Wednesday, 9 October 2013

10 Temple Titbits

 A random selection of facts about the Street culled from here and there…

1 The land on which Temple Street was built was previously farmland, and is named after The Temple on Montpelier Road, home of property developer and politician Thomas Read Kemp  (1782 – 1844). It now houses the Brighton and Hove High School.

The Temple, built in 1819. Thomas Kemp moved out in 1827, after which The Temple became a boys' school



2 The deeds of the dwellings in the street prevent the occupants from running a disorderly house (According to Wikipedia: a charge of keeping a disorderly house is the typical charge against one accused of maintaining a brothel, and as brothel-keeping is one of the most common causes for the charge of keeping a disorderly house, "disorderly house" is something of a euphemism for brothel in the English legal community).

A Disorderly House
3 At number 12, which had a passage through to Borough Street, horses were not allowed to be kept. There used to be horses in Borough Street. People who once lived at number 12 suggested, ‘if you keep our horses, we could run your disorderly house’. By the 1890s the passage led directly into the Borough Tavern, a small pub that used to trade at 39 Borough Street.



4 There were a number of wells in the street. If a householder finds one it has to be reported it to the council. About 30 years ago, when number 4 was being renovated, a 17th century well was found under the kitchen floorboards.

A useful well in the backyard
 5 According to a local historian, at some time during the 19th century, numbers 3, 4 and 5 formed one establishment used for training female domestic servants under the patronage of the Queen Dowager (Queen Adelaide 1792–1849). Number 33 was the Brighton Refuge for Destitute Females in the 1850s.


6 An organ builder lived and worked at number 3 and was reputed to build his organs in his cellar. Many of the early residents of Temple Street were dressmakers and milliners.



7 The street also housed a maker of cricket balls and Number 1 was a butchers during the 1920s. The cellar is sloping to drain off the blood.



8 Enid Gray, the Street’s eldest resident, whose life story you’ll find on this site, married into a family that had lived in Temple Street for generations. Her mother-in-law Winnie Whitlock was born in 1893 at no 46. Her father, William Mortimer Whitlock was living at 39 Temple St in 1891 (occupation ‘dancing master’) and in 1901 was a ‘decorative japanner’. Winnie used to go to school through a twitten opposite 37 Temple Street, to a school in Borough Street (just up from estate agents Fox and Son and now an office building).

St Stephen's Church of England School in Borough Street c1860
9 The corner shop opposite The Temple Bar, recently vacated by Classical Lighting – after possibly Brighton's longest ever closing down sale – has been a rather swish car showroom in its time.  It opened up as a branch of Caffynns in 1920. 

1924 – Caffynns car showroom on the corner of Temple Street and Western Road


10 There are six Grade II listed buildings in the street– – numbers 2, 29, 3, 4, 5 and 31.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Sir Donald Sinden and Temple Street

Not many people know about Temple Street’s connection with that suave star of stage and screen, the late Sir Donald Sinden. Sir Donald* had a letter from 1886 which was addressed to his great-grandmother at 40 Temple Street.
Sir Donald Sinden –  a distinguished thespian with many Brighton connections
Sarah Sinden (nee Fogg) was born in Hull in 1842. She married Alfred Sinden and died in Brighton in 1934. Alfred died in 1881 and by 1886 Sarah had nine children aged between 8 and 20.
Sarah's oldest son, also Alfred Edward (Alfie), was born in 1871 and became the grandfather of the actor Sir Donald Sinden.
The letter was written by John Fogg to his daughter, Sarah Sinden, in 1886 when she was living at 40 Temple Street, which was described as a lodging house.
Alfred Sinden and Sarah Sinden (neé Hogg) c1870

‘Someone will wish they had written oftener…’

 

Here’s an intriguing extract from the letter.

"Wish Mother could write, she would if she could – she is now trying to sweep up the house poor dear soul. You must write to Emily. She will be glad to get a few lines from any or all of you. We often wonder you don't write to her. As for me, a poor old man, it does not matter so much - when I am gone somebody will wish they had written oftener."

