Memories of the Central Garage

Memories of the Central Garage by Gwynneth Harper

I noticed with interest the plans for a new library on the old Central Garage site.It seems that we shall soon see a new library rising from the space in Cinque Ports Street of the demolishing of what remained of the old Central Garage.I have a particular interest in this venture I do hope I shall last out to see it opened. I was born in the flat above the Garage in 1926, 77 years ago, and lived there until 1938 when we moved to Iden. My father Donald Hughes was the foreman at Central Garage hence our occupation of the flat.

Central Garage

I duly left school in the early war years and went to work in London and got married on the last day of war, V.J. Day August 14th 1945. We lived in Devon after the wedding and were there for the next 32 years, returning to this area to look after my aging parents 24 years ago.

The photographs I have enclosed show the garage in the early 1930s when we were living there, please note petrol at 1/5 gallon about 7p. in today’s money.

A great deal went on in Cinque Ports Street in these days, we had a good selection of shops Butcher, Toy shop, Webbs Bakery, Co-op, Fish shop, Cinema and many more.

The old photograph shows the garage burning, I do not know what year that was I must have been in Devon then. (It was 1960 Ed.)

Central Garage Fire
Central Garage Fire

I do however clearly remember when the tall building next door (still there) was on fire This was before the War when I was only a small child. I was taken over and put to bed in the Railway Hotel whilst my poor Dad had to get all the cars out of the garage in case of the fire travelling. My parents have been gone a long time now but were well known in Rye area.

The third photograph has really no relevance to the Garage or the new library except that it was at the school which is the present library, we, the pupils were in a play. I wonder how many of us old pupils are still in this area? I can still recall most of their names it was about 1936/7 I think. I guess I have remembered quite a bit, we old ones do that, I feel, the past is far more interesting to us than today or the future.

School Play at Lion Street School 1936-37
School Play at Lion Street School 1936-37

I have good memories of the Editor’s parents, Jim and Winnie Hollands, who had a fruit and vegetable shop in Cinque Ports Street. I still have a tin work box that Winnie gave me for my 9th. Birthday it was full or coloured silks, its my button box today and full of memories.

Gwynneth Harper Iden

Editor’s extra picture. Not published with the article in the September 2003 issue of Rye’s Own

Jones Central Garage
Jones Central Garage

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