Social life in the cement works

One Paul Woolmer writes: ‘Regarding your photograph of the Lewes ‘well-earned lunch break’ of August 3, the men pictured are Len Fisk, Dick Hide, Percy Bud, Les Wheeler and Frank Woolmer. ‘The photograph was taken in the garden of the Eastwoods Cement Works social club in South Street in about 1954. Frank Woolmer was my father.

‘This never was the workers’ canteen, always the social club, but it does partly stand on the site of the soup kitchen when The Lewes Cement and Lime Company had their works there prior to 1927.

‘Frank was the club steward for a number of years, which was very convenient as we lived next door - the first house in Lewes as you come up the river.

‘My grandfather Amos Woolmer was the head limeburner for The Lewes Cement and Lime Company and when it closed down he continued over to Eastwoods Cement Works. Three generations of our family worked at the cement works.

‘Amos owned Wharf House and Riverside where we lived for many years through to 1989.’

And Len Fisk of Peacehaven, one of those pictured, adds: ‘The club was eventually abandoned as it was considered unsafe. it was taken over by a pattern maker and continued to be used until recently when it was demolished.’