Littlehampton historian and campaigner dies

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LITTLEHAMPTON historian and campaigner Jeannie Millington, who succeeded in saving a small but important Victorian building from demolition, has died, aged 71.

A memorial service for Jeannie will be held at St John the Baptist Church, Findon on Monday (January 19) at 3pm, to which her friends are invited.

A social historian, in November, 2001 she discovered an ostlers’ room at Terminus Place, part of an old coaching inn. The room was used by the ostler, who took charge of the horses when coaches arrived.

The building, at the time standing unused at the rear of the Railway Club, in Terminus Road, was in poor condition, but Jeannie’s efforts to raise its profile and have it preserved paid off in 2004, when a partnership of the Sussex Heritage Trust and its patron Nigel Clutton, Arun District Council, Littlehampton Town Council and the Lavina Norfolk Family Charitable Trust, agreed to fund repairs to the building.

Work did start on the renovation of what was thought to be the only surviving ostlers’ room in the country, but a couple of years later, it had not been completed and now there was a new threat to the building, from developers wanting to demolish the club and build flats on the site.

Jeannie renewed her campaign to save the room, and the initial plans were turned down. Revised plans were approved in 2011, however, and although a full restoration was not carried out, the shell of the ostlers’ room was retained and it was converted to a bin store.

She leaves a son, Rupert, and daughter, Ailsa, and grandsons Oliver and Crispin.

A fuller tribute to Jeannie will be carried in the January 22 edition of the Littlehampton Gazette.