See the whole letter at the Letters in the Attic project

* according to Wikipedia, Sir Donald – 9 October 1923 – 12 September 2014 – made his first stage appearance at the Brighton Little Theatre (of which he later became President) in January 1941, playing Dudley in George and Margaret in place of his cousin, Frank, who had been called up to war and so was unable to appear. In the 1940s in Hove, he befriended LordAlfred Douglas (known as Bosie), who had been Oscar Wilde's lover. On 23 March 1945, he was one of only two people who attended his funeral.

Temple Street in the 1950s



Reg and Maud Jinks moved into 3 Temple Street in 1961 – but before that the Walden family lived there. Sisters Terry and Bonnie Walden recall what it was like to live in Temple Street in those days

Girls of the house: Terry and Bonnie Walden
The Walden family arrived at 3 Temple Street in 1949. There were open fires in all the rooms and lincrusta wallpaper in the hall, which the girls liked to ‘pop’ (like bubblewrap today). All the front doors had canvas curtains to protect them from the sun in summer. Sisters, Terry and Bonnie have vivid memories of living in the street. Their mother bred budgerigars in an aviary in the backyard and also took in lodgers: two men came from the Isle of Wight to work as bus drivers and so loved Brighton that when they returned home, she sent them The Argus every week!

One door down a woman bred Persian cats. One door up the husband or brother had a dental repair workshop.

There was a tailor (Morris and Altman at no 7) half way up with two daughters. And further up a woman selling terracotta pots (Provence Pots no 21). John Adams at no 41 worked on the Brighton Belle and his was the first family in the street to get a television. The sisters watched the Coronation in 1953 and The QuatermassExperiment on it: television was an event and curtains were drawn and lemonade and sandwiches served. Ken Witty, a lifeguard on Brighton beach, lived near the top on the left. Half way up on the right was some sort of engineering workshop with men wearing green dungarees (Associate Engineering Ltd, selling motor car components).

Entertainment? The girls played all the usual children’s games out on the street. Of course, the beach was very close by. You could catch a paddle steamer to the Isle of Wight from the West Pier and go for boat trips in the fishing boats which pulled up onto the beach. And there were swings in St Ann’s Wells Park. Ice cream could be bought in a jug from Fortes next to the Metropole. There was a wonderful toy shop in Preston Street. Terry and Bonnie had bicycles and went skating at the ice rink in West St. It was a huge event when Father Christmas came to Plummer Roddis (opposite Waitrose which was then the Curzon Cinema) and when Princess Elizabeth visited the seafront in 1952.

Like Enid Gray’s daughter Lynne the girls went to Clifton College in Clifton Road. The uniform was green with yellow braiding and plaid skirts. Mrs Stanley was the head. There was a big old stove like an Aga on which cocoa would be made in the little bottles of milk, stood on it to heat up. Then you took your 11+ in St Mary Magdalen’s school hall. The walk to school took them past a sweetshop at the top of Victoria St where they initially used ration books to buy penny chews and sherbet dabs. The Post office was diagonally opposite and next to it a grocers which delivered every week.

Thanks to the CMPCA

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Cissie at Number 8

Aidan Lunn
‘I still recall the first conversation with our next door neighbour Cissie, at No 8. As she was stone deaf the dialogue was pretty one way, but when you reach the age of 95 some decline in faculties is inevitable. She told us that she had moved into the house on her marriage, sometime before the last war, and that she and her husband had run a tailor’s shop on Western Road.

'Although now widowed, we were pleased to see that she was still able to get out, courtesy of the car that picked her up early
most evenings. Sadly, a year or so later she did have to move on to the local Jewish old people’s home, but we were somehow pleased when a couple of days after her departure the driver knocked on our door to check that the old lady next door no longer required her lift to the Casino in Preston Street. We had clearly come to a street with both history and character . . .'

Aiden Lunn, Number 7
Thanks to CMPCA

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Goodbye to Reg




Reg Jinks' funeral service was held at the Sacred Heart Church in Norton Street on Thursday 11 July. The day was gloriously sunny and warm and the church was packed with family and friends.

In the eulogy, Father Roger Kirinich, a member of Reg's family, reminded us just how special he was – a kind, cultivated and very civilised man of great integrity.

