July 26 2017 – Worthing: “But it would be foolish to forget its ‘dark’ past” ~ Richard W. Symonds

27 Marine Parade, Worthing [circa 1933]
Dear Editor
It’s good ‘The Sage of Sussex’ has good childhood memories of Worthing (“The future is bright for once great Worthing” – Adam Trimingham, Argus, July 26):
“I could also hardly fail to notice it was a very old town where on the seafront, you could hear the whistling of hearing aids and the soft clunk of zimmer frames”
But let history also speak its darker truths.
Worthing’s seafront – 27 Marine Parade to be exact [see photo] – was a long way from being called ‘Costa Geriatrica’ between 1933 and 1938.
This address housed the West Sussex HQ of Mosley’s British Union of Fascists – and the town became known as ‘The Munich of the South Coast’ with Charles Bentinck Budd elected to West Sussex County Council as the town’s Fascist councillor [wearing his Blackshirt uniform at all meetings].
Having been born and brought up in Worthing, I am pleased to hear “the future is bright” for my home-town.
But it would be foolish to forget its ‘dark’ past.
Yours sincerely
Richard W. Symonds
2 Lychgate Cottages
Ifield Street, Ifield Village
Crawley, West Sussex
Tel: 07540 309592 (Text only – Very deaf)
1. “Blackshirts-On-Sea” by J.A. Booker [Brockingday 1999]
2. “Mosley” by Nigel Jones [Haus 2004]
3. “‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts'” by Martin Pugh [Pimlico 2005]
4. “Blackshirt” by Stephen Dorril [Viking 2006]
5. “Storm Tide” by Michael Payne [Verite 2008]
6. “Fascinating fascist discovery in Worthing” [Shoreham Herald – Sept 20 2014]
7. “30’s Worthing Fascists are novel’s theme” [West Sussex Gazette – June 14 2017]
8. “The Faithful” by Juliet West [Mantle 2017]

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