Newsletter No.7

By Vic Lander

East Brighton Bygones Local History Society


Issue No 7 January 2009


The great news to start the New Year is that our life President, Fred Netley, has been made a Member of the British Empire, (M.B.E.) in the New Year's honours list. There is no one more deserving of this award than Fred. His tireless efforts on behalf of the community over many years have been an inspiration to all.

Of course behind every great man there is his family supporting him, so as well as our sincere congratulations to Fred, we also acknowledge Betty's undying support over many years.

Fred has provided the following message to us.

I welcome the opportunity to write a few words for the Bygones Newsletter, which is a very good addition to our society. The first thing I would like to do is to express my sincere thanks to all our members for their cards and phone calls of congratulations on the event of my being awarded M.B.E. for services to the community. The success of Bygones illustrates that working in the community can be a very worthwhile thing to do. Of course the success of our group is really not down to me but to the committee and, of course, our membership and I am so pleased to be known as the President of such a happy group of friends.

Although I haven't always been able to attend all of the meetings, I have, never- the less, been kept in touch by other members and am pleased indeed at how well things are going. I am sure it will continue in that way. There has always been a keen interest in local history and our group fulfils a need to satisfy the very real desire for many people to learn more about their roots. The history of both family as well as where we were brought up, is very interesting to most folk and Bygones accommodates these interests in a very friendly as well as happy atmosphere.

As the Brand New Year of 2009 gets under way it occurs to me, in the past, many people have done great work in our communities. They have organized and run many
groups, clubs, associations; all to the benefit to the community at large, simply because they thought it was the right thing to do. Having grown up in Whitehawk and Manor Farm, I know from experience just what those people did for our communities and I am sure the same thing applies to many other parts of Brighton and Hove as well. I believe perhaps the most valuable thing they did for youngsters growing up in not too well off areas, was to provide role-models and, in some cases, even mentors in how life could be made better even without much money.

I would like to see all those characters of the past remembered in a real way by our present day communities. I am sure that all of us have fond memories of men and women we knew and perhaps looked up to, or just characters who added to life's rich tapestry in the localities in which we were brought up and lived. Bygones has an important role in not allowing the events and characters of the past to be forgotten and I am pleased to say it is certainly doing that very well. ALL THE BEST TO EVERYONE FOR 2009 .

Fred Netley

News of members

Sylvia has been rather poorly throughout the Christmas period and we wish her a speedy recovery.

Our Chairman spent his Christmas in Spain, where he over indulged in everything on offer. He has now returned to the fold.

New members

We had no new members join us in December.

General news

Those that attended the December meeting will remember that Dudley Button, who is soon to retire as Property Manager at Whitehawk Primary School, addressed us. The reason for his visit was to ask whether we would be prepared to take over the visits to the school air-raid shelters. We of course agreed and several persons volunteered to become guides. On the 21 January the Chairman, Marion Devoy, Bob Nutley and Vic Lander are going to a meeting at the school to have further discussions on our involvement.

Recent activities

There was no speaker at our December meeting but members are encouraged to present short reminiscences from their childhoods.

The stories proved to be very enjoyable and interesting. The range of subjects was diverse, covering a wide range of anecdotes.

External contacts

No external contacts made during this period.

Forthcoming events

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

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 another story from Pam Piercey

Bomb Number 13

It is a nice feeling when a piece of long sought after information finally drops into its rightful place, like a piece of a giant jig-saw, particularly because it concerned the road in which, in 1960, I eventually came to live.

For very many years I had wondered about a wartime storey told to me by my father. One of his Air Raid Wardens, who lived in Cliff Road, Roedean, had returned from shopping in Brighton to find a huge hole in the roof of her house made by a bomb that had found its eventual resting place elsewhere. All I remembered was that her name was 'Campbell'.

Thanks to Hazel Bradley's 1947 Kelly's Directory of Brighton and Hove, I found out that a Mrs. Campbell had lived at 8 cliff Road, one of the three pairs of semi-detached houses on the North side. Later I found out that the Air Raid had been on Tuesday 25 May 1943, which was one of the worst raids on Brighton. At 12.20 p.m. the peace of a sunny morning had been shattered by 25 German Focke-Wulf 190 A-5s, armed with 500 kg. bombs flying very low over the sea before fanning out over the town and spreading death and destruction. The raid lasted little more than five minutes but, in that short time, it caused the death of 24 men, women and children, injured 130 and left 600 people homeless. The damage was severe and widespread and, once again, the east Brighton area was badly affected.

Bomb number 13 (to give it its official title) first went through the roof of number 8 Cliff Road, then ricocheted on to a house 96 ft. to the south-west before finally landing at the base of the north-west of Marine Gate Flats, causing major damage up to the eighth floor. The solid construction of this pre-war block stood up well to the full force of the explosion but, five two-storey houses in Rifle Butt Road, some 200 ft. away, suffered severe blast damage. In one of these houses lived our Vic Lander, who, once again, was a Nazi target and had to be re-housed.

Subject and date of next meeting.

The next monthly meeting will be held on 11 February when the subject will be "A Girl in the Home Guard". The speaker will be Pam Piercey.

And finally
Japanese Banking Problems

The U.S. bailout and the problems recently experienced by banks in the U.K. and Europe have now spread to Japan.

In the last seven days:-

Origami Bank

has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.

On Monday it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale, and it's thought likely to go for a song, while shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.

Samurai Bank

is soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, and Ninja Bank is reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.

Finally, five hundred staff at Karate Bank have now been given the chop, and there's breaking news that there's something fishy going on at Sushi Bank. Staff there are worried that they may get a raw deal.

Diary Dates

Month                           Meeting                             Char & Chat

January                           14th                                       28th

February                         11th                                       25th

March                              11th                                       25th

April                                 8th                                         22nd

May                                 13th                                        27th

June                                10th                                        24th

July                                  8th                                          22nd

August                             12th                                       26th

September                      9th                                         23rd

October                           14th                                       28th

November                       11th                                       25th

December                        9th                                         23rd

This page was added on 20/02/2009.