Letters to The Whistler

Dear Editors
The ‘Coming Together’ section in the April/May issue of The Whistler asks for readers’ opinions about whether the paper should stay as it is or go online only. So, I’m casting my vote in favour of continuing to print a paper edition. It’s always a happy day when I receive the new one, and if it were solely online, I’m sorry to say that I would probably forget to read it. (And I don’t want that!) Best wishes, and thank you for your fantastic efforts.
Caroline Sullivan

Dear Whistler
During the Second World War, the piers of Worthing, Eastbourne and Brighton had their central decking removed to prevent enemy landings in the event of an invasion. Does anyone know when they were restored?
BE of West Hill

Dear BE
We’ve done some research on this great question by asking members of the fantastic Facebook group called Brighton-Past. Here are some of the answers your question elicited from group members:

Andy Holborn: A lot of the defences such as concrete blocks and barbed wire started to be removed by late 1944 as soon as it was realised the Germans could not even mount a raid anymore. The Home Guard were officially stood down in December 1944.

Peter Griffiths: My Dad worked on the restoration of the Palace Pier, I think, in 1946/7. He was a carpenter.

Richard Hazelgrove included a link to an obituary and story of a very brave man, Ken Revis, from The Telegraph in 2002. It’s a fascinating read all about Ken who died aged 84 in 2002. He lost his eyesight while defusing mines on Brighton’s West Pier. In September 1943 it was decided that the Germans were not going to invade, and Revis, a member of the Royal Engineers’ Bomb Disposal squad, was asked to ‘delouse’ the two piers at Brighton, which had been mined by the engineers of Canadian 1st Division at the beginning of the war. He had no difficulty with the Palace Pier, and then approached the West Pier by rowing boat. Avoiding the ladder, he climbed up the diagonal cross bracings and, with the aid of a map, defused six mines. “It’s money for old rope, this,” Revis remarked to his corporal. Then 13 mines went up in a flash. He was awarded an MBE in 1944 and, with the help of his wife Jo, he went on to have a fulfilling career over almost 60 years.

Whistler Readers – we’d love to hear from you if you, too, can shine any more light on BE’s question – Ed

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