Ingram Crescent

Memories of the 1950/60s

By Michael Clark

You could leave your door unlocked

I have nothing but good memories of living in Ingram Crescent. My family moved to number 153 around 1951/52 when I was 7/8 years old. It was a time when you could leave your front and back doors unlocked and not be frightened of being burgled. Those were the days when, if you were out, your neighbours would take your washing in off the line if it rained. Our back garden backed onto the Co-op Depot where many of their services ie milk, bakery, laundry, grocery distribution and later motor transport department, operated from. I cannot recall anyone at that time owning a car, in fact you were someone if you had a push bike.

Dad kept chickens and grew vegetables

The houses were basic but adequate, providing the family was not too large. It was a three bed-roomed house; two of these had open coal fires. There was a kitchen with a larder adjoining, a bathroom, and a semi outside toilet which was opposite the coal shed. The front room had a coal fire with back boiler for hot water. I believe there were several different designs of houses within the Crescent and Square complex. The back gardens were fairly large, and I can remember my father growing most of the vegetables that we had for dinner; he also kept chickens, so we were never short of eggs.

Click on the photograph to open a large image in a new window

Photo:Ingram Crescent

Ingram Crescent

From the private collection of Michael Clark

Photo:Ingram Crescent during 1970s demolition

Ingram Crescent during 1970s demolition

From the private collection of Michael Clark


Kids loved to play on the green

Ingram Crescent numbered 1 to 173 on the east side and 2 to 120 on the west side. Within the crescent and leading from Portland Road was Ingram Square, this was numbered 1 to 20 and was fronted by a green which was always very popular with us kids. Within Ingram Crescent there were two what we called 'banjos'; the one our end of the crescent was numbered 131 to 143, and this is shown in one of the 'demolition time' photos here. The other was at the east side of the crescent and consisted of several four flat units. If I remember correctly, were numbered 21 to 73; I am not completely sure about this.

Photo:My mum putting the washing out: the Co-op Laundry tower is in the background

My mum putting the washing out: the Co-op Laundry tower is in the background

From the private collection of Michael Clark

Backing onto the railway embankment

There was a footpath to Bolsover Road within this  east side 'banjo', and it is still there today. There were more of these four flat units on the west side starting 2 to 44, once again not absolutely certain on numbering. In later years, and I know it was there in 1964, the council built Ingram House on waste ground in front of 62 to 74. Also around this area of the crescent there were two further pathways leading to houses built at odd angles. The back gardens of the houses from 133 to the footpath to Bolsover Road, backed onto the railway embankment.

Remembering the local shops

We had a fair selection of local shops in the parade on Portland Road opposite Ingram Square. I remember an off licence, a dairy, a hairdressers, and a newsagents called Tyson’s for whom I did a paper round for three years. There was a greengrocer, a chemist, a wool shop, a sweet shop, Kirk`s vacuum cleaners, The Golden Cross public house, and a doctor’s surgery. I also remember the Co-op Store at the bottom of Olive Road for groceries and butchery. I moved out of Ingram Crescent when I married in 1965 but my father and mother continued to live in Ingram Crescent West at Jordan Court until their deaths in 1994 and 2011 respectively.

Do you have memories of Ingram Crescent?  What about the local shops? Did you use them? If you can share your memories or views, please post a comment below.

This page was added on 28/06/2013.
Comments about this page

I remember Ingram Crescent well. Mike Clark and I were mates, we had a cable running up to no 133 from no 153, along the fences that backed on to the Co-op and the railway fences, for voice communication.

By Peter O'shea (29/06/2013)

I thought I might tax my brain and see how many family surnames I can remember for "our side" of the Crescent. This would be for around 1965 when I left to marry. Starting at 129 Freeman, 131 Lloyd, 133 O'Shea, 135 Witham, 137 Vye, 139 Christmas, 141 Keeble, 143 Wren, 145 Holman, 147 Coombe, 149 Shiers, 151 Styles, 153 Clark (my family) 155 Rider, 157 Mallett, 159 Phillips, 161 Butland, 163 Boniface, 165 Avey, 167 Watts, 169 ?, 171 ?, 173 ?. Other side from 92 Barker, 94 Rushton, 96 Murray, 98 Steer, 100 Budd, 102 Noakes, 104 ?, 106 Blackman, 108 Ford, 110 Voice, 112 Brooker, 114 Shiers, 116 Fensom, 118 Hebditch, 120 Tilley. Feel free to correct or add names to question marks.

By Michael Clark (17/07/2014)

Hi to you. Yes i do remember this well. I was then Sylvia Avey living at 165. y step grand dad was the winkle man and in the summer would come around on a bike selling windmills which he made himself. Some names you might remember were the Albistons, Fosters and the Smicklers.

By Sylvia Leach (05/08/2014)

It is with deep sadness that I add to this page the news that Peter O'Shea who lived with his family for a number of years at 133 Ingram Crescent has passed away on 14 August 2014 in the Philippines. My thoughts are with his wife and family and this sad time. RIP mate.

By Michael Clark (16/08/2014)

Does anyone know when the original houses were built? We were at no. 78. Bill and Nellie Jackson were my parents. My grandparents, Packham, lived in Ingram Square. An old colleague told me that when he lived there as a child in the '30s (I think) barefooted kids used to go down to Portland Road to see if they could spot a car!   

