Part 2 The Rest of my Story
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"Beans on Toast" cries the sonorous voice (not calling wares in the street, but up and down the dining room in a Home where many of the residents are hard of hearing) - or sometimes, when a lavish plate of dinner is placed before me, and before I 've got my knife into it, a high-pitched voice is calling "Any more potatoes ? Any more greens ?" and (aside to some) "Well, leave what you don't want". At the conclusion of the meal the most mobile are advised to leave the dining room before getting involved in the traffic of zimmers. It is 1997, and in my 99th year I have moved into "The Romans" Residential Home. It is a traumatic experience moving from one's own long-cherished home and, of necessity, disposing of old well-loved goods and possessio ns, and anyone who has moved well knows the chaos that ensues. Things get lost or need throwing out - but sometimes there is the joy of a discovery of something packed away in a box or drawer that has not "seen the daylight" for many a year, and, as we gaze at this "find", memories come flooding back. Such a "find" was my diary of early years in Southwick, which ended at about the time of the first World War, and which I promised to continue. Now, some years later, at the request of my children and grandchildren, I take up my pen again. What a lot of years have been covered, and one's memory of later life is not as vivid and precise as that of childhood.
Brighton Like many other teenagers at that time, I learned Shorthand and Typing, and was given an office job with the Employers' Liability Assurance Company, whose office was in Kings Road, Brighton, next to the Metropole. Each day I journeyed by train (when I o ccupied the journey with Dicken's "Our Mutual Friend"), and trekked down Queen's Road and Preston Street in all weathers. The day I started it had been snowing - the road was slippery, and the first entry of the new typist was rather an undignified one ! Having used all my energy on a heavy door, I slid in! A further indignity was to have obeyed my shorthand tutor, Mr. Box, to "do up my hair and wear a hat". "If you want a young lady's job you must look like a young lady" was his advice. I had been wearing my hair long and shining down to my waist - which I later discovered was not only approved of, but admired.
I only ever earned a few pounds a week. It was thought that ladies only worked for pocket money! But I did buy my own clothes. The office boy was very chummy, and needed to be when he came to me, almost on bended knee - "would I please do this letter again as he had spoilt it in the copying". I went out for my lunch, most often to 'Lyons'. The seafront at Brighton was a very interesting place - there were vendors who enticed one to augment lunch with cherries, I remember. Among the strollers on the Promenade, and about the streets, one could often meet turbaned Indians from the Royal Pavilion which had been taken over as a Military Hospital. They would "pass the time of day" with us English girls, and their great desire was to obtain a momento to take home to India - a pencil, old sunglasses - whatever. I remember the rough days on the Seafront, particularly the day when, in a gale, I got to the bottom of Preston Street and could only hang on to some railings till a fisherman from the beach came to my rescue. I was nineteen when the 1914-18 War ended. We celebrated the Armistice, but Southwick carried its scars and living was meagre. I remember the excitement when the first Banana ship arrived! I enjoyed my Office life until I got married. The Frampton Family
The Frampton Family
John, Phyllis, Doris, Edith

Part 2 The Rest of my Story
1999 Doris Randall
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