A special go cart and my delivery job

View of the English Channel

My parents moved to Hardwick Road in about 1955. I have early memories of long hot sunny summers sitting on the kerb drawing pictures in the gutter using melting road tar and lolly sticks. You could sit on the pavement and look out across the whole of Hove and out across the English Channel for 180 degrees or more. What a view from a council house. In those days they had not yet built houses at the higher end of Hardwick Road or on the south side of the road.

Whizzing down the hills

The park started right across the road from our front door. The garages and maisonettes hadn’t been thought of then. When they did start the later developments, the building sites were great places to play hide and seek and tag. No amount of barricades the builders put up could keep us out. Some people thought it was dangerous to play there, but we got a lot more cuts and grazes from whizzing down the hills sitting on a book on a skate and crashing on the bends or a pavement that had lifted up.

Our special go cart

Go carts were even quicker and there were a few around with pushchair wheels on. My dad made one with pram wheels/axles which was amongst the quickest, but he planned ahead and fitted it with a brake that really worked. Others copied the design but I think we were first. The rush going down the hills in seconds was well worth the hours it took to walk back up. I remember that we played in the WWII pill box just behind the church, and climbed the old oak tree. I also remember Hangleton Manor when it was still a dilapidated ruin.

My delivery job

I remember the clinic across from Hangleton Library, or perhaps it was the other way around and the clinic was there first. There was a chemist, LL Peck I think, a couple of doors along from the post office on Hangleton Road at The Grenadier. I delivered prescriptions for them in the late 1960s, using a bike with the huge wicker basket and small wheel on the front. I saved a pound a week for extra track and cars for my Scalextric, then sold it all for a motorbike but that’s another story.

Comments about this page

  • Reading Pat’s story of growing up in Hangleton, and the hot summers with melting tar jogged my memory. Who remembers the roads being re-tarred every so many years? I can’t recall if they removed to old surface, or just relaid new over the old? Anyway us kids would be fascinated by it, the hot tar being squirted evenly across the road, and then the new stone chippings being laid. I seem to recall a huge steam roller in the process as well!

    By Peter Groves (09/09/2013)

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