Pen & Ink


Dear Editor,

I feel I must point out a mistake you made in April’s issue. Reg Giles’ photograph in the Secondary School Football team of 1934-35. Reg lived at 7 Western Place, Winchelsea Road. This row of houses was destroyed by bomb blast in the War. Reg left school at 14 years and started work as a drivers mate on oil tanker lorries for Shell Mex and B.P. The Depot at that time was next to the Queen Adelaide pub in Ferry Road. Later, when petrol was ‘Nationalised’ they joined with the Esso Depot in Winchelsea Road. Reg joined the RAF in 1941 and became a crew member of a high speed Air Sea Rescue Launch, serving at home and abroad. He was demobbed in 1946 and rejoined Shell, driving oil tankers. He was Vice President of the Rye Branch of the Royal British Legion for many years. It was Les Giles who worked with Son Martin. Les was a well known personality in Rye, very well liked, he took part in many activities in our town. Reg and Les were not related. Many of these veterans and people of Rye were remembered on May 8 at the thanksgiving service at St Mary’s. “Thank you “Rye’s Own”, you keep memories alive of the town.

Iris Giles (Mrs. Reg Giles).

Reg died 1997 Sorry Iris, I remember them both well, I am showing my age by getting them mixed up. Ed.

Dear Editor, I indict all the political leaders and every government; both Labour and Tory, since 1948, for letting our health arrangements get into the sorry financial state we find them in today. When I left school at the age of 14 in 1927 I found a dead end job, but early in 1928 I was put onto an apprenticeship with a wage of a penny halfpenny an hour. When it rained there was no pay, so on a wet week I had very little income.

In 1929 I had to attend the Labour Exchange where I was registered for National Insurance and given a card for stamps to be stuck. This covered me for unemployment and limited health benefits. In 1949, thanks to the Attlee administration and the great statesman Aneurin Bevan directing the Beverage Report into law and Britain had a comprehensive National Health Service. The cost was worked out and determined the price of the stamps on our cards. One of the greatests Acts in British History. I saw strong family men with tears of joy because they had no more Doctors bills to pay. No government since seems to have been brave enough to keep the premiums up to date. It seems to me that one shilling and six pence taken from my wages of three pounds, when I first quallified as a craftsman, were a bigger percentage than anything stopped from the hundreds of pounds of todays take home wages. Had the National Insurance premiums been kept separate from the Tax System and the percentage kept in line with other insurance then we would now have a viable National Health Service.

Arthur Woodgate     Peasmarsh

I agree with you entirely Arthur. Unfortunately I have discovered, over the years, that most politicians talk with two heads. Before elections they promise anything one wants but afterwards the promises are at first ‘put back’, then postponed, then forgotton! Ed.

From the June 2005 Issue of “Rye’s Own”

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