Reg was also, said his great friend Trevor Messenger, a free spirit. Trevor read a poem by Seamus Heaney which he had chosen especially for the day, A Kite for Aibhín

See Franny Skeeles' Tribute to Reg. If you'd like to add your memories of Reg, please write in the comments section below.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Reg Jinks – a Tribute 

Reg on the steps of Number 3 in 2011, celebrating 50 years in Temple Street

 

Very sad news. Reg Jinks, who lived at Number 3 Temple Street, has died. Reg had been born on 26th April 1926, and lived in Temple Street since 1961, and will be greatly missed by his neighbours. Here is the notice from the Brighton Argus, dated 2nd July 2013.

JINKS Reg. Died peacefully at home, 3 Temple Street, Brighton, on 24th June 2013. Formerly a lecturer at City College and involved in education all his life. Cherished husband to the late Maud, father to Veronica and Anthony, grandfather to David, Laura and Patrick. He will be sadly missed by family and friends. Funeral shall take place on Thursday, 11th July at Sacred Heart Church, Norton Road, Hove at 12.00 noon followed by family only for committal. Donations made payable to CAFD, with all enquiries c/o Co-operative Funeralcare, 133 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JH. Tel: 01273 607276.
Fran Skeeles, one of Reg's many good friends, writes:

I had the good fortune to become a next door neighbour of Maud and Reg back in 1993 when my family moved into 4, Temple Street.

We were busy decorating the front room prior to moving in, and they popped their heads through the window to say "Hello", and that was the beginning of a lovely friendship.

We shared similar values and interests...a love of family, friends, literature, theatre, art, travel, new adventures in all sorts of shapes and forms, and also the odd glass of wine!!!!!! Sorry, Reg, that`s not true, we enjoyed, on many occasions a jolly good p*ss up for any reason we could conjure up ...happiness, sadness, simply enjoying each others company!!!

Reg adored his family, and we used to compare notes on our growing grandchildren ...his love and interest in his family really sustained him in the years after Maud's death, as did his great friendship with his old friend Trevor, who my heart goes out to at this time. Reg has been such a very good friend to me, and despite his ongoing trouble with his walking, in recent years, very rarely complained, and was always more concerned with offering help to me if I needed it.

Theatre was his life. Both he and Maud were actors and then Reg moved into directing. He was HUGELY involved in the New Venture Theatre, just over the road in Bedford Place ...and lost his hearing when a stage explosion there went horribly wrong and went off in his ear, during a rehearsal. That happened many years ago now.


The front window of Reg's house, Number 3 Temple Street, c1986

Recently I`'ve been seriously ill and in hospital a great deal, and Reg was constantly phoning me to chat and see if there was anything he could do to help. He too had had a heart bypass several years ago, which gave him a new lease of life, and enabled him to go flying round Brighton again on his beloved bike!! I`'m so glad that I popped in on Reg on the Friday before he died, and we had the chance to catch up and have a cup of coffee together. I shall miss our lunches at La Florentina, our catch ups over coffee and chocolate biscuits, and of course the odd shared natter over a bottle of wine!!!

I've been blessed to have had such a lovely man as my friend, and will miss him greatly. My thoughts and prayers go out to Veronica, Chris, Anthony and all his family and friends. I`'d also like to mention Pete and Laura from no. 2 who looked after him so well since they moved in next door. The Hare Krishna Community at no.1 also took him to their hearts and he was much loved by Dina, Jahnava, Sylvan and the other folk who live there.

Reg was a true gentleman, the likes of whom are hard to come by these days. Bless you Reg ...I`'m sure all your friends will be raising a glass to you on Thursday and remembering you with great love and affection.

Much Love my dear friend. Hare Krishna and HUGE HUGS!!

Fran

16 April 2004 – Reg and Maud on their 50th Wedding Anniversary

Friday, 21 June 2013

Rare old Temple Street photograph comes to light

The Warren Farm School prepare in Temple Street to lead a troop of Brighton Cadets c1910-13

Most of us have only ever seen one vintage Temple Street photograph – the one taken from the Western Road looking up the road on a very sunny day sometime in the 1920s. See below. But another one has just surfaced, recently bought on Ebay, and showing the street in a slightly earlier era.

The guess at this stage is that the photograph was taken around 1910. The boys in front of the parade are from the Warren Farm School.

This was an industrial school located in Rottingdean, its aim to give pauper children a basic education and a grounding in industry so that they could go out and earn a living. It opened in 1862, at the time when people began to feel that children should not be brought up in the workhouse.

