Charabancs
Cecil Floyd (left) on a Sunday School outing
This photo was sent to me by Gary Manktelow. Below is another version with the people numbered to help identification. Sue Goodwin (nee Harding) has helped identify many of them but can you fill in any gaps or corrections If so, please email richard.coomber@virginmedia.com
It is hard in the age of package holidays and cheap flights, when most people now have a passport and are used to trips to Europe or even further afield, to remember that in the immediate post-war period the most many people could look forward to was a ‘charabanc’ to the seaside. Blackham used to have at least one ‘outing’ a year. A coach - sometimes two depending on the demand - would arrive outside the village hall and also pick up at the Forge and Sussex Oak before heading off to Eastbourne, Margate, Ramsgate or Littlehampton for the day. As ever in England, the success of trips depended to a large extent on the weather and many an anxious child, looking at overcast skies, has been told not to worry because there was ‘enough blue sky to make a sailor a pair of trousers.’
Once there, families would head off in different directions - the beach, the shops, a funfair - knowing they had to be at the pick-up point on time for the trip back. Counting heads before setting off home was a ritual that ensured no one got left behind. The journeys home were renowned for their singing of popular songs,  a stop off on the way for a drink, and the hat being passed for whip- round for the driver. As well as the village events, there were special trips organised for Sunday School pupils and each year the football club arranged a coach to London to see Chelsea or Fulham play. That was  followed by a variety show, usually the Crazy Gang’s latest offering.
Identified so far 1 Mr Boakes 2 Mrs Boakes 3 4 Georgina Wickham 5 6 Jesse Wickham 7 Jean Wickham 8 ?Hugh Harding 9 10 Frank Butcher 11 12 13 Bill Manktelow 14 Mrs Gasson 15 Mr Gasson 16 Dolly Manktelow 17 Ernest Harding 18 ?Stewart Harding 19 20 Gladys Mitchell 21 Edith Harding 22 23 Stella Harding 24 Brian Manktelow 25 Eileen Harding 26 27 28 ? Derek Shepherd 29 30 Billy Mitchell 31 32
If you can help identify those we haven’t got names for, or think we’ve got some wrong please get in touch
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