History of Woodingdean

It is generally accepted that the name Woodingdean, (Kelly’s 1890 Directory) evolved from its association with Woodendean (i.e. wooded valley) Farm which was situated in the south end of what is now Ovingdean. This farm existed from before 1714 until 1979; it is recorded on a map of 1714 as a small thatched type of farmhouse unlike Ovingdean Grange which was a large stone-type house. The last farmer to work the area was Col. Percy Filkins, son-in-law of William Cowley who had previously farmed at Ovingdean.

Woodendean/Woodingdean House
Woodendean House, which stood in what is now Ovingdean Close, was built in the 1830s by a Mr. Lennard. By the late 1800s it was known as Woodingdean House. Notable owners include Mrs. Van der Elst, who lived there from 1929-39, ‘the richest woman in Brighton’ who had three Rolls Royce motor cars and fifteen servants. Thomas Henry Sargeant of Brighton ‘gent’ – better known as Max Miller – owned the house from 1939-45. He ‘cheekily’ changed its name to Woodland Grange regardless of the fact that it certainly never was a grange. Between 1958-60 the then owner sold off plots of the land adjoining the house for redevelopment. When he died in 1962 the rest was sold off and the house eventually demolished.

Earliest recorded farm?
Perhaps the earliest farming settlement to be identified in the area was situated in Wick Bottom, adjacent to Woodingdean Lawn Memorial Park, off Warren Road. It was here that the Wick Farm, later Warren Farm was situated. In 1296 a lay subsidy of 16/2d was levied on ‘Matild ater Wyke’ the owner of this area of land. As this amount was considerably more than the other 7 individuals noted, it suggests ‘Matild’ had a lot more land/wealth and that this was indeed a farming settlement.

Comments about this page

  • Nice to see somewhere I grew up. I was raised directly in front of the old Sunblest bakery (now gone) and every day we were woken with the smell of fresh bread. The smell will remind me of there always.

    By Andre Kish (09/03/2004)
  • This is really interesting. I spent all of my childhood on the Downs around Woodingdean. I had no idea there was any ‘real’ history to the place. The story of Max Miller living at Woodendean House is facinating because after that time he must have moved to Kemp Town, where my grandmother was his housekeeper. I remember Warren House being demolished in the early 60s and it didn’t go down very well with my family! Keep up the research!

    By Martin Ball (06/04/2004)
  • Great to find this website. I was brought up in Woodingdean and lived in Seaview Road. My Grandfather, David Powell, was the first preacher in the village and I believe there is a plaque commemorating that fact in the Downs Church. My mother, Amy Powell, was in service with her sister Mary in the Warren Farm School around 1930ish.

    By Mrs Mandy Struthers (nee Mary Barnett) (09/03/2005)
  • I grew up on Seaview Road, Woodingdean, with parents Jenny and Ashley Green. My mother used to own a penny shop called Jenny’s. The shop used to be the now closed down tanning shop.

    By Jame Green (07/04/2005)
  • I grew up in Woodingdean. I first lived in Bexhill Road in a two bedroomed house with my parents Ron and Stella Bowman and my younger brother Kevin. After my sister Julie was born we moved to 187 Cowley Drive where my father and brother still live. I moved out in 1977 after I married for the first time. After my marriage of 13 years broke up, I moved back to my parents’ home with my daughter and pets for a week and then to my sister’s home in Hove. After a brief spell in Shanklin Road I moved back to Woodingdean, John Court Falmer Road if memory serves me correct for about 2 years. I now live in Whitehawk. My brother, sister and myself attended Rudyard Kipling Infant and Junior schools. My brother and I attended Fitzherbert Secondery Modern School whilst my sister attended Longhill School. I love Woodingdean but in the winter it could be very isolated. It has a sort of villagey atmosphere all of its own which is lovely.

    By Denise Crittenden (13/04/2005)
  • I read recently in a newsletter, circulated by Maslen a local estate agent, of the deepest ever hand dug well which is situated in Woodingdean in front of the Woodingdean Hospital. I think the details would be worth recording on this page.

    By Brian Chatfield (06/09/2005)
  • Message for Brian Chatfield: We do already have a history of the Woodingdean Well on this page http://www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk/woodingdean_well_history.htm Best wishes – Jennifer – Local Editor

    By Jennifer (08/09/2005)
  • Hi – love this site. I went to Fitzherbert School from 1973 to 1979 and I remember a teacher called Mrs Valsez – she used to bring her dog to school. Fitzherbert was my favourite school and I loved it.

    By Bridget Dawkins (29/09/2005)
  • I have lived in Woodingdean for 48 years in the same house and enjoy every minute of it.

    By Frances (01/02/2006)
  • I had a lovely childhood there and most of my family lived there. I used to live in Foxdown Road and went to school at Rudyard Kipling School as well as Longhill School which was quite a walk when you had spent your bus fare on sweets.

    By Danny Lindsay (28/05/2006)
  • I moved to 296 Bexhill Road, Woodingdean when I was four in 1958 and went to Rudyard Kipling School. The Headmaster, Mr Britton used to bring his dog to school sometimes. I then went to Elm Grove Girls’ School and moved to Finsbury Road, Brighton. I moved to Blackpool when I married in 1975 but still miss Brighton.

    By Irene Harding (nee Hillman) (22/10/2006)
  • I moved to a new prefab in Lockwood Crescent aged 4, just before the BIG SNOW. Buses then only went to Downs Hotel. I went to infants school at Sylvan Mount, a private school run by Mrs Jenner. It was in a bungalow on the steep bit of Warren Road opposite the wood. I then attended Rottingdean Primary and then Varndean. My parents lived in Cowley Drive and Shipley Road until 2000. I still come to Brighton to visit relatives.

    By Ian Ralph (28/01/2007)
  • Ah yes, I too remember the headmaster’s (Mr John Bridden) dog – during my time at Rudyard Kipling School he had an overweight and elderly Springer called Ricky – fancy remembering the name of the dog from about 35 years ago – how sad! I lived in The Ridgway from ’63 to ’79 and kept my pony in one of Col Filkins’ fields. Fabulous riding country unequalled by anywhere I have lived since (including Cornwall!).

    By Sally Madgwick (02/03/2007)
  • I was born and bred in Woodingdean, and I lived on Donnington Road, Merston Close and last of all Crescent Drive North. I went to Rudyard Kipling and then Longhill Secondary School. I also remember Mr Bridden and his spaniel dog.

    By Joyce Chapman (15/04/2007)
  • I moved to Langley Crescent when I was three years old with my sister Kim, Mum and Dad Alan and Jane Andrews. We left for New Zealand when I was 14 yrs. I attended Woodingdean Primary and then Longhill College. I also remember the great snow. This is a wonderful sight and has brought back some wonderful memories.

    By Debra Steffany (nee Andrews) (25/04/2007)
  • Wow, I just love Woodingdean as I have lived here most of my life. Born in Sandown Road, Elm Grove, I moved to 101 Langley Crescent in 1959 with my parents, brother and two sisters. I was just 18 months old, then came a 3rd sister. At about 11, we moved to Vernon Avenue where my parents still live. I moved away for about two years when I first married but came back first chance I got and have been here ever since. I attended Woodingdean Primary and Longhill School and have eight children of my own who all attend or have attended the same schools. Seven of them still live in Woodingdean with their families. When reading this site while researching for my grandsons homework I recognised Jane, Alan, Debra and Kim Andrews  as my Mum was friendly with them and we often played on the swing in their back garden. In the year of the big snow, my parents had been caught in town and Jane took my sister and I in until they came home. I hope they read this and remember us to.

    By Caroline Reilly (nee Hayes) (08/05/2007)
  • My mother-in-law’s family was one of the early “settlers” in Warren Avenue, in 1926, living in a railway carriage, though by 1929 they had moved down into Brighton. We have read Hunns Mere Pit, and I would be really interested to hear any more memories of that period.

    By Sue Steel (20/05/2007)
  • I was born at the Brighton General hospital, Elm Grove, in 1945; I was also in the orphanage, which was turned into the Fitzherbert School. Does any one remember the days when the building was used as the orphanage, and the small cottages (4) of them, and the infirmary below to the south? What about when the Pig farm went up one night in a blaze of fire? I also went to Woodingdean Primary School, across the fields from the orphanage. One year I was sleeping beauty in the Christmas school play.  When I married, in the sixties, a long time ago, I again lived in Woodingdean. Both my Parents are buried there.

    By Carol Ann Adams (29/07/2007)
  • I find it very interesting to read the lovely comments about Woodingdean and to hear the interest about it’s history. I am continually being asked whether I have copies of ”The Hunns Mere Pit the story of Woodingdean and Balsdean” sadly I have not. However help maybe on it’s way for I will be starting the third and final book on the village soon and hope to complete it in about two years. If anyone wishes to make a contribution, whether a story or a photograph etc, then please email me at mercer@mapsedge.fsnet.co.uk or telephone me on 01323 492309. Thank you.

    By Peter Mercer (04/09/2007)
  • I saw a letter in the Evening Argus from Elsie Stowell Raymond, Roseville, California. This is a summary of what she wrote:

    Elsie’s parents lived in Downs Valley Road in 1923. She was born there in 1924. Later the road became Falmer Road. The family lived in No.3 opposite the Downs Hotel. Her father and other pioneers changed the name from Downs Estates to Woodingdean partly because of the woods near West Farm, now the cemetery area.  Elsie went to Warren Farm School from age 7 to 11 but before that attended the infant school in Rottingdean, travelling by pony with her 6 year old brother. The next year a school opened in the church hall in Woodingdean. She remembers Mr Peach and Mr Oldacre.  Elsie trained as a nurse at Southlands and remembers often going to Balsdean where she and her brother collected conkers from the horse chestnut tree there. On a re-visit in 1991 she found the tree gone and all the buildings destroyed.  Her father, a plumber/electrician, told of visiting a Mr Kincaid in Balsdean who was a customer of his and suffered a neck injury causing him to need much assistance. Her father built the dance hall at No.3 which was later used as a furniture/estate office known as Stowell’s Emporium. He also built Woodingdean’s first post office next door and the storehouse next to that, later becoming Robinson’s, where she lived with her sister Alvilde the last living of her siblings. Her girl guide captain was Annie Holland, mother of Duggie Holland. Her sister, Rosie, was a Brownie.

    I do not have an e-mail for Elsie but, maybe some one might know of her.

    By Robert Coe (11/09/2007)
  • Elsie Stowell and I correspond and we meet at Woodingdean when she visits the UK. Elsie loves the village and holds very dear her childhood memories of when she lived with her parents at Stowells Emporium just below the cross roads in Falmer Road. The story of the Stowell family is told in the ”Hunns Mere Pit.” Sadly Elsie does not have an email address but maybe I can arrange email contact through one of her sons.
    I am hoping that she will return soon to the village.

    By Peter Mercer (23/10/2007)
  • I was brought up in Woodingdean in the late Forties and Fifties and, like so many of you, really think it was a wonderful place to grow up. A one-time neighbour contacted my sister some years ago and told her about Peter Mercer’s book. I would really have liked to read it but, living in Canada, hadn’t even the hope of finding it in a public library. In an attempt to find a copy, I listed it with Book Search Inc., an American company which traces out-of-print books worldwide. Early this year, they contacted me – they’d found a copy in the US at a price of $350. I’m afraid I couldn’t afford that but, seeing that Peter participates on this site, I thought he might like to know about that. I’m a self-publishing writer myself and would be really chuffed to hear something like that.
    Back to growing up in Woodingdean, we lived in Kipling Avenue and yes, Carol Ann Adams, I remember the night the pig farm was set on fire. We were on the west side of the street and could see up to the bridle path from the back of our prefab. I remember being glad it happened because I hated hearing the squealing of the pigs being taken to market from the Infants School classrooms.

    By Jean Jardine Miller (04/11/2007)
  • I remember being at an orphanage and think it was the one that was turned into the Fitzherbert School. I was born in 1953 at Brighton to parents Stanley John King, and Jean Margerat King and left at the orphanage when 18 months old. My sister, Carol Margerat and brother Malcolm Stanley were also there and we are a year apart in age. I was wondering if anyone has any photos or information on the orphanage as I do remember a huge wooden staircase and the women who worked there wore blue uniforms. Would it still have been an orphanage at that time? What was it’s formal name? I wonder if there are any records anywhere. I live in Australia now but my sister is still in Hove.

    By Jeanette Davies (nee King) (08/01/2008)
  • I was born at the General Hospital in Elm Grove. We lived opposite the church in Warren Road, a prefab. Our next door neighbours were the Corrigans. Their daughters were Margaret and Judy. Yes I remember the pig farm catching fire. I also remember Mr Britton and his dog Ricky, as my parents ran the kiosk in the park after we moved to 18 Shipley Road. I have a DVD of Woodingdean CP School Fete including the float for Brighton carnival.

    By Neil Slade (12/01/2008)
  • Can anybody remember the red and cream double decker bus which crashed and rolled over on the bend going into The Ridgway from the Downs Hotel?  From what I can remember the driver lived in Woodingdean.

    By Neil Slade (19/02/2008)
  • Does anyone know if the orphanage Carol Ann Adams mentioned was called Warren Farm Home? I was there in 1942 along with my brothers and sister. We didn’t have too many treats in those days but we were allowed to sit on the grassy banks on a Sunday afternoon. I have lovely memories of the smell of the apple trees.