Boys were taught trades such as gardening, tailoring and shoemaking whilst girls were trained in domestic service.  Many of the boys were also taught to play an instrument, often leading to a career in an army band.

By the by, the school was notable for its well: it was the deepest hand-dug well in the world, which took 4 years to reach water in March 1862, at a depth of 1285 feet.

There is a caption on the photograph: some words are difficult to make out, but most are decipherable: 'Imperial Service Cadets inspected by Col. Sefly (?)   Leaving headquayers (sic) headed by Warren Farm School Band.'

As for the houses in the background, the photo shows the west side of the street from Number 12 upwards. Number 11, just out of sight on the far left, seems to be a cycle shop. 

Number 12, which now has a boxed bay window, was sporting a balcony in those days, and was fronted by a bow window, on the ground floor at least. The Fire Point sign from that time is still there. 

Any further information or thoughts on the photo would be most welcome!

The fascinating Temple Street photograph taken in the 1920s

Monday, 10 June 2013

Proud young man outside Number 2


Taken in 1925, a young chap poses outside Number 2, which looks as it does today, apart from still having its centre cornice (only one of the centre cornices on the narrow bow-fronted houses in the street now remains – Number 29). Unfortunately nothing is known about the fellow according to the James Gray Collection. Anybody able to help?

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Temple Street People: ENID GRAY

OUR OLDEST RESIDENT TALKS ABOUT HER LIFE


Enid Gray is Temple Street's oldest resident. She lives with her companion Derek van Eerde at 37 Temple Street, which still has a small hairdressing salon at the front of the house. Her mother-in-law had run the business until Enid took it over in the 1940s with her late husband Reginald. Enid has two daughters, six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Here are a few of her memories, told in her own words.

‘I was born in Brighton on 10 October 1919, so I'll be 94 next birthday.... it was at our home in Loder Road going up to Five Ways, then we moved to Richmond Terrace in Richmond Place, opposite St Peter’s Church, one of those very tall houses.

‘My mother had a maid living in – everyone did in those days – and when I was around five we moved to Portsmouth because my father was a officer in the Royal Navy.

Enid taking an early bath at Loder Road
Enid as a baby sitting in the garden at Loder Road
‘We lived in Laburnum Grove which was nicknamed Brass Button Avenue, because that was where the officers lived, and he was a Chief Engine Room Officer. I think I only ever saw him once or twice because he was away at sea a lot...he just sort of dropped in now and again.

‘In 1926, his ship HMS Valerian went down in a hurricane just off Bermuda, and he was drowned...I just remember being palmed off with some relation and they gave me porridge, and I hated porridge!

HMS Valerian, a 1200 ton minesweeper, was stationed in the West Indies
An artist's impression of HMS Valerian overwhelmed by a massive storm in 1926
'It was dreadful for my mother of course, and I do remember that it was a terrible time too for my grandmother who was living in the house opposite St Peter's Church. Her husband, who had been the Brighton and Hove Senior Manager of a Building Society in Ship Street, suddenly lost his job when it was discovered he'd gambled all the money away.

'Then he died, and my grandmother had to sell the house – it was very sad. My mother was a widow, and so it was two widows who went back to Portsmouth, and they started up a haberdashery shop together.


‘I first went to school in Portsmouth and when I was 12 we came back to Brighton and I was sent to Varndean, which was a private school in those days which you had to pay for. I wasn't clever enough for a scholarship, but as I had lost my father on active service, the Navy paid for my fees.


'I met Reg, my husband to be, at the Top Rank ice rink in Brighton when I fell over and he picked me up.
'He’d been at high school on the Isle of Man when his father died and he had to give up his studies. He moved to Brighton to live with his mother and grandmother.


'We were married in 1937 and lived first in Hollingbury Road, then we moved to 23 Temple Street, his family home  – my mother-in-law, who was called Winnie Lane, had actually been born at Number 46.


'Temple Street was just as it is now, but without the cars. The people were very nice and there were more families than nowadays – they didn't have all these students. All single houses, much better.
 

'In the war we went back to Portsmouth to be near my mother who'd moved back there again.


1944: Enid in her VAD uniform
Enid's husband Reg (sixth from right, top) with a group of Chindits. The Chindits were a British Special Force that served in Burma and India in 1943-44 and were trained to operate deep behind Japanese lines
 ‘I joined the VADs, which stood for the Voluntary Aid Detachment, but that wasn't what the boys called us. They used to make up names like Virgin After Destruction, or Virgin In Distress!

