This old house once rang with laughter…

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March 29, 2016 by Whispering Smith

Whispering Smith Column published in the Littlehampton Gazette March 24th 2016 

She was tall, well groomed, always impeccably dressed, had a lovely smile, an outrageous laugh and a wicked sense of humour, she loved mischief, smart cars, golf and horses. She was Joy Collier daughter of George and Grace, who owned and way back in the fifties ran what my mother called, ‘that shady place’ which was, back in the day, Littlehampton’s most popular watering hole. Once upon a time, perhaps a better time to those of us who can remember, that bar was the Cairo Club. The club was a delicious mixture of music, fun and naughtiness for the younger at heart, the more outgoing and sociable, more mature young men and woman of the town – hey, you there, the one smiling at the memory of the place, you know who you are. Since then the building, once a Seaman’s Rest situated as it is close by to the river, the backbone of our town’s history, has known many incarnations latterly the Lemon Tree, a restaurant that blossomed beautifully and died miserably, and the building is now a private residence. Joy took over the running of the club in 1973 and gave it new lease of life, she retired in 2003. The Cairo Club was the place to be and I fancy the delightful Joy still walks among us, I can hear her laughter yet. Joy was 87 when she passed and as sad as funerals are, it was a pleasure to meet her partner Jeanette, old friends and to share many happy memories. So long, Lady, you will be missed and I fancy we will not see your like again.

IT is exactly four years since the Whispering Smith Column first appeared in the Gazette and I would like to sincerely thank readers for their support, information sharing and friendly – so far – greetings in and around town. I am always happy to say hello and thank you in person.

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