    By Ann Allsop (29/02/2008)
  • I remember you Neil, and the Corrigans. We were all in a concert called The Sunbeam Show in about 1954, I think it was. It was a summer holiday project which Collette and Lorraine Freeman put together. You and your brother did a conjuring act. My sister, Lorna, and I were part of the Sunbeams, the singing and dancing part of the show. The Corrigans were in it, too, and the Ridd sisters. The ticket money went to the Sunshine Home in Brighton and we got our picture in the paper – at least, the Sunbeams did. I still have the clipping. I found it among her things after my mum died. She’d kept it all those years. She and your mother were on the PTA together – they ran all the school fetes and parents’ dances in the 1950s.

    By Jean Jardine Miller (02/03/2008)
  • I revisited this site after 18 months and was so pleased to hear that someone remembered me and my family. Thank you Caroline. My name is Debra Steffany (nee Andrews) I would like to contact persons who lived at 106 and up Langley Crescent Woodingdean between 1970 and 1974.

    By Debra Steffany (15/03/2008)
  • Hi Jean, yes we did from what I remember, Ian was a magician and I was his assistant. We had a bowl of sugar lumps which I ate and ruined his tricks. It was in the church hall. Yes I have some photos of many of the mum’s at the primary school. I will be calling Ian in Scotland tomorrow to see what he remembers. Where about did you live in Woodingdean. Due to a accident 2 years ago I lost some of my memory so any help would be a great boon. I did return to the area last year which brought back some more memories. Hope to hear from you soon.

    By Neil Slade (09/04/2008)
  • I found this site by accident and was enthralled and riveted to read everyone’s comments about Woodingdean. I have many childhood memories of Woodingdean, having attended Woodingdean
    County Primary, Rudyard Kipling, WarrenSchool (annexe of Fitzherbert) and then Longhill. I remember Mr. Bridden’s dog, Mr. Haggard the Headmaster of Woodingdean County Primary used to scare me, Mr. Robinson of Warren and then Mr. Morley of Longhill. I always remember the summers more than the winters except the winter of 1967. I now live in Canada and went back to visit Woodingdean County Primary in 2000. They even had the same wooden stairs in the hall going up to the stage….what nostalgia…..I remember you Neil Slade……..I think you may be a little older than me. I am not sure. What would we be called… Woodingdeanians perhaps? Does anyone remember the little sweet shop opposite the FitzherbertSchool commonly known as “Grans” and the other little shop with a parrot behind the counter.

    By Carolyn Dominick (nee Williams) (09/05/2008)
  • This message is mainly a reply to Neil Slade’s but, hopefully, interesting to other present and former “Woodingdeanians”. Sorry it’s taken me a while to get back here, but I’ve been a bit busy visiting my sister in Australia (who I’ve introduced to the site and we had fun reminiscing) and finishing my latest self-published novel (anybody interested, just google my name to find it). Anyway, Neil, sorry to hear about your accident. We lived in Kipling Avenue – my sister is Lorna, my brother (Frank) Richard. I think I was in one of the years in between Ian and yourself at Woodingdean School – some of the names, which might ring a bell for you, of kids in my year were Barbara Nash, Vicky Ward, Charles Kemp, Michael Austen, the Dale twins, Michael Purdy. I went to Varndean for a year before we moved away in 1957. Somebody else I remember who lived near you was Avril Barber – she was the Goblins’ fiver when I was the sixer in the 1st Woodingdean Brownies. I believe your mother became the secretary of the PTA after my mother’s term was over – I remember my mum being upset at no longer being the secretary as she really liked it. Was it the kiosk at Happy Valley that your parents ran? I remember the people who ran it before that because, for some reason, Lorna and I squirted water at them one day and they went to our house to complain and you can imagine how embarrassed (and furious) our poor mother was. I’m pretty sure you and Ian went to the Sunday School with us at the old United Free Church up the road from the Downs Hotel, didn’t you? Most children who weren’t C of E went there because it was the only non-conformist church until the Methodist Church was built. If I think of anything else I’ll let you know. Perhaps some of this will jog somebody else’s memory and we’ll get more reminiscences added.

    By Jean Jardine Miller (14/06/2008)
  • I`ve loved reading these pages. I have also lived in Woodingdean, and after briefly moving to Peacehaven found myself back here. I started off life in Langley Crescent, before moving to Bexhill Road and then Cowley Drive where my parents still live. I`ve moved up the road a bit to Netherfield Green. I too attended Woodingdean Primary before moving on to Longhill and the dreaded Mr Morley. My oldest daughter now attends Longhill while my youngest is at Rudyard Kipling. I remember the parade of shops in the village, the video store used to be a butcher’s shop, there was a launderette and if I remember rightly a half penny shop for a while. Seems like the fish and chip shop has always been here. I also remember a bit further along Rogers, the pet shop. He used to let us hold the rabbits. And the Java cafe was a newsagents.
    Does anyone else remember these places?

    By Lynn Thompson (29/06/2008)
  • I was thrilled to find this site, as I have been looking for people who attended Rudyard Kipling School. They are having a 50th Anniversary in September 2008. I would very much like to hear from anyone who attended this school as I did when it first opened. I remember Mr Bridden, Mrs. Robinson and Miss Tamkin. Can anyone remember any of the other teachers and can you tell me your expieriance at this school in the first year there? My name then was Sandra Bateman and I lived in Chalkland Rise when the school was built. My parents still live there now and I have been working there for the last 15 years. I need to hear a.s.a.p. so we can proceed for this special event.
    Editor’s note: Due to the restrictions of the UK Data Protection Act e-mail addresses are hidden from public view – the exception is if an e-mail address appears within the body of the message, in which case it is seen as ‘permission to be made public’ and will be published. As this message asks for people to contact you perhaps you could post another message containing your contact details.

    By Sandra Murray (01/07/2008)
  • I loved reading about Woodingdean. We moved to Woodingdean in 1957. I lived at 25 Vernon Avenue with my mother and grandparents. I went to Woodingdean Primary, my name then was Carol Webster. I was only there for a year then started at Elm Grove Senior Girl’s School. I remember Mr Haggard, he lived in the big house at the top of Falmer Road, near what is now the petrol station. I remember Avril Barber, I think she lived in the prefabs in Warren Road.  Does any one remember the youth club in the church at South Woodingdean? I think it was on a Thursday evening back in 1961. My friend then was Jean Rutherford, I think she lived in Shipley Road. We both attended Elm Grove Senior Girl’s School. Did Linda Ruffle live at the post office in Woodingdean? Any info please.

    By Carol Durrant (nee Webster) (05/08/2008)
  • Hi Carol, Yes I do but it was on Friday nights. Here are a few names which I remember: Marion Deeprose, Tony Long, Derek Grover and Sue Pilbeam who both lived in Cowley Drive. Yes, Jean did live in Shipley Road – I was great friends with her elder brother. From what I can remember a guy called Les who worked for Southdown Buses used to help out and took us all to Stratford on Avon in a Southdown coach which he drove. Sorry to say the Ruffle name rings no bells.

    By Neil Slade (14/08/2008)
  • Although I lived in Rottingdean, I went to Fitzherbert School from 1958 – 1962. My husband Malcolm Latham attended Woodingdean Primary School and we both remember the shop opposite Fitzherbert called ‘Grans’. It belonged to Granny Cox and the other shop with the parrott was ‘Wellers’ who sold lovely Tizer ice lollies served in silver paper. The bus driver who turned the bus over in the Ridgeway was Mr. Cullen . Malcolm remembers Neil Slade and playing on The Green in Rudyard Road. Malc lived at 13 Rudyard Road in a prefab and was also scared of Mr. Haggard. He also has fond memories of Mr. Betts, ‘pop’ Hemsley, Mr. Sales and Mr. Bentham. His fondest memory of Woodingdean School was winning the Division 1 football cup and league in 1958/59. Team members were: Ian Gill, Peter Daniels, Alan Lightfoot, Robin Laurence, Russell Davis, Chris Wells, Vicky Hardy, Bobby Ward, Alan Cunliffe, and Keith Rundell. Are any of you still out there?

    By Phyllis Latham (nee Newman) (19/08/2008)
  • It is very satisfying to read so many happy tales about Woodingdean. My photographic collection of the village has grown considerably since my last book and should appear in book form next year. Please contact me at prm442@hotmail.co.uk if you have anything of authentic historical interest you would like me consider for inclusion.
    Peter R Mercer, author of ‘The Hunns Mere Pit the story of Woodingdean and Balsdean’, also ‘Woodingdean Reflections and the Millennium’.

    By Peter Mercer (19/10/2008)
  • Does anybody out there remember Browdean Rovers? Ollie Kite started it as a football club in the early 1970s and I had some great times playing for them. Although I now live in Spain, my sister Dawn (Kemp) works at Woodingdean Primary, and I have some fond memories of my first ever girlfriend Jane Taswell who lived in Millyard Crescent. Teresa Berrett was her best friend.

    By Paul Hubbard (28/10/2008)
  • I lived and grew up in Woodingdean during the sixties. I attended Woodingdean Primary. I too remember Mr.Haggard. He did look scary. Does anyone remember the teacher Miss Stanger? She had a huge lemon tree in the classroom and brought her dog to school. I used to love the school plays at Christmas and the summer revels with the maypole dancers.

    By Valerie Lunt (01/11/2008)
  • My family moved to Woodingdean in the early 1980s. We lived in Rigway house opposite Rudyard Road. My parents still do to this date. I went to Longhill and have many memories of growing up in the village. I currently work in Slough and make the drive from Woodingdean everyday. I would find it very hard to leave the area as I have had so many good times here. I convinced my family to take over the hardware store in Warren Way. It’s called Warrens and has been a hardware store ever since the parade was built, I believe in the 1950s. I think that a Mr Johnson started the business, this is what some of our older customers have stated. Has any one got any memories of the store?

    By John Paul Amos (16/11/2008)
  • We moved to Cowley Drive in the late 50s. I was very young. I had a great childhood growing up. I went to Warren Primary School, and then to Fitzherbert in Warren Road and finished my schooling at Longhill Secondary. I am the only child, Mum and Dad have long passed. I still think of happy times growing up and sometimes miss the old days. I married an Aussie and we moved out here in 1974. I will be 60 next year, how time flies.

    By David Stevens (05/12/2008)
  • I have just been reading some of the letters on this site, quite a few names ring a bell. All the teachers at Woodingdean Primary, Miss Stanger, Mr Sales, the Lovely Mr Bentham, I shared a birthday with Mr. Haggard (30th July), every year usually the end of term he would announce it was his birthday and ask if was anyone else was the same day, and had to dutifully stand up in front of everyone. I always felt quite privileged to be at Rudyard Kipling School when it first started, and then The Warren Temporary School, followed by Longhill from day one, we were the top year all the way through, so never had any older kids to contend with. Happy days and where did those years go – I am 60 next year.

    By Janet Hope (nee Budgen) (22/12/2008)
  • It is really nice to see comments about where I grew up. The view is amazing and it looks really nice also when it is snowing.

    By Lois Gantley (30/01/2009)
  • This is a reply to John Paul Amos. Yes I remember the hardware shop as I used to work in the sweet shop next door in the sixties. The son of Mr Jounson who owned the hardware shop, lives in Rottingdean and owns the sweet shop in the high street. I lived in the Ridgeway for some time and my mother still does. She is now 91 years old. Does any one remember me as I knew a lot of the girls in the village then?

    By Keith Parkin (06/02/2009)
  • Hello Keith. Yes, I remember you well from Woodingdean School and when you worked in the sweet shop I worked in the post office just down from the Downs Hotel. I have lived here since 1946, my grandfather was the first postmaster of Woodingdean. I remember you, Neil Slade, as well from school and a few others: Tony Langridge, Sheila and Ann Walton the twins, and Carol Webster. I still live in the village as do one of my sons and my daughter – we have had 3 generations go through Woodingdean School.

    By Lynda Whymark (nee Ruffle) (11/02/2009)
  • Hello Jean. I have just been having a trip down memory lane. So pleased my friend Lynda Whymark (nee Ruffle) told me about it. I also remember all the names you mentioned plus many more. I still have photos of teachers from Woodingdean School, maypole dancing and a Christmas party. I was in the same class as you with Babara Nash, Valerie Allum, David Scales etc. I then went to St John the Baptist, which later became Fitzherbert. I am sure you will remember my husband, Jim, he said he lived next door to you in Kipling Avenue with his sister Carole and the late Linda. The book ‘The Hunns Mere Pit’ is like my own history book, there are pictures of my grandparents and my late dad. My dad used to live in one of the cottages, where our library now stands. I was born in Rosebury Avenue and now live in a house that backs onto it.

    By Janet Gravett (nee Baker) (12/02/2009)
  • Hello Lynda. Yes I remember you well as I had a big crush on you all those years ago. Do you remember my mum as she used to work in the hardware shop just up the road from you next to Simmonds’ sweet shop?She is still going at 91 and still living in Woodingdean. The names you stated all ring bells and bring back some wonderful memories.  I came back for a visit seven years ago but the feeelings were still there and the village has not changed much but I saw the old sweet shop I used to work in was closed – very sad.  It was so nice to hear from you again.  Thanks for the memories.

    By Keith Parkin (14/02/2009)
  • Hi Keith. Yes i remember your mum very well, in fact I saw her about two years ago. She was with your sister Shirley in the village, she lives up the road from my two uncles. Glad to hear she is ok. You will have to let me know when you visit again we will have to meet up. Plenty of news to catch up on, where are you living now? I have been married nearly 39 years this year we have two sons and one daughter, seven grandchildren so we keep busy, also three dogs and one cat. We both enjoy gardening so it will be all systems go next month. Hope to hear from you again.

