When a Hastings infants school gave children cigarette packets as a reward for being good

Hastings Old Town man Dee Day White has revealed memorabilia of when a local school used to reward its pupils with badges made from cigarette packages.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 2:03 pm

Dee Day explained: “In All Saints Street, down by the Fisherman’s Club, in Hastings Old Town was little All Saints School.

“I started school here at three years old . The war had finished just over two years earlier, so rationing was still in place for lots of items in shops.

“People still made and mended - it was a ‘make-do’ society.

Dee Day cigarette badge SUS-210517-124532001

“I remember that on afternoons in this school, if the weather was fine, small fold-up beds were put outside in the playground so children could have a nap while teachers had a fag in the playground.

“One strong memory I have is of the badge system.

“Inside a Players cigarette packet was a slide out section with a sailor in a blue lifebelt - this was awarded and worth five points . A safety pin was attached to the back and it was pinned to the jumper your mum had knitted for your from one of dad’s unpicked jumpers.

“But the best prize was the front of a Players packet, which showed a coloured picture of a sailor in a lifebelt. You were awarded this when you had scored ten points. If you piddled or pooped yourself you lost all your points and your badge.

Dee Day cigarette badge 1 SUS-210517-124521001

“I still have nightmares about the toilets in the playground. They were white-washed and it came off on your clothes, with rough Izal toilet paper and big black spiders in every corner. The doors were six inches short top and bottom and it was very cold.”