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.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

45. Jenny Shackley (nee Charman) writes about life in Lancing from 1947

Jenny writes...

I have just read all the memories of people of your web site.
 I was born in Lancing in 1947 in 8 Tower Road. My Dad used to work for Frank Lisher and in fact looked after the shire horses referred to in one of George Forrest’s comments. My sisters (of which there were 4) used to go to the stables to watch the horses being fed or mucked out or got ready to go out.
 My dad loved these horses dearly and whilst I don’t recall he must have been heartbroken when he did not look after them any more.
I went to South Lancing school both infants and junior and then on to Irene Ave for one year and then on to Boundstone Comprehensive when it was brand new. Oh how privileged we did feel with that school.
 I had Mr Jones as my first form teacher and he said to me “are there are more of you Charmans at home?” as apparently he knew the rest of the family.
 I stopped on for an extra year to do GCE and was sad to leave the school to go to work. I then got married after a few years and finally ended up in Bristol – where I still live.
I have a sister who still lives in Lancing and was an usherette at the Luxor and I do visit about three times in a year.
 I still remember fondly the sweet shop in North Road where we used to go on the way to school, the bread shop opposite South Lancing school where we used to buy a crusty roll for a farthing and eat all of the insides leaving only the shell to eat on its own.
In the summer holidays I had friends who had one of the beach huts and we used to spend many happy days on the beach. I still like to go down to the beach whenever I visit.
All in all your website has brought back many happy memories.

Jenny Shackley (nee Charman)

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

44. Colin Harrison recalls Boundstone School early days

. I spent my childhood in the lovely village of lancing, and have so many good memories, Dad worked in the railway works after his discharge from the Army, right up to it's closure, Mum worked part time in Fircroft house. I attended North Lancing county primary school , then one year at Irene avenue secondary  and was one of the first year at Boundstone, the previous year we boys had been up there on 'day release' so to speak, to do woodwork and metal work, as those classrooms were the first to be built and finished. I remember all of the school being told we all had to pay a pound towards the construction of the school swimming pool, situated in the open behind the police houses, a right cheek as I left before its opening, so never ' splashed in anger. I spent the 1960's working around Sussex, then wondered off to see the world, returning to live now in Eastbourne in my old age. Thank you again for the info and some of those wonderful old photos of the Lancing I loved.
Yours Colin Harrison, late of Fircroft Avenue. 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

43. Jo Christmas, born during air raid at Saxon Villas

Jo writes about the Canadian troops preparing for D-day

I was just going through our file of important documents and found my birth certificate. It gives the address where I was born as 1 Saxon Villas, Lancing on 10th February 1943. I have been on to Google Maps and that address isn't listed any more so I presume it no longer exists.

Obviously I have no personal memory of the time in Lancing as just before I was born an attachment of Canadian troops moved into the area and, in fact, took over the house where my mother was staying. All the surrounding area was evacuated I gather as the whole area around that part of Lancing was full of army lorries and vehicles, loaded with ammunitions etc. as they were preparing for a possible invasion by the enemy. As I was due at any time they allowed my mother to occupy the upstairs bedroom whilst the troops took over the rest of the house. In the meantime the local midwife was detached to try and find someone or some place to take her in as the army wanted me rehoused as soon as possible.

The young Canadian soldiers took turns to sit with my mother (she was confined to bed at this time with a severe case of toxemia) and would talk to her about many things, including their families back home.

One morning one of the soldiers told my mother that all the lorries outside were loaded with munitions and it only needed one bomb to land in the vicinity and the whole area would blow up. A short time later the air raid sirens started and aircraft began flying overhead. At the time my mother was lying in bed on her own and only managed to clamber out and crawl under the whilst she cold here the bombs dropping not far away . Apparently all the troops had fled into the air raid shelter somewhere close by and in the rush no one thought of my mother upstairs. Mother was not even physically able to get downstairs and shortly after the bombs started she went into labour. The midwife in the meantime was scouring the town for someone or someplace to take mum in but had to duck into the nearest air raid shelter to take cover as soon as the air raid siren siren started. However, she realised that this air raid would undoubtedly bring on mother's labour and it wasn't until the all clear was sounded much later that she was able to continue her bike ride to mother's house. As soon as she reached the bottom of the stairs she told mother she could hear me wailing upstairs and on arriving at the bedroom she found me bawling my eyes out under the bed, blue with the cold and mother passed out! She was so upset that mother had been all alone and had me under the bed with no one around to help her but at least I was alive and kicking (or wailing!)