    By Lynda Whymark (16/02/2009)
  • Hi, I’m Lois (I was born in 1996) and I love to see all these comments about where I am growing up. At the moment I live on Seaview Road and I go to Longhill High School. My previous school was Woodingdean Primary. look forward to seeing more comments. bye xx

    By Lois Gantley (18/02/2009)
  • Keith Parkin where have you been hiding for the last 40 odd years? Lynda Ruffle you must remember the Corrigans. Let’s all keep in touch.

    By Neil Slade (26/02/2009)
  • Hi Linda, glad you remember me. I also remember the Walton twins who lived in Warren Way, thier father was a policeman asI recall. Do you remember Avril Barber? She lived in the prefabs by the junior school on Warren Road. I loved Roger’s pet shop, iI see he still lives in Woodingdean. I now live in Lancing and have been married 45 years and have three children and two lovley grandchildren. I’m looking forward to the warmer weather.

    By Carol Durrant (ne Webster) (27/02/2009)
  • Well, Well Neil Slade how long is it since we last saw each other? I can’t beleive its been over 40 years ago – do you remember the bad snow we had in 1963 I walked to work in London Road through snow drifts up past my head, 4 miles back and forth! I got marreid in 1971 but only lasted 12 years, I am now married again and have been for the past 23 years. I’m 62,  retired and  live in Lincolnshire now but I still miss Woodingdean and Ovendean. Hows life with you I remember so many names that you and Lynda have mentioned and can still recall some faces. Nice to hear from you again I dont think I will ever see Woodingdean again as I live so far away, sad but the memories carry on.

    By Keith Parkin (28/02/2009)
  • Hi Neil remember the Corrigans but last saw Judy in the 60s, where are you living now? I think we should all meet up us oldies of Woodingdean don’t you? What about it?

    By Lynda Whymark (28/02/2009)
  • Hi Carol, fancy you living so near to Brighton. I see Roger quite often as he is still in Woodingdean. He is  married and they have a beautiful two year old girl. Woodingdean is very cold and misty at the moment but thats how it goes eh. Lovely to hear from you, lets keep in touch now.

    By Lynda Whymark (03/03/2009)
  • Hi Lynda, Woodingdean as I remember was always very misty. We often visit the lawn memorial park, the village looks much the same as 40 years ago. Can’t believe the tall trees I planted in the Holly Cross garden just behind the wall that borders the main road are still going strong. I used to be friendly with Elizabeth Finch, daughter of Mr Finch the vicar at the time about 1959. We brought them home from Stamner Park as saplings. Happy Days. Yes, lets keep in touch Carol.

    By Carol Durrant (04/03/2009)
  • Hi Carol, yes I am often down at the memorial park as both my parents have died now. We have two crosses cut out in the lawn as rose gardens in the church gardens and guess who looks after them? Me! Will chat on Friends Reunited if you like.

    By Lynda Whymark (06/03/2009)
  • Hi all, are we all coming out of the woodwork. My brother Ian lives in Scotland. I am living in Aldershot. I agree we should all meet up. Now look for photos. The DVD is a gem. Keith get in touch, my email is neil_jan@tiscali.co.uk

    By Neil Slade (07/03/2009)
  • Really lovely to find a site on Woodingdean. Moved to Foxdown Road in 1955 when my brother was 3 weeks old. My mum used to work in Mundons, the chemist. Started school firstly at Rudyard Kipling and then Longhill when it first opened.

    By Marian Leggett (nee Ashton) (09/03/2009)
  • I am Marians husband. It’s great to see so many familiar names, although I cannot put faces to some of them. Moved to Kipling Avenue in 1947 into a brand new prefab. Moved on to Cowley Drive in 1954, into a nice newly built house between Shipley Road and Littleworth Close. Remember Ian and Neil Slade living in Shipley Road. Moved to Newhaven in the 70s. Funny thing is I didnt know Marian when I lived in Cowley Drive and I was the paperboy for Foxdown Road.

    By Dave Leggett (10/03/2009)
  • Hello Dave, have you a sister Carol? I moved to Lockwood Crescent in 1947, do you remember the Dinan family in Littleworth close? They are my cousins . What about Alan Grey and his sisters in Cowley Drive? I do remember them from the prefabs. Alan’s mum used to work in Hammonds if I remember correctly. I still live in Woodingdean.

    By Lynda Whymark nee Ruffle (11/03/2009)
  • Well I remember you, Dave Leggett, as I worked in the paper shop when you were the paper boy there. Do you remember me and Ida the lady that worked there at the same time. I lived in the Ridgeway at the time. I can’t remember the names of the couple that managed the shop, i think it was Mr Smee. They had a son younger than me but I remember you very well as I beleive you were our top paper boy at the time.

    By Keith Parkin (11/03/2009)
  • It’s good to know that I am remembered by some people from all those years ago. Sorry but I cannot recall either Lynda or Keith. No doubt something will remind me of you if we keep in touch. Yes my sister is Carol and she still lives in Woodingdean. I do remember the Dinan family and a few years ago I was in touch with Fred through Friends Reunited, but somehow we lost touch after a while. I lived next door to the Gray family and Carol still sees Heather on a regular basis. I think Alan’s mum worked in Stanbridges -the grocers. The owners of the paper shop were the Hammonds and their son was Brian who still runs the shop to this day. Its nice that someone thinks I was the top paper boy. That was possibly because I was one of the longest serving boys and got the job of working in the shop and marking the papers at the end of my “service”. I will keep watching this site from now on and perhaps I will see a few more memory joggers.

    By Dave Leggett (12/03/2009)
  • Hello Janet Gravett. Of course I remember you and Jimmy (as he was called then – to differentiate him from his father, I imagine). How did you find each other? The Gravetts moved to Craven Vale around the mid 50s if I remember correctly but before that we all went to each other’s birthday parties, etc. My brother and Linda were born around the same time and Carol and I used to think we were so grown up when our mothers let us push the prams up and down in front of our houses. I mostly remember you because you lived near Barbara Nash who I was always close friends with but lost contact with after we moved away from Woodingdean in 1957. I really love reading all the memories on these pages. I’m still trying to place many of them, but some I remember very well. You’re so lucky to live in Woodingdean – although I know it’s changed a lot since our childhood days, it must be nice to live where you grew up. Ask Jimmy (sorry, I should say Jim) if he remembers when he drank the cough mixture?

    By Jean Jardine Miller (19/03/2009)
  • Hi having married a local girl from Woodingdean 25 years almost to the day, I visit my mother-in-law every weekend. We always have this discussion,  when we approach the top of Cowley Drive from the Falmer Road. If you look out to sea, on a clear day in the direction of the Isle of Wight you can see a rather large mound/island. I was told that this was the Isle of Wight, but my mother-in-law is adamant that it’s not. Is there anybody out there that can shed any thoughts on this?

    By Martin Dutton (28/03/2009)
  • Hi Martin, yes I lived in Heronsdale Rd as a child, up to getting married in 1970. On a clear day we would stand at my bedroom window and look out to sea and see the Isle of Wight. We knew then that the good weather was here. I now live in the Balsdean Rd area and we can still see it on a good day.

    By Lynda Whymark nee Ruffle (01/04/2009)
  • Hello Jean, so pleased that you remember us both, Jim has never been allowed to forget the episode with the linctus! Dr McGhee was not pleased. Jim’s Mum had two more children late in life, I have a brother-in-law aged 47 and a sister-in-law aged 43. Jim (his Mum still calls him Jimmy) and I met at the Regent dance hall in 1963 as many of our generation did and got married in 1967, we have got two lovely sons and three grandchildren. Do you remember in our first year at school when we had to lay down in the afternoons on green canvas beds? That would have been Miss Hughs (or Miss Shoes) class, also the trouble Miss Nash had with the Goble twins (Anthony and Derek). A few more names that I have remembered are Margaret and Dorothy Baker (no relation). I saw Margaret yesterday, she is another still in Woodngdean. Helen and Shirley Hunt, David Street, David China, Michael Ford, Josie Kent, Janice Adams, Adrian Bean, Andrea ?, Janet Conlay, Barry Birch, Philip Page, Ivor Sedge, Brian Mason, Vicky Ward and I think in our last year you sat next to Christine Marcantonio. Jim played golf against Vicky Ward (now Johnson) a few weeks ago, what a small world! Another of the golfers is married to Vicky Dew another Woodingdean girl. I wish I could get in touch with you as I have a few photo’s that would make you smile.

    By Janet Gravett (02/04/2009)
  • Hi Janet, sorry but you are one of the people I cannot recall at the moment, but I think we must have met up at some time in our early school life! You have come up with many names that I can remember: David Street lived next door to me in Kipling Avenue, Ivor Sedge lived in Shipley Road just around the corner when I lived in Cowley Drive, Christopher Page (Philips brother) was in the same class as me. I think most people will remember the Goble twins! I think Janet Conlay’s brother may have been in the same class as me. I certainly know him but cannot remember his Christian name.

    By Dave Leggett (04/04/2009)
  • Hello Dave, like you, I know the name Leggett. Maybe you were in a different year to me, I started school in 1945 (oh dear, am I that old?) but my name was Baker back then, my husband Jim Gravett and his sister Carole lived in Kippling Avenue nextdoor to the Jardines. The Pages and the Conlays were both big families. I have a photo of a school play with David Street, Barry Birch, Charles Kemp, Janet Conlay etc. I am hoping to have a picture of all the teachers on here soon, so keep searching!

    By Janet Gravett (nee Baker) (05/04/2009)
  • Hello again Dave, I must have had a senior moment. I didn’t start school until 1949. Jim has just reminded me of other families in Kipling Avenue: the Mercers and the Colbys. We still live in Woodingdean, both my boys went to Woodingdean Primary School and our grandaughter spent her first school year there before they moved to Porslade.
    Neil Slade – I remember your name and where you lived – also the Corrigans, the Ridds and on the corner next to the school path were Michael, Alvin and Sandra Curd. I think Barry Aitkinhead lived near you as well.

    By Janet Gravett (06/04/2009)
  • I lived at 81 Sandhurst Ave in the 70s, went to Woodingdean. What I can remember was that Mr Haggard was headmaster , Mr Hill was the PE teacher. I played football for the school and cricket, and I played football for Browdean Rovers. Can’t remember much but I think I played for two seasons. Has anyone got any photos or can you remember me from the school years or does anyone know where I can get photos from?  These were good old days.

    By Andrew Piper (06/04/2009)
  • Hi Andrew. I played for Browdean Rovers in the early to mid 70’s. My managers were Ollie Kite, George Gunn and Ron Wiltshire. Sadly Ollie and Ron are both dead and the last I heard George was very ill. Keith Hayes and Henry Dobbyn are two of the players I remember.

    By Paul Hubbard (11/04/2009)
  • Hi Janet. Sorry it took me so long to get back. Yes, I did know that there were two later Gravetts. My mother saw Mrs. Gravett again after she returned to England, from Australia, shortly before she died in 1991. And no, I sat next to Michael Austin in Mrs. Rice’s class. He used to bend my arm up behind my back – hope he grew out of that habit! I remember most of the people you mention. Josie Kent’s brother Ian married my cousin, Christine – her family moved to Woodingdean a couple of years after we left and her parents lived in Netherfield Green right up until they died a few years ago. My sister and I have been trying to place Linda Ruffle. I do remember the Leggetts though, and the Mercers and the Streets in Kipling Avenue. You can contact me at jeanmiller@designandcopy.ca I saw your photo of the teachers – they all look so young, yet seemed so old at the time! I must tell Lorna to come and have a look.

    By Jean Jardine Miller (20/04/2009)
  • There are a few old faces on a video from the 1999 50th Aniversary of Woodingdean Primary School. The first headmaster was even there – then in his 90s (he has since sadly died).
    I have put them on Youtube in higher definition than previous ones. Just search for “michaelkeay” or Woodingdean 50th (or also Woodingdean carnival – from same year). If you click the HD button you may be able to recognise faces better.
    Does anyone remember Norma Tamkin? She taught there and was a relative of mine – my mother’s niece.

    By Michael Keay (28/04/2009)
  • Hello I just wanted to know where I could find pictures for Rudyard Kipling school back when it first opened as I am helping someone to gather pictuers for their 50th aniversary. If anyone could point me to the pictures it would be a great help. Thank you.

    By Toni (13/05/2009)
  • Hi, just to say Browndean Rovers were started by Ollie Kite. Other teams from Woodingdean in the 70s were Cowley Drive uUited ,started by Jim sSreeter and Wally Meeching. Treyford United(founder unknown). I played for both Cowley Drive,and later Treyford.Hove Sunday League. I hope this is of some interest to someone.

    By Stephen Streeter (14/05/2009)
  • My mum was born in Woodingdean in 1927 and she grew up in no 2 Warren Avenue which belonged to the co op. Her name was Betty Smith; her brothers helped build the old Holy Cross Church. I also grew up in Woodingdean, I went to Woodindean School from 1958 to 1964 then onto Longhill. I was in Miss Stangers Class when I had my photo taken with her lemon tree which appeared in the Brighton Argus. I was also a bridesmaid for Miss Utley hwo took class 1b.  I still live in Woodingdean with my husband of 39 years. Our 3 children all went to Woodingdean School and my 3 eldest Grandsons have been or are going to Longhill while my youngest Grandson is about to start Woodingdean School so there must be something right about the Village as we have not strayed far for 4 generations.

