When I drove into Rye on Friday, and called into the newsagents to pick up my usual two copies of Rye’s Own, I had no idea what a shock was in store for me! I thought I had long since left behind all the embarrassments of my teenage years. Then I saw the photograph on page 25! I can certainly enlighten readers as to the names of the youngsters in the photograph.
As you said, on the left is the late Donald Britt. The Britt family had at one time been neighbours of ours in Military Road.( Brass Knocker Row). Standing at the back is Peter Holmes, son of Les Holmes, who was a teacher at Rye Secondary Modern. Next to Peter is George Gladwish, then Rod James, (my brother), who became an apprentice printer at Adams. I am sitting at the front, next to Francis Ashbee, son of Bill and Molly Ashbee. We were all members of the Methodist Youth Club, and the photo was taken in the Methodist Hall. We played in the hall, and also at fetes in the villages. We practised at the home of Mr and Mrs Gladwish, in St. Margaret’s Terrace. Mrs Gladwish was a lovely lady, who fussed over us, and gave us tea and biscuits.
It was she who decided we should be ‘smart’. The boys wore dark trousers and white shirts, and she decided that I should have a dress made for our performances. What I had in mind was a sophisticated little black number, but in those days, you didn’t argue with your elders! What I got was a white pique dress, with a full skirt, and large pink cabbage roses on it! Not at all what I had in mind! I can’t remember who chose the name, but we were called the Saints. I would guess the photograph was taken early in 1958. Sadly, George Gladwish was another of the group who died at a young age.
Of the others, I believe Peter still has family in Rye. Last time I saw Mrs Holmes, she was living in Wish Street. I have no idea where Francis is nowadays, and Rod, who was an apprentice printer for Jim Foster at Adams, has recently moved to Cyprus. I phoned him to tell him about the article in Rye’s Own, and he was very amused. I am not aware of any other photographs of the group, but it certainly brought a smile to the faces of my offspring! J Tarrant, (formerly Jacqueline James).
“Rye’s Own” November 2004
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