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Archive for the ‘Places’ Category

The Brighton & Hove Albion journey began 115 years ago on 24 June 1901 and has culminated in promotion, on the 17 April 2017, to the top flight of English football, the Premier League. The beginning was here at the Seven Stars Hotel on Ship Street when the club was formed at a meeting…

Much as been written about the history of the football club here, here and here…so I won’t reinvent the wheel.

However, I will add to this story that there seems to be a family connection to Ship Street? I vaguely remember someone telling me that, (on my Mother’s side being the Boniface‘s) a Frank Boniface used to own Ship Street, lost it in a poker game and went to Australia. I will have to go back in my notes and check what I have, and of course investigate further. Family stories do tend to get embellished of course but somewhere in amongst it all lies the truth.

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As with a lot of others around the world I followed the terrible news of the attack in Westminster. I was shocked to learn that the attacker stayed in Brighton the night before and even more shocked as to the location of the hotel. I lived on Havelock Road and went to Balfour Road School in the 1950’s not far from there.

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I belong to a group on Facebook called Westward Ho! History Group and post there today reminded me of an event back in the late sixties that would be amusing to relate.

Back then I used to augment my teenage earnings with doing a 2-3 hour paper route on Sundays. I used to do a paper route six days a week already for the Northam Newspaper Agent before school and Saturdays too. Somehow I ended up doing the Sunday one too for this guy on a scooter and sidecar. Anyway, the post in the group was of a guy at a garage on Nelson Road and I thought I recognized him.

Somebody else posted that they too did a paper route on Sundays with this guy and somebody else said he still picks up golf balls on the burrows, plays snooker and table tennis apparently despite being 80 years old now. It was the table tennis that jogged my memory because that must be how I too ended up playing, it was the same guy that ran the club in Bideford. Ended up playing on a team that played in a league, we used to go around to different places and towns and play our games. We were young and I don’t recall ever winning any games against the older more experienced opponents though.

Where is this going you ask? Well, I was on the Bideford quay late one evening waiting for the doubledecker bus to take me home to Westward Ho! after table tennis at the club. Because of it’s location you could see the bus coming along the other side of the river and over the bridge etc. I watched it almost get over the bridge then it stopped with the other cars and traffic on the bridge, and then they all started backing up! I waited wondering what to do next then a bus inspector came along the quay to the bus stop where I was waiting and he said they had to get another bus out of the depot to take me home because the bridge has fallen down! Eventually a bus came and I went home. My Father was waiting up for me in his dressing gown and met me at the door. Rather irately he asked why I was so late. I said the bridge had fallen down and had to wait for them to get another bus. He didn’t believe me and said I could have come up with a better excuse than that. Next day of course it was all over the news and my excuse became a perfect example of truth is stranger than fiction.

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Well, not quite back to the beginning but to a point when we arrived here on the last stop of our world tour. This is where I planned this particular post and to hopefully carry on from there, and catch up. Anyway, we arrived pretty much just before the 100 year celebration of the areas two towns or villages, depending how you look at it, Rycroft, where we now live, and Spirit River just 8kms west. I found it rather fortuitous to arrive at this particular time because I’m a firm believer in learning and trying to be a part of the community where one lives. I remember remarking to someone it was wonderful that the pioneers, through all their hard work, prepared this place for our arrival. Okay, a bit tongue in cheek perhaps but it leads into those pioneers that indeed do the hard slog of carving out a life in this area.

The first stop was the local hall in Rycroft to see the celebratory displays that were set up. Extraordinary it was too, all the old photographs and family history of those that homesteaded the area were in evidence.

I spotted the Dika family exhibit and was pleased to learn about their contribution to the local because the house we bought was from that family. In the end I thought we have it easy and there are some pretty big shoes to fill.

Along with all the many events that were going on in both communities we also visited the Spirit River Museum and what a wonderful experience that was. They have done a grand job of preserving their heritage and many other communities could do well to learn from them.

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