    By Lorraine Pain (nee Goddard) (20/05/2009)
  • I think Treyford Football Club was started by a guy called Tony Harris who owned the car repair place in Warren Road.

    By Paul Hubbard (27/05/2009)
  • What a wonderful tool this Internet is. My best mate for about a year in the Army (REME) was a lad called Les Phillpott who lived on Bexhill Road and will be 51 this year, 10 years younger than most of you reminiscing here, so I doubt you’ll know him (and as he joined up when he was 16 and returned when he was 19 or 20, then married a lass from Brighton and they divorced pretty quickly, it does seem unlikely). I stayed for a week in Woodingdean when I was 19. I still remember his Dad’s phone number for some odd reason – he was a long distance lorry driver and his Mum lived in Brighton. Trying to find him after 31 years. Thanks all for a lovely couple of hours spent reading your stories – and Keith, Lincoln to Woodingdean isn’t far!

    By Tone Franklin (03/06/2009)
  • Hi. My great auntie is Elsie Stowell Raymond. My nan, Edna Stowell, still chats to her on the phone regularly. Both are OK and are now in their 80’s! Sadly Auntie Alvilda died a few years ago and my Grandpa Ernie died 11 years ago this year. We’re still finding stuff that belonged to him after all this time around the house and the shed belonging to him, his father and my nan’s father Bill Sheiff! After reading the chapter in the book ‘The Hunns Mere Pit’ on my family, I can see he took after his father!  Auntie Elsie was pleased to hear from Nan that I had recently taken on the Stowell bench which has been in the family over 80 years! Her and Nan were wondering what would happen to it once my nan passed on but both are happy knowing that it still remains with a Stowell!

    By Clarissa Stowell (07/06/2009)
  • George Gunn, of Browdean Rovers, Whitehawk FC and Valley Social Club, sadly died this week, aged 73. RIP mate.You kick started my football career and I’ll never forget you.

    By Paul Hubbard (09/06/2009)
  • I would like to contact Carol Ann Adams re Mary Ann Towner:16 Jun 2009.

    By Alexander Chapman (16/06/2009)
  • Reference to Vernon Avenue made me take note. My parents, John [Jack] and Bridgie Crowley moved into No 40 in 1954 or 1955. I was 7 and my brother Michael, 3. Our neighbours were the Heavers. His name was Eric and they had a son David. Opposite us lived Stan Goring who ran a private taxi service and always had the latest model cars. The pig farm I think was owned or run by Roy Fealey and his wife used to collect kitchen refuse from homes in the area. They had a ‘boarder’ called Jimmy Gilfinnan. The shop with the parrot opposite Fitzherbert School [where my father taught] I think was called Richmond Stores. Stan Weller was in a wheelchair and used to run an SP booking ‘service’. Our doctor was Arthur Aistrop who lived in Warren Way. My parents are buried in the local lawn cemetery.

    By Jim Crowley (28/06/2009)
  • Hi Jim, do you remember me? I lived at No 25 Vernon Ave next to the Parsons family. I remember David Heaver. Never forget Stan Goring’s bright pink taxi. Did you go to Woodingdean Primary School? I left in 1958 age 11. My grandparents Mr and Mrs King, are also buried in the lawn cemetery.

    By Carol Webster (09/07/2009)
  • Hi Jean, I think I was a couple of years below you at school. Ann and Sheila Walton and Janice Taylor were in my class. My grandparents had the Post Office in Woodingdean just below The Downs Hotel in Falmer Road and, as most of the girls did, we used to hang around Jimmy Gravett. He is still as cheeky, as Jan will tell you

    By Lynda Whymark (nee Ruffle) (11/07/2009)
  • Hey Aunty Lynda, how is it? Dad just found out about the well and he and Mick Norrell are keen to find out more info on it. I remember your wedding in 1970. Same day as the FA Cup final. I saw you go in the church then quietly slip away home to watch the football. I hope a 12 year old wasn’t missed. All here are fine. Looking forward to your next visit. Thanks for the ‘Arsenal’ book it is the best pressie I ever got. Hope Uncle Jack is not too upset all your childhood sweethearets are chasing you again! Your loving nephew (at nearly 51!), Glen.

    By Glen Wilson (18/07/2009)
  • In regard to Treyford FC: From my very poor memory the club was started by Mike Ansell who lived in Treyford Close. His son, Stephen Ansell, was in the team. I played in the inaugural team in 1970’ish. We played in green and black striped shirts, black shorts with black? socks styling in those days and we were a fair team. I heard Mike died in the seventies at a young age. He supplied the kit and organised the team training and I have fond memories of him. I’m struggling to remember too many others but would love to be reminded of them. Paul Jarvis and his friend Phil Bath were sort of ring ins occasionally. Maybe Ken Clarke was our keeper, though he was a bit older and could have been playing mens football by then. I heard he emigrated to Australia in the late seventies. Spurs fan but apart from that a good lad. Treyford played in a cup final in Whitehawk which we won in 1970/1 or 2. Our home ground was on Bexhill Road. I think the wind played a big part in most games. I lived in Farm Hill and we had our own pitch there, the island outside our house. The grumpy old man at 59 used to shoot our balls with an air rifle. Lived next door to Michelle Saunders who I heard also has now died. Gahzell (spelling?) sacked me from my Evening Argus paper round when I missed turning up on time because the ’71 cup final went into extra time. Luckily he never caught us pinching the refundable bottles from behind his store. My dad Jack Wilson used to sign-write his blue van. My mum Ruby was a dinner lady at Woodingdean and also the lollipop lady (to my disgust at the time) for a while. Aunty Lynda (see above) married my mum’s brother, Jack. All good stuff. A few other friends I hung with were Chris Lane, William Bolton, Phil Neale and Debbie Neale, Ian Rowland.

    By Glen Wilson (19/07/2009)
  • My mother was Agnes Stowell, Ernie and Elsie’s sister. Also father’s parents (Boon) lived at Crescent Drive North. We Boons lived at Downland Road. I went to school at Sylvan Mount on Warren Road, run by Mrs Jenner. My younger sister Kathleen went there too. My best friend was Eddy Kneen of Downland Road, who lived next to the Patchings who had a horse. I have menories of Papa Stowell and life as a child in Woodingdean 1942 to 1956. Good to read so many bits of the past. I now live in West Yorkshire,

    By Barrie Boon (20/07/2009)
  • Hello Lynda Whymark; my sister Lorna, was in the same class as the Walton twins and Janice Taylor. I actually started school with Janice’s sister, Pat, but my birthday was earlier in the year so I ended up in the year ahead of her. Lorna and I went to the Free Church Sunday School, too. So I should know you from there – it’ll come to me eventually, I imagine. I still have a book which old Mrs Yeatman – Miss Yeatman’s (I don’t remember her married name – they lived behind the laundry and I was in her Sunday School class for what seems like years now) mother gave me when we left Woodingdean. It was a Sunday School prize presented to her in 1905 – a very tear-jerker type Victorian story. I remember the Post Office and the other shops down Falmer Road there. The Ridds’ house and shop was just up from it and I used to play with Pauline. It’s really nice to hear from you and Janet. I’m a long way away in Canada now, but I still love Woodingdean.

    By Ex-Woodingdeaner (25/07/2009)
  • Hi Glen. Paul Jarvis’ brother Vince was a good mate of mine,as was Phil (Eddie) Bath. I didn’t know Paul or Phil played football in their (much) younger days. Both went on to be big Albion supporters.With big waistlines.

    By Paul Hubbard (02/08/2009)
  • Hi Paul, I remember Paul Jarvis being quite a skillful player with an eye for goal but I think Phil Bath’s physical presence was his main strength. As much as I try I can’t remember any other names from the Treyford side. I think most players came from South Woodingdean.

    By Glen Wilson (03/08/2009)
  • Hi Barrie Boon. I don’t remember you but my grandparents had the Post Office in the Falmer Road, the Goodenoughs, friends of the Stowells, and I still speak to Edna. But my other grandparents, the Elfords, lived in Crescent Drive North next to Granny Boon. I have very fond memories of her. The story goes that she used to look after me when I was a baby and hold a fruit gum by thumb and first finger so I could suck it – must be why I still adore fruit gums! As I have said before, I was born here in 1946 so have been getting in touch with a few of my old school friends on this page. Also my nephew Glen now living in NZ - love to you all in NZ.

    By Lynda Whymark (nee Ruffle) (17/08/2009)
  • It has taken me ages to get back to this site but found Debbie Andrews had left a message.  At 110 Langley I believe Mrs Wheatcroft still lives there - you may remember she had Jackie and Joanne(twins), Deidi (Elaine), Debbie and then Maurice then a youger set of twins (their names escape me). At 93 (then moving to 112 I think) were the Lomers: Alicia is still in Woodingdean. 104 I believe were the Mayers – I remember the son Dean. At 103 were the Greenyers and Kerry the youngest still lives there and 124 were the Tideys: Janice and her brother. There were also the Priestleys and the Tullets and right on the end were the Frapes. Hope you and family are all keeping well.   Now Lynda Whymark – I am sure I know you (hi Linda). But I think it’s time we found some younger years on here so come on everyone from 1961 and on - where are your school memories? I remember Mr Haggard, Mrs Nowacki, Miss Stanger (penny banger) and her lemon trees and labrador. Also Mr and Mrs Matthews, Miss Simpson, Miss Schmid, Mr Hemsley, Mr Haslam, Mrs Nazaar, Miss Grainger, Miss George who became Mrs Green – she used to live in Mc William Road, Miss Harrod and Mrs Messenger (moaning messy), Mr Mounce our most lovely caretaker. I could go on but won’t but will just add Mrs Cruttenden from Longhill. She must have been 90 years old and 4 ft tall and she drove round in a Mercedes. Always stamped her feet when angry like a child. I still live in Woodingdean and threaten to move one day but can’t find any place in the country that is like this - not town not city not country not seaside but all of them within arm’s reach. It’s wonderful.

    By Caroline Reilly (22/08/2009)
  • I find this page very interesting but as for me I don’t have fond memories. I was in Beach Cottage, Warren Farm. My name is Derek Goble and my brother Anthony Goble. My brothers and sisters were placed in care there when we were six months old. First the big white building then the cottages. My memories of there was between 6-8 being locked in laundry baskets, cleaning outside drains in the winter with just pyjamas on no shoes, having to eat the potato peelings because I had peeled the potatoes too thick, being punched in the stomach and I could go on and on. I also went to Woodingdean Primary School and my memory of Mr Haggard was of him using the strap on me but not my hands, around my body, but who cared as we were just the Warren Farm boys. Oh and yes I remember the pig farm going up. I expect we were blamed for it anyway. The good thing I found on this page are the names that I had forgotten so you see why you poeple were having good times. Mine was a living hell so if there are any people out there that suffered like my brother and me please email me at derekgoble@hotmail.com Thanks, I hope I haven’t spoilt your page.

    By Derek Goble (09/09/2009)
  • I would think like most contributors to these pages, both shock and sadness come to mind when reading the comments added recently by Derek Goble? I grew up in Woodingdean in the 1940s and 1950s – attending both Woodingdean Primary School and later on St John the Baptist RC Secondary School. I well remember the so called Warren Farm boys and girls both in school and around the village. I’m absolutely certain us village kids treated them as equals – when at play or joining in the various activities organized for all of us, either in or outside school. I recall as a young boy being made very well aware that they were less fortuate than ourselves – not living at home with their parents or being allowed the same carefree childhood life us kids enjoyed living in Woodingdean at that time, although it has to be said for many folk and families, living in the immediate post WW2 years – life was indeed, not a bowl of cherries. Understandably Derek still sounds traumatized and very bitter about the treatment he describes he and his brother received during their time at the Orphanage and at school. Hopefully somewhere down the line he enjoyed a much happier life.

    By Christopher Wrapson (14/09/2009)
  • Derek: I was in Warren Farm for three years. I have sent you an email.

    By Alice Howe (Fulker) (18/09/2009)
  • Hello Derek, I remember you and Anthony very well. We were in the same class at Woodingdean. I have sent you an email.

    By Janet Gravett (nee Baker) (19/09/2009)
  • This page is very interesting and it was only thanks to my son who from time to time does research into the family history did I find out about this page. Although I was not born and bred in Woodingdean, my three children were. Melvyn and I lived in Channel View Road from 1979 and we moved to Saltdean a couple of years ago. Martin my son still lives in Woodingdean together with his three children, two of whom attend Woodingdean Primary School today. I hope it won’t take me too long to find this site again – it has certainly been interesting reading.

    By Deborah Tyler (20/09/2009)
  • Hi Janet, I didn’t get your email,  mine is gobl1@hotmail.co.uk. Nice to hear from you and would like to hear more. Please reply, this could be interesting – I hope we weren’t too naughty in school.