As the midwife had been unable to find anyone to take mother in she was told by the army that she had to leave the house as they could no longer be responsible for her. With nowhere to go she was preparing to put me into an orphanage when an old neighbour was in touch and arranged for me to be cared for as an evacuee at a friend of her's in Seaford and mother then found a place to stay in a nurses hostel in London. I remained in Seaford for the duration of the war. The funny thing about that was that at the time many children were being evacuated out of Seaford because of the many bombings by the V1's flying directly over the Sussex Downs and often unloading their bombs on the area. As our house was directly at the foot of Beachy Head many bombs dropped nearby and I gather I spent a great deal of time sheltering with them in the cupboard under the stairs!

Obviously all this was told to me second hand by my mother as I was too young to remember any of it. Having just found the Lancing address where I was born on my birth certificate I have been trying to find it on GoogleMaps but there is no mention of 1 Saxon Villas Close in Lancing so presume it no longer exists. Would really love to know if anyone in Lancing remembers where Saxon Villas used to be as I would love to find out exactly where I was born. Anyway, thought you might be interested to hear of wartime experiences in Lancing during WW11.

Regards, Josephine Christmas (nee Smith)

Editor Note : After a little bit of luck and research we found Saxon Villas

Monday, 16 June 2014

42. A personal anecdote from George


This is not so much a memory of Lancing but rather one of my own growing up experiences. I' 'll leave it to you.


Just after the second world war there was a shortage of Virginian tobacco, I was only 12/13 years old and I have no idea why. Turkish and Egyptian blends were available and filter tips were becoming popular. The Turkish and Egyptian tobaccos were not to the taste of people brought up on "Weights,Woodbines, Park Drive and Rhodian No 3 with Players and Senior Service for high days and holidays . Some men tried to grow their own, my father included. As the start of a DIY process growing plants was easy. The process of curing etc proved too much for the average handyman in his shed, so the whole idea died a death.
As young lads we had no idea of blends flavours and the like, all we knew was that it was tobacco. adults smoked it, we wanted to be adult, so we wanted to smoke. There was the problem. The four of us pooled our resources. We realised a box of matches, a packet of cigarette papers and a machine to roll your own, BUT no tobacco.We discussed this and as an upshot we divided into pairs , a pair on each side of the road, and headed towards Lancing Manor Ground , "doing the gutters" looking for dog ends. Thinking about it now makes me shudder, we were not aware of the dangers to our health, no one was, so we carried on collecting the dog ends and putting them in our pockets. Arriving at the Manor we went up into the top left hand corner, it was quiet and we could see if any body was coming our way. A rather grubby handkerchief appeared and our spoils were placed on the said piece of rag. we began peeling the paper from the tobacco. One of us came across a stained filter, queried it, but we decide unanimously that it must be that new Turkish tobacco and it and any further filters were added to the growing pile of tobacco. More shudders from me. after a while with a little practice it was possible to produce passable cigarettes and we began smoking. We lay back on the grass feeling just like film stars did it in the films, coughing a bit, not surprising really when you consider that were smoking filter tips and all the other rubbish. Even bigger shudders from me.. A second and third cigarette was produced and smoked, we were getting good at coughing, we were certainly getting practice. By this time we were all feeling a little queasy, none of us wanted to give in so it was bit of relief when we saw someone coming our way and we managed to escape without losing face. I don't think any of us wanted to smoke for quite a while after that. More shudders.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

