Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Whither Bohemia? Residents ponder local problems

Local residents spoke out about local issues at September’s BAA (Bohemia Area Association) committee meeting last week*.
‘Bohemia in Bloom’, the annual event in which a prize, kindly donated by Vivienne Bond, in memory of her husband Chris, is awarded for Bohemia’s best garden, has been cancelled, said Peter Holland. The reason? The drought and hose-pipe ban.
 Peter Holland said that “a machine has replaced a man”. The street sweeper who used to clean Bohemia Road and other streets has been replaced by a man with a mechanical sweeper. “It used to be – almost – spotless when the street sweeper cleaned,” said Peter. There are now, apparently, just three machines for the whole borough of Hastings. “Although a lorry goes along Bohemia Road every day, including Sunday, the side roads are absolutely filthy,” commented Eileen Fermor. It was agreed that Vivienne Bond and Daniel Poulter would be contacted to register the committee’s concerns.
A lady called Sharma has been asked to come up with some ideas for a new logo. The current one of a group of people talking was thought to need renewing.
It was agreed that naming of Bohemia’s passageways, walk-ways and cut-throughs was a ‘good thing’. It would make it easier to refer to them. It was suggested that maybe consulting old maps to find out if the twittens had names in the past. Michael Ward said the BAA could make recommendations to the Council that the twittens be adopted. The Council would then be responsible for looking after them, including cleaning and lighting. It was agreed that our local councillors, Vivienne Bond and Daniel Poulter be contacted in the first instance. The BAA will invite suggestions for names through their newsletter. In the meantime, anyone with suggestions for names should please contact the BAA chairman Peter Holland at 21, Bohemia Road.  The one running between Tower Road and Lower South Road, the meeting learned is maintained by the Council.
Should this road be included in ‘Bohemia’, the meeting was asked. The problem had arisen because Cloudesley Road resident Dave Kent had paid £1 fee to become a member, and wanted to join. “I feel I live in Bohemia,” David was reported as saying, “and I use the local shops.” Peter Holland pointed out that the BAA constitution does not include Cloudesley Road. [The area covered is precisely defined in the BAA constitution as being within ‘a line drawn from 43, Horntye Road to 39, Amherst Road, thence to 54, Upper Park Road, thence to 1, Bohemia Road, thence to 1, Tower Road, thence to St Peter’s Church (including St Peter’s Road) and back to 43, Horntye Road’] Although the constitution says that ‘Anyone resident, trading or a corporate organisation in the area covered by the association is eligible for membership’ it also says that membership is available to ‘Any person involved in or interested in the activities of the Association at the invitation of the committee.’ Terry Foord said that Cloudesley Road ‘used to be in the BAA’. It was agreed that Cloudesley Road residents would be very welcome as members of the BAA.
Mike Cramp, treasurer of the BAA, reported a healthy account balance of £766. He was pleased to immediately correct this to £767 as he was passed Dave Kent’s £1 membership fee, (see above).
Andy Holmes read out some of the many, lengthy reports he had received from Caroline Hodgson of the Central St Leonards and Gensing Forum.
Where is Bohemia going? Where do we, the residents want it to go? Peter Holland reminded the meeting of the strange state of affairs in retail Bohemia: ‘Fifteen places to buy alcohol, eight places where newspapers can be obtained, but only two bakers and no butchers.’  It was discouraging to see so many businesses start up, only to last six months before closing. ‘We are run by people who have no interest in Bohemia,’ Peter said. ‘We have had every type of person from every department of Hastings Council to look at the problem, but nothing has happened. Perhaps the answer is to look again at the gyratory traffic system, which has been much discussed.’ The provision of some parking places certainly seemed to be the key to the retail problem. One member asked if the provision of short-term (15 minutes) parking bays in the side roads off Bohemia Road would be feasible. Trevor Webb pointed out that in order to achieve this, it would be necessary to accept a parking plan for the whole of Bohemia, which would be undesirable. It was agreed that Richard Homewood, (executive director of environment and safety at Hastings Borough Council) should be re-invited to respond to the BAA’s previous suggestions put to him concerning a one-way system.
Terry Foord reported that a “large, heavy, two-door, Coca-Cola fridge” had been dumped in the path connecting Upper Park Road and Upper South Road (once known as Shornden Passage), and that he had contacted the litter and fly-tipping department at Hastings Council (0800 085 4500). ‘By the afternoon of the same day, the fridge had been cleared,’ said Terry. ‘An ice-cream fridge was also dumped in the passage, and that too has been cleared,’ he added.
The Bohemia Bygones exhibition had originally been planned to take place on the Friday and Saturday the 15/16 of September. reported Terry Foord, but, as so few photographs had been received by him, the event would have to be delayed. News that local historian Ken Brooks had agreed to present his unrivalled collection of photographs of Bohemia at the show was warmly welcomed.
The Bohemia Area News editor Andy Holmes reported that the next edition had been written and was only waiting for final scrutiny by the editorial committee before being printed and distributed. ‘It will be delivered to about 700 homes in Bohemia within the next week or so,’ he said. 
The next meeting of the BAA committee will be held at the YMCA on Thursday October the 5th at 6:30pm.

* Members attending were: Peter Holland, chairman, Jeanette Holland, secretary, Andy Holmes, Steve Mann, John L Humphries, Mike Cramp, Terry Foord, Rev. Michael Ward, Rosemary Iddenden, Eileen Fermor, Charles Levett, Keith Wood and Trevor Webb.
“ Bohemia Area Association, 21, Bohemia Road, St Leonards, TN37 6RA. Tel. 01424 445086.

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