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Caroline remembers Phyllis

Phyllis – thank you for the memories.
 
I met Phyllis just under a year ago at the Townhouse, from that first meeting she made me feel welcomed and I got the feeling that I had met someone that I was going to enjoy working with, as the months past my instinct was proved right. Not only was Phyllis a warm, generous and extremely funny person, she was a research addict; there is no one who will ever be able to match her enthusiasm for a Census report!
 
One particular occasion sums up Phyllis’s dedication perfectly. It was a Thursday afternoon and we were both working away on street research in the back room of the Townhouse, Nick had just wandered in, when all of a sudden Phyllis cries ‘there must have been a phone box!’ Nick and I look perplexed, but are quickly drawn into Phyllis’s world. She explains that through her research of Tidy Street, she has come across a health report, which describes a woman running out into the street to ring for a midwife – proof that in close proximity to Tidy Street was a public phone box. Now most of us would have left their research at that, but not Phyllis, as fast as a rat up a drain pipe (or a dog on a skateboard) she was on the Internet trawling for any snippet of information regarding public phone boxes in Brighton, her hard work paid of and she found some fascinating information. Phyllis’s history of Tidy Street is one of exceptional detail, and is testament to the many many hours of hard work that she put in.
 
I could have sat for hours listening to Phyllis talk - in fact many a lunchtime went on for more hours than it should have done because of this – her passion, and laughter were infectious. I wish I could have thanked Phyllis for all she has given me, I have learnt so much from her not just about history, but about life as well. I have never met anyone else like her; she had the guts and determination of a whole army and fought with dignity until the very end.
 
It was truly an honour to work alongside Phyllis and an even greater blessing that I got to call her a friend, a year was not long enough, but I cherish every moment.
 
My thoughts are with her family at this sad time.
 
Rest in peace Phyllis and thank you. Watch out for any skate boarding dogs up there!
 
Caroline
 
Obituary for Phyllis

Shirley remembers Phyllis

I wanted to say a few words about Phyllis who, I know, will be greatly missed at The Regency Townhouse.
 
In fact, I became acquainted with Phyllis before I joined the RTH.  I did a course as a mature student at City College where she worked in the library and I was always pleased to see her there as I knew I could ask for her assistance without embarrassment.  She was always patient with my queries and helped develop my confidence with I.T. and research work. By the end of the course, the library was one of my favourite places to be!
 
Later, when I became a volunteer at The Townhouse, it was again Phyllis who was happy to help with so many of my research enquiries. I’m really grateful to her for the knowledge and  insights she shared.  I have an especially lovely memory of a day at ESRO together, sitting on a bench during our lunch hour, looking over a spectacular, sunny view of Lewes.  She spoke so enthusiastically about her own family and street research and I’m sure this memory will spur me on with my own.
 
We became closer still as we wrote up the research on our streets in the North Laine.  Again, it was Phyllis I turned to for help with my Bibliography and References.  And we developed an almost sleuth-like curiosity over the mysterious North Hall building.  We knew our research on this was not conclusive and in my last e-mail to her I said I knew that this was an investigation ‘to be continued’.  It’s such a pity we can’t continue it together.
 
Shirley
 
Obituary for Phyllis

Phyllis McDonald Dies

Phyllis McDonald one of our long-standing volunteers died this morning at the Martlets Hospice in Hove. We will be posting an In memoriam entry for Phyllis during the next few days. Our heartfelt condolences go to all who knew her.

Illness troubling volunteer

Phyllis, one of our long-standing volunteers has been ill over the last year. Recently, she has suffered a relapse and has been unable to participate actively with the MHMS project. We will be picking up on the loose ends of her current projects as the next few weeks go by. If you need to contact us regarding these initiatives, please use the Contact us feature on the website or call 01273 206306.
We wish Phyllis well and look forward to seeing her again soon.

MyHouseMyStreet - more on posters

Of course, we still had some posters that were not distributed before the exhibitions began on the 11th. We decided to take these down with us on the day and hope that people would come and collect them from the various MyHouseMyStreet desks around town.
What a pleasure it was to be approached by enthusiastic people asking if, perhaps, we had made  a poster for them, "like the one in my neighbour's window". We did not fail a single person making such a request and the look of excitement and interest on their face when we came up with the goods was very worthwhile.
Thank you all who made our day!
 
PostScript - We still have a small number of posters that we were unable to distribute on the 11th and we are now receiving emails from people who were away on extended vacations during the event who would like them. We plan to take all of the posters to the Jubilee Library and distribute them from there. Watch the website for an announcement of when we will be at the Library - probably early in October.

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