Shop display won me a holiday

Eastbourne Looking Back SUS-150903-152504001
Eastbourne Looking Back SUS-150903-152504001

Recently you printed a photo of a lady called Jacqueline Martin who was featured in a series of articles called Girl about Town back in the early 1960s.

Jackie asks if any other girls featured made it in their hoped for careers.

I was working for Lloyds Bank in Terminus Road Eastbourne at the time my photo was featured in the same series; however, I had hopes of owning my own business one day which would somehow involve my love of the past.

I started collecting bygones in 1972 and ten years later the opportunity arose that I could use my kitchenalia collection in a window display in my husband’s shop in Polegate High Street as an entry into a ‘Good Housekeeping’ national competition to celebrate the magazine’s 60th anniversary.

To my surprise and delight I won first prize which was a three week £10,000 first class holiday to Thailand.

Customers to our shop were disappointed when the display was dismantled and asked for it to be re-sited as they wanted to bring friends and family to see it, so Brian and I set about transferring this display, together with my collection back home in our cottage in Hankham, to the basement of our shop and opened ‘The Museum of Shops and Social History’ incorporating an Edwardian tea room and gardens.

The collection grew and grew and in 1986 we took the plunge and opened a much larger museum tourist attraction in Battle; by 1992 the walls were again bursting at the seams with artefacts from Queen Victoria’s reign to the 1950s and it was time to extend into the next door premises - the top award winning attraction of ‘Yesterdays World’ was born and my dream was realised.

I am now retired but kept up my interest in dogs from early days - the first being Zack, a blue whippet in 1962 with a couple of different pets along the way until we were introduced to the Saluki hound in 1992 and since then we have owned and loved this breed for their amazing beauty and charming companionship.

Annette Buckley