Bohemia Village Voice  Bohemia Village Voice

For bohemians everywhere

Bohemia Remembered

 By Vic Chalcraft. Part 2 of extracts from Vic’s forthcoming book

There were two landmarks that somehow dominated Bohemia, both sadly now gone. One of course was the tower in Lower South Road which dominated the skyline. Built as a furniture depository and then later belonging to Cossens Builders Merchants. Though some of it still remains, I believe it was lowered because of maintenance difficulties. What remains is the building with an ornate façade now occupied by East Sussex County Council. The other was a fine specimen Chilean Pine (monkey puzzle tree) which stood in the front garden of 19, Bohemia Road. This caused quite a stir when it was dropped as it was cut down early in the morning. People thought there was some dubious reason, but apparently it was diseased. Another event which caused excitement was the armed bank raid on the Midland Bank, now the locksmiths. My wife came home and commented about a posh car parked at the bottom of Aldborough Road which seemed out of place – in fact it seemed to worry her. But we did nothing about it. Next morning it was moved halfway up the road. In the afternoon I believe it was two men held up the bank with a gun. Firing a shot into the ceiling, they then escaped in the car leaving it in the rough track between the parks apparently running through the park to a getaway car in St Helen’s Road. The sequel is that the car used in the robbery was a Jaguar belonging to the Lascelles family, the Queen’s cousin, and some time later a car in London was found with a gun in it which turned out to be the one used in the robbery and thus at least one villain was apprehended.

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