‘Reg went off to Burma as a Chindit, fighting under Colonel Wingate, and I became a nurse, though not a qualified medical one.

'I just used to look after the boys, put them on the bedpans, that sort of thing... washing their things...and give them enemas. That was awful. The first one I gave went wrong and it went all the over the bed...there were Queen Alexandra's Nurses in charge of us, and they were very strict. They were very cross.

‘Then there was one time when I was supposed to be giving a sleeping draft to a patient. He had been such a grumpy man that I woke him up to give it to him!

Enid worked as a nurse in the Second World War
 ‘After the war we moved back into Temple Street. Reg’s uncle had a hairdressing academy in First Avenue, the place is still there, so Reg knew the hairdressing business, and he trained me.

‘We had two children, Lynne and Jane. There was no bathroom so they were bathed in the kitchen sink.

'There was a builders yard owned by Mr. Crump next door to us, and they worked on barrows. Every morning at 8 o’ clock we'd hear the barrows and we knew we had to get up.

'The lighting shop which has just shut, the one on the corner, used to be a car showroom. We were up at the other end of the Street – June Smythe who still lives in the street used to go to school with my eldest daughter Lynne. There used to be a saleroom next door but one to us – it was quite nice, I used to pop in and have a look – they've got quite a nice place in Hove now.
1919 – Enid's future husband Reg driving a goat cart down Temple Street. Sister Rita riding shotgun
 'They were lots of fishermen's houses in this street before we lived here, that's what I've been told anyway. I have a picture of my husband as a boy, in a goat cart picture playing in the middle of the road – you couldn't do that now.

Reginald and Enid outside their hairdressers at 23 Temple Street
'We had a hairdressers, and it's always been in our house - first at Number 23 with my mother-in-law and then in the house we're in now, Number 37. We bought it for £3,000.

‘We were always very busy – we never had a sign, we had a big glass plate and that was always in the window. I remember a new customer coming in and I asked if someone had recommended us, and she said 'no, but I always thought your house looked so clean and your curtains so nice.'

‘We never had to have any advertising and the business always flourished. The mayoress used to come up here every week to have her hair done. Our customers were such lovely people – if we didn't like anybody we wouldn't have them!

'We had three basins and six chairs – we worked very hard, and we always had an apprentice who would stay with us for three years. Many of the customers used to say 'no I don't really want him to do my hair' ...they were lovely boys, though, but they had to go after three years.


L-R: Mrs Sara Dampman, Enid's mother-in-law; Enid's daughter Jane, Reginald and Enid at a golf dinner in the 1960s

'My eldest daughter recently had her hair done on the Western Road – it cost £70, £100 in all – in our day we charged £2.00, which was quite a lot of money then. But we did have a good life, we always had wonderful holidays, used to drive over and take the children to France and Germany.

'Once one of my customers said 'look at this' and handed me a brochure which said 'a trip on Concorde to Cairo for a week' and I said it was lovely but I couldn't afford that. She said, 'Oh no, I want to take you, I want to pay for you, I don't want you to spend a halfpenny...'

'I've still got one customer, who lives in Horsham, and comes down every fortnight, and I've been doing her hair for 60 years, and she's a year younger than me. She's forbidden me to die before her, because nobody can do her hair like I do!

Enid in her garden after moving over the road to 37 Temple Street

Enid in her hairdressing salon at 37 Temple Street
‘After I die the house is going to stay in the family. I didn't want it sold. My girls are soon going to turn my salon in the front into a bedroom, which I will use, and the back room into a new sitting room.

‘Derek, my ‘toyboy’ is 79, and we’ve known each other since 1990. How did we meet? He’ll tell you.’

Enid's companion Derek van Eerde, who first met her in 1990

‘I used to be in farming, ‘ Derek says, ‘we had a pick your own soft fruit enterprise – Enid came to pick some strawberries and I got chatting with her because I wanted to change my car that year, and I wanted a Honda or I thought I did at the time, and she came by in a little Honda Civic. We got chatting, and that's how it all started. She soon had me picking the fruit for her!’