41. The Brooks by George Forrest

When the war ended my father returned from his army service and a short while later we moved back into Tower Road, a bit further up the road this time. This changed my area of play, new friends and neighbours, new places to explore and things to learn. The area we knew as "The Brooks" was close at hand, a way into the country side. The brooks started at the end of Tower Road, where Carnforth Road now begins,no more buildings, just fields. The boundary to the open fields was Cokeham Lane and this had a long line of large elm trees, sadly now gone. Cokeham Lane at the bottom end was no more than a track which ended with a solid white gate at the railway line. On the south side of the railway line on what has become a much larger industrial estate were a couple of businesses, I can recall Solarbo, Lancing Packers and I believe Manhattan kitchens , I believe the correct name was Robinsons, A number of people from Tower Road worked there and rather then take the long way round, illegally crossed the line by climbing over the gate. I know a number of people with a criminal record, having been caught trespassing by the British Transport Police were taken to court..
The Brooks consisted mainly of fields, some of which were planted but mostly because of the streams crossing them, not suitable for crops I believe there were two streams, one I know would have been the Teville Stream, not sure about the other. It was new world to me, and I spent a lot of time there just meandering , catching sticklebacks and frogs in the streams, and watching nature. Many happy days and memories.
One such memory I recall was on a bright,warm summers day, three or four of us were just wandering, doing nothing in particular, walking down beside a hedge came to a gate, originally a five barred gate, a little dilapidated , but still substantial enough. Any way, me being me, showing off decided that I would try to vault the gate. I was fitter then and managed it. Over he gate and in mid air I looked down at my landing spot, the grass flattened by other people using the gate had become the ideal spot for a huge snake to do a bit of sunbathing. . It was the largest snake I had ever seen outside of a zoo. A while ago a newspaper cartoonist named Styx, drew characters running in midair. That was me. Gravity being what it is though I managed to land astride the snake and was immediately making haste to get away. Poor snake was probably just as startled. I ran. The other lads caught me up, but were still laughing. I was told later that it was undoubtedly a female grass snake and probably pregnant. I was not waiting to find out, it was a big snake that was enough.
Most definitely a case of look before you leap. It didn't deter me from going down to the brooks and I spent many more happy days there. Hope you can laugh at this as I now can.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

40. George Forrest talks about steam trains

Playing With Trains
One thing about being 7 - 8 years of age, living on the south side of the railway line and going to school on the north side of the line meant having to cross the railway line four times a school day. It didn't matter whether the gates were open or closed it was almost obligatory, that we, that is three or four of us, went over the footbridge. We waited for a steamer to come through in order that we could become enveloped in steam and smoke. If a train wasn't due we would wait. To our minds it was essential that we smelled of smoke. Often this made us late home for dinner ( we didn't have lunch then) only posh people had lunch. I can still hear the tellings-off that I got from my mother to this very day. and the occasions that having finished my meal my wrist was grasped and I was hauled back to school at a rate of knots.

One of my friends at the time was Roger Price, his father owned a small grocers just below the Luxor cinema. If you stand facing the Luxor you will see to the right a gap, next was a very old cottage, it might have been two, next was the grocers, then a shop I can't really recall, the third shop was Newberry's , a tobacconist and confectioner. Very few shops had window displays, but one warm sunny Sunday afternoon our family was out for a stroll and happened to pass said grocers. There in the window was two sacks of rice, these were being attacked by about 8 - 10 mice. They had gnawed a hole and were busy eating. We watched for some minutes they were far too busy eating to notice us. We left them to it, didn't wish to disturb them. Though from that day on my mother never bought anything from Mr Price that wasn't in a tin. .

The next two buildings were detached dwellings, now offices, My father was employed as a trainee bricklayer on the site nearest the Farmers Hotel, my mother lived in one of the thatched cottages opposite, she spotted him and as they say "The rest is history".



Enough for today ATB

George Forrest

Thursday, 1 May 2014

39. George Forrest tells a story about the men at the Lancing Railway Carriage Works

   
Whilst the Lancing railway carriage works was probably the largest employer in the area I personally did not have a lot to do with it, some of our friends and neighbours worked there and some of my school friends did on leaving school. It was said , tongue in cheek , that it was always possible to tell where a carriage worker lived because the house was painted green and cream, i.e. the colours of the old Southern Railway.

