The Observer’s nostalgia photographs have struck a chord with some of our readers and brought back some wonderful personal memories.
Colin Burgess contacted us to say his father, Clem Oliver Burgess, of Bank Road, is one of the men sitting in line in the picture of Bexhill Home Guard outside the old drill hall around 1942/3.
He is in the second row, eighth from the right and “looking like a little leprechaun” according to Colin, who now lives in Bristol.
Clem was born in 1902 so around the time of this photograph would have been 40 and a corporal. He was a plumber and brought his family up in Bexhill, living in Park road before moving to Bank Road. He was married to Freda, and apart from Colin they had a daughter, Freda, who lives in London.
Phyllis Robertson is 77 and lives in Wakefield but was interested in the Looking Back which featured Haldane House, a convalescent home for sick children from London. Douglas Chester had been there as a child in the 1950’s and was keen to find out if anyone remembered Haldane House or people who worked there in Richmond Road.
Phyllis, then Barker, grew up in Manchester Road in Ninfield, and was second oldest of of 11 children, with five sisters and five brothers.
Her uncle Len Mepham was the caretaker at Haldane House and was able to introduce her there for a job. Phyllis was 15 when she was employed to clean the wards and was paid £3 a week, which included her living in - there was a staff residence in Collington Woods called Fiveways, she believes.
“I can remember matron’s office,” she said.
“She used to have jars of sweets on her desk for the children. At that time sweets were still on ration, and I used to give my coupons to the matron so the children could have my sweets. I worked there for about a year. I can remember when it was Christmas time the matron, Miss Denton, asked us what we would like for Christmas, and I remember saying I would like a twin-set. She used to get us to stand in line and she would give the presents out - and a twin-set was what I got!
“Sometimes I used to help out in the boiler room, where we used to do all the washing. I remember it well. There were two other girls there, Astrid, and Ita Brown, whose mother used to work there as well.”