BOHEMIA VILLAGE VOICE _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ No. 32. Saturday 12 August 2006. Your local newsletter - everything and anything to do with Bohemia _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ NEW BUSINESS
79, BOHEMIA ROAD
Robert’s £100,000 bet bet bet - Interview by John Humphries
Robert Prior, 48, father of four, and owner of Bohemia’s recently opened betting shop, ‘Bet Bet Bet 24/7’, talks to Bohemia Village Voice, about his new venture and his £100,000 investment. How long have you been a bookmaker? “I’ve been in the betting game for 31 years - I started as a seventeen year-old with Ladbrookes because I was numerate and loved sports. I ran my own betting shop, ‘Robert Charles’ in Rye for 21 years before selling out to a national company, ‘Bet Fred’, last year." Why did you sell your shop in Rye? “Bet Fred had actually applied for a licence to open a betting shop just 5 doors away from me in Rye and I went to court and objected to the application. They appealed and the case was due to go to the High Court. But in the meantime they made me a 'big offer' for my business and I sold to them.”
Indoor loo – after 130 years A listed building in Bohemia Road is about to get its first indoor loo – after a 130 year wait. No. 79 Bohemia Road, which was used by Hastings Locksmiths for many years is at last about to acquire an indoor toilet. The architects for the project are Maher Paradine Associates of Hastings Old Town and the building contractors, who start work next Monday are Dovetails Construction of St Leonards. Together with no. 77, next door, the two buildings are, according to Hastings Borough Council, the only two listed buildings in Bohemia. The two properties first appeared on an Ordnance Survey map of 1875 and the first record of a business on the premises dates from the 1884 Kelley’s Directory.
The only two listed buildings in Bohemia, nos. 77(left) and 79. The latter, with its art nouveau front, is about to be fitted with its first indoor toilet. [Photo: Tues of this week]
Bet Bet Bet’s new shop in Bohemia Road [photo: Tues this week]
In 1884, no. 77, Bohemia Road was occupied by a watchmaker. From 1910 the shop was occupied by King Brothers, stationers. They continued to trade from the premises until the 1970s. During the 1960s to 1970s, Kings Brothers occupied both the shop units. From 1884, the shop unit at 79, Bohemia Road was occupied by a drapers.
Why open in Bohemia? “I thought Bohemia would be a good spot for a new shop and looked at a couple of properties. I was definitely after one at the northern end of the shopping parade and the old Wallpaper shop was ideal. I approached Ashley Aldridge (of Alldridge & Trillwood) and we eventually agreed terms. He didn't want to sell, so we rent the shop from him.” The shop looks like part of a big chain. Is it? “No, it's my only shop. I wanted it to look professional and I spent over £100,000 fitting it out. It is all state of the art. I now think it's the second best looking betting shop in Hastings." Which is the best? "Bet Fred in the town centre." How's trade? “We're doing alright. My son, Adam, 26, manages the shop, assisted by Dan (see picture, above) and a part-time cashier, Emily. I pop in to keep an eye on business.” Do you allow smoking on the premises? "At the moment, yes, but when the new legislation comes in, that will stop. We have smoke extractors and air conditioning." What does Bet Bet Bet 24/7 mean? "It doesn't mean anything. The name itself was suggested by a colleague in the betting world (Joe Phillips of Gloucester) who has his own chain of shops. There are hundreds of independent betting shops in the UK and we wanted a vehicle through which we could book advertising and especially get discounts on the supply of betting information etc, and "Bet Bet Bet 24/7" was the name we used. One bookmaker on his own can't haggle, but hundreds together have a strong bargaining power. As an example, a full page ad in the ‘Racing Post’ (continued on page 2)
A pair of the art nouveau tiles from the shop at 79, Bohemia Road
Then a key change occurred in the history of this shop when, in around 1910, the London Grocery Stores took over the premises. It is highly likely that the current Art Nouveau style shop front and tiled interior were installed at this time. The shop was later taken over by Feaist Bakers in 1929 who occupied the premises until the 1960s. The door to the shop is engraved ‘Feaist Bakers & Co. Ltd’. One of the main reasons the shop was proposed for being listed is the decorative tiling to all internal shop walls (see picture). The pattern varies above and below a tiled dado. It is believed that the tiles above the dado date from about 1910 or earlier, and that those below date from about 1920. They are described as (continued page 2)
Page 2 BOHEMIA VILLAGE VOICE No. 32 Saturday 12 August 2006 _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ (Bet Bet Bet, from page 1) costs £5,000 which is out of the question for
a single bookmaker, but if 500 share the cost it comes down to £10. There is no copyright to the name ‘Bet Bet Bet 24/7’ - anyone can use it. I thought I'd go one better and use the name for my new shop." So there may well be other Bet Bet Bets popping up all over the country? "Oh, yes, but they'll all be owned by different people." What do most of your customers bet on? "Mainly it's the horses about 80% of our business is horse-race betting, then there’s about 12% on dog-racing and the rest is sports events betting, mostly football. We're not allowed to sell lottery tickets or scratch cards. But we can take bets on the Irish Lottery, on which there are 42 numbers to choose from. If you can forecast three of the winning numbers you can win £500 for a £1 bet." What would a big pay-out be? “About £10,000.”
