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Numerous companies, both small and large, contributed generously to the future of the Pestalozzi Children’s Village.  We aim to collect these names and recognise their contribution here.

The local VW dealership hands over the  Microbus to one of the founders and a group of wide-eyed Pestalozzi children.
In August 1959, the local VW dealership delivers a Microbus to Village co-founder, Dr Alexander, and a group of wide-eyed Pestalozzi children.


In August 1959, just after the first children were welcomed into the Pestalozzi Children’s Village, the VW company in Wolfsburg, Germany, donated a VW Microbus to the charity.

An inevitable chore for a valuable asset: the Microbus was cleaned regularly.
An inevitable chore for a valuable asset: the Microbus was cleaned regularly.

This iconic vehicle, along with its bright red and black ladybird logo became a  well-recognised feature throughout the Sedlescombe /  Battle / Hastings area for many years.

We’re not sure who was involved in the presentation but we think the man in the centre of the above photo may have been Heinz Nordhoff, the acclaimed post-war managing director of VW.  In any event, we would be delighted to hear of any information that will let us reveal more of the story.  Let us know!

Washington Group of Hotels

Represented by Rory Fraser (who remained a friend to several of us for many years after we departed the Village), the Washington Group provided gifts at Christmas for the children and sponsored trips to London.  But, most memorable, were the bonfire night fireworks!  By the standard of the current times, these were magnificent pyrotechnics.  The fact that we lived on a large estate meant that the display, along with a large bonfire, could be safely presented with little risk or disturbance to the local community.  We think these events happened over two or three years.

If your company – or another that you know of – was one of our benefactors, please contact us!

Finding The Forgotten Story