R. E. Mitchell & Co (merged with Gaby Hardwicke in 1998)

Robert Mitchell of R. E. Mitchell & CoR. E. Mitchell & Co (otherwise known as Mitchell’s Solicitors) was opened at Sea Road, Bexhill in 1972 by solicitor Robert Mitchell (pictured), who had served his articles of clerkship in Tonbridge under Mr W. Yates.

Later the firm moved its Bexhill office to 3 Endwell Road (now a Gaby Hardwicke office) and opened a second office at 6 Cambridge Road in Hastings, when Mr Mitchell acquired Elliott & Gill solicitors from G. H. (‘Ginger’) Gill, who in turn had purchased it from a Mr Elliott just after the Second World War.

Robert Mitchell recalls: "Ginger Gill had worked during the war at the very end of the Lancaster bomber production line, checking all was okay before the planes flew off. At the end of the war, on a borrowed motorcycle, he travelled around England looking to buy a solicitors’ practice. In Hastings he met Mr Elliott, who was frantic to sell, and the deal was done on the spot.

‘When I purchased the firm from Ginger Gill there was a voice tube between reception and his office (with whistle), the accounting was done by pen and each entry was written three times: in the daybook, the bank ledger and in the client ledger. All figures were added mentally, dictating was onto a shorthand pad and there were no photocopiers."

At one time R. E. Mitchell & Co employed 20 staff and had two other solicitors and an articled clerk in addition to Mr Mitchell. As the firm expanded, a second Hastings office was opened at 8 Cambridge Road. The firm’s solicitors (at various times) included Graham Deaves, Peter Glibbery, John Wykeham-Hurford and Kevin Browne.

R. E. Mitchell & Co merged with Gaby Hardwicke in 1998.

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