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Jeff from Sidley

posted by dave on 25 Feb 2009 at 3:39 am

Does anyone remember Jeff? He was a colourful character who seemed to be every where,especially in sidley, he would do wonderful police car impressions and was a great guy to talk to, I often wonder what happened to him ,Is he still around? He's one of those people you meet that remain in your memories for ever,any information would be good.

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posted by Sheila on 04 Mar 2009 at 9:23 pm

I remember Jeff very well. He used to wear a cowboy hat and would always tell us that he was a different cowboy (Wyatt Earp and the Lone Ranger were favourites). He was/is a very gentle soul and loved to talk to us.

This was in the 50s and I did see him about 10 years ago but will ask next time I am speaking to someone in Bexhill.


posted by dave on 07 Mar 2009 at 2:44 pm

Thanks for the info. i remember the hat, he was quite the character, hope hes still around,thanks again.


posted by andrea on 09 Mar 2009 at 5:00 pm

I remember jeff, we always used to stand and talk to him as kids, he had a problem with his back and was known amounst the kids as the hunchback, which i am sure was unkind but he was so gentle and so funny. I was only thinking about him a few days ago and wondered if he was still alive but I am sure he was quite old in the 80's. I would love to know what became of him.


posted by Sheila on 11 Mar 2009 at 10:30 pm

Sadly it was Jeff who died. My brother says he was in his late 60s but still looked the same as ever.

His brother Jim is in his 80s and still helping out with a local charity.


posted by andrea on 12 Mar 2009 at 5:52 pm

I am sorry to hear jeff passed on, I have fond memories of him, does anyone know when he died.


posted by dave on 13 Mar 2009 at 3:09 am

sorry to hear about jeff I no longer live in the UK but I have alot of contacts there I will try and find out what happened,he will be missed I have many good memories of jeff at sidley green,with the cowboy hat.


posted by Sheila on 18 Mar 2009 at 11:03 pm

I received the following message from one of my brothers:

Jeff died 23rd March 2003, there is a bench on the corner of Wrestwood Road where he often sat, in his memory. He was aged 66.

We used to always ask "Who are you going to be today, Jeff?" and it was always a cowboy. He enjoyed talking to us as much as we enjoyed talking to him.


posted by dave on 19 Mar 2009 at 3:19 am

sorry to hear that he has died i kept hopeing that he would still be around,he always liked to be a police car,and was great to talk to, nothing in the world seemed to bother him,one of bexhills true charatures,he could teach us all a good lesson in how to enjoy life,and take it as it comes, rest in peace mate.


posted by andrea head on 19 Mar 2009 at 6:29 pm

if jeff was 66 in 2003 that would have made him in his 40's in the 80's, i never realised he was so young. does any one remember the other fella who used be about, i think he was called brian, he lived down pembry grove i think with his folks.


posted by dave on 20 Mar 2009 at 12:16 am

I remember the old hermit that lived in the high woods now he was quite the charater,charlie moved once they cleared out the trees up there, you can still find his old hut if you know where to look,I dont remember brian though,the bird lady was another of bexhills true charaters.


posted by Gwen Henley on 13 Jul 2009 at 3:56 pm

I remember Jeff ,he use to ride a bike and wait at the railings near the boys school near the downs ,, all though i left school in 1956 ,and moved up north ,i have ofton thought of him ,and looked out for him when i have been back to bexhill , thank you for the update ,i was gwen Kewley and lived ib Buxton drive

Record Rendevouse

posted by betty webster on 20 Jul 2009 at 12:26 pm

I lived in sidley bexhill for a short while with len and gwen goodwin and always bought records at recoed rendevouse I always had an eye for the young man who worked there I think he was called michael but I was only just fifteen I lived in dalehurst road I would love to hear some news of the shop or young man.


posted by tracy gurr on 11 Sept 2009 at 10:15 pm

I remember him at the pictures on saturday mornings when he was a sheriff with his badge and hat also he used to give us sweets at the time i was about 8 years old that would have been 1971.


posted by dave on 03 Oct 2009 at 9:00 pm

Yes he was quite the chap,its a shame but there just dosnt seem to be the same feeling in bexhill anymore without such charactures,nowadays people would most likely cross the street,let alone acept a sweet from him,,,,they were good times and he is missed.


posted by Sue on 04 Dec 2009 at 11:20 am

I remember Jeff I lived in Wrestwood road, when I was young and everyday Jeff would walk past and I would say "What are you today" and he wouod be a 'cowboy' or a 'fireman' always something different. He was a lovely harmless guy. But I dread to think what they would make of him today.


posted by Rod Waite on 05 Dec 2009 at 7:00 pm

I remember Jeff as well,he was always buffalo bill,his brother Jim Steniford who worked for the old bexhill borough council,Jim was also a keen member of the bexhill athletic club in little common rd,he was a very good gymnast,I was also a member for many years.Jim died some years ago,sadly missed.


posted by Blair on 03 Jan 2010 at 7:32 pm

Ah ... Jeff.
He wore a Sheriff badge and was so proud of it, sat on Aukland House wall watching the world pass by. A gentle chap and spoke to everyone. Wore a faun jacket I seem to remember and was always smartly turned out.

