Spoons in glass cabinet; models on cabinet; paintings; woodcuts.

Sussex has been my home for many years. My mum’s side of the family has lived here for quite a while and we settled in Newhaven after my dad came out of the RAF, having looked at other options, including Australia. It was easier as the retirement package for the forces wasn’t very generous back then and we could move in with my maternal grandparents whilst my parents sorted out a house. We moved into a terraced house in the centre of Newhaven and have been there as a family ever since.

After leaving at 18 I kept coming back for one reason or another – unemployed, during long HE holidays and eventually when my partner at the time got a job in St Leonards-on-Sea. I lived there for 17 years until circumstances forced me to sell up and move back into the parental home, along with my dad, my brother and his eldest son. I moved to Brighton for 6 months whilst working with an American film director. Whilst I was there my dad had a heart operation and when he was recuperating he moved in with his partner and hasn’t left. My nephew also moved out to attend uni and I moved back in to share with my brother.

We are currently trying to sort the house out, difficult as we have a lot of things there, a lot of the time we seem to be moving things from one place to another without getting rid of a lot of things. Lockdown closed the boot fairs and a contract in Exeter took me away for a long amount of time. One of our second cousins, a handyman, has done some repair work on the outside of the house and we need to get an electrician to replace the wiring. Now that I am back in Sussex I have started shifting things again, slowly. There seems to be little interest on ebay for collectables or memorabilia and the online second hand book sellers aren’t interested in the majority of our books.

We have been a family who have been interested in taking photographs, even if I am the only one who does it semi-professionally. There are boxes and boxes of pictures that I need to sort through. Some are in albums, some in the packets back from the developers and some loose. They date back over 100 years, with pictures my grandad took in the Gulf War of 1914 – 1918 and family pictures back to then as well. I shall keep the pictures of people and some of the ones with historic interest but the rest will be disposed of. In the long term I hope to digitise them so that all the family (and others) can enjoy them.

My mum collected stamps, spoons, bells and porcelain dolls. After she died, we did as she wished and passed the dolls on to the female members of the family who wanted them. There are few dolls left but these have not had any interest online. The stamps were sold on to a local dealer and the other collectables seem to be unwanted, either by the family or through online marketplaces. If I had more time I could try the local auction houses and antique shops, although there are none in our town any more. At some point the local charity shops will be getting donations of these or, more reluctantly, they will go to the local waste management centre.

There is a lot of redecorating to do as my dad hadn’t done that since the late 80s. My nephew did redecorate the bedroom he was using and I partially did the kitchen, with the rest of it awaiting the rewire. Hopefully the rest of it will get done, albeit slowly, as I find time to do it.