People's History of The Level

The Level | Photo by Tony Mould
The Level
Photo by Tony Mould

A history project is underway to capture people’s memories of The Level – these will then be used as part of an exhibition when work on the park is completed as well as becoming a permanent record as part of the park’s heritage.

People can bring their memorabilia like photos or other items to a ‘Memory Day’ at the Brighton History Centre, in Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, on Saturday September 29 from 10am to 4pm.

There will be further opportunities to work with a local historian to explore past events and activities that took place on The Level. These sessions will be on Thursdays 11, 18 or 25 October, 1-3pm.

Anyone wishing to be part of the Oral History project needs to book now as places are limited. Free training will be given, with Oral History training sessions due to start in November with Dr Sam Carroll, an experienced oral history practitioner. Anyone interested in getting involved can contact parksprojects@brighton-hove.gov.uk or call 01273 292929.

Comments about this page

  • I have lovely memorys of the level, me and my sister – we were Pat and Christine Marshall, we played there all the time on the swings, the roundabout and I loved the pond with the big pillars around it. There was always an old man sat on the seat, we called him Rupert because of the square pattern trousers he wore, we were always afraid to do anything wrong because the parkeeper was there in his little hut. By Pat Richards nee Marshall.

    By Patricia Richards (21/09/2012)
  • When I was a kid many moons ago in the 40s and 50 my dad had a stall in the Open Market. I, along with my brother and sister spent many a happy Saturday just enjoying the Level, winter and summer. Sailing little boats on the ponds and having so much fun on the swings and roundabouts. When the circus came to town there was more enjoyment to be had. Watching the struggling going on as the big top went up. I loved the animal menagerie which cost if I remember 3d in old money. Usually I had a big bag of broken biscuits with me that lasted all day, mainly because I got sick of them after stuffing my face all morning and feeling a bit queasy for my trouble. My dad always had a teapot going on an old black paraffin heater in the stall which doubled as a cooker for bacon or fried egg sandwiches. I miss those days, even though they were a little austere sometimes. We did not have much but we were extremely happy with our lot. Mike Peirson.

    By Mick Peirson (12/10/2012)
  • I used to go there a lot, playing on the umberella, swings etc. The boys used to catch newts from the ponds as I remember. No water now, what a shame,health & safety I suppose, don’t remember anyone drowning. Still there was a park keeper who made sure you were behaving yourself, this was in the 50s. In the 60s I went for different reasons with my step sister Eileen. We used to go there early evenings to meet “The Gang” We were not allowed to go there but, you know how it is. We used to meet up with other kids & have some laughs & meet boyfriends. After that we left school (Margaret Hardy) & went to coffee bars instead!

    By Anne Newman (13/10/2012)
  • I used to walk through the level of Saturday morning in the late 40’s/50’s on the way to the Astoria. I remember rides being available on a mini South Downs coach which totally fascinated me although I rarely got to go on it. I also remember a fountain that used to change colour.
    These memories somehow feel special.

    By Ron Woodham (27/08/2020)
  • Ron,
    See ‘Johnstones coaches in the 1940s’ on this site. Also look up ‘Johnstones Midgets’ on the net.

    By Tim Sargeant (28/08/2020)
  • Ah, the Mazda fountain ! It was a spectacular sight at night (there are pages about it elsewhere on this website).

    By Sam Flowers (28/08/2020)

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