    By Derek Goble (22/09/2009)
  • Hi Chris Chris at work let me know that you might pop into the office next week. Look forward to meeting you. By the way my email is deb91254@yahoo.co.uk. Debbie

    By Deborah Tyler (22/09/2009)
  • I’ve just been reading through the pages about Woodingdean; very interesting! I was at Fitzherbert for a while in the 1950s and remember a few names from then. There were the Chapman brothers from Warren Farm, I think the younger one was Freddie? I bought a Panther 250cc ‘sloper’ motor cycle from his elder brother for the grand sum of £2, I think, in 1955! We pushed it back to Kemp Town round the racecourse and down Wilson Avenue! I note also the mention of the pet shop; what about Kimber’s who had the pet shop then? The son Barry Kimber was in the same class as me and later became apprentice mechanic at our old garage, Bristol Garage in Church Place Kemp Town (which by then was run by my uncle Norman Goddin, who lived in Saltdean when he retired) I gave Barry my Coventry Eagle motor bike which I couldn’t bring to Kent with us when we moved up here. I had converted this to electric as an experiment and often wonder what happened to it ( I think I’ve still got the old log book!). The Webbs, who lived in Seaview Road, had a greengrocers shop in Rock Street, Kemp Town and used to bring me and my bike back to school in Woodingdean after lunch. Their son Teddy had been in the Navy during the War and was torpedoed in the Pacific and spent two weeks floating about on a plank before being rescued. There was a Mary Goble at Fitzherbert, I don’t think she was anything to do with the Gobles mentioned previously but I might be wrong. Peter Salanson was a particular friend of mine too and he lived in a house called ‘Roxburgh’ which was along the Bexhill Road or Crescent Drive area, I remember going there after school a few times but last time I drove round there it was much more built-up than it was then and I couldn’t recognise that particular house. I saw someone of this name on television several years ago from the Winchester area which might have been him? No-one has mentioned my particular Brighton Hero and Woodingdean resident Douglas Reeve either, organist at The Dome for over fifty years (is it really ten years ago that he died!). His family had the greengrocers shop in Bristol Road, Kemp Town for many years. I was previously at another school in Brighton with his nephew Peter Reeve. If I remember any more I’ll post them up or you can put something on the message board which I’m sure to see. TCS.

    By Tim Sargeant (20/10/2009)
  •  I was introduced to this site by a friend I used to work with. I have found it very interesting reading about the names I remember all those years ago. I lived in the prefabs at 43 Kipling Avenue with my parents and two brothers Ray and Michael from 1947 to 1955 and went to Woodingdean Primary School, where I made good friends with John Mann. We both also went to St Luke’s School together. We remained good friends till we lost touch after leaving school. I have made contact again within the last three years after losing touch for 50+ years. We now keep in touch by email and the occasional coffee in town. Next door to us in Kipling Avenue were Mr. and Mrs. Carter with Eileen and David who moved to Oxford, Mr and Mrs Smith with Christine and Pat who emigrated to Australia. Living opposite us were Mr and Mrs Gravett with Carole and Jimmy. I believe they had two additions to the family after moving to Craven Vale where we also moved to. I used to see Mrs. Gravett as she sometimes walked past Tates Garage at the bottom of Sutherland Road where I used to work on the petrol pumps. I used to pass the time of day with her when I was not too busy. I have noticed Janet Gravett contributes to this site quite regularly. Janet, next time you see your mother in law please remember me to her. Other names that come to mind, some of which I haven’t seen mentioned are: – Jardines, Pages, Conlays, Bishops, David Street, Barry Birch, Charles Kemp, Ann and Valerie Seymour, Terry Parker, Michael Harrod, David McKenna, Brian Vickers, David and Gilbert Fenner, Victor Darch, Fred Mercer, Yvonne Latham, Josie and Barbara Cox, Dawn and Heather Sheppard and not to forget Bunty their dog. Dawn and Heather’s father Francis got me a job at Dentsply in Coombe Road where I worked for 13 years. I also did a morning and evening paper round for Slaters Stores in Falmer Road. My Grandad used to live at a house called Glenmer in the Ridgeway and I have two aunties that still live at Woodingdean. If any of the above names read this and remember me I can be contacted by email f_parsons@sky.com or I will be keeping watch on this site regularly now I have found it.

    By Frank Parsons (02/11/2009)
  • Hi Frank, I remember you. Your mum had Lorna and me over the morning my brother was being born on Good Friday 1952 and we stayed for dinner. We stayed over at your house until my grandmother arrived to take us to her house in Kemp Town for the duration. Your mum was always having to shout for you and Ray to come home because you were always off somewhere. The thing I remember most about you was the day you climbed up on your roof – I don’t know why. All us younger kids thought you were a big hero though. You’ve triggered my memory with some other names I’d forgotten. Thanks. Yes Derek, I remember you and Anthony. You were pretty high profile members of the class and I remember you managed to get the ruler more than the rest of us and were sent to Mr. Haggard for the strap but I had no idea that life was so awful at Warren Farm. I’m sorry to hear that. You represented the school, though, both you and Anthony in football and boxing – I have a couple of the old school magazines Mr. Betts had Charles Kemp, Vicky Ward and me write and you’re listed in the sports reports. I hope later life treated you better. And, apologies Linda. I replied to your message back in July but must have forgotten to login. I see they signed it “Ex-Woodingdeaner”. Well, that’s me. I haven’t had a chance to get back here since or I’d have let you know. It’s amazing how the memories come back when you come here and read what everybody else is remembering! I wonder if any of those teachers we all remember so well are still alive – some of the younger ones might be. It would be nice if they came and added their recollections, wouldn’t it?

    By Jean Jardine Miller (24/11/2009)
  • Thanks for your comment Jean. Thanks for remembering us xx

    By Derek Goble (02/12/2009)
  • Vic Darch worked with my dad for years as a roofer. My dad lives in Heyworth Close Woodingdean. Is Vic still around?

    By Paul Hubbard (03/12/2009)
  • Hi Jean. Thanks for your comment, you have a better memory than me as I don’t remember climbing onto a roof. I have received a few emails from people who remember me. It is surprising the different names that keep appearing. I have shown my mum your comments. Hope you are keeping well.

    By Frank Parsons (08/12/2009)
  • Hi Paul. I don’t know if Vic is still around? The last time I saw Vic was about twenty years ago at Asda in Hollingbury. I did not recognise him, he approached me as he thought he remembered me from Woodingdean. I remember talking to him for about half an hour, then we said our goodbyes and I have not seen him since. I remember when he lived in the prefabs. He was good friends with David Rolf who I last saw about ten years ago. Do you know him? If you do come across Vic on your travels remember me to him. Thanks.

    By Frank Parsons (08/12/2009)
  • I don’t think my dad has seen Vic for years. They were very close at one time and worked as ‘Hubbard and Darch’. Not sure what happened, but it sort of morphed into ‘Tidey and Wyatt’. Phil Tidey sadly died a long while ago, Dave Wyatt may still be operating.

    By Paul Hubbard (23/12/2009)
  • Hi Paul: me and my brother both played for Treyford in the mid seventies; the manager then was Steve Painter. If my memory serves me right you used to play between the sticks for Browdean. I can remember George Gunn a lovely fella.

    By Colin Howard (06/01/2010)
  • Hi to everyone that may remember me and my twin brother Peter,sadly he died in 1990. We used to live at 77 Crescent Drive South and moved to Woodingdean around 1954. We were eight at the time. We joined Woodingdean County Primary school and there three sets of twins in my class, the other two were the Wilding boys and the Waltons, Anne and Sheila. I remember having a crush on Sheila. I also remember Tony Langridge and a lot of names that have have appeared on this site. I also remember a girl called Wendy Newman who lived in Downs Valley Road. It’s such a long time ago now but my best memories are of Woodingdean. I used to go back for a visit sometimes for a drive round the old place. I would love to visit again but am living in The Philippines now. If anyone remembers me and Peter please post a note on this site. It’s nice to catch up again.

    By Anthony Mitchell (14/01/2010)
  • How wonderful to find so many names that are familiar from my childhood. My brother, Tony, and I moved to 24, Lockwood Crescent when they were newly erected, I think in 1947. Our first neighbours on one side were the Lipscombes, the children being Lorraine and Gerald, and on the other side were the Sweetmans. Mr Sweetman was the Sunday School teacher. I seem to remember his class being in their Prefab, then later we had to walk across the “Dump”, I think, to Sunday School. Do any of you out there remember playing up the “P”, at the back of Lockwood Crescent? My first school was at Warren Farm and then on to the new Woodingdean primary school. We moved to Craven Vale when I was 10 years old where our neighbours were Mr & Mrs Gravett and children Carol, Jimmy and Linda. David and Dawn were the later additions to the family.

    By Pat Cook (nee Denyer) (23/01/2010)
  • Hi Paul, is your dad still doing roofs? I am assuming it is Steve. I haven’t seen him for a year or two but would love to get in touch with him.

    By Ian Farringdon (26/01/2010)
  • Hello Anthony. I remember you very well and I also remember your brother Peter. I actually dated Peter a few times so I was so sorry to hear that he died at what would have been a very young age. Do you remember playing badminton with our parents at Fitzherbert School on Saturday afternoons? We weren’t allowed to join in and play until the last hour so that we didn’t spoil the adult’s games. I am still playing club badminton and also play in the veterans team for Sussex. I still remember your parents as if it were yesterday. I remember being on the number 113 bus going home from school one day and your dad was sitting in the seat in front of me. He turned round and chatted to me all the way home. It’s funny what pictures stay in your mind through the years. I remember sitting next to you in Mrs Rice’s class. There was a girl called Susan Marchant, who sat in front of us and a boy called Dennis Wood sat opposite. It’s possible your brother sat next to him, but I’m sure about that. Dennis used to live near us in Shoreham and managed one of the kid’s football teams for the club where my son and husband were heavily involved. Unfortunately Dennis sadly died about 10 years ago too. The only other classmates I can think of at the moment are Tony Langridge, Andrew Fogden, Susan Hibberd, Susan Pilbeam. I also remember the Walton twins very well and vaguely remember the Wilding boys. I’m so pleased my brother, Graham, told me about this website. It’s certainly a trip down memory lane reading all the comments from everyone. It’s just come back to me that you and Peter wanted to join the army when you left school. Did that happen? Is that how you have ended up in the Philippines?

    By Wendy Arscott nee Newman (05/02/2010)
  • I have been trying to trace a family that lived in Woodingdean during the war years,(1940s); they are relatives of mine and their name was Furber. I believe they lived in Occupation Road (long gone)? I did read a mention of a Peter Furber in “The Huns mere pit”and wonder if he could be related. There was also Annie and Jean; there may have been others. I can remember walking over the Racehill as a child to meet up with them at the Down’s hotel, but don’t recall ever going to their home. I would be grateful to hear if anyone has or had any knowledge of the family.

    By Gerald Peacock (28/02/2010)
  • Have just looked up this site for the first time in nearly a year and the message from Frank Parsons brought back many more memories. I remember all the names he mentioned. I was in the same class as his brother Ray. I lived in Kipling Avenue next door to David Street. Fred Mercer lived next door to the Street family. David Fenner has retired and moved to Spain about 2 Years ago. We moved to Cowley Drive in 1954 and lived just a few houses away from the Fenner and Mckenna Families. Will try to keep a better watch on this site as things seem to happen very quickly and there is a lot of catching up to do!!

    By Dave Leggett (22/03/2010)
  • WOW! I love this site. I went to Rudyard Kipling as did my brother Glen, whose 5 years younger. We lived at Truleigh Close, Woodingdean, at first with my mum & baby sister Tina, till Mum left with Tina to move to New Zealand. Then we went to live with the Russell family 3 doors down, where they cared for us with all their family too. I can’t remember heaps about that time but would love to touch base with anyone who can remember us.  I remember Mr Mason-apps, Mr Wednesday?? he ran an afterschool club?? I think all the girls secretly had a crush on him. Mrs Baker who took us to Le Havre on a french trip; a very special lady who knitted/supplied a maroon & grey hat & gloves as I had no Mummy to do it for me! And Mrs Robinson, though she had more to do with my brother, as he used to get into a fair bit of trouble….. as you can imagine he had a LOT of anger about things that were happening that he couldn’t understand at that time. I was too busy being his new mum, to think about it at the time. I would especially love any copies of photos that might be around that we would of been in, as when my father, brother & myself came to NZ in ’76 to be re-united with Mum & Tina, a lot of our photos had been lost due to a few moves we subsequently made. Dad, David Christie worked at Sunblest bakeries when it was around. I think we moved to the area about ’68/69 as my brother & sister were born while living at Truleigh Rd, though all three of us were born at Brighton General Hospital. I remember Tracey Roberts, also Lorraine & Debra? sisters all three lived on Cowley Drive. Also Teresa Bishop who lived on Bexhill Rd, Rhys Newman, Maria French and David Clarke. I’ve looked on Genes Reunited but haven’t found many to touch base with. More memories to come as time & brain cells allow. LOL, lovely to hear ALL your stories. Keep on keeping on peoples :))

    By Suzey Dovey nee Suzanne-marie Christie (26/03/2010)
  • Remember me? I ran the local bingo club in the community center for 23 years. We had a good time every Thursday. Anyone who attended please contact me. Also the 46 club 46 years we were open, a real good social club but alas had to close. Bob the bingo caller.

    By Robert Fines (04/04/2010)
  • Hello to Colin Howard.I remember you from Treyford, and isn’t your brother Paul, who was a keeper like me? Did you work with my dad? He’s in his late 70’s now and quite frail.He lives in Woodingdean though and plays for the bowls club. He’s pretty good too. My cousin Steve is still roofing and keeps threatening to join me out here in the sun as he has a couple of properties here in Spain very near to where I live. Nice to hear from you both.