I think the Highwoods-Man collected R.Whites Lemonade bottles for the 3d refund from places like Tredwell's for his baccy. He was cool.

Anyone remember the Sidley chap on the bike with a cat on his shoulder (sometimes in a box on the pannier). Didn't he get hit by a car? I remember seeing him bowing reverently on the pavement in front of Nuns from Nazareth House. Once rode the bike with no tyre! Had us kids in tucks.

You Legends!!! Bless you all.


posted by RONALD ASHTON on 20 Apr 2010 at 2:03 pm



posted by Derek on 23 May 2010 at 10:34 pm

I remeber Jeff waiting outside the Buckhurst Road school often wearing the cowboy hat. His brother Jim taught me trampoline at the Athletic Club on the Downs. I well recall that no-one ever made fun of Jeff the way that would possibly happen today. Also no-one ever thought ill of him waiting to talk to children after school. That certainly would not be politically correct today!


posted by Dave Nattress on 18 Dec 2010 at 10:20 pm

Yeah, all your various messages about jeff are bang-on correct. I remember him well and Jim his brother and I definitely recall the "Cat Man" - was a Ginger Tabby I believe. Plus we used to look in the Highwoods for the old hermit guy and we used to find his little hut and enclosure and look from some way away, as we were a little unsure about it all.

Great memories.


The Cat Man

posted by chris cox on 24 Jan 2011 at 6:02 pm

I remember following 'the cat man' down Western Road when a large roll of bank notes fell from his pocket. I picked them up and ran after him (he always used to talk to himself as he walked). He just took the notes from me, stuffed them back in his pocket and went on his way, cat on shoulder.
I guess he was probably quite well-off, but eccentric.
Jeff was part of my childhood, too. Another of the things he did was collect car numbers. Sometimes, later, when I had children of my own,he would come into Sunday School at Springfield Road Methodist Church.

Jeff And The Highwoods Man.

posted by dave on 06 Mar 2011 at 1:10 am

Yes I guess in this politically correct age jeff would be hounded by the do gooders and given heck by the police,to me it's a sad reflection on how society has gone down the wrong path.
the chap in the woods name was charlie he was quite the character very smart and always had a good story if you could get him to talk that was,as a kid I spent weeks tracking him around the wood and eventually found his shack,it turned out he had been watching me more than I had him, and he eventually spoke one day, very nice guy, shame they cut all the trees down,Im not sure he's still alive I know where he moved to but since i'm no longer in the Uk i guess this will go unanswered, unless you know the answer.

Re Jeff

posted by Jane dengate on 21 Mar 2011 at 3:13 pm

There is a sit opposite the pub in wrestwood road. In jeffs Nameit gives the date he died.
His brother jim live in st james ave.


posted by dave on 24 May 2011 at 3:06 am

Yes that was a simpler time, I will look out for the seat thanks jane

Bexhill Highwoods (reply To Dave)

posted by Ivor on 17 Jun 2011 at 4:28 pm

Yes I can remember the "old man" at the Highwoods, I think his name was Percy (he used to have a rather fierce dog), and Reg Cane (a founder member of the Bexhill Amateur Athletic Club) always used to talk to him when we went up there.
I can remember the swimming pool you mention being declared open by the then Duke of Gloucester-King George vi's brother. This was in about 1937-8. All a very long time ago


posted by keith sadler on 28 Jun 2011 at 8:46 pm

yes i remember jef lovely guy had a brother who worked in town hall. i was born and breed in preston road lived there 21 years be nice to here from any one who knew me
keith sadler

Brian Dyson

posted by keith sadler on 03 Jul 2011 at 8:31 pm

yes brian did live on the corner of pembury grove with his mum and brother he was known as dilly dyson. i believe he had a motor bike accident that changed his life.


posted by Richard Blackwell on 05 Jun 2013 at 10:21 pm

Ah I remember good old Jeff, I went to Buxton Drive school and he was sometimes outside at home time to talk to us kids. I remember once someone handed him a skipping rope and challenged him to skip. He was actually quite good.

And we would always see him at the Saturday morning cinema in western road.

I had forgotten about the Cat man until I read this. WOW


posted by dave on 15 Jun 2013 at 4:01 am

Was your mother a keen photographer? we used to refer to her as nanny Blackwell, this is where I got my love of photography from.the very few photos i have from my childhood were taken by her,some at the LFH cooden. great memories.


posted by Richard Blackwell on 25 Jun 2013 at 9:37 pm

She was my Grandmother Dave, and yes she was seldom seen without her camera. I too have the bug, but I don't take as many as she did.


posted by dave on 06 Jul 2013 at 8:21 pm

I did wonder if there was a connection.I don't know if you remember David and fiona Carr from your younger years.
I take thousands of pictures, all i can say if thank goodness for digital, it used to cost me a fortune in film.

