ONE man’s campaign to resurrect a little bit of Littlehampton’s history has been rewarded – but you will have to crane your neck to see the result.
Norman Langridge has persuaded Arun District Council to reinstate the “Smarts Corner” sign at the junction of High Street and East Street, for many years a popular meeting place in the town centre.
And now, after months of letter-writing and phone calls, his wish has been granted, with the sign proudly in place.
Norman, of Blakehurst Way, Littlehampton, explained: “Having Floyds Corner on display at one end of the town, I felt we ought to retain Smarts Corner at the other end, as these two ‘corners’ are part of our local history, representing the long-established firms of Floyds the ironmongers and Smarts the chemist, both sadly now gone.
“The original Smarts Corner sign, painted on the south-facing corner of the building that once was Smarts the chemist, was painted over in a general renovation, so I approached Arun District Council’s street signage department to see if it would be possible to have a proper street sign erected.
“As it was regarded as a low priority item I did have to keep prodding them, but eventually, with the help of Jayne Hewstone of the signage department and the kind permission of the building’s owner, Mr Hobden, a nice sign has now been erected, but east-facing, rather than south facing as before.
“I would have preferred the original south-facing option, but beggars can’t be choosers and I was very pleased to see the corner sign on display again.”
Norman, 77, a retired railway worker, who has lived in Littlehampton for more than 40 years, remembers when the chemist’s shop was still trading.
“They used to have those large blue, red and yellow bottles you would see in chemist’s windows in those days.
“If you were going into town to meet your friends, you would say, ‘See you at Smarts Corner’.”
He thanked the shop’s owners, Hobdens, as well as Arun and Littlehampton Town Council, which supported his efforts to bring back the sign.
* Did you meet up with friends at Smarts Corner? Perhaps you found romance beneath the old sign? We’d love to hear your memories – please write to The Editor, Littlehampton Gazette, 34 Beach Road, Littlehampton BN17 5HT, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org