My only real contact with some of them came early in the morning when I worked for an hour in the paper shop now occupied by Garretts in North Road just above the railway station. At that time it was owned by a man named Briggs. Later sold to a Mr Forshaw.
Anyway the carriage workers had to clock in by 07.45 or they lost 15 minutes pay. I worked from 06.30 until 07.30 although I rarely got away before 07.45 because of the late workers. Usually all went smoothly until about 07.30, there was ample time to make up three paper rounds for the boys delivering them. The late running workers would throw their bicycles on to the pavement, run into the shop, almost throw their money onto the counter and became quite impatient if their paper and cigarettes were not immediately forthcoming. It was always the same ones, they never seemed to learn. I think this was when and where I learned to swear. The swearing was increased when it was realised that the railway level crossing gates were closed and they would have to carry their bicycles over the foot bridge. The situation was not helped by Mr Briggs and I being amused by this and showing it.
The shop was, or at least the back half of it was the main Lancing Post Office at that time and the sorting office was in a detached building to the rear of that.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

38. George Forrest .. further memories - the war years - buying a spitfire

 Bearing in mind that I was only 4 years old when war broke out, I can only really recall snippets of memories about the war, little fleeting snapshots so to speak.
                    I remember the railings on the wall of what I have always  called the Crabtree Rec being cut down, when I last looked the stubs were still there. The whole of that field was ploughed and sown with sugar beet.  My grandfather dug up by far the largest half of our front garden and sowed spring onions.  I recall seeing other vegetables in peoples front gardens, things like lettuce and beetroot instead of flowers, the leaves were colourful anyway.
                      Another thing was the seemingly endless street collections of pennies to buy a Spitfire. Lining up pennies on the kerb, to get a mile of pennies was another way of collecting cash, can't imagine Lancing ever achieved a mile, but we tried......    Any old scrap metal was collected including old kettles and saucepans.  I remember the lorry collecting all the scrap metal loaded with old bikes and, well almost anything.
                        We lived on the only north/south main road through the village and closer to D day lots of tanks and other vehicles would pass our front door. We sat on the front wall writing down the numbers and nicknames of the tanks and other armoured cars, we watched as  some of the drivers attempting to turn the corner by The Farmers misjudged it and the tracks chewed up the kerbstones
                           As I said, mini memories  

37. George Forrest continues...danger of living under a thatched roof

Shortly after I was born, our little family moved to Lancing, into a house in Myrtle Crescent, I am sure it was next to the Prior family and Roy who you have interviewed was one of them. My sister was born at this address in 1938. I can't give you dates but shortly after we moved to an address at the station end of Tower Road.
When war broke out my father was not enlisted into the army, he was a bricklayer and was wanted in the midlands and north midlands to do bomb repair work in places like Coventry, Nuneaton, Warrington and others.
 My mother who was concerned about being on her own with two small children decided to move in with her parents in one of the two semi detached thatched cottages opposite the"The Farmers", roughly where "The Pantry" is now.  

  Being thatched the roof was highly combustible, just the thought of an incendiary bomb was worrying.
 During the early part of the war when German bombing was at its height my grandfather would do his fire picket job, i.e. standing at the door, just watching..   I can recall him standing just outside with a lighted pipe turned upside down in case the German pilots should see the glow. We had a large blanket draped over the inside of the door, 1) to stop any light escaping when Grandad popped in to get warm and, 2) to stop any draughts.
My mothers main concern was on moonlit nights, the light would be reflected off the very shiny glazed roof tiles on "The Farmers"  hotel. They were much shinier then, and let the enemy pilots know where we were.
During that time there was an anti aircraft gun on the south side of what would become the road bridge at the bottom end of Grinstead Lane. When there was a raid on it could get quite noisy.
                       Another thing I remember at this time was the German doodle bugs. They made a very distinctive sound. We didn't get too many this way, although I think one did drop on the farm just north of  Lancing College. whilst in school if one was heard the whole class, teacher included would be silent except for little soft whispers of "Keep going, Keep going,Keep going".

