When a jailbird did a runner to the pub

The Windmill in Spital Road, Lewes, in 1950.
The Windmill in Spital Road, Lewes, in 1950.

A lost Lewes pub: The Windmill in Spital Road, Lewes, in 1950. The building is now used for housing.

Peter Luckin told Rouser: “I lived there as a boy from 1947 to 1954 with my mother and step-father, Queenie and Joe Salter (pictured outside with bull terrier Carla).

“The beer was Tamplins from the wood, with firkins and kilderkins of Mild, and Bitter on stollage. In winter the Old was in pins on the counter.

“The regualrs were mainly stable hands and jockeys with great crowds on race days. Fair day and the sheep fair, held just across the road, were busy times too, as was Bonfire Night.

“With Lewes Prison opposite, it was the prison wardens’ local as well. On one occasion a prisoner working on the allotment just outside the main wall decided to do a runner – and came straight to the pub for a pint with no money.

“My father recognised his ‘uniform’ of course and phoned the prison while my mother kept him talking until a posse of wardens arrived on foot.”

Another memory: “My step-father would haul the drunks out after closing time and sit them propped up against the school railings. I attended the school – Western Road – but was often late despite my bedroom window overlooking the playground.”

Happy Days