    By Paul Hubbard. (02/05/2010)
  • I lived in Woodingdean as a young girl in the 1950s. We lived for a while in a council bungalow in Crescent Drive North. I went to Mrs Jenner’s school for a while but didn’t like it. I remember being rapped on the knuckles when I made mistake playing the piano. Better memories of sitting in a meadow with the other children, making daisy chains. Later I went to Rudyard Kipling School – which I loved. Mrs Ferner was an amazingly good music teacher and I remember playing the cello and also singing in the choir. There was a great atmosphere in the school and we had great trips, including a residential when we went to Burwash. We later moved into a bungalow near the bottom of Crescent Drive South, which my father named after myself and brother and sister ‘Lingatina’ (Linda, Gary and Tina). We went to the Methodist Church and my mother was involved in the running of the Youth Club. I knew Susan Webb and Janet Cox at that time. We spent hours making up sketches which we thought would be suitable for the radio – we recorded them on a reel to reel tape recorder. Susan went to Varnean Grammar School for Girls with me. She was really good at the piano. I wonder what she’s doing now. Her father had a greengrocer’s shop, in Kemp Town I think. Woodingdean was a good place to be a young child, especially in the summer with the Downs, the park and the grassy area near the Methodist Church.

    By Linda Nevill (15/05/2010)
  • Hello Paul. Just seen your comments – yes, my brother Paul did play in goal for Treyford and Whitehawk and later teams in West Sussex. I have never worked with your dad but know who he is as I was his postman a few years ago. See your sister from time to time, and one of your nieces lives up the road in Downsway. Wouldn’t mind living in Spain myself as have stayed there on holiday for the last two years in Playa-Flamenca. All the best for now.

    By Colin Howard (01/07/2010)
  • Wow, so many memories to share and read… My grandma used to live in Stanstead Crescent (Daphne Aspinall later married to become Burt) with my mum (Yolande Burt) and my aunty (Mandy). Daphne later moved to Vernon Avenue and my mum also moved in Vernon Avenue flats above the butchers. When my sister (Nicole) was born we moved to Farm Hill and when my youngest sister (Paige) was born we moved to Channel View Road. I spent most of my growing up years playing cricket by “the hump” in Downland Road and rollerbooting up and down Downland Road. Playing football behind the Nuffield (was Fitzherbert School). Getting penny sweets from Macs or Alldays. My family is mostly still in Woodingdean now but in different roads and I can’t wait to bring my children up in Woodingdean….its where I call home.

    By Natasha Burt (10/07/2010)
  • Re: Graham Barclay. I am now reading the Woodingdean website with Dorothy Arrow [nee Kerry], Lilian’s sister who died in 2004. Yes, Graham we both remember you. I am Sheila Barnard [nee Price] and like you remember most of the names you mentioned. Dorothy and I are now both living in Seaford. I moved to Cornwall in 1963 and lived there until I came back to this area in 2004 after my husband died (in 1996). My sister Maureen lives in Bristol and my two brothers John and Alan still live in Cornwall. The girls I often think about are: Pauline Adams and Madeline Clarke from the Warren Farm orphanage. Regards the Hunns Mere Pit book, I personally wrote the piece on our family “The Prices” who lived in 8 Warren Way next door to Yeatmans the hairdressers and laundry. Does anyone remember the Woodingdean Methodist Church youth club? The church is situated in The Ridgway and we met on Friday nights. Some of the people we remember going to the club between 1957 – 1966 are: Maureen Price, Dorothy Arrow nee Kerry and Lilian Kerry, David Billam, Michael Arrow, Mark Palmer, Bob Cooke, the Naylor family, Barry Couzins, Rita Hayward, and Christopher Hannam. Christopher’s parents were foster parents looking after children in one of the W.Farm cottages [I think]. When the cottages closed they moved to Rottingdean and ran a children’s home in a large house in Marine Drive. We found the website compulsive reading.  If there is anyone out there who remembers us we would love to hear from you.

    By Sheila Barnard [nee Price] (13/07/2010)
  • My name was Julie Whitmore. I lived at 196 Cowley Drive in 1956. Iwas 2 years old and stayed until the fourth year at Rudyard and I remember John Britton and his dog. I loved that dog. I moved to Bevendean and lots of other places but moved back to Woodingdean 17 years ago. I am still here in Bexhill Road. I would love to hear from anybody that might know me.

    By Julie White (22/07/2010)
  • Hi Lynda (Whymark), I have just found this site as my husband was trying to see if there was anything on line about the old Silver Mount school where I went from the age of 4 until coming to Woodingdean School at 7 years old and was in Miss Novaski’s class. Lovely to read all the tales of long ago, and haven’t bumped into you for ages so glad you are ok. Well it has brought back so many memories. I lived in the Warren Road prefabs until they were pulled down, and then in Shipley Road until I got married in 1968. I have two daughters and four fantastic grandchildren. I remember you Neil Slade, you lived opposite me and once your Dad let me help in his little cafe in Happy Valley Park which made me feel so grown up. I also remember you Carol Webster and you had kittens -so often had scratches on your arms, and I think your Mum was a nurse. I sat next to Andrew Fogden and he was always drawing fire engines, so often wondrered if you became a fireman Andrew. Do you remember Robert Washbourne- well we got engaged once and got the ring at the toy shop on the parade. He later married one of my friends by coincidence. Also remember you Anthony Mitchell and so sorry to hear about Peter- how awful it must have been for you. I went to the senior school Fairlight Girls school with the Walton twins, and always envied them as I had no brothers and sisters. Do you remember Marion Caldwell who bless her was always in trouble. Well she died in the early 8os bless her, and our families were very close. I didn’t remember you Barry Boon but my cousin Yvonne Mitchell has mentioned your name many times over the years as you were once sick on a trip and she has a phobia with vomiting as do I which we are sure stemmed from Silver Mount and that dreadful Miss Jenner who actually kicked me on my first day at school. She has a lot to answer for. Will keep looking for more stories, and if I think of anything else of interest will be in touch

    By Vanessa Collins (nee Bishop) (11/08/2010)
  • This extra message is for Carol (Webster). It has just come back to me Carol, did you know my sister-in-law Lesley Collins (Damara)? I seem to remember a connection with Coldean and your husband? Just wondered if you knew that she sadly died just a few years ago unexpectedly?

    By Vanessa Collins (Bishop) (11/08/2010)
  • Hi Vanessa, yes I did know Lesley. We were very friendly with her and Mick in the sixties. My husband Roger lived in Wolsely Rd, Coldean. Mick lived in Rushlake Rd then. So sorry to hear about Lesley. Roger went to her funeral. then back to Jason’s house in Wolsely Rd. Roger said he spoke your husband Dave. I remember so many of the names you have mentioned. I am friends with Lynda Ruffell on Facebook.

    By Carol Durrant nee Webster (17/08/2010)
  • Hi Vanessa, Carole left me a message on Facebook that you had written a letter here. I haven’t seen you for a while, how are you? I am in contact with Yvonne, I email her often. We must meet up soon, what do you think?

    By Lynda Whymark nee Ruffle (19/08/2010)
  • I have been thinking quite a lot about our younger years at Woodingdean, and it is amazing how many things come to mind. I saw the picture of our teachers and I could only pick out Miss Backhouse, Mr and Mrs Betts, Mr Hemsley, Miss Novaski, Mr Haggard of course and Mr Bentham. Mrs Betts taught my eldest daughter at Longhill so she was very interested to see a photo of her. Yes it would be nice to meet up some time. If I think of some more things I will be in touch. Keep in touch hope you are well.

    By Vanessa Collins (21/08/2010)
  • Hi Carol. It was nice of you to reply to me. What a small world it is eh? I wouldn’t have known your husband, but I was at Jason’s house after Lesley’s funeral. I told my husband that he had spoken to him but he didn’t recall it, and I guess we were so upset and concerned for Mick and the boys that it was all a bit of a blur. Happy to say they seem to be all doing very well now, but we still can’t believe it ourselves. Nice that you keep in touch with Lynda and glad you are getting on OK. Be lucky and best wishes. Keep in touch if something else comes to mind.

    By Vanessa Collins (nee Bishop) (24/08/2010)
  • I have just stumbled across this site and was fascinated to read of names from so long ago, I lived at 33 Kipling Avenue with my parents Bob and Eva Davidson from 1947 until 1955 when we moved from the area. Here are a few names that l remember well from that period of mostly happy memories when summers were always sunny in Happy Valley and the P. Terry Chandler, Victor Allen, David Street, Freddy Mercer, Bobby Back, Norman Farrer, Barbara Kensitt and her sister Margaret, Kay Whittle. From school I remember Miss Barnes who met an American sailor while we were on a school trip to Southsea I think they later got married, broke my heart l was in love with her. Major Haggard of course got the strap from him a few times; Pop Hemsley (Roger Hemsley was in my class) and Mr Betts. I have some old photos of the school football and boxing teams and can name most of the boys in them. Do any of you remember cubs at the methodist church with a lovely lady from Rottingdean who ran it? Also remember Miss Jenner the music teacher who hit you with the ruler as mentioned by someone else. Anyway it is a great site and one I will visit again now I am happliy retired and playing golf. All the best to any one who recognises the name of Bob Davidson from long ago.

    By Bob Davidson (27/09/2010)
  • Can anyone cast any light on the comment on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodingdean that Haile Selassie lived in Woodingdean House during the war?

    By Jez Nicholson (22/10/2010)
  • Fantastic memories, I lived at the top of Woodingdean in Bexhill Road from when the houses were first opened, in 57 I guess. Next door were Stan and Peggy one side and the Gearys the other. Just in the local we had the Coe’s, English’s, Westgates (see Pete now and then). Any more to add names please?! We had the best of both worlds – the Downs out of our front door or a 2p bus ride to Rottingdean the other. Plus don’t forget Sarturday morning pictures.

    By Tony Coomber (05/11/2010)
  • All these comments are so great. I lived at 60 the Ridgeway from 1964 to 1968 when I left for Canada. I have visited Woodingdean a couple of times to see the old bungalow. If anyone remembers me plaese get in touch. My e-mail is hbarham@cogeco.ca. So many great memories of swimming at Rottingdean by the White Horse.

    By Harold Barham (07/01/2011)
  • What a wonderful flash back to my youth I have had! I grew up in Woodingdean from 1955 until I got married in 1972. I first lived in the prefabs at 21 Warren Road and I lived next door to Avril Barber and her brother Derek was my friend. Why do so many people remember her? She was older than me and I don’t remember much about her. I went to Woodingdean Primary school and some names I remember are Philip Leggett, Nigel Kemp, John Roberts, Colin Spence, Brenda Goldsmith (lived in Shipley Road), Brenda Gardiner (lived in Langley Crescent), Brenda Noakes (lived in Sandhurst but sadly died from meningitis at age 16), Michele Linsley (lived in Sandhuurst Avenue) and Linda Cook (lived in Langley Crescent). I lived at 114 Sandhurst Avenue from 1958 until I got married in 1972 and Lorraine Goddard lived 5 doors up from me and she still does now. In the square I lived in were Paul and Debbie Yeates and next door was a family called Gates (Martin, Susan and Gloria). There was also the Parkes family with Jo and Robbie (who joined the army). My Mum lived there until she died in 2001. She was a dinner lady at Fitzherbert School during the 60’s and also worked at the little dry cleaners opposite the Downs Hotel for speel in the 70’s. She was also friends with Peter Westgate’s Mum and Stanley Newman’s Mum Peggy. I remember the supermarket in the parade of shops at the bottom of Sandhurst called World Stores, the daughter of the owners was called Pauline Stevens. The old newagents in Falmer Road was run by a mother and son (the son wore really thick glasses) and it was called Slaters. I also remember Richmond Stores and the parrot. I remember Mr Haggard, the scary headmaster. Also Mr Betts (lovely man), Miss George, Miss Stanger and Mrs Nowvaski. My cousin, Judy Blunt of Chalkland Rise, married the son of Johnsons hardware and they no longer have the sweet shop in Rottingdean but I don’t what happened to them. I moved back to Woodingdean when my daughter was born in 1979 and stayed there for 7 yrs then moved to Lockwood Crescent for a further 10 years. I live in Telscombe Cliffs now and don’t see much green space like we were privileged to grow up in.

    By Brenda Fairhall (15/01/2011)
  • It has been great reading all these messages about the past in Woodingdean, we have lived in The Brow for 31 years and my three children attended Woodingdean Primary. Despite living here for 31 years I still feel like a newcomer after reading all the comments above. If you would be interested in meeting up with old friends and sharing experiences and memories please come and join us at ‘Then and Now’ at Holy Cross Church on Saturday 5th March and Sunday 6th March, details can be found at http://www.woodingdeanholycross.co.cc.

