Newsletter No.6

By Vic Lander

  East Brighton Bygones Local History Society


Issue No 6 December 2008

This Newsletter comes with the sincere hope that all members, their families and friends will have a wonderful Christmas and an exceedingly prosperous and peaceful new year.

The editor would like to apologise for at least two errors in the last issue that have been brought to his attention.  The first is the incorrect spelling of Beryl's surname this should have been Tucknott not Tucknot.  The second was that ten members had attended the Char and Chat afternoon not eight as reported.  The editor was warned that if he did not improve someone else would be given the job.
News of members
Fred Netley has still not fully recovered from his period of ill health and we all hope that he will soon be back amongst us.

It's good to hear that Flora is now well and back with us.

Hazel Bradley is back on her feet (excuse the pun) and it is good to see her fit once again.

Rosemary Deacon spent a short period in hospital and is making a good recovery.

Bob and Betty Nutley were unable to attend the Christmas lunch having both become ill with the Flu.  Vic Lander certainly missed his main "Goffer" a role that Bob so ably fills.

Between our December meeting and our meeting in January two of our members will celebrate birthdays.  They are Bob Nutley in December and Brenda Lander on the 4th of January.  We wish them both a very happy birthday's.

New members

We had no new members join us in November.

General news
The office at the Valley Social Centre will be closed from 19th December to the 7th January 2009.

Recent activities
Following the good news that the Sussex Community Foundation had awarded us a grant, we were asked to put on a display at an evening reception they were organising.  The reception was for their present, and hopefully, future donors, to show them how their donations are being spent.

The reception was held at a very swish venue at the Brighton Marina called "Karma".  Our team, consisting of the Chairman, Tricia, Bob Nutley and Vic Lander, set up a display, including photographs of the Black Rock area, artefacts of Tricia's and a computer display of other photographs.  The team were on hand to answer questions and promote knowledge on the existence of our society.

The organisers felt the evening went off very well and thanked us for our efforts.

Our last main meeting was held on 12th November.  We were joined by two students who are studying social history and have taken on a project to look at how the move to the "new" Brighton council estates affected families in the 1930s.  Many of our members were involved in those moves and their memories were felt to be most important for the research.

Vic Lander was the speaker at the meeting.  He gave a talk entitled 'The Landers a Brighton Family in Photographs'.  The subject matter dealt with his family from the 1800s to the present day.

Vic was honest and talked about some of the skeletons that existed in his family's cupboard.  One of these skeletons concerned Vic's Grandfather who married twice and had a fling with the lady that became his second wife before his first wife had died.  An amazing sequel to this story was that Matt, one of the students who attended the meeting, realised during Vic's talk, that he had seen the name Lander within his family tree.  Later discussion between Matt and Vic revealed that one of Matt's descendants was the first wife of Vic's Grandfather.

On Wednesday 26th November eleven members attended the latest Char and Chat afternoon.  The group were joined once again by the two students, to find out more from members' experiences to assist them with their studies. All who attended found the afternoon most enjoyable.

The annual Christmas lunch was held on December 4th at the White Horse Hotel Rottingdean.  Twenty-two members sat down to a delicious lunch, which was served with great efficiency by the staff.

Following the lunch the members were treated to a surprise from Marion Devoy.  Marion had commissioned her neighbour to produce an animated programme of songs and sketches dating from the early 1930s to the 1960s.  There were twenty items many of which enabled the members to sing along.  Everyone agreed it was a wonderful idea and gift from Marion.

External contacts
On Thursday 27th November a reception was held for the launch of the 'Letters in the Attic' initiative.  The family histories, photographs, letters, diary entries etc., that had been donated have been collated and formed into a web site.  The people who donated items joined those that had been responsible for collecting and producing the information at the reception.  Each donor was presented with a certificate and a copy of the journal that accompanies the web site.  The information will be available on the web from 1st of December.

Forthcoming events
The next 'Char and Chat' get-together will be on 28th January commencing at 2.00 p.m.

An exhibition of photographs commenced on 5th December that may well be of interest to members.  Entitled 'Working Class Life in Brighton' the exhibition will run until 20th of April at the BrightonMuseum and ArtGallery.  The viewing times are as follows:-

10.00 - 17.00 inclusive Wednesdays - Saturdays

10.00 - 19.00 inclusive Tuesdays

14.00 - 17.00 Sundays.

The exhibition is closed on Mondays

Requests for information

Contacts through our g-mail have been somewhat sparse this month with no major requests for information.

Members' Stories

In this section this month we have a story from Pam Piercey

A pennyworth of Cream

Vic Lander's wonderful presentation about his family brought back my childhood memory of his father, Percy Lander.

For a shy, imaginative little girl, a first visit to a shop alone was scary, although I had visited Filkins Dairy on many occasions with both my mother and my sister.  We lived in the northeast corner of Sussex Square and our back gate was literally only a stone's throw away from the dairy in BristolGardens.  There was no traffic in those days to cause concern.

On my way to purchase a pennyworth of cream I was full of "what ifs".  "What if the tiny shop was so crowded that they didn't notice little me?"  "What if I dropped my penny amid all those customers' legs?"  "What if I couldn't open the door?"  Then as I hesitated at the entrance I heard a familiar voice.

"What are you buying today?" asked Percy Lander, our kind friendly milkman who had just returned from finishing his round.

"A pennyworth of cream" I replied proudly, feeling better already.

"Oh that's easy" he said, with his friendly smile, "I'll open the door for you."

We entered the shop, the purchase was made, and off I went, happily homeward carefully holding the tiny cardboard carton of cream.

Somehow helpful Percy Lander always knew the right thing to say.  He had been far too wise to comment on my being all-alone, which would have added to my shyness.  His kindness and understanding that day made all the difference to my confidence in undertaking solo trips to that little group of useful shops in BristolGardens.

Subject and date of next meeting.

The next monthly meeting will be held on 14th January when the subject will be "The Life and Times of Bob".  The speaker will be our Chairman Bob Cristofoli.

And finally.....

Our very own Mollie has composed this beautiful poem, which seems to sum up so accurately the time of life that many of our members have reached.


In the autumn of our lives as we grow no longer young, every hill seems steeper and we no longer run.

We can take the hurry from our lives; we have more time to spare
To chat to friends who greet us, or fill a vacant chair.

We have seen our springs and summers, yes, we had our share.

So lets enjoy the autumn, no beauty can compare.

Margaret (Mollie) Grace

A Very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year

This page was added on 20/02/2009.