‘Lulu’ author interviewed by Brighton’s Argus newspaper

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April 27, 2015 by dontbringlulubook

The co-author of ‘Don’t Bring Lulu, Her Family’s Tale of Trial and Triumph’ Sarah Onions has spoken to the Brighton-based paper about her memories of Lulu and their summers in their beach-hut.

The Argus is set to run a story about the soaring price of beach huts which now can cost more than eight hundred pounds to rent and – thousands to buy.

But in 1963, Lulu’s mother Doris Onions rented a beach-hut off Brighton Council for £60 a year. The family kept it through their stint in America and returned to enjoy the seaside spot in 1971.

It meant that Lulu was able to enjoy the sunshine and water despite her severe tantrums – the beach-hut afforded a measure of privacy for the child who had no thyroid gland and suffered from brain damage.

And Doris who died last summer, was a sun worshipper and loved to swim.

The Onions’ family managed to look after Louise at home until she was 5 and even that was a huge strain. Ron’s parents Lil and Bennie Onions would travel down from Enfield in London to look after Lulu.

Here she can be seen outside the beach-hut holding the hand of her proud grandfather with her grandmother to her right.

Lulu at beach-hut with Lil and Bennie OnionsLulu’s older sister Sarah spoke to reporter Rachel Millard, recalling her memories which are featured in the family’s book.

‘There’s a sunny snap of my paternal grandfather on a visit to

the hut talking to Louise, who was wearing a towelling tunic with

fashionable yellow and black blocks. She was still in nappies. My

mother talked about having trained Louise to use a potty and then

described her despair when she went back to nappies once she

started school at Hillside’.

Sarah was also a keen beach fan and made friends with another of the children who’s family had a beach-hut, Cathy Vance.Sarah and friend at beach-hut

If you are interested in reading the whole story of Lulu, it is currently selling on Ebay.

Many thanks to Flora Thompson, senior reporter at the Argus for her research.

Flora Thompson



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