Ray Levett making up for 45 lost years!

This interesting story and picture first appeared in one of our first issues of “Hastings Town”. We have not been able to get in touch with Ray up to the time of printing but hope he and his good lady are fit and well and have a great Christmas. (Editor)

By Ray Levett

I wondered if you might be interested in a story associated with the attached picture. I was born in Hastings in 1943 and spent my first 18 years living in Coventry Road, Hollington. There was a young lady living round the corner from me in Lewis Road who attracted my attention. We became friends and went around with a group of other friends – going down the park, playing in the ex allotments where the four bblocks of flats now stand, dancing and playing snooker in one of the friend’s cellar. In 1962 I went to Bristol to work in the Aircraft industry, initially Concorde, and we sort of drifted apart, although we kept in contact at New Year and birthdays. Being too young and not having had the courage to tell each other how we felt about each other, we subsequently drifted into marriage with other partners.

During a telephone conversation in 2005 I told my lady friend that my marriage was failing and how I had felt about her all those years ago and had often thought about her in the intervening years. She was separated from her husband. We eventually got together and have now been married for nearly 3 years trying to make up for 45 lost years. One evening we were talking about our respective families and my wife mentioned that her maternal grandfather (John Martin) had worked for Jepson’s in Robertson Street and that she had a photo. I said that my maternal grandfather () also worked for Jepson’s! The photo is of Jepson’s Summer Outing in August 1922 – my grandfather is the gentleman sitting at the rear of the first car and what a surprise it was to find that my wife’s grandfather is the gentleman standing in the rear of the same car. We think the lady standing in between them is my grandmother (Edith Hobday). What a coincidence!

“Hastings Town” December 2015

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