By Ted Jackson (20/08/2014)

Hi Ted, nice to read your comment. If you check out www.regencysociety-jamesgray.com there is interesting info and pictures on Ingram Crescent. It looks as if work was started on the Ingram Crescent complex circa 1921 and completed circa 1926. I remember your family when they lived in The Crescent, I had a paper round at Tyson's Newagents in Portland Road from 1956 to 1959, and my round was Ingram Square, Portland Gate and Ingram Crescent. Your family house was reached from a short footpath in the right hand corner of the "banjo" that was behind the centre of Ingram Square, I never delivered to your house. I later met your mum, dad and brother Bob when my two daughter's joined the Girls Brigade at Hounsom UR Church in Hangleton and had many memorable years knowing them until their passing.

By Michael Clark (29/08/2014)

There will be a memorial service in rememberence of Peter O'Shea on Friday 10 October 2014 at St Richards, Church Hill, Slindon,West Sussex.Peter died on 14 August 2014 in the Phillipines.

By Michael Clark (12/09/2014)

Does any reader have any recollections or memories of the Brighton Equitable Co-operative Society's complex that was to the rear of houses in Ingram Crescent from numbers 173 to about 137. Did you work there? As far as I can recall the complex consisted mainly of the laundry, hence the large chimney that was a landmark until it was demolished around the mid 1970s, I believe. Also in that complex was the bakery, grocery warehousing and the dairy distribution depot.  All the milk floats were left overnight connected to battery chargers, ready for an early morning start. When the Co-op moved their milk distribution from the site the vehicle maintenance department took over their depot, until the final demise of the complex in the mid '70s.

By Michael Clark (15/02/2015)

My great-grandparents lived at number 3. Oakes was their name and they had four children, though Sheila the youngest born 1932-ish may be the only one easily remembered by those reading. 

I'm particularly curious about Michael Clark's recollection of the family name of Voice at Number 110, as this was my great-grandmother's maiden name (not a common name) so I'm wondering if she had cousins living nearby.

By Sasha Rampton (23/06/2015)

Hello Michael Clark, I was interested to read your list of neighbours at Ingram Crescent and although I lived in Mile Oak, I seem to remember being friendly with Ann and Margaret Blackman. Can you tell me if they were from the Blackman family at No. 106?

By Dave Barcock (20/08/2015)

Anne and Margaret Blackman did live in Ingram. My brother Tony Allen went out briefly in the early 60s with Anne, we lived at 117. We lived next door to the Leaney family and Mrs Dunk and opposite were the Barkers at 92,  my brother has been married to Linda for 43 years. I married Norman Coombs but divorced four years later.

By Sue (20/08/2015)

As a kid I lived in Ingram Crescent but cannot remember which number although some of the names mentioned here I do remember especially Budd, as I was a great friend of Steven & Paul Budd. I also remember someone named Barry, he used to have a motor bike, not sure if it was a Norton or BSA but have great memories. Our row of houses were left last to knock down but I do remember playing on the building site and cutting my thumb open throwing a piece of car glass. My school was West Hove Junior School, But when we moved to Mile Oak I was sent to Portslade Community College Lower School which was at the top of Chalky Road, funny how I remember all that but can't remember my house number in Ingram Crescent. I will add this page to my bookmarks and will keep reading with great interest.

By Michael (26/09/2015)

I had quite a lot of friends in Ingram Crescent during the 60s when I was at Knoll School for Girls. Carol Peacock, Brenda Steer and Lillian Albiston amongst others and a message for Sasha Rampton- yes, I remember the Voice family. Joy is my age and was still working in Tesco at Holmbush (fruit n veg) up to a couple of years ago. She worked there for years so someone will remember her if you're trying to make contact. Who remembers the sweetie shop in either Grange or Bolsover Rd.? Tiny tiny little shop in someone's front parlor but packed from ceiling to floor with treasures of every kind. However poor we were, by 4.05 p.m. that shop had a queue going back to the corner of Portland Rd! Kind regards to all

By Lesley Brett (Sheminant) (18/01/2016)

Hi Lesley Brett (sheminent). I remember you well. I lived at 72 Stapley Road and went to the Knoll school for boys. You may remember me as being disabled. During the day we used to hang out together around Brighton. Do you remember the flat you shared in Lewes Road? I think the last time I saw you was with John Brett at a house on the left of the Knoll school. I would love to hear from you again and catch up on the past. Kind regards

 

By Dave Collings (02/11/2016)

Hello all, very interesting to hear Michael's perspective on life at Ingram Crescent as a young man and also to shed some light on its history. I too grew up in Ingram Crescent (East) but had a difficult time there during the early 2000s. Towards the end, it became critical for me and my mother to leave as things became deeply hostile within our immediate community. I'm now a documentary photographer, still living locally. I would be very interested in hearing more about all of your experiences within the Crescent. Does anyone have any relatives still living there and would be willing to speak with me?  Best Wishes

By Jesse Williams (04/06/2017)

Hi, my mum used to live in Ingram Cres. Her name is Sylvia Simmonds, had brothers Brian and Ronald.

By Maria Flower (08/08/2017)

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