Newsletter No.3

By Vic Lander

  East Brighton Bygones Local History Society


Issue No 3 September 2008

In fear of repetition, as was stated in last month's Newsletter; the success of it depends on information coming in from members.  Unfortunately there has been nothing forthcoming so therefore this issue may be rather short of news and may have items, which give the impression that we are scraping the barrel.

Vic Lander has been to see our President, Fred Netley and they have agreed that each month, health permitting, that Fred will produce a letter from the President.

You are once again reminded that for the immediate future Vic and Brenda Lander have volunteered to act as editors.  They can be contacted on 01903 763885.

News of members
Beryl Tucknot now has her new left knee and, despite some early setbacks, is making steady progress.

Fred Netley and his charming wife Betty are both well although Fred's mobility has been reduced lately.  He has an appointment with a physiotherapist shortly and hopes this will prove fruitful.

Following our meeting on the 10th Bob Nutley will be rushing home to pick up Betty and his car and journeying down to Folkstone.  From there he is taking the tunnel shuttle to Calais en route to the South of France via Amsterdam.  For those of you good at geography you may wonder why he is taking this tortuous route.  The reason is good old Bob is doing a favour for his son who lives in Holland, by delivering a parcel.

Brenda and Vic Lander have returned from their holiday.  They took a trip by three European rivers from Amsterdam to Vienna.  The three rivers were the Rhine, Main and Danube.

Knowing of Vic's interest in World War 2 you can imagine his delight that there were so many famous areas from that conflict that the trip passed through.  The first of these was Amsterdam itself with memories of Anne Frank.  Then came NimeganBridge with its links with the Market Garden campaign.  The site of Montgomery's crossing of the Rhine was passed at night.  After passing Cologne the remains of the bridge at Remagen were seen.  This was the only bridge left intact by the Germans in 1945 and gave the Americans quick access across the Rhine.  Pity they overloaded it a few days after its capture causing it to collapse.

Later in the trip the boat passed through Schweinfurt, which was, and still is, a major centre of ball bearing production.  The factories producing the ball bearings were heavily bombed by both the RAF and the USAAF, the latter suffering particularly heavy losses.

Perhaps the city visited on the trip with the major connection with the war was Nuremburg.  The site of Hitler's massive rallies still exists with the balcony that he stood upon still in position.  The courthouse where the war crimes trials took place can be visited.  Next door to the courtroom is the prison where those sentenced to death were executed.

Nuremburg was also the city where the RAF faced its heaviest losses of the war.

Vic took many photographs and, if you are silly enough to ask him, he will be only too willing to bore you with them.  You have been warned.

New members

We had no new members join us in August

General news
The library kept in our office is now open for members wishing to borrow books

Tricia Leonard is giving as much as she can of her valuable time at the office.  Currently she is placing each member's information into his or her named files on the computer.  This will make for a far more efficient system.

Betty Gillett's lovely daughter Sue has helped her mum re-write and enlarge her story that impressed us all entitled "Betty's Story".  How we proceed with publishing the story will be discussed with Betty.

Keith Chambers and Vic Lander continue to man the office on Wednesdays and Fridays.  Vic attends on Wednesdays ably assisted by Bob Nutley and Keith who is there on Fridays.  What we need now is someone to assist Keith.  Any volunteers?

Recent activities By pure coincidence Vic Lander and Bob Nutley recently met Dave Bangs.  Dave is the author of the well-known book entitled "Whitehawk Hill".  He has just published another book called "Brighton Downs" which is a freedom to roam guide to the Downland from Shoreham to Newhaven and Beeding to Lewes.

The book aims to inform and educate people about the Downs.  It deals with the Flora, Fauna and their History.  The content reflects Dave's passionate interest in preserving the Downs.  He warns readers that without more interest and commitment to these wonderful aspects of our beautiful county they will deteriorate and become unavailable to future generations.

Our own Fred Netley appears in the book, on page 296, as a young boy in the 1940s.

A copy of the book was purchased for our library.  For those wishing to purchase their own copy the book is priced at £15 and is available direct from Dave on 01273 620815.

On Wednesday the 27th five members met in the café at the Valley Social Centre for the second of the "déjà vu" afternoons.  All five members thoroughly enjoyed the chat that took place.

John Henty delivered the talk in August on the subject of local radio broadcasting.  The talk was most informative and amusing, John being unofficially assisted by our own Rosemary Deacon.  John brought along an old gramophone on which he played old recordings, several members sang along to the tunes.

Articles and stories received
As reported in the last issue, research is on-going into the exact details surrounding Bob Nutley's Great Grandfather and his involvement in the building of Belle Vue Cottages.  We have now found that it was not the workhouse that Bob's descendant obtained the "spare materials" from for the construction of the cottages but the more likely source from the building of BevendeanHospital.

The quest to find out more information on the dairy in Church Place goes on.  Vic Lander's friend Roy Grant, a well-known local historian, is being of great assistance despite now living in Hungary.  Roy responds to requests for information by e-mail very quickly.

External contacts
Bob Cristofoli and Marion Devoy spent time recently at the history centre and met with Sally Blannd.  They viewed several items including street directories.  Marion checked the records to discover the identities of the residents who lived in Bob's house between 1841 and 1901.

Forthcoming events
The next "déjà vu" get together will be on the 24th September commencing at 2.00 p.m.

Requests for information

At a recent meeting of U3A someone had asked for information on a popular pre-war meeting place in Brighton called the "The Mikado".  Hazel Bradley was able to provide the information that in the evenings this was a venue for table tennis, which had its own team.  The location was in one of the fishermen's arches on the lower esplanade at the bottom of West Street.  There is some doubt as to what the premises was used for during the day.  If any member has any details will they please pass them on to the Editor.

Subject and date of next meeting.

The next monthly meeting will be held on the 8th October when the subject will be called "Victorian Crime and Jack the Ripper" and the speaker will be Clive Hamblin.

This page was added on 20/02/2009.