Saturday, 12 April 2014

36. George Forrest


My name is George Forrest I was born in 1935 in Worthing but moved to Lancing before my third birthday. I moved out to live in Brighton For 50 years. I now have Parkinson's, hence the reason for returning to Lancing, It is flat. Parkinson's makes me tire very quickly, so I hope you will bear with me. I have recently been visiting Chesham House and have acquired a copy of Lancing Village memories (edition 2). Some of the stories took me back. During the war years we, my mother, my younger sister and I lived with my maternal grandparents in the thatched cottages opposite the "Farmers", roughly where the "Rainbow" is now.

My grandfather was a market gardener employed by Frank Fuller whose ground was on the north side of Sompting Road. where "Rosecroft" is now. Rosecroft was the name of Frank Fullers house. Almost opposite was Lishers coal yard and stables for his cart horses. We always had to be lifted up to see over the bottom half of the door the horses in their stable. I believe it was Sid Lisher , but I could well be wrong. Lishers coal yard was a small siding which held about 6 - 8 coal wagons. There the Lishers men would weigh and bag up the coal, put it onto the cart ready to be delivered. The horses would be fetched from their stable and hitched up. Sid would climb up onto the cart and with his cap with the peak at the side would start his round.. When all the coal was delivered Sid would get onto the cart and fall asleep (or at least appear to). The horses would make their own way back to the railway siding and stop. It didn't matter where the round ended, the horses knew their way back. My memory tells me that the horses seemed to ignore the rest of the traffic. Goodness only knows what they would make of it today. Back home they were taken back to the stable, fed and watered.Of course the stable is no longer there but it can be positioned exactly. Walk along the south kerb of Sompting Road and just before it starts to bend slightly to the right there is a little dip in the kerb line, this was to allow the horses to walk straight through the stable door.

My fingers are getting tired, must sign off, if this is of interest, I will see what else I can recall.

Editors note... I will be writing to George to say 'Yes please', for more marvelous memories

Monday, 31 March 2014

35. Graham Franklin

I lived in North Rd, number 55, which was a grocery and pet food shop. ( I think it sells fish and chips now!)

We moved there in 1961, I was 5, and went to South Lancing School almost opposite our shop. Then went on to Irene Avenue School and finally Boundstone. I moved away from the area in 1969 aged 13, to Bournemouth.

I think it is a magical place. I have fond memories of all my old school friends. Lancing rec, he manor where I attended sea scouts, tennis at The Manor with Susan Collins, whom I admired from afar!

The Chalk Pit, great fun to be had.  Evening football training with Lancing FC under floodlights, wow, such great memories.

Any old pals want to get in touch I am on Facebook, or graham.franklin@jewson.co.uk

Great pages, thanks.

GRAHAM FRANKLIN

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

34. Barry Ruffell

A quick note to say I was pleased to come across the ‘Lancing Memories’ website, which included some items about (or from) people I remember.

I lived in Lancing Manor House from 1950 – 56, where my dad was caretaker working for WRDC, and subsequently in Berriedale Drive, Sompting (‘56-’59): I went to N Lancing Primary School from ’53 – ’59, and recognise some of the names mentioned and/or pictured on the website.

Some of the names that come to mind from my year are:
Terry Stacey (subsequently a musician and music shop owner (Approximate Music, Worthing), and father of folk artist Cole Stacey)
Margaret Hogben
Christine Marshall
Derek Shoulders (whose dad ran an electrical retail business)
Peter Clist (who emigrated to Australia, I think)
Derek Gorham
Ian Ralph
Philip Norton
Jamie Wrench (of the Red House, North Lancing, and whose dad ran the Boy’s Brigade)
John and Anna Caulfield (twins: moved into the area around ‘58)
Amanda Walker (lived at the top of the hill near the chalk pit)
Susan Scardifield (of the hardware shop family)
Doreen Ball
Roden Bridgewater
Gavin North
Molly Gunn (also emigrated, I believe)
David Fulford
Peter Yould(s)

And a few teachers. . .
Miss Humphrey (Head)
Miss Tait (final year teacher)
Mr Cox (subsequent head)
Mr Durrant
Miss Higgins (did she & Mr Durrant get married?)
Miss Horne
Miss Goby (1st year teacher)
Pop Steer (who got us singing some fairly tricky pieces by Grieg.  Also ran 5th Lancing Cubs)

Cheers
Barry Ruffell