The Duke of Devonshire's well-designed and enterprising improvements at this town, with its natural advantages of situation, close to Beachy Head, the bold eminence that terminates the south Downs, and with the abundance of fine trees affording grateful shade of foliage in summer, have made it the handsomest, the most agreeable and attractive, of Sussex seaside resorts, as well as the most salubrious. Its population has increased, within twenty years, from about 5000 to 25,000, and it is frequented by the best class of visitors, who find every provision made for their comfort and entertainment. Our Illustrations represent the scenes at Eastbourne on Wednesday last week, when her Royal Highness Princess Helena (Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein) went there to lay the foundation-stone of the Princess Alice Memorial Hospital. The late Princess Alice resided at Eastbourne with her family several weeks in the autunm before her death, and on her decease it was resolved at a town meeting to give expression to the respect in which she was held by erecting what should be called the Princess Alice Memorial Hospital. An acre of ground, within a short distance of and to the west of the rail-way station, was given as a site by Mr. C. Davies Gilbert, and, subscriptions to the amount of £3300 having been obtained, a contract to erect the building for £4547 was entered into. The hospital is to be in the cottage style of architecture, with a centre administrative block. Princess Christian, accompanied by Lady Susan Melville, Mrs. G. G. Cordon, and Major the Hon. Charles Eliot, arrived at Eastbourne in the afternoon. She was received on the platform by Dr. G. A. Jeffery, Chairman of the Local Board, and representatives of other public bodies: and having been presented with an address of welcome, drove through the streets, which were gaily decorated and lined with people, to the site of the hospital, where she was received by the Bishop of Chichester and the Executive Committee. Guards of honour were furnished by the local Volunteers and a company of the Royal Fusiliers stationed at Eastbourne, and the Brighton detachment of the Middlesex Yeomanry Corps, under Major Tritton, acted as all escort. Some of the street decorations and triumphal arches, erected under the direction of Mr. Schmidt, Surveyor to the Local Board, are shown in our Illustrations, as well as the scenes in Terminus-road, Upton-road, Cornfield-road, and Devonshire-place, when the Princess drove through, with the trophies of the Fire Brigade, the Life-Boat, and other institutions. We also give a view of the intended Hospital building in Hartfield-road, of which Mr. T. C. Cutler is the architect. The Rev. H.R. Whelpton, as Chairman of the Hospital Committee, read an address to her Royal Highness, inviting her to perform the ceremony of laying the foundation-stone, which was done with much solemnity. Purses of money were then presented by twenty-five ladies who had made collections in aid of the hospital Fund. Before leaving Eastbourne for London, the Princess that evening visited the All Saints' Convalescent Home, and also called at Hurlingham House, where she planted a tree in the garden, in memory of the late Mr. Bourdillon, who was known to the Royal family.
Source: The Illustrated London News, No.2254—Vol. LXXXI, Saturday, July 15, 1882, p.66