Mr Broke is actually 
Mr Beckett

Eastbourne Looking Back SUS-140212-090538001

Eastbourne Looking Back SUS-140212-090538001

0
Have your say

I was looking again at the article you so kindly published in looking back recently about Stephen Blackmore when I realised that there is an error in the text.

You mention a local historian called Arthur Broke but this is a mistake made by the Internet scan of an old newspaper article.

In the original Spectator article it is correctly attributed to Arthur Beckett and, for some reason, the Internet version mistakenly calls him Arthur Broke.

This is especially ironic because he was chairman of T R Beckett Ltd who founded many of the local Eastbourne papers - including the forerunner of the Eastbourne Herald.

His great contribution to local history was the founding of the Sussex County Magazine which, between 1926 and 1956, published a wide range of information about Sussex, especially in the Eastbourne area.

It contains many fascinating articles and pictures and is a constant source of reference for local historians.

He was a conservationist, journalist and author, and wrote several books about Sussex and the Downs he loved so much.

As president of the Society of Sussex Downsmen, he contributed greatly to the saving of Crowlink area of the Seven Sisters from a proposed housing development.

He lived in Eastbourne but had a little hideaway cottage in East Dean which was too small to invite visitors to stay.

This, he said, suited him very well. In East Dean he met the local vicar, Alfred Arthur Evans, and they became firm friends; Rev Evans regularly contributing to the Sussex County Magazine.

Mr Beckett died on 8 May 1943 and Rev Evans wrote in his Countryman’s Diary, published in the magazine:

“One cannot begin the usual chit-chat of this article without a look back at one who has passed on – Arthur Beckett.

“After nearly forty years of intimate companionship with him I have nothing but happy memories.

“He was always the same to me as I believe he was to others, kind, helpful and self-effacing. That last word I would linger over.

“He could write about Sussex, and did write, with knowledge and affection but always was ready to give place and priority to others.”

When Rev Evans died on 16 April 1946 his ashes were interred in Friston churchyard next to Mr Arthur Beckett’s grave.

So the two friends are together again in their final resting place, near this beautiful old church.

The photographs are of Mr Beckett and the grave.

Lloyd Brunt, East Dean & Friston Local History Group.