When riders reined supreme

Eastbourne Looking Back Old kennels SUS-150203-122325001
Eastbourne Looking Back Old kennels SUS-150203-122325001

This is a photograph of the first gymkhana organised for pupils of the Old Kennels Riding School in Old Town by the proprietors Mr and Mrs J Nolan in 1958.

It was held in Milton Crescent Paddock which was used for schooling lessons until 1962 when an area adjacent to the riding stables became available.

Riders, young and the not so young, came from all over the Eastbourne area, plus holidaymakers, foreign students and schools.

They all learnt to ride on our beautiful Downs, Beachy Head to Jevington and on into Friston Forest and beyond.

If we arrived at the stables early to help at weekends and holidays we often had the chance to ride the ponies bareback in from various paddocks and then back out in the evening.

I left school in 1963 and my first job was as a groom for Mr and Mrs Nolan.

It was hard work, mixed with much laughter.

Mr Nolan sadly passed away in the late 1970s and Mrs Nolan decided to call it a day and sold up but still lives in a local market town.

Judy Callow (Fuller), Rattle Road, Westham.