Fond memories of Worthing Over 21 Club

Worthing Over 21 Club in 1961
Worthing Over 21 Club in 1961

Mr and Mrs Witten wrote in after seeing this photo of the Worthing Over 21 Club from 1961 in Looking Back.

The Wittens met at the club in 1959 and married four years later.

Mrs Witten said: “I am third from right on the back row, and my husband is fourth from right.

“The man seventh along from us on the back row is Albert Greenyer.

“The only others we remember are the Grossman twins, who are on the left at the front.”

John Goodwin, of Smugglers Walk, Goring-by-Sea, also wrote in to share his memories of the Over 21 Club in the late 1940s.

John said: “The photograph of the 1961 Over 21 Club awakened old memories, all of which were good.

“I joined the Worthing Over 21 Club in October 1947, after returning from army service in the Middle East.

“At that time, returning servicemen wanted to get back into a local social life, which had been disrupted by the war.

“The Over 21 Club gave its members the chance to do this and the talks, walks and social activities were well supported.

“In 1948, the chairman was David Choate, who later married Kathleen from the club, and meetings were held on a Monday evening at the Forester’s Hall, in Newland Road.

“We met every Sunday for a cycle ride, or a hike over the downs to Steyning or Cissbury.

“These usually ended up in a teashop. A cream tea was about 2/6 (12p).

“Wages were quite low, as a Post Office counter clerk I earned about £250 a year.

“None of us had cars in those days so we used buses a lot.

“For a short time, I was cIub secretary until my career took me to London, although I returned home at weekends to join excursions into the Sussex countryside.

“Sadly, although I can recall faces, proper names escape me, although there was Rae and Ernest Parsons, Big and Little Eric, Dot, and Miffie, who did the teas, and a pipe-smoking chap who was a bit of a philosopher.

“Names, which may bring back memories to some family members in Worthing.

“Inevitably, we were all interested in the opposite sex and marriage was accepted as being part of a normal lifestyle.

“I met Jean, my wife, there, and my long-lasting friends, Cyril and Cynthia Levett, who had also just returned from war service.

“Looking back to the late 1940s, all of us had a job, many with prospects, and a settled home life.

“We were grateful the war was over and to be back in Worthing for good, even though it seemed to rain a lot in those days.

“Most of us were happy; for we had lots of fun, and the Over 21 Club replaced the comradeship we had had in the armed forces.”

If you recognise anyone else in the photo of the Over 21 Club from 1961, or have your own memories of the club which you would like to share, please get in touch.

• Send your memories and photos to James Connaughton, via email to james.connaughton@jpress.co.uk, send them by post or pop into Cannon House, Chatsworth Road, Worthing, BN11 1NA. Telephone 01903 282351.