Winnie – The Last Article

Winnie Hollands died on Sunday 10 June 2001. The last of this article was written on the 6 June 2001.

Adventures in Rye

By Winnie Hollands

“The war in Europe is over”. When those words came over the radio we all cheered. Rye was ablaze with bunting and naval ratings from their base at the New Road School charged around the town kissing all the girls and attempting to drink the pubs dry. One sailor climbed the front of the The Olde Bell Inn and tied a rope round the bell tongue and sounded the bell for all his might, until the tongue came out, crashed down and almost killed him. Two Navel Officers careered round the town in a red triumph sports car until they hit a curb and broke the front suspension. It was a mad, glorious day.

Soon it was V.J. Day and the young men of Rye were returning from all over the world. Some sort of normality returned and we could all plan for the future.

Grandfather Hollands sold the Grocery business and premises at number twelve Cinque Ports Street in 1949 and Jim, myself and the three boys, Richard came along in 1947, moved to number 2 Mason Road on the brand new Tilling Green Council Estate.

These were lovely times. We had wonderful neighbours. I can remember most of them now. Next door lived ‘Titch Hull and his family, they emigrated early in 1951 and ‘Jock’ Wilson, his wife Olive and two daughters Pauline and Maureen moved in. They were equally nice people and we got on like a house on fire. Then there were the Pulfords, the Finches, the Scrivens, the Remmers the Robus’, opposite were the Britts, they had the most wonderful garden. So many more spring to mind. The Oldfields, the Pinwills, Sid was a Portsmouth fan and we all suffered when they were beaten in the semi-final of the F.A. Cup against Manchester United. I am no football fan, but he was a good friend of Jim’s and his enthusiasm about Portsmouth even infected me. I think I still remember the score Portsmouth 2 Manchester United 4.

1953 was Coronation year and the residents of Tilling Green organised their own celebrations. I made a cake and Jim iced it with a Coronation Coach made out of icing sugar. A Street Party, Six-a-Side football competition and all manner of other events were enjoyed by children and parents alike. We had a 9″ Television and about 30 people crowded into our front room to watch the Queen crowned and the procession from the Abbey to Buckingham Palace.

As a result of the success of the Tilling Green Coronation celebrations a Tilling Green Entertainments Committee was formed. For four glorious years there were Tilling Green Carnivals, Sports Days, Fancy Dress and other events including a Tilling Green Bonfire Celebrations. Another offshoot from the Committee the forming of a teenage Tilling Green United soccer team which was ultimately successful in winning the Robus Cup in a knockout competition with seven other local sides. Bill and Betty Cutting, Yvonne and Freddie Edwards, Sid Pinwill and Jim Mc. Connell were some of those involved with the Committee. I do apologise to all those other fine people whose names escape me at this time but I can see their faces.

These years were the best years. My boys were growing up with a great bunch of children. The parents cared, we all kept our eye out for everyone else’s children. It was a very secure place to live. There are so many memories. Sid Baker called everyday and played draughts with Jimmy. They were probably the two best players in the world. They must have played thousands of games. Robert was a practical boy, he loved fishing and exploring the countryside. He built things too. Once the police called round because a large kite he built was flown at night with a torch light on it and was interfering with aircraft flying into Lydd. Jimmy and Robert became racing cyclists but Richard, the youngest, was more interested in girls.

All my boys turned out well. A lot of this was due to those special years at Tilling Green. Most of the other children from that environment have been successful in life too. Thank you to all the wonderful friends from those times.

Love Winnie

“Rye’s Own” August 2001

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