My father, Geoffrey Godden

Geoffrey Godden
Geoffrey Godden

I was delighted to read Antony Edmonds’s tribute to my late father Geoffrey Godden, which appeared in the Herald and Gazette on June 23 – and struck by the mention of the fact that his death breaks a Godden family connection with Worthing going back over a century.

Although it is correct that I myself do not live in Worthing – actually in Yatton, North Somerset, some 136 miles away – I still feel that I have a connection to the town where I was brought up and lived for over 20 years.

Geoffrey Godden with his son Jonathan, wife Jean and daughter-in-law Sally

Geoffrey Godden with his son Jonathan, wife Jean and daughter-in-law Sally

I have always had a great fondness for and interest in Worthing, and ironically I was the one at school who always wanted to stay in the town – while many of my classmates had ambitious plans to move to far-flung exotic locations!

However circumstances dictate where you end up, and my work took me away from the town, but I never felt that this had broken my connection with the area, and I am still a social member of Findon Cricket Club, where I played cricket from the age of 11.

Choosing to play for Findon may on the surface have seemed a strange decision, since we lived immediately behind the Manor Ground, home of Worthing Cricket Club.

However I joined Findon because my dentist was the president of the club, and it is never prudent to upset your dentist by joining a rival club!

I am also involved in a couple of Worthing-based charities, and I still take great pleasure in visiting the town, as do my children.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people in Worthing and Findon who have spoken of my father and written about him or published their memories of him.

It is all too true, as the Herald and Gazette tribute said, that you often do not realise how respected and well thought of a person is until they die.

I have been amazed and delighted by the number of words that have appeared about my father in newspapers and magazines, and in specialist publications about antiques.

Much of the research my father did over the years and the material he accumulated will be going to Worthing library, in order that his efforts will not be wasted and that future generations will be able to learn and gain enjoyment from them.

I also hope to complete and publish his unfinished books, and indeed to bring to a conclusion one particular task that was very close to his heart – namely, to prove that the very first picture postcards were produced in Worthing, which is contrary to the currently accepted history of the development of postcards.

I also hope to use some of his material to write some articles for the Nostalgia section of the Herald and Gazette, and I may even try to push my luck and write about a couple of my special interests – railways and the Fire Brigade. (Not that you are allowed to call it that any more, in these days of “Fire and Rescue Services”, unless you are in London.)

Finally, the best tribute that those who knew my father and mother can pay to their memory is to help look after the fine town of Worthing that they both loved.

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