PARK LANE GROUP
New houses at Amherst Rd? – “Not yet,” says Park Lane The planning application made recently for a development in Amherst has still not been approved, said a spokeswoman at Park Lane Group on Monday of this week. “The plans proposed included three-bed roomed houses, two-bed roomed flats, one-bed roomed flats and a terrace of five houses. I'm not quite sure what the final scheme will be as there have been several changes of plan,” she said.
Weeds cover Park Lane’s site in Amherst Road [Thurs 10 Aug]
Adam (left) and Dan check latest prices on the shop’s computer
Did the application for a betting shop licence go smoothly? "Yes, it was fine until Councillor Vivienne Bond started to object. She caused so much hassle, by not doing her research properly. Because of her objections, the application had to go to the planning board and the delay meant we missed a lot of business including the Cheltenham Cup. One of her reasons for objecting was that the Wallpaper Centre would close and Bohemia would lose a an established local business. Well, they were about to close anyway. She also said the betting shop was owned by an out of town chain. It isn't, it's owned by just me - and I live in Hastings. Vivienne Bond cost me thousands of pounds." Are you married? “No, but, apart from my grown up son and daughter, I have two young children.” What changes has Bob seen in the betting world? "Nowadays we have a computerised settling system - which I find a bit boring, to be honest." Bet Bet Bet 24/7. 43, Bohemia Road, Bohemia Village, Sussex, TN37 6RE. Tel: 01424 444044. Hours: 10:00 to 9:30pm, Mon-Sat. 11:00 to 6:30pm Sun. After Sept 1st, the hours will change to 6:30pm closing every day.
Park Lane Group was started and built up by local businessman Russell Beswick from the Netherfield-Catsfield area. Park Lane occupies 141 to 145 Bohemia Road, which consist of offices on the ground floor with flats above. The flats are known as ‘Park Lane Mews’ and are accessed from St Paul's Road. No. 139, has been acquired by Park Lane Group and will be refurbished as a shop on the ground floor with, probably, a maisonette above. Park Lane Group, 141 to 145, Bohemia Road, Bohemia Village. Enquiries for renting of residential property: 0870 752 2540. Enquiries for new build property: 0870 752 2542. Website: www.parklanegroup.net e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org __________________________________________________________ SPRING STREET
Garages out – houses in Three new houses are being built in Spring Street. The photo, taken earlier this week shows the current state of development. It is understood that three garages were demolished to provide the space for the three houses.
(Indoor loo, from page 2) ‘lightly coloured mottled tiles with semi-matt glaze, stack bonded, with a tulip design to decorative tile panels, tube lined colours.’ The shop has a decorative plaster ceiling with a plaster framed central painted panel depicting three swallows on a blue sky and white cloud background. Owner John Humphries says “Getting all the various permissions required with a listed building has taken months, and it has not been easy to find a good builder who has time to fit in a relatively small job like this. The main works include the construction of a partition in the back office and the fitting of a new loo and a teamaking area. New light fittings and power sockets will be fixed.” The three new houses for Spring Street take shape
Page 3 BOHEMIA VILLAGE VOICE No. 32 Saturday 12 August 2006 _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ THE BOOK CAFE
Computing, composting & TV
How do you move a door?
An extensive programme of activities has been announced by Mandie Eyre of The Book Cafe covering everything from computing to composting … to TV! The ambitious and impressive list includes book buying and selling, music, storytelling & arts and craft sessions, hire of the premises for functions & meetings, wireless internet access, community information, networking opportunities, vegetable buying and composting service, breakfast and after school club for kids, homework and exam revision support, exhibition and performance space, education services, IT tuition, adult literacy support, and library/paperback exchange. If you’d like to become involved in any of these enterprises, please contact Mandie, address below.
How do you move a door? One way is to do it yourself, which is what property manager George Okines decided when faced with the problem. ‘Hands on’ George is pictured here moving his door – not a five minute job – prior to taking on new staff. He’s expanding his business and taking on two part-time staff who will be joining the business soon – one starting in August, the other on September.