    By Sheila Smith (01/02/2011)
  • I lived in Woodingdean throughout the 60s. I also started my school life at the age of 4 at Silver Mount School, but then moved onto ‘We Can Peel Spuds’ School when it closed. I’m surprised only one person can remember this school as it was quite an amazing experience! Ruby Jenner the owner and only teacher, insisted on being called “Madame”. She was elderly and had an even older husband who used to shuffle about in the background as it was also their home. She used to dry her long bloomers and her washing in front of the school coal fire that heated the chilly room in the winter. We used to have to wear navy berets and blazers and in the summer panama hats. I learnt beautiful copperplate handwriting from the age of 4, which later Mrs Novaski at Woodingdean Primary told me off for and insisted I start again using horrible single print letters. Madame used to give us Art lessons with really old stencils, I remember being so happy painting and my achievements. My parents were also amazed at the facts I learnt there, as the babies were at the front listening into the 10 and 11 year olds’ lessons at the back of the class. We used to play bumper cars with our arms folded in the playground and be indulged with picking and making daisy chains in the summer on Madame’s front lawn looking out to Ovingdean and the sea beyond. At the end of the school day the younger children used to have 10 small wooden blocks which we used to have to turn down, one by one to the tune of ‘Ten Green Bottles’ which we sang, then we had to put our chairs on the desks and salute “Madame”. At Christmas, Madame used to make jellies a few days before the party and they would have dust from the classroom on them, and she would order taxis and take the whole school into Brighton to see a pantomime at the Hippodrome in Middle Street. I think I was only at the school for 3 years and I too felt the wrath of Madame, I had my hair pulled so hard that handfuls of hair came out, had my knuckles wrapped with a ruler and oil poured in my ears in the winter without my parents’ consent. I remember witnessing the older children having more severe punishments than me. Madame, I guess, got too old and moved to Peacehaven. The school (old bungalow with outside toilets) was demolished and a new family the Holdens (?) Linda, Julie etc had a swish new house built there. I also remember breaking into the grounds of Warren House and playing in the sunken terraced gardens, and the chauffeur that drove a metallic silver blue car with a peaked cap who lived there.

    By Danuta Simmonds (nee Reynolds) (10/03/2011)
  • I lived in Channel View Road and most of my childhood was spent roaming around Woodingdean having ‘adventures’ with Jane Baxter (we were big Enid Blyton readers). I remember the Thomases – Freda and Michael whose mum used to ride a horse up and down the road, the Wardens – Gillian and Sally who had a wonderful exciting back garden, the Wrights – Stephen and Christopher whose dad used to roll up in the biggest builders lorry, Susan and Denise, the Pollards – Linda, Gary and Julia, the Huffs – Christine, the Pyns – Raymond, Trevor, Claudia and Leonine, the Kopps – Mark, the Paines – Christopher, Richard, Wendy, the Baxters – Liz, Tim and Jane, Mrs Bonniface, Miss Applebee, the Heathers, Mr Rose, the Wallaces – Peter and Sue who had a goat called Becky in their garden, Ian Perkins, the Spenders – Steven and Gillian and many others, the Bolotens – Elizabeth, William, Louise and John, the Jennings, Joanna and Stephen, Hans Rhoner, Jackie Sutton, Denise Cannon, Hillary Bolas, a very nice lady who used to give me a lift to school in the rain, with a sheepdog called Mally and the policeman with the bloodhounds at Dinky Doo. I have many happy memories which came from a free childhood, being able to play from early morning to dusk in woods, building sites, back farm tracks and of course the public road, where children of all ages were mostly tolerated and happy in the 60s.

    By Danuta Simmonds (nee Reynolds) (10/03/2011)
  • I am doing some research into Cowley Drive, Woodingdean from the 1960s. Would anyone have any photographs of Cowley Drive from the 60s at all? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    By Tony Carter (27/05/2011)
  • I have just had some sad news for all of you that remembered Avril Barber – well she passed away in France with partner Lorna by her side.  RIP. I am sure many of your school friends have loads of memories of you.

    By Lynda Whymark (nee Ruffle) (30/05/2011)
  • Do any of you who lived in Cowley Drive in 1969 remember an accident occuring close to the junction of Foxdean Road? It involved a car and a young boy on a pedal cycle. If you have any memory, could I ask you to contact me at tcandnk@hotmail.com where I will be happy to explain my interest in this incident

    By Tony Carter (08/06/2011)
  • Does anyone remember the Rolf family from Crescent Drive South? My grandparents, John and Rose, lived at a property known as Phyldene back in 1932 but by the time my dad, also Dave Rolf, was born in 1938, they were in a property known as Eventide. I don’t think any pictures of these properties exist, certainly I have never seen any, but if there are any it would be great to see them. If anyone remembers my dad and has a story to tell or a memory to share, I’d love to hear from you Dave Rolf (Junior)

    By Dave Rolf (12/06/2011)
  • I knew a Dave Rolf that lived in Woodingdean who had a brother Ron Rolf. I don’t know if they are the same family as you Dave. In the early days Dave was good friends with Victor Darch who lived over the road from me in the prefabs in Kipling Avenue. Dave was quite often over there with Vic. That was between 1947 – 1955. In later years Dave was involved with CB 4 the blind, he was married to Val CB handle Goldie. I also remember Ron Rolf but my brother Ray knew him better than me. I have not seen Dave for a number of years now. I last saw him when he was driving a mini bus for the disabled.

    By Frank Parsons (13/06/2011)
  • Yes Frank, it is my dad you remember. Both he and mum are fine although no longer together. He doesn’t say much about his time in Woodingdean although I think he enjoyed himself. Scrumping for apples certainly seems to have been a common pastime for the local lads! Ron still lives in Woodingdean as does John, their older brother who, I notice gets the odd mention on this website. John is married to Paula Gosden who, I believe, lived in The Ridgeway. They haven’t gone far although the area has certainly changed since they were all kids I remember Vic. Darch too although he and my dad lost touch years ago. Hopefully he is still around.

    By Dave Rolf (19/06/2011)
  • Hi Dave, I certainly agree with your comments about your dad enjoying himself, we all did as youngsters in Woodingdean. Scrumping apples and gooseberries amongst other fruit was very popular. I used to have a paper round at Slaters Stores at the top of Falmer Road, just below the Downs Hotel. By having that paper round I used to have first hand knowledge where it was best to go scrumping. We used to go to a house with a big garden at the top of the Ridgeway, I think it was called Carey, That garden was full of apples and gooseberries etc. I have not seen Vic Darch for at least 20 years, I last saw him in Asda, where he recognised me and we shared a few happy memories together and I have never seen him since. I don’t remember John, probably because Dave was about the same age as me and Ron was around my brother’s age. If your dad has got a computer or has access to one it would be nice to hear from him again after all these years. My email address is f_parsons@sky.com Please pass my best wishes on to Dave for me.

    By Frank Parsons (20/06/2011)
  • I was evacuated down to my grandparents bungalow in The Ridgway, from London, after the Blitz of 1940/41. My father Harry Coe took over Price’s Garage in Falmer Road in 1945/6 but petrol was on ration and business was poor so he had to sell up and he and my Mum Elsie moved to Worthing and started a guest house. I took up an apprenticeship with the Evening Argus, and stayed with it for 12 years, In between I married Maureen Grigg from Rottigdean and lived there in Falmer Road where we built our own bungalow, had two children and moved to Ireland in 1971 to join The Irish Times. The boys went to school in Ireland, married Irish girls and have four children between them and have their own business there. Maureen and I retired back to Brighton to live in Kemptown, but she died in 2008. I stll live in Kemptown but visit Ireland four or five times a year to keep up with the family. I have posted some items about The Ridgway and my llife there on My Brighton and Hove. I am pleased to report that my musings have attracted some kind and interesting comments.

    By Robert Coe (03/09/2011)
  • I have just stumbled across this website for the first time and found it really interesting seeing some old names from Woodingdean. The comment added in July 2009 has a slight inaccuracy. Treyford under 16’s was founded by my Dad Bill Ancell and my brother Stephen played in the team. Paul Jarvis and Phil Bath spring to mind alongside Craig Aldis and Lee Knight. I was very young but they were fantastic days watching the team play up on Bexhill Road. I have also seen a comment on the site from Colin Howard, not sure if you remember me Colin from when I was going out with your namesake Colin Brownjohn? What a small world! Hope you are all well.

    By Nic Ancell (29/11/2011)
  • I grew up in Woodingdean from late 70s through to lates 90s. Went to Rudyard Kipling and Longhill. Parents lived in Downs Valley Road for over 50 years. Sadly Dad passed away this year, but he used to run the 46 Club and was active in the Boys Club and Longhill amongst other things. People seem to remember him driving his old blue Granada around!

    By Jane Manton (14/12/2011)
  • I lived in Channel View Road in the sixties and remember Danuta from then. I am still in touch with Tim Baxter my neighbour and friend.I went to Woodingdean Primary School from 1957. Tim was at Madam’s school along with Martin Warne. I remember carol singing outside Warren House (they had a Rolls Royce!).They gave us five bob(a fortune)and said “dont come back!”.

    By Richard Paine (22/12/2011)
  • Does anyone remember when the current nursery on Warren Road was established? It’s called Oak Cottage nursery now but was formally known as Woodingdean Playschool. I work with the parent committee of the nursery and we believe it was started in either 1962 or 1963 but we have no paperwork to confirm. We’d like to celebrate our Jubilee with the community but want to make sure we get the right year! Thanks in advance if you can help

    By Anne Glyne-Thomas (26/01/2012)
  • Hi all you Woodingdeaners, just found this part of the site and had about 2 hours of interesting reading so thought I’d add my piece – here goes. I moved to Woodingdean aged 8 in 1957 to Sandhurst Ave, the road had no tarmac because they were still building from plot 33 so there was plenty of places for us new kids to play and make new friends. There was only the few shops in Falmer Road close by, as the parade was just an overgrown field at that time, Sunblest bakery wasn’t built for a couple of years so there were woods behind the garden. It was like being in a new world. I remember the Goodenough’s at the post office, the Slater’s paper shop with the 2 sons and mum, the pet shop that Roger took over when he left school where I used to get my pigeon corn from and Price’s butcher shop. Tom Price had a daughter Jill who I went out with for a while when in my teens.
    When the parade was being built we all had fun messing around in the new build as kids do, climbing up the scaffolding etc. I started a paper round at the corner shop when Wally had it until the bad winter of 63 when I delivered the Bexhill Road papers through the upstairs windows as the snow drift made the houses look like bungalows and the front doors were buried under about 10 foot of snow. Ina took over the shop not long after. The laundrette / hairdressers at the other end was run by Barry Steel’s mum and sister who Barry used to say were good friends of Cliff Richard. The doctors surgery was built at the bottom of Sandhurst and the Sweeny family moved in, both were doctors. Does anyone remember Henry Mears in the greengrocers coach that used to go all over the estate selling fruit and veg, he was a character?
    The families I remember in Sandhurst were the Mellis’s at 18, Dave was my first mate on the estate, Eileen, Carol & Maureen Preston at 21, Alan and Roger Wilding at 25, Tony and Chris Langridge at 27, myself and my mum who was known as Dutchie at 29, Diane West at 31 who had two lovely kids, Wendy and Mick, the large family of Colby’s at 35 mostly girls thought I only remember Sue and Elaine, Ronnie Maskell at 37 who was always messing about with Triumph Heralds with his dad, the Wells Jeff, Chris and Mick at 43, Trevor Ashdown at 47 who was killed in a crash when we were coming back from Barcome Mills after a days boating, Pete and Barry Daniels at 79, Janet Preston at 20, Kevin and Tina Elkins at 80ish, Keith Jago at 60ish and the nutter Royzee Redgate at 90ish. All of these were in Sandhurst. Other names are Barry Wright 12 Sutton Close who was my best man when I married in 1970, Mick and Bunter Faye of Langley Crescent (Mick was killed on a bike at Brighton seafront, he was only 19), Ronnie Weller of Langley who died of cancer at 19, Janet Bannister who lived over the parade who I dated off and on for about 4 years. A couple of names from the Ridgeway were Mick Sinnott who lived in the police house as his dad was the local Bobby and Gabriel Butler who lived across the street who also kept pigeons which is how we met.
    From other parts of the estate was Jimmy Fleet who I used to go driving with through all the country lanes on a Friday night. When he got low on go go juice we’d get my car and carry on. We used to drive like a pair of lunatics but never crashed or got hurt, great fun. Another name I bet a lot of you remember was Daphne Hancock, a very popular girl who lived at the top of Cowley Drive and married a guy called Ned Kelly (no, he wasn’t the Australian outlaw!). He was an Irish fella. One other name that comes to mind is Linda Cooper who lived just off the Falmer Road near the park whose dad was in the CID. What a cracker she was and whoever married her was a very lucky guy. I moved to Scotland in 1973 but now live in Essex since 1991.
    Anyway I’ve taken up a lot of space on here so better leave a bit for others. If any of the names I mentioned are still breathing and want to get in touch, feel free.

    By Danny / Dave Kimberley (12/02/2012)
  • Back again after short break as I’ve remembered more names. Fred Mercer who hooked up with Diane West who lived next door to me at 31 Sandhurst Avenue and they had a baby girl Tara, Pam and Sandra Budgeon, Francesca Kempshall whose dad was a conductor on the number 2 bus and he looked like John Junkin who used to be on the telly, Linda Davies who had two brothers Russell and Greg (I didnt know them personaly). I went out with Linda after they moved to Coldean or Hollingbury (not sure which) Annette Brown who after she married lived in the flat over Ghazell’s shop after it had been rebuilt- Mick Gander lived next door to the Spar shop on Bexhill Road (he always had candles hanging from his nose), Graham Coe (I can’t remember where he lived), Rosalind Sheehan lived in the Brow and the Enticnaps Clive, Chris and Chris who lived in Cowley Drive. I can’t believe iIve remembered so many names but at least i’ve cleared the cobwebs out of my head. Bye for now.

