Alice Reynolds, 30 November 1916 - 20 January 2012

Photo:Alice signing copies of her book at Waterstone's Bookshop, Brighton, 2011

Alice signing copies of her book at Waterstone's Bookshop, Brighton, 2011

Photo by Henry Bruce

Photo:Part of the order of service at Alice's funeral

Part of the order of service at Alice's funeral

Very active in her retirement

By Anne Fletcher, former North Laine resident

You may have come across pages on this website by and about Alice Reynolds, who lived in North Laine from her birth in 1916 until 1934 - for example, here and here. Sadly Alice died recently. She was well into her nineties and, after a long and active life, she succumbed to a series of strokes.

She wrote her biography

Alice describes her life in her biography ‘A Penny for the Gas’, which was published in 2011.  She lived in Over Street from 1918 to 1934 and for those who know North Laine her book provides a fascinating insight into growing up in the area in the 1920s and 30s.

She wrote another book too

‘A Penny for the Gas’ is not the only book Alice wrote.  ‘The Beginner’s Book of Cooking for Arthritis’ was written after she was diagnosed with arthritis herself and builds on her experience as a former nurse.

She started with a career in nursing

Alice trained at Southlands Hospital in the late 1930s and her nursing included caring for service men evacuated from Dunkirk.  She married several times and had seven children.  When her youngest child went to school she returned to nursing in the Royal Hospital in Portsmouth.  Later she ran an antiques business, eventually with her own shop in Arundel Antique Market.

Active in retirement

She was very active in her retirement.  Only last summer she was in Brighton signing copies of ‘A Penny for the Gas’ in Waterstone’s.

Her life lives on

I met her only briefly but I can well believe her old friend and publisher, Alexandra Wilde, who said of her: “She was a fountain of good humour, common sense and wisdom... Whatever happened in her life she was very philosophical and always found something good to take from the experience.” I was glad to have met her. It is a rare privilege to meet someone who lived in your house over 70 years ago and it is very sad to hear of her death - but in some way her life lives on in her biography.

Alice's biography

A Penny for the Gas – the personal history of a nonagenarian, by Alice Reynolds, Railway Cat Creations, PO Box 299, Rainham, Essex, RM12 8XT, or

[Previously published in the North Laine Runner, No 215, March/April 2012]

This page was added on 09/04/2012.

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