Malcolm Troak and his life in and around Peacehaven

Making pens in Newhaven

By Julius Smit

Malcolm Troak talks about his experience of working at the Parker Pen Company in Newhaven

Photo:Parker Pen Company, Newhaven

Parker Pen Company, Newhaven

Photo by kind permission of © Tony Fischier -


Although his parents lived in Peacehaven, Malcolm was actually born in Eastbourne in May 1933 as there were then better facilities available. Three days after his birth, his parents took him back on a bus to Peacehaven. In 1939, aged five years old, Malcolm was sent off to the brand new Telescombe Cliffs School, where pupils numbered thirty in a class.


During the early part of the Second World War, many large houses in and around Peacehaven were taken over by the Army for the use of detachments of Canadians, Americans, and the Free French troops. Land was also requisioned and ploughed up for growing vegetables. At the age of eighteen Malcolm went off to do his National Service training with the Royal Sussex Regiment, based at Chichester. During his two years service he was sent out to Egypt and witnessed the Suez Crisis in action.

Parker Pen Company

Returning to England and civilian life, Malcolm managed to obtain a junior post with the Parker Pen Company in Newhaven where he spent forty happy years, rising up through the company to become part of the management team. In his time with the Company there were over a thousand people employed and he remembers the strong sense of community spirit amongst the workforce. In the sound clip, Malcolm can be heard talking about the early days of the Company and its progressive attitude to its employees.

This page was added by Julius Smit on 28/08/2009.

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