Enid at Montpellier Hall, a fine late Regency villa in nearby Montpelier Terrace owned by her friend Roger Amerena

‘I'm having such a lovely life,’ Enid says. ‘I went out yesterday to a pub for a meal for Derek's birthday, they were seven of us, all gay, except for Derek, and my son-in law – they were so good to me – they buy me things and they're so lovely. I've still got a lot of things to do.'

14 March 2013. After Enid's unveiling of the new Temple Street sign, from left: Brighton and Hove Mayor, Bill Randall; Enid; Derek; Enid's daughter Jane








Thursday, 9 May 2013

OLD TEMPLARS - notable people who have lived in Temple Street 2

Mr Robert Dick 

Lived at 37 Temple Street c1910-13 

From the Sussex Daily News, 18 July, 1913



DEFENDER OF THE VATICAN

ADVENTUROUS CAREER OF AGED BRIGHTON RESIDENT

Those who have been familiar these many years with the arresting personality of Mr Robert Thomson Dick will find it hard to realise that he has passed beyond their ken.

For although his life had extended far beyond the allotted span, no one could ever think of him as an old man, so firm to the last was his hold upon those faculties which govern the intellect and the frame.

The end to a long and adventurous life came, however, in that manner which suggests but a general transition, at his Brighton residence, 37 Temple Street, at 1.30pm yesterday, at the ripe old age of 89 years, Mr Dick having been born on 16 November 1824 during the reign of George IV.

There are many people still living who can remember his coaching establishment at 80, Montpelier Road, when he was known as Dr. Dick.


Mr Dick as a young man

Among those who came to him at Brighton for special tuition were the Hon A.J.Balfour, the sons of the Rt.Hon W.E.Gladstone and Sir Courteney Warner, MP.

The deceased was very proud of being a Scotsman, his native place being a small village near Dunbar in East Lothian, and still more proud was he of his intimate association with Thackeray and Charles Dickens with whom he was a contemporary.

Many and interesting were the tales he could recount of evenings spent with these brilliant 18th Century (sic) luminaries at the old Evans Supper Rooms in London.

He was eventually engulfed in the political whirlpool, and under the regime of Lord Palmerston, became a Fenian in the pay of the Government. He was also at the command of the late Lord Beaconsfield, when Mr Disraeli, during the time when that statesman sought to prove that the disestablishment of the Church of Ireland had no connection with Fenianism.

The late Mr. Dick was a wonderful linguist, and was conversant with the manners and customs of every European people, for he had travelled Europe over

Deeply interesting among his recollections was the exciting adventure of being taken prisoner by brigands, for which outrage the British Government claimed and won him £3000. Out of this sum he paid Garibaldi £1,000, in return for which Garibaldi made him a Captain in his company.
Guiseppe Garibaldi, Italian general and politician

It was this very company that saved the great library of the Vatican, which Captain Dick himself defended, standing with others upon the steps of the building with a pistol in each hand, threatening with his fellows to shoot the first man who threw a torch.

Mr Dick in later life
Mr Dick has left the memoirs of his colourful life in the hands of his daughter, Mrs A.C.Greenwood, to whom the sympathy of many friends is extended today.

Mr Dick's death was front page news in 1913





Wednesday, 8 May 2013

OLD TEMPLARS – notable people who have lived in Temple Street 1

Professor Patrick Rivett 

Lived at 10 Temple Street 1967-89

Professor Rivett, third from right, with his peers
Operational research - the use of scientific methods to
solve organisational problems - came to the fore during the
Second World War under the influence of distinguished
scientists like Patrick Blackett, Charles Ellis and Charles
Goodeve. The unique contribution of Patrick Rivett was to
provide the focus and drive necessary to transform a
military activity into one widely used in UK industry and
governments.

Although he was born in Shropshire, Pat Rivett's family moved to London when he was only three months old, because an older brother had obtained a place at King's College. Their father was an inspector with the NSPCC, covering the Old Kent Road. Pat Rivett himself was a dedicated Christian
and politically left of the centre until his mid-forties.

Prof Rivett gained a first in Mathematics at King's, Cambridge
In due course, he followed in his brother's footsteps, with the intention of becoming a schoolteacher, but a first class degree in Mathematics resulted in his being drafted in 1943 into a statistics group within the Ministry of Supply. Rivett was assigned to a team working on the quality control
of ammunitions production, and the transformation of the mathematician to a practitioner interested in real problems was quickly made. His natural talent for communication was first put to the test when explaining control charts to operatives who had left school at 14.