Jeff And The Cat Man

posted by Tony Bittan on 12 Aug 2013 at 8:39 am

I remember Jeff well, and we often used to see the cat man on the bus on the way to school.

Spent Most Of My Life In Little Common. Sidley, Bexhill

posted by Derrick on 19 Sept 2015 at 3:54 pm

Hello to all you people with fond memories, I remember all your stories, I actually have swam in the highwoods swimming pool.
How times have changed, and sometimes not for the better, DAVE I think you and I went to the same school, Does anybody remember the A B C Minors in Buckhurst road. ?

Jeff ETC

posted by Kevin Doswell on 27 Sept 2015 at 7:56 pm

I think most of us kids back in the late 50's early 60's would remember Jeff if we went home via Bancroft Rd very social but harmless guy. His brother Jim also taught me gymnastics at the Athletic club great guy.
As a 15/16 year old I used to spend many summer weekends camping in the High Woods with other mates from the Athletic Club. The
swimming pool was always cold as it was fed
from a spring which was continually flowing into
the pool. Early spring it was emptied via a valve,
when emtied we would clean it out. The spring
also served for our drinking water it was nectar.
We would joke about JackaBorham haunting the
woods so it made you think twice when camping
and you needed a cool of nature at night, there
was always a joker who had heard you creep out
of the tent. Good times and simple. The ABC
Minors on a Saturday morning admission 6d for
down stairs or 9d up stairs. After it had closed as a cinema it was used by the post office at Christmas as a sorting office for parcels. I was an apprentice carpenter in the middle sixties and E Godwins for whom I worked for had the contract to set it up.

Good Times Indeed.

posted by dave on 03 Oct 2015 at 1:23 pm

Yes I would agree not everything has changed for the better, now every teenager I see is glued to their phones incase something has happened in the last 2 seconds that they don't really need to know about. what ever happened to being out in the woods swimming in freezing cold water , walking miles over the fields just because they are there. I have no need or want to be connected 24/7/365 , put the phones away people get out and enjoy life stop filling the pockets of the millionaire phone companies with your hard earned cash. enjoy life this is not a rehearsal.

Jeff & The Cat Man

posted by stuart george matthews on 15 Dec 2016 at 6:51 am

I remember well all the lovely comments about Jeff and his brother Also the Cat man. It was "Sandy" Waghorn and he road a bike with the cat on his shoulder. I was in the 9th Bexhill Scouts with Sandy but not sure what ever happened to him

Sandy Waghorne

posted by Sheila on 09 Jan 2017 at 11:46 pm

Double checked with my youngest brother - our cousin Sandy Waghorne wasn't the Cat Man - though he did have a variety of nicknames! The cat man was John Taylor and my brother, Andy Davies, thinks he lived somewhere around Camperdown Street.

Francis Noel Pious Waghorne (aka Sandy, Wags, Frank and, by the police on a Saturday night - Creeping Jesus). Sad to say he died in 2006 aged 60.

Would guess Sandy was in the scouts as his Dad, my Uncle Curly, was on the committee along with my Dad. They used to joke that they were Frank and Earnest! All three of my brothers were in the scouts. I only made it to brownies which was held in a hall on London Road virtually opposite Chepbourne Road.

Bexhill Characters

posted by Gill Bennett (Toghill) on 13 Jan 2017 at 10:15 pm

I agree with all these comments about the old (or not so old!) characters around town in the 60s. I had forgotten about them I remember Creeping Jesus too! Certainly we just accepted Jeff as who he was and never thought of bullying him like youths do these days. In a away it gave us a sense of security that these figures were constants in our childhood. ABC minors! 6d entry! one third of my pocket money. And Brownies but only briefly, in that awful uniform.

Geoff And Jim Stentiford

posted by Tony Newton on 08 Mar 2017 at 12:16 am

These men were related to me, I think their Mum was my grandad's cousin, so i think that makes us 3rd cousins. Jim was amate , most helpful to younger guys keen on sports, and geoff was indeed a character who seemd cheerul all the time. Their mother (Edie I think her name was) once left me a cake on the doorstep without leaving a note when my parents were away, and I was able to invite all my mates round for tea!! had no idea till much later who the cake angel was, Lovely family.Jin took care of his brother well when they were both left alone.

Sandy Waghorne

posted by Julian on 12 May 2017 at 5:04 pm

Hi. I was remembering Sandy, a school friend from the 50's, at Saint Mary Mag's, when I stumbled across these messages. We lost touch when my family left for Canada, but I still consider my Bexhill years as having been very special. When I visited, some years ago, I was unable to connect with anyone from my past, but still enjoyed "coming home." Greeting to all.

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