Mandy says “Since taking on a new carpenter we're finally starting to look like a cafe - we have a kitchen now! If you'd like to use the full range of services we'll be offering at The Book Cafe you will need to join first. Let us have your details so we can post you a membership form - or just drop in after we open. Or if you are on the net, download a form. The Book Café will be open as a shop and takeaway for the general public, but to sit and read in comfort you will need a membership card, (£1.50)” Any other plans? “Yes, The Book Café TV! - we don't just like books you know!” says Mandie. “Telly is a bit boring these days so we decided to start making our own. You can host your own videos for free on Google Video - and if you'd like a link from The Book Café TV please drop us a line.” When is the café opening? “We should be holding the first event on August 18th, depending on how long it takes to finish the interior and give the place a really good clean - dust EVERYWHERE!!” said Mandie. Contact: Mandie Eyre, The Book Café, London Road, Bohemia Village. E-mail: email@example.com Tel: 01424 712391. Mobile: 07980 082228. ________________________________________________________ HORNTYE PARK
Ami’s in love … Ami has declared her love – for her boss John Ball. Ami Wallis, receptionist and secretary at the Horntye Park Sports Complex has not only put her feelings in writing, but has attached them to her computer for all the world to see: “I love my job, I love the pay, I love it more and more each day, I love my boss, he is the best, I love his boss, and all the rest.” Who is the lucky object of Ami’s affection? “John Ball, my boss.” And does John know about this? “Oh, yes, it
A door to be moved? No problem for property manager George
Why is the door being moved? “To allow the desks to be re-arranged so that a second person can work in the front office,” says George. “The business has grown recently to the point where I need a bookkeeper and another admin person.” George started his business of property management four years ago and now has 40 blocks of flats under his management and 25 of these are ‘Right to Manage’ companies. He has helped set up ‘Right to Manage’ companies for many groups of leaseholders who have decided that they’d rather manage their properties themselves than have a landlord to it for them. “The new legislation, contained in the The Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act of 2002 makes this a very easy procedure,” says George. It seems that if just half the leaseholders in a block of flats want to take over the management of the building, they only have to form a ‘Right to Manage’ company and request the right to manage from the freeholders – and this cannot be withheld.” George Okines, Arko Property Management, 123, Bohemia Road, Bohemia Village, Sussex, TN37 6RL. 01424 439786. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ______________________________________________________
Blackberry pies? When blackberries are out, can blackberry pies be far behind?
Fine blackberries seen in Newgate Road this week
Despite her public passion for her Horntye Park employer, Ami finds time to fit in some typing [photo: Tues this week] was actually his idea to put the verse on my machine – it’s supposed to be a daily reminder to me of how happy I am here.” Ah, now we understand.
And there were lots of blackberries to be seen around Bohemia this week, especially along Briscoe’s Walk. Photo shows this early evidence of autumn to be seen in Newgate Road.
Page 4 BOHEMIA VILLAGE VOICE No. 32 Saturday 12 August 2006 _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ SOUTHERN BOHEMIA
Welcome to the real Bohemia
Old crop sprayer for £25
There’s more than one Bohemia – this is Southern Bohemia, renowned for its outstanding natural beauty and now part of the Czech Republic. In fact, (reports Czech resident Andrew Cansale), Bohemia makes up 80% of the Czech Republic, the other 20% being Moravia. Northern Bohemia is mainly industrial, but Southern Bohemia is well-known for its breathtaking scenery and old villas and castles.
A handsome hand operated crop sprayer is offered for sale in Bohemia for just £25. “I think it dates from about 1930,” said John of Furniture Corner in Bohemia Road.
Andrew, who has lived in Southern Bohemia for some years, waxes lyrical: “Locally there are many fine woodland walks as access is available to all woods and forests. There is much to do in the area, hunting, fishing, boating, swimming, tennis to name but a few. If you like visiting historic towns they abound in this part of the world in plenty, marvellous medieval buildings all undergoing a magical transformation with the fall of communism. In some places the look still prevails of faded grandeur, but in the main the whole area is in a transformation period.
Hand operated crop sprayer for sale locally at £25 [Tues this week]
“It’s a hand operated copper and brass implement and measures about 18” by 14”. It is marked “The Four Oaks” sole manufacturer, Sutton Coldfield. The machine is worked by the handle being pumped up and down to create a pressure inside the body of the instrument. [Does anyone know what sort of pesticide it might have contained when used?] Furniture Corner, 76, Bohemia Road, Bohemia Village. Corner of Tower Road and Bohemia Road. _________________________________________________________
Cesky Krumlov in Southern Bohemia – almost indistinguishable from Bohemia, St Leonards.
