Litesteer, Burwash Common, East Sussex
We’ve heard a lot about a new Electronic Power Steering system called Litesteer, developed by Oakley Innovations and decided to have it fitted to Absinthe along with an Empi gear shifter to make gear selection easier. Having spoken to Neil Oakley we decided to drive down to East Sussex to let him do the fitting rather than using one of his affiliated fitters who would be a bit nearer to home.
It’s a long drive but I was happier having the inventor fitting than someone else and it was an opportunity to get away to an area neither of us know at all. We drove down to Burwash on Thursday with the usual rainy trip on the M6.
We stayed at the Bear Hotel in Burwash which was slightly unusual. Neil’s Hungarian wife, Gabby, had warned me on the phone that she had received some less than positive reports about the pub but actually it was ok for one night. The accommodation was a bit like a motel with separate buildings for the bedrooms, it’s just that they didn’t look inviting from the outside. The views over the surrounding countryside were great though and we were blessed with fantastic weather.We arrived about 5.30pm and the pub was full of locals sitting at the bar and obviously curious about who we were. A typical village local clientelle I guess.
We actually ate in the other pub in the village, the Rose & Crown, which was pretty good but we were stuffed after a couple of bottles of wine and massive portions. The waiter/barman had obviously been charged by his locals in the bar to find out who we were and why we were in Burwash because he gave us a third degree interrogation when he took our order!
We skipped breakfast and were at Neil and Gabby’s workshop by 8.30 (it’s only a couple of miles down the road into Burwash Common). After introductions and a chat about what the work entailed, Gabby drove us to Stonegate station where we caught the train into Tunbridge Wells. She promised to ring us about 12 noon to let us know how the job was going and an expected finish time.
We’d had some advice from the Forum about where to head in Tunbridge so we turned left out of the station and headed to an area called The Pantiles, which has a number of quirky independent shops and several coffee shops/cafes.
We had breakfast in Juliet’s cafe – a bacon sandwich on Sour Dough bread for me and scrambled eggs on toast for Alison – a great place and super atmosphere got the day off to a good start.
We pottered round the shops, had more coffee and bought some things for Absinthe. Alison went into a travel agents to enquire about cruises for next year and was gone for nearly 40 minutes – apparently the cruise expert (an American guy) was on the phone when she went in and they insisted that she wait until he was free.
I wandered along the street to look at the Chalybeate Spring, but unfortunately it’s closed at the moment, presumably through lack of water – maybe they should move to Lancashire…
We had to get home at a reasonable time to go to a Tapas Party with neighbours (frankly I’d rather have had another day away in the sunshine) so flew up the M40 & M6 and were home for 4.30p.m.