Former reporter celebrates wedding milestone


A former reporter on the Sussex Express, who used to get on his bike to chase news stories, celebrates his diamond wedding next month.

Nicholas and Janese Woods were married on September 17, 1955 at St Leonard’s Church, Seaford.

They were both born in 1933; Nicholas in Kilburn, London and Janese in Lewes. Nicholas moved to Sussex in 1949 to join the Sussex Express under editor Ralph Ravenshear. At this time he used to cycle around the county searching for news stories. At the same time Janese worked as a ‘hello girl’ - an operator at the Lewes telephone exchange.

They met in 1953 at the local church youth club and weekly dances at Lewes Town Hall. After these evenings, in an era with few private cars, she would have to catch the last train to her home at Seaford.

The couple became engaged in 1954. During Nicholas’ National Service (1954-56) he hitch-hiked from his RAF station to Seaford, once having thirteen lifts. Janese would give him money for his return train fare and her mother always handed him a bread pudding. They had a son in 1957 and a daughter in 1960.

After National Service he returned to the Sussex Express before joining the Brighton Evening Argus. The couple moved to Eastbourne where the Argus had its own press. In 1968 he became a sub-editor with a daily commute to Brighton which proved difficult during the harsh winter of 1968. On one occasion, while fetching copy with his son, the roads were so bad he could not re-start the car once he stopped. At each set of traffic lights father and son had to push the car to move it, leap in and close the doors before engaging the drive.

Nicholas stayed with the Argus until retirement in 1993 while Janese became a doctors’ receptionist for 26 years. They have lived in their present house in Patcham for nearly 40 years where they will be celebrating with family and friends on Saturday, September 19.

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