Photo:The Parker Pen Company prior to it closing

The Parker Pen Company prior to it closing

Raymond Wilkes

Photo:Newhaven Harbour 1st November 2008

Newhaven Harbour 1st November 2008

Raymond Wilkes

Photo:Street Furniture in Newhaven

Street Furniture in Newhaven

Raymond Wilkes

The town I love so Well.

By Raymond Wilkes

My Connection with Newhaven is through my Mother who is French. Her Mother & Son, my Uncle worked on the ferries for years. My Uncle Raymond Denis still lives in Dieppe. In the early 50s my Mother & Father were going to move to Newhaven to be nearer Dieppe, my Dad was to get a job at the Parker Pen Company in Newhaven. But sadly my Grandmother on my Dad's side passed away and none of those things materialized. I often wondered how my life would have been had we uprooted and made the travel South from Birmingham. My Grandad on my mother's side was also a seaman all his life, and his father was a Captain on a tall ship. My Grandfather was actually born on a tall ship in Canada, and had dual nationality. I must say I have a love for Newhaven, every time I come to the town I remember the times as a Kid arriving on the Boat Train late in the night watching the twinkle of the tinny lights from the carriage window to board the Lisieux or the Londres. In later years as a teenager I used to drive Mom & Dad down in the 1961 Ford Consul I had. I have fond memories of Newhaven, I know the Ring road they built was justified but it took something away from the town. But on the good side the little shops in the town centre kept their individuality. In more recent years I visit more to take hundreds of pictures of the town I love so well. I still would like to live in Newhaven.

This page was added by Raymond Wilkes on 06/09/2011.
Comments about this page

I am delighted that the story told by my cousin Ray Wilkes is part of my life.  I am proud to have an English family I love and who shared my childhood via the Newhaven to Dieppe service. How fortunate I was to have them.

Yes, Ray, we had grandparents who both sailed and loved their work. My father made many crossings to reach the port of Newhaven all though his life, as both his parents had done before him. Dad came home every two days and when I was old enough, I was very proud to go on his boat with my twin sister, I felt like being at home. Dad's colleagues always recognised 'Denis’s girls'. They said at the time that we, the twin sisters, were noticeable because at that time, twin sisters were rare.

We are a Franco-English family and our memories are woven by our two cultures, embroidered with gold and silver. Thank you dear cousin Ray for this beautiful tribute that you offer us all, through all those memories that bind us.

Your cousin,  Jocelyne

NB. Text edited by Our Newhaven to be a little more 'readable' in English. Andy - Editor

By denis jocelyne
On 12/09/2011

Hello Raymond I read with interest that you are also 'Anglo-French'. My mother was also French (Suzanne Lecul was her Maiden name from Saint-Nicolas near Dieppe) and my father was English (Walter Fenner, Newhaven) He was a Marine Engineer on the Newhaven Dieppe run and spent the war on hospital ships. My mother and I got caught in France in 1939 and spent the war in France. Lily

By Lily Blin (Canada)
On 17/09/2011

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.