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Memories of the 1950/60s

Hollingbury Methodist Church
The Voice of Hassocks: Creative Commons

Hands in my pockets

Life in Hollingbury from the early 1950s to the early 1960s was a great time. Most of the families were quite young and there was a large crowd of fairly well-behaved teenagers meeting around the play area, which is now housing, in Lyminster Avenue. My girlfriend’s father didn’t think me well behaved as I had a habit of standing about with my hands in my pockets.

The Youth Club

A Youth Club was formed in the Methodist church at the junction of Lyminster and Carden Hill, and with the aid of somebody’s Dansette, records were played for jiving to. Records were supplied by ourselves and as nobody had much money it could get a bit repetitive. If we needed to go to Brighton there was the 26 trolley every ten minutes or 19 bus every twenty minutes.

Happy days

Being permanently broke, more often than not I ran. Once you got to the top of Woodbourne Avenue it was downhill all the way. I have to admit that I could not get to the top of Woodbourne Avenue without a break now. But they were simple happy days and I will always remember them.

Do you remember?

Did you live in Hollingbury at this time? Do you remember the Youth Club? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • Hi Brian. My name is Stephen Raynsford and we used to live at 13 Fernhurst Crescent. I was born in 1951 and I loved Hollingbury in the 50s and 60s. I remember riding on the No.26 bus going into town and I would get either the 26 bus or the 26b. The 26b would turn into Rotherfield Crescent where I would just walk down the green from Rotherfield Crescent to get home on the way to Fernhust Crescent. I would walk past my mate Ken (or Porkie to his friends) Baverstock’s house. If you know me and my family I would love to talk about old times.

    By Stephen Raynsford (09/01/2014)
  • I used to live in Crabtree Avenue and went to Sunday School in this church. We used to play in the boat park that was next to the church but is now all built on. I used to go to the youth club at Carden School.

    By Brian Baldock (09/01/2014)
  • Hi Brian. My brother Tony and I used to live opposite you I believe, at 38 Crabtree Avenue.  I now live in Nottinghamshire and Tony is in New Zealand.  They were happy days, and the summers were always hot – or do we only remember the good bits!

    By Pat Summers (nee Wells) (10/01/2014)
  • A message for Stephen, do you have a sister named Barbara?

    By Ann Allsop (18/01/2014)
  • My aunt and uncle lived in Hollingbury in the 50s and 60s. I remember coming down from London for holidays with them. They lived in a new bungalow, high up on a hillside.  There were lots of steps up to the top, where the bungalow was.  My uncle said it was a devil to mow the lawns up there because they also came down the front towards the road.  There were playing fields opposite the house.  And at the back of the house the garden, then just fields. Does anyone remember which road this would have been in and is it still there today?  I have looked on Google Earth and cannot find the road.

    By Margaret Marsh (20/01/2014)
  • Margaret, speaking as someone who grew up in Hollingbury in the 50s and 60s, I don’t recognise the kind of street you remember. There aren’t many bungalows on the estate, and I can’t think of any where the back gardens are right next to open fields. Could you be thinking of Patcham? Did the playing field belong to a school? One sure way is to try and find your aunt and uncle in electoral rolls or old telephone directories (which are often online genealogy sites).

    By Janet Beal (20/01/2014)
  • Margaret, if I remember correctly there are a few bungalows similar to the ones you describe at the bottom of Carden Hill just along from Carden Park, the playing fields opposite belong to Carden School. There was a small industrial estate behind the park and then open downland beyond.
    Stephen – my family lived at 56 Fernhurst Crescent, in fact I was born there, lots of happy memories of growing up in Hollingbury!

    By Julia McIntee (21/01/2014)
  • Hi Ann. Yes, I have a sister called Barbara, she used to hang around with Brenda Fitchie from Rotherfield Crescent and I have a sister called Val and a brother called Barry and we all lived at 13 Fernhurst Crescent with my mum and dad. I live in Newhaven now and I know Sid Fitchie, her brother. I understand Brenda now lives in Australia.

    By Stephen Raynsford (21/01/2014)
  • Hi Margaret. You’re thinking of Cuckmere Way – the long steps leading from Carden Avenue up to Cuckmere Way. There are bungalows in Cuckmere Way, my brother Barry used to live at 97 and there is a row of bungalows in Cuckmere Way and the front gardens are very steep from the pavement down to the bungalow and the back gardens are the same as the front as well. The playing fields you’re talking about are the golf links which were opposite the bungalows. Yes, it’s still there and you can find it on Google Earth.

    By Stephen Raynsford (21/01/2014)
  • I considered Cuckmere Way as well. I lived just off that road in Hurst Hill, but it does not exactly fit Margaret’s description. I also thought about Ditchling Crescent, but it still does not quite fit the bill. Oh, well. Let us know how you get on with your search, Margaret It is really bugging me now.

    By Janet Beal (22/01/2014)
  • Stephen, thanks for your reply. I lived in Crabtree Avenue and Barbara, Sandra and myself used to walk to Patcham Secondary School together, we were possibly about 12/13. I also went to the youth club, I think it was on Fridays. They were great days. 

    By Ann Allsop (24/01/2014)
  • Hi All:  Many thanks for your replies regarding my Aunt and Uncle’s bungalow in Hollingbury.  Since I wrote I have sorted through some old photos of the early 1960s and have found a couple that might prompt your memories.  I have to scan them in, but will put them on a web page and put a link here so you can see if you know where the bungalow was. I have also searched my mother’s old address books (yes I still have them)  but cannot find an address for my uncle there going back to the 1960s. Please bear with me, it is bugging me too.

