A Ditchling Winter's Tale - the Christmas stocking

Christmas featured strongly in Frank Goddard's memories of his childhood in Ditchling including the excitement, on Christmas morning, of finding a stocking filled with treats:  

“Christmas Eve all children went to bed early and you would put a long stocking up at the fireplace, pin a long stocking up to the fireplace or somewhere in the house. Christmas morning when you woke up naturally you kids would look around. Sometimes it would be put…Father Christmas came down the chimney and he put it on the bottom of the bed rail, which were iron beds with brass railings at the bottom. He’d put it on the bed rail or he might put it somewhere else in the room. If it wasn’t there you’d be disappointed thinking he hadn’t turned up and look around until you found it, you’d be so overjoyed when you found it hanging on the doorknob or something. Well, it would be one of your stockings, we used to have long stockings, very long stockings as kids and you’d get the longest one you could find. In the toe, nearly always would be a piece of coal, for luck. There would be a few nuts, apple and orange and if you were lucky two, but mainly one brand new penny, a few sweets, a couple of cheap magazines - little books little paper books … , might get a couple of those cut-out toys that you could cut out and make up, a paper hat and that was probably it. Enough to stuff up the stocking sort of thing. Might be one or two cheap little, tiny toys but that was probably it. That was your ... Christmas stocking.”