Editorial

Thanks to everyone who has contributed, I am always very pleased to hear a new story.
Thanks also to all the visitors who have read any of the stories.

While reading please be sure to click on the comments links beneath the stories.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Story 17 from Brenda Grover

In Reply to Alan Brenda sends this story..

Reading your Lancing history, i have just come back to live here, and i saw your parents were friends of my Uncle Pearce and Aunty Mildred. I love being back here and just walking around, brings back so many memories of such a wonderful childhood, and what a wonderful place to live.
 My sons who are 35 & 37, grew up here, and they are always saying thankyou for a wonderful childhood. With as you say the beach and downs. I went up the Lancing Ring after the storm, and cried as my great grandfather helped to plant those trees, and i knocked at the door of church villa , and asked if i could look around the old family house, wonderful so many memories. I love Lancing, it has got a bit more larger,but in a way has not changed at all. Thank you again for your write up.
 I live Penhill now but used to live North Lancing, and went to North Lancing primary school with Miss Tait and Miss Humphries, I remember Mr Stear.
 Thank you again for a nice and good read.

See this and other stories on the Tithing Times website
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Sunday, 31 May 2009

Story 16 from Rose (Marg) Moloney

This lovely recollection has just been sent in. We thank you Marg

I was a neighbour of Paul Kidger in the 1950s and 60s in Ring Road and remember the family well – Lyn was in my class at N Lancing Primary School. I also remember the dog walking old lady who would bleat ‘ Kiltie, Kiltie ‘ which the dog ignored.

I was part of the St James the Less Players, a church drama group, which started my career on the boards.

The Downs,The Manor, The Park, The Clump, The Chalkpit..The Woods The Beach..were all special places in our wonderful Sussex childhood.

Our teachers were dedicated – I am sure Paul will remember Pop Stear, Miss Tait, Miss Laugham, Mr Cox !

Hill Barn Farm which Paul mentions had utterly vanished when I went for a look in 2005…odd because though it was a wreck in the Bartons time it had been the Lancing College Shepherds farmhouse and was a sturdy ancient house. In a way I was relieved – it was a place that featured in bad dreams for me, as a teen I had seen horses in dark barns on filth there. But…a landmark gone…………everyone has gone now what a migrant generation we were…

In a folk club in Somerset I met a comedian who had grown up in Lancing pre-War till 1950.

He remembered Lancing at War – and Canadian Soldiers building Ring Road !, he also recovered from an adder bite on The Downs which brought back memories of stepping accidentally on one in 1959. They were definitely a hazard – we were always building camps, rolling on the grass etc, and must have been near them.

Nov 5th was hugely important, Ring Road kids built a communal bonfire and we shared our fireworks. Early on the Russell family who left late 50s, made jacket potatoes for us in the ashes.

Peter Russell has become an author and speaker on Green issues and meditation ( Title The Gaia Hypothesis ).
 It was a pagan event really and kindled my love of pagan fire ceremonies. Trick or treat we never heard of. It was a road of children then and we played outside all the time. Beach picnics in the summer and The Mermaid was another fixed point in our infant geography. There was an innocent small summer fairground of a roundabout, swing-boats and something else – it was lovely to see my own son when he was small enjoying these in 1982 they were still going.

The Park or Manor was much larger then and the focus was a superb Georgian Manor House – that came down with the Tythe Barn – in the 60’s, there were terrible losses before the Grade 1 and 2 listings came in.

My father was active in the Community Association and I recall delivering an Xmas box to a coastguard cottage on the seafront – also the real poverty there.

Since I left I have researched the area and realized there was a Roman Temple on Lancing Ring where we often played, and a Roman Villa in The Street, and a Saxon Graveyard in The Woods. The history of the old track behind Ring Road goes back to Stonehenge times at least 6000 years.

I also now know Lancing grew exotic fruits and flowers to sell in London and was famed for convalescence homes. The railway works destroyed the Market Gardens and were a short-lived industry, closing after a few decades, leaving rows of terrace houses where lilies and grapes had grown. Our history teachers were ignorant of all this and probably still are.

Overshadowing us all imperceptibly was the War – all our parents had been involved and were busy establishing new lives, but it loomed over us. Then we all left……..

We sold the family home in 1991 after Mum died, Dad having died in 1978. Mrs Ward I think must have gone but she was there in 2000. A Mr C. Morris lives still in the road who may be Clive – part of a family who lived there in my time.

A friend was John Robinson who I saw on the news is a councillor in Shoreham - and I would like to contact Stephen Buchanan from primary School Days….

PART 2

The Lancing Festival was our family name for an event that my father, Pat Moloney, organised annually on the Whitsun Bank holiday in May. This was a highlight of our year in the 1950s and 60s. It was held on The Manor in North Lancing. The Bran Tub was a huge favourite and I recall the days before the Big Day wrapping small gifts which were then hidden in sawdust in the barrel. I always remember Festival days as sunny, the smell of cut grass still brings back memories of the green turf of The Park. There were stalls and competitions, raffles, pony rides and tombola. In the afternoon there were races. One year I won the running race for girls of my age – the prizes were gift tokens to spend at Edlows, the stationers. One year Dad went modern – the Red Arrows flew over, there were barrels of ale and a spit roast, and the venue was The Reck or Recreation ground in S Lancing. It wasn’t the same – next year it was back at The Manor.

Friends of our family were The Wrenches – Ted was one of the bank managers in the village and Pat was a Commissioner for Girl Guides. The Red House was their Victorian home near St James’ church bearing on one wall the mysterious sign Ancient Lights. 40 years after they moved on I met again Tony Wrench the eldest son of the four : website : www.thatroundhouse.com
As a boy Tony caught snakes on The Downs, there were Grass Snakes as well as Adders, and he kept them in an aquarium by the front door to welcome visitors. ( One year they came back from holiday to find the aquarium empty. Despite a few nervous nights in the house, no snakes were ever found !) However they were Methodists and our social life revolved around St James the C of E church. The Fete, the annual church garden party, was held in the vicarage garden which had an interesting cave facing the front door, that we children liked to explore… I was surprised to read years later in a Readers Digest compendium that Lancing Parish Vicarage garden was unique in having an Easter Tomb with Stone. Odd that The Vicar, as we called him, knew nothing about it and kept bikes there !

Only occasionally did we find out the story of the war adventures of men in the village. One man, reader of the lesson in church, had a monotonous voice that drove us mad – later we found out he had spent years in a German prisoner of war camp – enough to flatten anyone’s voice. I recall seeing Mr Faltineck collapsed in the road, outside a club called Sosybah my mother helped run. He was a Polish airman in the RAF in The War and had stayed on. The ambulance took him away but he was already dead.

“Who lived in The Manor House ?”, I asked my father who was a solicitor in the village and held the deeds of the estate of the Carr Lloyds, the last family to live there. It was a shock to learn that the last Lord of the Manor committed suicide in 1919. Was that to do with the first World War ? That too still cast a shadow on lives in the village. In 1975 I visited Miss Laugham who had a Hansel and Gretel type cottage in the woods at Hoe Court by The College. She had been a witch as well in my childhood mind when in 1955 aged 6 I was to enter her class at Lancing CP School and refused to go. Now retired she had mellowed. Even so it seemed odd to be drinking sherry with Miss Laugham. I looked at a photograph of a young naval officer in her lounge – and she told me he had been her fiancee, killed in 1918. She had never married. There were so many older women who stayed single in my childhood, the men had been lost in World War 1. But the greatest casualty has been the loss of innocence since those wonderful days in Sussex after World War 2…………..

Marg (Rose) Moloney