Playgroup received cash for outside area

Do you know the people pictured at Arundel Park in August, 1977?
Do you know the people pictured at Arundel Park in August, 1977?

EAST Preston reader Margaret Matthews spotted herself in this 1977 photograph, featured recently in our Nostalgia section.

Margaret, of Boundary Way, can be seen in the centre of the group, on the left of Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk.

“I was the supervisor of the Rose Wilmot Community Playgroup (Worthing) and received a cheque for £400 for the building of an outside play area,” she explained.

“The work was carried out by members of the youth club under the supervision of my husband, David Matthews, and the youth worker at Rose Wilmot centre, Dennis Strudwick.

“The work started in May, 1977, and was completed in the summer. An official opening took place on November 19, 1977.”

The centre was named after Rose Wilmot, who used to open her house to young people who needed somewhere to stay in the 1930s.

The original youth centre was demolished as part of the Oak Grove College scheme and replaced with the new centre, now called The Rosie, in Littlehampton Road, Worthing.

As we heard in last week’s Nostaglia section, the man in the RAF uniform is Harold Hunt, the commanding officer in the Worthing branch of the Air Cadets (45F Squadron) in the 1960s.

So, the picture must show groups from the Worthing area who benefited from the hand-outs from Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk. The groups from Shoreham and Littlehampton were photographed separately.

Can you fill in the gaps? Each person collecting a cheque at Arundel Park that day in August, 1977, was allowed to take someone along with them, so there are probably two more groups to be identified. Contact Elaine Hammond on 01903 282378 or email