Fond memories of Silverhill

From: Clifford Brooker, High Wickham, Hastings

Friday, 17th March 2017, 10:03 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:07 am
Hastings Observer letters

Dorothy Luck’s letter about businesses in Silverhill brought back many memories – I grew up in Sedlescombe Road South in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

To her memories I would add a huge milk bottling and distribution depot, Farmers’ Direct Dairies, on what is now the Asda site; Everitt’s the Chemist (next door to the Silverhill Club) and next door to them, Griffin’s Removals and Storage whose boss had only one arm!

The Roxy cinema, now Fludes, was next door to an outfitters owned by the Apps brothers; opposite them was the GP practice, St Rhode’s surgery; and what is now the Home Chef Café was a corn merchants and grocers called Draper’s who owned Draper’s windmill - a smock mill (torn down in 1966) which stood at the end of our garden.

Our next door neighbour, Cecil Barfoot (who was once the town mayor) owned Draper’s but he subsequently took his own life because, it is assumed, the business was in difficulty.

There was a coal merchant on the corner of Silverlands Road; a Midland Bank on the opposite corner in Chatham Road; what is now Kiley’s Karpets was a Jaguar car dealership (very posh); and opposite them Silverhill primary school, my first school (headmistress Miss Willoughby).

Every week a fishmonger would set up stall with his handcart on the road in Silverhill and there he would skilfully fillet and prepare fish, throwing the unwanted scraps into a bucket hanging on the side of his barrow.

I could go on, but the last time I wrote a letter to the editor was to complain about how preposterously long the letters were becoming. Still, happy days.

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