There are plenty of Bohemian villages to explore and in which to seek out the most wonderful architecture. If you want to visit some of the finest country mansions and country houses many are to be found here. Orlik with its splendid setting on the Vltava is a sight to remember. Cesky Krumlov (see picture, above) and Cesky Budejovice are well worth a day’s visit to see the wonders of central Europe. This area is one that will stay in your mind, for its grandeur and its simplicity. The people are the final part of this rich fabric, they are friendly and happy to see you as their guests.” [Further contributions are promised from Andrew]
Page 5 BOHEMIA VILLAGE VOICE No. 32 Saturday 12 August 2006 _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ SERIAL
Vie de Bohème …
published (by Michel Lévy) in 1851. The extract above is taken from a translation by Norman Cameron, published by Hamish Hamilton. The illustration is by Dodi Masterman.] _____________________________________________________
Puzzle Picture A block of granite, and a well-known Bohemia landmark, photographed from the ‘wrong’ side? Do you know it? – answer next week.
How the Bohemian Club was Founded (11/24) “Very well, come down,” said M. Bernard. “Bless me!” he went on, addressing the young man, “I beg you to be patient for a moment. My janitor will take all the objects to be found in my insolvent tenant’s room down to the cellar, and in half an hour you shall have possession. In any case, your furniture has not arrived.” “I beg your pardon, sir,” said the young man coolly … M. Bernard looked round him, and saw only the big screens which had already awakened the mistrust of the janitor. “Eh, beg my pardon? But … “ he muttered, “but I don’t see anything.” “Behold!” said the young man, opening up the folded frames and displaying to the astounded landlord a magnificent palace interior, with jasper columns, bas-reliefs and paintings by the great masters. “But your furniture?” “This is it.” The young man waved his hand at the sumptuous equipment of the palace. He had bought it at the Hôtel Bullion, where he had attended a sale of the stage scenery of a private theatre. “Sir, I prefer to believe that you have some more serious furniture than this …” “What, pure Boule!” “You will understand that I will require some security for my rent.” “Pish! Is a palace not sufficient guarantee for the rent of a garret?” “No, sir, I require furniture – real mahogany furniture.” “Dear me, sir, neither gold nor mahogany has ever made us happy – I quote from one of the ancient writers. Besides, for my part, I abominate the stuff, it’s a stupid wood, everybody has it.” “But, after all, sir, I take it that you have furniture, of some sort or another?” “No. It occupies too much room in a lodging. As soon as one has a chair, one doesn’t know where to sit down.” “But at least you have a bed! On what do you sleep?” “On the bosom of Providence, sir!” “Excuse me, still another question: what is your profession, if you please?” At this moment, the young man’s porter re-entered the yard, having completed his second trip. Part of his load was an easel. “Look, sir!” said old Durand, horrified. “He’s a painter.” “An artist! I knew it!” exclaimed M. Bernard, whilst the hairs of his wig rose in horror. “A painter!! So you made no enquiries about this gentleman?” he said to the janitor. “You did not know his occupation!” “So help me,” said the poor fellow, “He gave me five francs’ earnest money. How could I suspect …?” “When you have finished …” said the young man. “Sir,” resumed M. Bernard, resolutely adjusting his spectacles on his nose, “since you have no furniture, you cannot move in. The law allows a landlord to refuse a tenant who offers no security.” To be continued … [Vie de Bohème by Henry Mürger, a vivid portrait of the ‘Bohemian’ life of the artistic quarter of Paris in the nineteenth century was originally
You’ve seen it a thousand times – but where is it?
Answer to last week’s picture:
The bat and stumps are just one of many ornaments in the garden of the grounds man’s house, situated within the grounds of Horntye Park Sports Complex. _________________________________________________________ Bohemia Village Voice Edited and published by John Humphries at 33, St Peter’s Road, Bohemia Village, Sussex, England, TN37 6JQ. Telephone: 01424 446759. Mobile: 07891 634377. E-mail: email@example.com Items for inclusion: please send to the editor. To begin receiving this newsletter: please send an e-mail to John Humphries with the message “Please subscribe me to Bohemia Village Voice.” To cease receiving this newsletter: please send an e-mail to John Humphries, with the message “Please unsubscribe me from Bohemia Village Voice.” Circulation figures for August 5 issue: e-mail version: 63, printed version: 7, total: 70. First published May 2006. © 2006 John Humphries.
Next issue: Saturday 19 August 2006. Please note that the deadline for all items for inclusion, is 6:00pm Friday 18 August.