A Newhaven Character

By Helen Wagstaff (nee Russell)

Does anyone remember Mrs Howey?  Her husband John was a former member of Newhaven Council and Howey Close at the top of the Mount is named after him.  As children (well even in to my 20's!)  Mrs Howey was known as Aunty Marthe.  She was a lovely kind lady with a very loud, strong french accent.

The Howey's were living in France when the war first broke out but managed to get to England before the German occupation.  They buried some of their belongings in the garden and returned after the war to collect them.  Aunty Marthe gave me some silver pickle forks which had spent the duration of the 2nd world war underground!  I'll always treasure them.

This photo was taken at the end of Arundel Road where it joins Mount Road in 1956.  Note the nissen hut.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'MRS HOWEY (AUNTY MARTHE)' page
This page was added by Helen Wagstaff (nee Russell) on 07/09/2008.
Comments about this page

Who is the young boy in the photo?

By Sylvia Woolford
On 08/09/2008

Yes, I remember her from the 1960's. One of my best friends lived in Denton and Mrs Howey was often to be found at their house. I think they also referred to her as Aunt Marthe.

By Andy Gilbert
On 08/09/2008

I can remember running errands for Mrs Howey when I lived on the mount. I often went up into Newhaven to get things for her. I must have been around 9 years of age then. A grand old lady she was indeed, known and loved by all.

By William Still
On 08/09/2008

The boy is my brother Peter Russell, he was about four years old in this photo. There are various other pictures of him on this site, mainly to do with school days and the recent reunion of Tideway 4th year class 1967. He'll probably kill me when I see him next for posting his photos!!

By Helen Wagstaff (nee Russell)
On 09/09/2008

Mrs Howey was a skilled florist, she also bred Toy Yorkshire Terriers and was a member of the Newhaven Townswomen's Guild with my mother, Jessie, being kind enough to translate letters received from her cousin Suzanne into English from French and to write the response in French by return.
Mr Howey was employed by ICI during WW2 at Bellingham, Tyne and Wear.
After having lived in a wartime transit Nissen Hut, they took possession of one of a pair of bungalows built opposite by Messrs.Denyer Bros. on the old Army coal dump site.

By M.E. Balcombe
On 13/09/2008

In which road and whereabouts in that road, was the army coal dump?

By Richard
On 14/09/2008

Mrs Howey lived in the Mount Road end of Arundel Road, 2/3rds of the way along, bottom side. The bungalows shown in the photo were and still are owned by the Petts. The Nissen hut seen here was replaced by a "modern style" bungalow owned by Don, Wynn, and Dot Hughes, (ex Hughes Garage at Denton Corner, before the Blue Star Garage days). That bungalow has since been demolished and replaced by two detached properties.

By Colin Holden
On 27/10/2008

Yes I also remember Mrs Howey. She was always a kind caring person. We used to take fish to her which my dad brought home from his weekend angling trips, (which always got us a sixpence).

Helen do you also remember Mrs Tut who lived opposite us in Arundel Road?

By Jill Morris Nee Bray
On 04/01/2009

Hi Jill, it's nice to see a name from the past. Yes, I remember Mrs Tut, she lived in a big red brick house which had some decorative balls on it!

I remember playing in some cinders that someone had put down as a rough path to cover the mud. I was covered in black coal dust and your mum put me in her kitchen sink for a good wash then dressed me in one of your clean dresses! Funny the things we remember.

By Helen Wagstaff (nee Russell)
On 20/01/2009

I was interested to read about this "Aunt Marthe". My mother, Suzanne Fenner, was also French. She and I, (I was 6 years old) were also in France near Dieppe with my French grand-parents when the war broke out. But because my mother was trying to persuade them to come back to Newhaven with us, we stayed too late. In May 1940 they, and we, did board my father's ship The S.S.Brighton where he was Second Engineer, but the whole harbour was bombed that day and we were forced to get off. As a result my mother and I spent the war in France under the German occupation. I did not see my father again until August 1944.

By Lily Blin
On 30/06/2010

I remember Mrs. Howey. She always greeted us with "hello good morning" in a single syllible. I remember collecting snails for her with you Helen, after all we all knew the French ate snails. When we got to her house, after collecting pockets full of nice big juicy snails, we found she wasn't home so we put them through the letter box as a gift. A very generous gesture we thought. Next day I was in big trouble "again". Evidently when Mrs. Howie arrived home the snails had trailed their way up the walls & over the ceiling. Hi Jill Morris / Bray.

By Simon Spiers
On 17/12/2010

Well there's a name from the past, Hi Simon! I had a good laugh reading your comment. I remember collecting the snails but I didn't remember collecting them with you. Sorry you got the blame for that one; I kept quiet and got away with it. Guilty conscience. I see you still live in the States. It's good to have a website like this and build some links with people who played a part in our childhood. Hope all is well with you.

By Helen Wagstaff (nee Russell)
On 21/01/2011

Is this Mrs. Howey in any way connected to Howey's florist and fruit/veg shop which was next to the Crown pub in Bridge Street ? I believe the shop was run by a lady named Ivy.

By Trevor Bannister
On 21/01/2011

Somewhere in the back of my mind I recall getting honey from Mr & Mrs Howey. Did they keep bees? Also I believe that two sisters called Bicknell lived in that bungalow in the 50's and 60's. One of the sisters was a dressmaker and tailor and made my first 'grown up' suit. They were related to the Petts.

By Marie Anscomb (Relf)
On 28/01/2011

I remember Mrs Howey! I met her in 1976 on my first visit to Newhaven. My father was John Pett of 10 Arundel Rd, who migrated to Australia in 1953. Mrs Howey was kind enough to speak to me in French and we corresponded in French for some time after, at least at Christmas! My dad had fond memories of Mrs Howey and we kids felt we knew her too! She was certainly very nice to me.

In case you ever pass by again Marie, the Bicknell girls were Dorothy and Margaret. Dorothy Pett was my grandmother. They were indeed great dressmakers and she and Aunty Margaret made many coats, dresses, trousers, etc which were sent to Australia for the six children of John and Audrey Pett. I am sorry to say we were not always impressed with the designs, but we were always assured by our parents that English fashions were so far ahead of Australia that we would be trend setters.

 Love these pages- thank you!

By Janet Pett Melbourne Australia
On 17/06/2011

I also remember Aunty Marthe from the 1950's, running errands and doing little jobs for her. I used to think I was really important, when allowed to take her dogs for a walk, also "humping" bags of apples from Poverty Bottom to give to her. We, as youngsters, had freedom in those days. It is these memories that makes one wonder, where the last sixty years have gone. Fond memories of a grand old lady.

By Colin Brandon
On 17/06/2011

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