture repository.

In 1877, he added a tower to the warehouse, with the intention of providing four clock faces to serve the locality, but they never materialised. Why? In 1883/4 he built what is now called Marina Park at West St Leonards, to provide an hotel for that part of town. However, having apparently over-reached himself, he suffered a brainstorm and committed suicide.

Rumour had it that he had thrown himself off the Bohemia Tower, but the fact is that he was at the Marina Park building where on 25th February, 1885, he cut his throat and jumped from a first floor bedroom window – the sad end of a man who had tried to help the town develop.

The tower in Bohemia was an interesting addition to the skyline, but was removed in 1974, as it was deemed unsafe. The refurbished building is today occupied by the East Sussex County Council Education department.

 

Edward Preston writes (Sep 2008)
Dear Sir, I note in your last issue the date given for the demolition of Wingfield’s Tower in Lower South Road is 1974. I enclose a photocopy of a press cutting of an article, ‘Tower is to topple’, from the Hastings & St Leonards Observer of 17th March 1973 which clearly shows the tower enveloped in scaffold and ready for demolition. I therefore think the correct year is 1973. Edward Preston, Bohemia Road. Thank you, Edward. Apologies for the discrepancy – ed.

Wingfields Tower, Lower South Road, Bohemia

Wingfields Tower, in Lower South Road (photo: Ken Brooks)

Scott James Glass at Tower Buildings, 1982 (photo Frank Letchford)

Scott James Glass at Tower Buildings, 1982 (photo Frank Letchford)

 

 

 

 

Scott James Glass, Tower Buildings, 1982 (photo: Frank Letchford)

Scott James Glass, Tower Buildings, 1982 (photo: Frank Letchford)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward Preston

Edward Preston

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