    By Margaret Marsh (25/01/2014)
  • Hi All:  For those of you who very kindly replied to my request for information on the whereabouts of  my Uncle’s bungalow in Hollingbury, i have posted some photos at:

    I would be greatful for any info you can give.  It is for an Ancestry page. Thanks in advance.

    By Margaret Marsh (26/01/2014)
  • Hi all:  I believe, after much scrutinising on Google Earth and checking buildings in my photos, that my Uncle’s bungalow was 164 Carden Hill, Hollingbury.  I cannot remember whether it was detached or semi-detached – but I have a feeling it was a semi.  The view across the road to the school is similar to my photos.  The houses up the road have the same windows, so I am guessing 164 is the right house. If anyone can check the images on my Facebook [] and confirm – I would appreciate it. 

    By Margaret Marsh (26/01/2014)
  • Hi Margaret. Yes, definitely Carden Hill. I’d recognise it anywhere. That’s my old school opposite. What threw me was the fact that you said there were open fields at the back. In reality, there was an industrial estate and blocks of flats to the rear (although there were some open spaces). Glad you’ve solved the mystery! 

    By Janet Beal (28/01/2014)
  • My name is David Robinson. Lived at 43, Crabtree – remember it well. Joined Royal Navy in 1963.

    By David Robinson (13/02/2015)
  • Does anybody remember me? My name was Jenny Boatwright and I lived at 167 Cuckmere Way, I went to Carden infants and juniors from 1959 and then went on to Margaret Hardy. We seemed to spend all the long summer holidays playing in the fields over the back which lead down to Coldean.

    By Jenny Jeal (31/05/2015)
  • Hi, I lived at 112 Lyminster Ave (1958 -1973) opposite the Methodist Hall where my three brothers and I occasionally went to Sunday School. It was good fun in Hollingbury: late nights playing in the small park before they built on the site. My parents lived their until 2000 and then I moved back (Cuckmere Way) in 1993, love the fresh air and views. With reference to the bungalow, it could be Cuckmere Way at the Woodbourne Garage end, the playing fields are just next to the Ditchling Road and there was the grass area dividing Cuckmere Way from the Ditchling Road?

    By Trevor Watson (19/01/2016)
  • Hi, I used to live in Birchgrove Crescent in the 60s and knew a family, the Albrecht’s, that used to live virtually opposite the Methodist church. Susan Albrecht was a friend and used to go to school on the 19 bus to Dorothy Stringer and Methodist church club on Fridays. A Mr and Mrs Payne used to run it. Happy days ?

    By Gloria Elden (27/11/2016)
  • Reading with interest and recognise some names. I lived in Chelwood Close, went to Carden from 1956 and then to Dorothy Stringer until 1967.

    By Robert Rousseau (06/01/2017)
  • David Robinson: I used to live at 22 Crabtree Ave. You and I used to go fishing. Have been in Canada since 1962. You can contact me at

    By David Thorne (31/03/2017)
  • My wife and her family moved into 204 Carden Avenue not long after it was built.  I was brought up in Mayfield Crescent, Patcham and I recall the building of the roads and estate in the late 40s.  German POWs were employed as labourers there as they had probably opted to stay in the UK after WWll.  They made a pair of slippers which my parents bought made mainly from string.  They were very clever with their hands using animal bones and pieces of wood to make toys etc. Thus, the estate must have commenced building around 1946.  I recall seeing a large scraper being towed by a bulldozer up a huge heap of soil and, as it reached the top the scraper’s blade was raised releasing all the dug out soil.  Then the bulldozer started to slip sideways and roll over pulling the scraper with it.  The driver must have been thrown out of his cab, but I didn’t stay around to see the consequences I’m afraid.  I was fairly young at the time. I think the new road eventually became Denton Drive.


    By John Snelling (15/03/2018)
  • Not 196 – 198 Carden Ave. Further to the above article, does anyone remember the Paynter family? sons Albert and Steve or their neighbours the Ross family – daughter Jean Ross?

    By john (28/10/2019)
  • Its lovely to read through all the comments & yes it really was the good old days. I lived with brothers and sister at 63 Crabtree ave. I was the youngest of six and was born in June 1950.

    By Bryan Eastwood (27/04/2020)
  • Hello, we lived in Cuckmere way early 50s, did see the coronation on neighbours tele!no pavement or proper road, remember peter and graham Johnson,Ian Greer, Carol Sargeant, Jennifer Funnel, Ian Mcfee.
    Also lived in Denton drive, went to Patcham secondary modern in 1959.

    By Cliff marchant (27/04/2020)
  • Hello there,

    Does anyone recall a Monseiur Behar who lived in Carden Avenue in the 1950’s above a shop, I am unsure which shop.

    Also does anyone recall a June/Jo King around the same era?

    By Emily (29/06/2020)
  • The main youth club back in the late 50’s which was run by a great couple Mr/Mrs Harbor, and it was held in Carden School canteen the one and only “Hollingbury youth Club,” members came from all over Brighton cause it was such a great club. When l lived in Birchgrove Cres, in 1948 the flats hadn’t been built and opposite was the derelict pig- farms that was our playground. Days long gone and many good mates as well but never forgotten.

    By GERALD MILLARD (23/09/2020)

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