STORIES SEEN THROUGH A GLASS PLATE
W2631 — Miss Fuller; school group teacher in gown, 1918
Image 2: W2631 — Miss Fuller; school group teacher in gown, 1918 — detail, Miss Jenner (reader’s aunt) & Lysbeth (reader’s daughter)
‘Going to stay with Daisy’ — Dave Middleton, nephew of Miss Jenner (pupil at Miss Fuller’s School)
Ada, born in 1875, was one of six children of Jane and John Fuller, a draper and undertaker at 19 High Street, Lewes. She attended a boarding school in Hastings and became a teacher herself at Braughton School for boys and girls at 212 High Street. By 1911, she was the principal, initially with one assistant teacher from France and a domestic servant. She retired in 1928.
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“My grandfather, Bertrand Thomas Jenner, Bert, was a proud man of Kent but he served in the Royal Sussex Regiment during the First World War, really don’t know how that happened. In 1916 he was captured and went off to the Black Forest for two years until the end of the war as a prisoner. I have a postcard from him sent from the prisoner of war camp to his wife Mary. I’m not exactly sure where she was living at the time. It says ‘I should go and stay with Daisy’.Daisy was his sister and she was married to a man called Frank Playford, who was the manager of Nelsons Domestic Appliance Depot, which is up near where the War Memorial is now in Lewes, top of school Hill. And they lived there, my Gran, with her daughter Marguerite, went to live there for the duration of the rest of the war. Frank Playford was away at the war as well, Frank he was away so the two women were left to run the shop by themselves. I think Daisy mostly ran the shop, because at that time lots of people bought, particularly prams, on credit and my gran had a pass which took her down to Newhaven, which was a restricted military area during the First World War because it was a very important port, and she was able to go down to Newhaven, to go round and knock on people’s doors and collect their penny or whatever it was they had to pay that week. Can’t imagine it was a very intimidating sight because she was a very little lady, she was just on five feet tall, but she was always very determined, so I suspect they didn’t get away with very much. Also my aunt once said to me, talking about Lewes, “Oh I remember I do remember living in Lewes for a little while” because she moved back to Kent for the rest of her life, and she said she remembered going to a little school and going up the hill. So I think it was probably going home from school she was going up the hill. And the photograph, the Reeves photograph, that we’ve seen we kind of recognized her she looks absolutely like my mother and like my daughter rather than as I remember her but we’re ninety-nine percent certain that that’s her.”