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Outing to Ford Aerodrome 1943

The staff of Bellmans on a trip to Ford Aerodrome,Sussex in 1943. My mother Violet Norrell [Browse] is in black on the left of the picture in front of the bomber; she was Mr. Bellmans secretary. The photo with the Duchess of Norfolk shows the Mayor Mr.Dutton Bryant and Mrs. Bellman with the staff.

The dances ran by the HELPY CLUB of Bellmans raised large sums of money for the war effort. The dances were held at the Regent Ballroom and other venues and the local girls and soldiers, airman and navy men had a great time and a lot of money was raised. My Aunt married a Canadian soldier she met at a dance and became a war bride.

Staff of Bellmans at Ford Aerodrome 1943
From the private collection of Jennifer Goddar
Staff of Bellmans at Ford Aerodrome 1943
From the private collection of Jennifer Goddar
The Duchess of Norfolk addresses the gathering
From the private collection of Jennifer Goddar

Comments about this page

  • Thanks for sharing these photos Jennifer. I must show my mother-in-law when she comes over. I can’t see her in the photo so maybe she wasn’t there. Have you seen the other one of staff under London Road?

    By Josie Campbell (05/05/2007)
  • Yes Josie I have seen the other photo. When I made the comment that I could not see my mother- having another good look she is in the photo but is peering out between two people. My mother passed away 18 months ago aged 94 years and I am sure she would have been delighted to have Bellmans remembered.

    By Jennifer Goddard (nee Norrell) (06/05/2007)
  • Is there a lady there by the name of Maskell? Anyone know or familiar with the name?

    By John Wall (06/05/2007)
  • My aunt Lily Dorrington (nee Standing) was working at Bellmans then. Does anyone who was there remember her?

    By Jim Dorrington (19/09/2009)
  • I have the same pictures from my mothers Bellmans scrapbook, although she dates it as 1940. She is the lady pictured in full, first left front row of the second photo. Her name is Edna Starley affectionately known as Miss Starley to the Bellmans folk. In 1932 she worked for Sydney Bellman in the Wool Shop aged 16 and moved to the new store till 1945 when she married and started a family. Sydney asked her to rejoin the firm in 1959 as a manager and buyer. This was when the big new London Road Department Store opened a she remained there till 1970 when it was sold to Coates. The book contains many other Bellmans people pictures and historical information if anyone is interested. I will add a few on here.

    By Chris Wallage (03/10/2017)
  • I would be interested in any old photos of Bellmans staff from around that time. My Mum isn’t in any of these photos, but she is in another that I have seen on this site, which was taken in 1943 and shows the staff at Bellmans surrounding a Bofors gun. I believe she may have been a secretary to Mr Bellman. Her name was Jessie Taylor or Bliss.

    By Jenny Ray (22/10/2017)
  • My late father the Rev John Butler was the resident optician at Bellmans through the war, he also did along with other staff members firewatch duty,he is on the front row right as you look at picture.

    By Warwick Butler (29/08/2018)

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