Letter litter

At Christmas 1969 I was recruited by the Post Office as one of a vast student temporary workforce to help with the Christmas mail. Dutifully, I reported on my first day to a special sorting office set up in Bishop Hannington Church Hall in Holmes Avenue, and helped – first with sorting the post, then with deliveries in Hangleton.

I was on ‘spare duty’, and could be given deliveries anywhere in the area. I recall flats where the postman had to deliver to flats on each floor in the order 7, 5, 3, 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 – difficult to get the right post in the right letterbox! And houses on the very edge of the estate, facing open fields and north-east winds, where the letterboxes were heavily sprung and stuffed with carpet to prevent draughts – an impossible battle for a student’s frozen fingers!

My worst moment came in Holmes Avenue, however. When bending down to a low-set letterbox I split my trousers and had to retire rapidly!

Comments about this page

  • Hi Martin: I lived at 5 Buckley Close in the 1970s. You did a great job getting our post in the right letterbox!

    By Flo (18/08/2004)
  • I was born in Sherbourne Close in 1957 and moved to the new houses that were built in Hangleton Way opposite the farm. I can remember going down to the cottages above the vicarage to get eggs from the farmer’s wife. I believe her name was Mrs Cubbly or something similar. Our house was opposite the barn and I can remember going in there and watching corn being fed into sacks. One day the barn caught fire and I could see the smoke pouring from the roof. I told my mother but she wouldn’t believe me and I had to drag her to the front to see. She had to go to Mrs Jasilek who lived at 180 to phone the fire brigade as she was the only person with a phone! We used to get fish from Mr Kelly who used to come round in a small green van. We got bread and cakes from a van you could walk into and pop from the Corona man. I seem to remember a greengrocer as well. I also played in the gun emplacement which is now part of somebody’s back garden in Broad Rig Avenue. We used to go down to the pig farm next to West Hove golf course and dare each other to touch the electric fence and throw crab apples at the pigs.

    By Neil Underhill (28/07/2006)
  • The farmer’s wife was probably Violet Cubberley nee Wheatland who lived in the right hand flint cottage above the church now pulled down. She was my aunt, Len was a farm hand on the local farm, my Father had a small holding Blackburge Farm near the dyke and had chickens about then.

    By E Wheatland (07/01/2007)
  • That was my mother at 180, Laura Jasilek. It’s funny to see her mentioned on a site I don’t know.

    By Roger Jazilek (15/01/2007)
  • Yes Mrs. Jasilek was my mother too, Roger my brother who now lives in New York. It’s very strange to see one’s childhood become part of a social history. I didn’t realise we were the only ones who had a telephone. I do remember the barn catching fire and also days and days playing in there with friends. There were rats, and very tall stacks of hay/straw. Also at that time, as children we played freely out on the downs opposite often going out in large mixed groups with packed lunches. It was before the A27 cut through them nearby and there was a great sense of freedom then. Badgers Wood which I believe can still be seen and visited, and now just north of A27 and further, Fairy Wood were regular haunts. When the new building began in Hangleton Valley Drive this became our playground. Huge health and safety risks but I do not remember anyone getting hurt and our parents did not know. We were left to discover things for ourselves and to learn how to look after ourselves. I have not been able to give my children the same kind of freedom. Neil Underhill, I think you may know me How are you.

    By Susanne Jasilek (26/02/2007)
  • Wow the miracle of modern technology, you see a name you haven’t even thought about for 30 years, of course I remember you Susanne. How are you and Roger and Michael? I remember the time I was in your house early on a Sunday morning (maybe a mothers day) and you were doing breakfast in bed for your mum. The tray only made it half way upstairs! and i havent thought of that for thirty odd years either. you can get in touch with me if you like at brightonneil@msn.com if you would like to.

    By neil underhill (22/03/2007)
  • I was in the same class as Roger Jasilek at Cottesmore School; he came to a party at our house on Dyke Road.

    By Susan Wade-Brown (25/01/2016)
  • Laura Jasilek used to give my brother, 182HW, and me toffee apples. I remember her massive fridge US style.  Remember Roger coming home on a US police Harley. Always wanted one – had to wait 45 years though. Best times were on bikes and the chalk mounds up the old Dyke Rail track at the end of the flats, till the council flattened them.
    Remember the Taylor’s at St Helen’s. Eddie, who always put on a great fete on the Green, and all the elder Hangleton’s that had to put up with us brats.

    By Rich Wilson (18/10/2016)
  • So funny trying to look at my family history online and finding things like this. Laura Jasilek was my nan, unfortunately she passed away when I was 9 years old, but I still have lovely memories of me and my older brother Joel hiding under her dining room table and eating syrup out of the tin in the hopes that she wouldn’t catch us eating it!

    By Elsie Jasilek (10/02/2017)

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