The ending of the war changed the nature of the work and
Rivett was transferred internally to the Ordnance Board,
working directly to military officers on fragmentation
patterns of shells and bombs. He could not see the point of
it, but kept himself very busy by first obtaining an MSc at
Birkbeck College and then lecturing two nights each week at
Battersea Polytechnic. The extra money that he earned
enabled him to marry, as it so happened into a South Wales
mining family, and that produced a strong emotional desire
to work in the coal industry.

In 1951, he became head of the National Coal Board's Field
Investigation Group, which he built up to what became the
largest operational research group in the UK. High
recruitment standards were set and staff then taught each
other about new developments through a formalised learning
process. The excellence of the work carried out became
widely known, and Rivett was delighted when his staff went
off to other jobs, so spreading operational research (OR),
with many subsequently obtaining professorships.

During this period, he became the honorary secretary of the
Operational Research Society when it was first formed from
the OR Club. Working from his desk in the Coal Board, Rivett
set about transforming the club into a learned society, with
a quarterly publication which has since become a leading
international monthly journal.

At Lancaster University, Professor Rivett became the first Professor of OR outside the US

Whilst at the Coal Board, he had visited the United States
and even taken a two-week course at the Case Institute of
Technology, where he had struck up a close friendship with
Russ Ackoff. When Lancaster University was founded, its
first Vice-Chancellor decided that Operational Research
would be one of the first two departments to be formed and
Ackoff recommended Rivett to Charles Carter. Thus in 1963 he
became the first professor of OR outside the US.

In 1967 he moved to Brighton. He was
thoroughly miserable

Once again, he was in at the beginning of something new and
set about the work with enormous enthusiasm. The foundations
were laid for the highest regarded OR department in a UK
university. Close relationships were established with
industry. Both teaching and research had a strong
applications flavour. Other universities quickly noted its
success and Rivett was approached by Sussex, which at that
time had a glamorous image. Making what he later described
as a great mistake, in 1967 he moved to Brighton. He was
thoroughly miserable. The university did not like his
contacts with industry, there were demonstrations against
what he was trying to do and his filing cabinets were broken
into. When his wife died and he was left with a young
daughter, he worked part-time, before retiring in 1988 when
the opportunity presented itself.

Shortly after retirement, he found great happiness in his
second marriage. A move to Cumbria enabled him to renew his
contacts with operational research at Lancaster. With more
time for research, he worked with health authorities in
Lancashire on the delivery of health care for the frail
elderly and the preventive management of coronary heart
disease, because he firmly believed that OR was to improve
the human condition.

He also replied to the 50 or so letters that he received
each week, for his natural affability had made many friends.
Indeed his eloquence could make any topic sound exciting,
not least when he was talking about football, in which Pat
Rivett had a passionate interest, and he sentimentally
supported Millwall to the end.

Alan Mercer
The Independent
18 August 2005



Tuesday, 30 April 2013

More communal bins for Temple Street?

The Council are proposing more street bins on Temple Street

Check out the Communal Recycling Consultation on the Brighton and Hove Council website to see the plans for Temple Street. Three more communal bins - including an alarmingly noisy glass recycling bin – are planned for Temple Street.

Do we really want to become an inner-city recycling centre?

You can have you say about this - if you haven’t already - by filling in the survey. But don’t delay, as the survey closes on Monday 6th May.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The unveiling ceremony pics

For those who missed it, a few photos of the unveiling ceremony of the new Temple Street sign at the north west end of the road. Mrs Enid Gray, the street's eldest resident, opened the curtains and the Mayor made a short speech...

Mayor Bill Randall, Enid Gray and her daughter Jane

The new street sign is revealed

Looking down at the Argus photographer

...who was working hard for that perfect shot

A small crowd had gathered for the ceremony

Temple Street residents Derek van Eerde and Ian Burridge

Roger Amerena announces there are to be drinks at Temple Bar

The new street sign is toasted in Temple Bar

Jane chatting to Kemp Town resident Clive

Ian Burridge, Jane and Gaythorne Silvester, another resident
and then it was all down to the Temple Bar for a swift celebratory drink or two...