John’s story starts on the road in the West Country with carefree memories of his grandfather and father, well known travelling showmen. John’s family then moved into The Enterprise, a large, popular Bristol pub, before his dad, Jimmy, took the gamble of starting a new life in Brighton, taking on a fairground at the Aquarium. But tragedy struck, and John found himself running the family business when he was barely in his 20s. It was a challenge he took on with a determination to succeed.
Some of Tony’s earliest memories were the WWII bombing raids over his home town of Kings Lynn. He did his national service in the RAF, during which he was dispatched to Florida to support Britain’s team in a bombing competition. Back at home, the company he was working for got into trouble and he took it over with three colleagues. It was a shattering failure, but Tony picked himself up and started again. Along with his son, Tim, he founded a successful business supplying and manufacturing equipment for the food industry.
Pam has always had the travelling bug and her nursing career helped her see much of the world. She joined the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps and was despatched to the British Military Hospital (BMH) in Hamburg. She was then moved to Egypt and then Tripoli, where she was working when the Suez Crisis erupted. After leaving the army, Pam worked in America and Canada, and was married in North Carolina in 1962. Pam returned to the UK in 1975, and spent many years running a kennels in Anglesey.
Iris’s dad called her his Lucky Charm as he was determined to beat off a life-threatening illness to see the arrival of his daughter. Iris was raised in a close-knit Lambeth pub, which was the centre of the local community during The Blitz. Iris started work for Unilever in Blackfriars at the age of 16. On a holiday trip with workmates, she met Jim at a Pontins in Devon. She said that marrying Jim was the best decision of her life. They saved up to make their family home in Kent, moving out of London in 1961.
As a child, Doris experienced harsh poverty and had to look after her siblings when she was still very young. It never dampened her spirits and Doris has always been known by friends and family for her unique exuberance and positivity. She has always loved performing and has raised fortunes for Guide Dogs. The love of her life, Harry, died in 1990, but she has never been lonely. She is devoted to her family which includes 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
If you want an example of a true Brightonian, you need look no further than Diana Pratt. Generations of her family have lived locally, and the only time Di has lived away was when she was evacuated to Pulborough, which was just a bus ride away. She married Chris (another Brightonian, obviously) – they both worked at a local butchers. After living in rented accommodation, they jumped at a chance to join a community self-build scheme in Hollingdean, where they built their family home.
Born in 1941, Margaret, spent her early years living with her grandmother after her parents split up, before moving in with her mum and her new partner Bill. After Bill fell ill, Margaret left school early, giving up her dreams of becoming a teacher. Working at Woolwich GPO, she met her husband David. They had to endure a terrible time, when their first baby Julia fell very ill with a condition doctors struggled to diagnose. Margaret is now retired in Somerset with 7 grandchildren and a great granddaughter.