Looking back: fond memories of 1942 town hall tea

A SCHOOLBOY’S memories of tea at the Town Hall were evoked by a Herald 1942 nostalgia feature published last month.

We included a photograph of the mayor at a tea party for local children who had won “special places”, and we invited anyone in the picture to identify themselves.

There was a welcome response from Patrick Tomsett, now 80 years old, but no longer a Worthing resident, who wrote:

“I am the small boy in a dark blazer sixth from the right of the picture. I lived in Worthing until I was 24, and have since moved northwards to London, Luton and Sale near Manchester. A younger brother still lives in Worthing and it was his wife that sent me the cutting.

“In 1942, a number of us from school took the entrance examination, or 11-plus as it came to be called later, for the High School. We had to go to West Tarring Boys School to sit it, and Dad (William) cycled over there with me from our home in Tower Road.

“This was probably the newest school in Worthing at the time, and I had never imagined that school could be like that!

“The floors shone, there was a large gym, the desks were new, there were playing fields instead of a Tarmac playground, with football goals and a cricket square – the whole place had a light and airy feel about it. In fact, in the physical sense it was a far better school than the High School that we were all hoping to get into.”

For the full letter from Mr Tomsett, read this week’s Worthing Herald, out from Thursday, August 30.