    By Danny/Dave Kimberley (12/02/2012)
  • We moved into 104 Langley Crescent in 1958 and three of my girls went to the school there. The twins were Glynis and Deanne Hobbs both of whom now live in France – not together happily and Alison who was only five went too. But to my horror – my husband announced we were having to move to Crawley as his firm, “Lyons Cakes”, was moving up there. So we lived there for less than a year. The twins are now 61 and Alison is 58 and living in Crawley. I must introduce them to this site as I’m sure they will meet up with someone they know. My best friend Pamela Linsley (we met at Varndean in 1941) who lived in Sandhurst Ave, died a few years back so I never go back there any more. Some of our happiest years were the war years and then our teenage years much of which were spent dancing at the Regent and the Aquarium or skating at the West Street Ice Rink, or cycling on long summer evenings visiting country villages or the Dyke and Downs.

    By Mrs Stevie Hobbs (13/02/2012)
  • I have many fond memories of growing up in Woodingdean. I remember Dutchie very well- we used to live next door at 31 Sandhurst until 1967 when we moved five doors up the road to 41. Julie and Janet Mitchell lived at 33 and we are still friends today. There was a little group of us that used to play british bulldog or rounders on the green until Mrs Avis asked us to play elsewhere and sent us away with a chocolate bar. Steve Daniels, Eddie Langridge the Briffas Kevin Ridpath to name a few played many a happy hours in the street. 

    By Jackie Pennock (15/02/2012)
  • Hi Jackie, was your surname Beck when you lived at 31 Sandhurst Ave? If it was I remember you as a new born &and then toddling before you moved up the road. You had two brothers (can’t remember their names)- your dad was Bill (I think) and can’t think of your mum’s name either. I also remember Doug and Gloria who were the girls’ parents at 33. It’s amazing what comes to mind as you read these memories of people from way back when.

    By Danny/Dave Kimberley (18/02/2012)
  • Hi, I have happy Memories of Woodingdean in the 60s and 70s. I seemed to use the Warren Way shops most days; the dry cleaners on the corner, a shoe shop, something else then the fish and chip shop, the green grocer and the one I’ve got the best memories of- the butchers. I think it was old man Burroughes who ran it, there were a couple of younger children, a boy and a girl I think and Peter-gorgeous, anyone know what happened to them?

    By Julie Lockheart (19/02/2012)
  • I was looking for information to include in my ‘autobiography’ for the ‘crazy doctor’ (long story…); when I stumbled upon this page. I was born in The Sussex Hospital in 1973 and grew up on Downsway in Woodingdean. Reading the comments on this page was like a trip down memory lane. I’ve got many good memories of growing up in Woodingdean, my Mum (Cilla Bryan) used to walk us down the fields to the windmill and to Rottingdean village. On a good day we would walk into Brighton down to the open market, round the racehill. Mum would make it seem like fun with the promise of seeing the horses on the way in! I remember when they used to burn the fields after the harvest, and the smell of bread early in the morning from Sunblest. Happy memories. This is a great website, it was good to read what others had written. Hello Mrs Gravett and Mrs Whymark, I believe I went to school with your sons Paul and Brian. My Dad, Vic, is still living in the house I grew up in on Downsway.

    By Amanda Bryan (20/02/2012)
  • Hi Dave, yes my name was Beck and you’re nearly right, I have 3 brothers Alan, Graham, and Billy. My Dad’s name was Bill and my mum Mary (unfortunately both have died now). I have wonderful memories of my time in Woodingdean, one in particular was going on a walk one sunday with you and Cathy and you walked us for miles with Maria and Andre, the light at the end of the tunnel was a sweet shop in Bear Road where you got us some sweets. Can’t remember if I said thank you – so I will say it now thank you. Do you remember Gordon Smith and John & Keith Burrows? Gordon was a bit of a lad back then.

    By Jackie Pennock (nee Beck) (21/02/2012)
  • Oh, so many names and places I remember so well. My sister Pam Budgen went out with Peter Burroughs for a while, I don’t remember Dave Kimberley, he must have been a couple of years younger than me, but he knew two of my sisters. Fran Kempshall did my hair when I got married. I remember Henry Mears the greengrocer, Russ and Greg Davies, the Enticknaps, poor Ronny Weller, Lesley & Vivian Aylward, Annette Brown. Others in my school year Ann Milsom, Margaret King, Ann Fisher, Lynne Grice, Carol Saxby, Michele Boxall, Chris Warr, Jackie Olding, Tony Vonesch – the list could go on – it all seems like someone else’s life now.

    By Janet Hope nee Budgen (21/02/2012)
  • Hi Jackie, sorry to hear about your Mum & Dad. I do remember your brothers now you mentioned their names, also Gordon Smith and the Burrows and yes, I do remember the walk that seemed to go on forever but it was a nice day and made a change from driving, and you are were more than welcome to the sweets, you’re probably the only one that said thanks.

    By Danny/Dave Kimberley (22/02/2012)
  • My grandparents, Len & andGrace Dickins, lived on Falmer Road in a bungalow opposite the park (Happy Valley) from the late 1950s through to 1969. In their earlier years there my grandfather ran a toyshop on a parade (I think by a crossroads) until he ‘retired’ and went to work as a porter at the university. For some time they ran the tea and sweets kiosk in the park. I have happy memories of afternoons spent in the park when I was staying with them. They were members of Woodingdean Methodist Church (where I was christened in 1959).

    By Jill Alderton (05/03/2012)
  • I moved to Meadow Cottages right next door to the existing Youth Club (I think it may be an NTC hut now?) – Warren Road, Woodingdean in 1957 and we were moved to Langley Crescent – newly built at the time. You probably all know at least one Wheatcroft because I have 6 sisters – 2 sets of twins. We were moved because they built the Woodingdean Library literally in our back garden and I used to jump over the back fence to go to Woodingdean Primary School – headed by Major Noel Haggard. I had a good friend Vernon Smallwood who lived in the prefabs in Warren Road and we were moved with our next door neighbours in the two cottages -the Lapierres- six boys and one girl who were housed next door to us in Langley Crescent. My mum still lives there. I now live in Rottingdean. Love to hear from anyone who knew me from around those times. There are a lot more memories (Polly Parrot grocers that became Ghazals etc) if anyone wants them.

    By Maurice Wheatcroft (18/03/2012)
  • Hello to Nicki Ansell just seen your comment on here. Don’t go on this site very often. I still live in Woodingdean and remember both you and Colin. Saw Colin not so long ago when he was working in Woodingdean. Can remember back in the early eighties when us three used to go for lunch together with your nephew Mark. Those days seem a distant memory as I’m now over 50 with four grandchildren of my own. Nice to hear from you hope all is good.

    By Colin Howard (30/03/2012)
  • I would like to address these few comments to Jim Crowley. Jim mentioned his family moving to Vernon Avenue in 1954-1955. I was in John Crowley’s class 3a in 1956 and remembered some of us classmates went to the house to help with some jobs. I remember two little lads, one had red hair. Mrs. Crowley had very curly hair. I remember John Crowley with fond affection. He was a tough no-nonsense teacher with a soft Irish lilt. I had the strap from him on a few occasions, but he was always very fair. Some of us lads went beating with him on a Saturday on a shoot. I had terrible trouble trying to get Shakespeare into my head but it never did happen despite John’s hard work. John Crowley was very solidly built but was fast on his feet and would sometimes referee a football match with his trousers tucked into his long socks. The shop over the road (Richmond Stores) was owned by Mr and Mrs Cox whose daughter Barbara was in our class. There is a photo taken in the gym at Fitzherbert in 1956 of class 3a with John Crowley in the middle. Barbara Cox is also in the photo sitting behind John and to his left. Jim – your dad was a fine man.

    By Mick Peirson (02/04/2012)
  • Mick Peirson’s comments re teachers at St John the Baptist RC school in Woodingdean during the 1950s make interesting reading. Mick describes Mr Crowley as a fair no-nonsense teacher, Mr Turner (Bosh) was certainly in the same category! In that era secondary school teachers like Mr Crowley / Mr Turner etc attempted to teach a basic education and they also taught us discipline (unlike nowadays). If by chance you stepped out of line you were made painfully aware of it. Over the years I was fortunate to stay in touch with Mr Turner, he always loved to chat about schooldays and how life had treated all his many past pupils. Sadly Bill Turner passed away in 2011 aged 90 years. Dear old “Bosh” had a good innings! “The shop over the road” that Mick refers to was in fact The Warren Stores, owned and run by the Cox family. This shop was known by the locals as “Grans”, Gran Cox was a very formidable lady and most definitely the Boss! Richmond Stores was of course the shop with the green parrot and run by Mr and Mrs Weller. Later on that lovely old shop was demolished and replaced by Ghazals supermarket.

    By Christopher Wrapson (04/04/2012)
  • Hi Dave, How weird to be reading this site and recalling people and places from years ago and then actually bumping into them. Dave Meliss plays darts in the same pub I now play for, and Tony & Linda Language I saw at a funeral. I also bumped into Elaine Wright whose brother Roy was your Best Man. He still lives in the same house with his Dad (his Mum died two years ago). All in the space of a week. Weird!

    By jackie pennock (19/04/2012)
  • Hi Jackie you’re right, it is weird when reading about the past, the amount of memories that pop up. When you see Dave, say hi for me, and when you see Elaine call her Pickles and see how she reacts cos that was her nickname when she was a baby/toddler. Roy wasn’t my best man it was his brother Barry. Is that you on facebook? If so I’ll message you, take care.

    By Danny/Dave Kimberley (23/04/2012)
  • Hi Dave, I will be speaking to Elaine tonight to wish her happy birthday for Friday so I will have to start it with Hello Pickles. Will say hello to Dave for you, and yes that is me on facebook. Don’t get me confused with my late husband’s sister – she spells her name Jacky. Take care.

    By Jackie Pennock (24/04/2012)
  • I was reminiscing about bygone days in Woodingdean and found this wonderful website. Great to read the comments regarding my late father, John Crowley, from Mick Pierson and Christopher Wrapson. I too attended Fitzherbert from 1968 to 1972 and was taught by the man himself. He was very strict at school, but a great father at home. I was known as ‘Johnson’ for many years, due to the connection. I often remember past pupils coming up to our home to see my father (I was the one without the ginger mop – that was Jim my brother). I’m based in Southern Ireland these days and my brother is in Tasmania, so we couldn’t be further apart if we tried.

    By Mike Crowley (08/06/2012)
  • Having accidentally stumbled on to this site I have been riveted to it and have enjoyed reminiscing about the good old days. I moved to Woodingdean in 1958 and lived at 88 Langley Crescent and still have fond memories of the place. My best friend Elaine Hayes, sister of Caroline Reilly, cannot believe you had 8 children. I went to Woodingdean Primary then on to Longhill leaving in 1969. My memories are of Miss Stanger (penny banger), Mrs Matthews and Mr Haggard. I remember thinking at the time that all headmasters were called Mr Haggard. I used to go to ntc then we would go to the fish and chip shop to buy tuppence worth of crackling. The thought of eating that now yuk. I could go on forever there are so many things and names that come to mind it would take hours to write. I will get back on here some other time if not to write anything myself. I will be making this a regular read.

    By Linda Turk nee Dudeney (10/06/2012)
  • Sorry, had to come back on here as am still buzzing. My head is full of Woodingdean – so many names and things running through my mind and sitting here thinking, “where did all that time go?”. Another fond memory is going to pick cowslips, going off for hours with a jam sandwich and a drink, oh and the dew pond. You couldn’t let your kids do that these days.

    By Linda Turk (Dudeney) (10/06/2012)
  • Very nice to hear from Mike Crowley, his father was just what society needs today, some carrot and a lot of stick to put things right again as it should be. As I said earlier, I had a few strokes from John’s yardstick, mainly for mucking around in class. Never did me any harm at all and I can still see John Crowley in my mind’s eye and still remember some of the things that he said. I remember the poetry and the sayings that he taught us. “A rolling stone never gathers any moss” and many other long-forgotten thoughts from him. On St. Patrick’s day he alway had a bunch of shamrock in his lapel, and he always smoked Players cigarettes in the playground when he was in charge at playtime. His country needs him. Mike Peirson.

    By Mick Peirson (11/06/2012)
  • Hi Irene, wow – we are related! Thomas Richard J Hillman’s grandad and my great grandmother (Eliza Hillman) are brother and sister. Do you have any pictures of Eliza? Eliza had an illegitimate daughter (my grandmother) called Dorothy, and we are desperate to find any pictures of her, as my grandmother died without knowing what her mum looked like, and we would love to glaze a picture of Eliza onto her headstone. Hope you can help. Best wishes.

    By Sharon Witney (12/06/2012)
  • Hi to all you ex Woodingdean folk! I moved into 10 Sutton Close (off Langley Crescent) around September 1957 at the age of 2 with my dad, Ken Burt, mum Sybil, and brother Paul and sister Janis. We were there until I was about 12 when we moved back into Brighton (Clayton Road) prior to coming to Australia in 1971. I have many fond memories of those days and remember Woodingdean Primary very well. I would love to hear from anybody living in Sutton Close today, as in October 2012, I (and my Aussie wife) are coming back to Brighton for the first time since ’71 and it would be nice to have a door to knock on in my old street and say hello! I can be contacted direct on: geoff1955@iinet.net.au. Cheers to all.

    By Geoff Burt (25/06/2012)
  • Always good to go back to Woodingdean when I’m back in Brighton. I have lovely memories of roaming the place on my “grifter” and long hot days in the valleys with my mates playing in the corn and taking our go karts or bikes down the backtrack. Our bike park was the bomb hole at the top of the track opposite Balsdean Road. My family lived in Bexhill Road for many years. Us kids all went to the Woodingdean primary and all but one of us went to Longhill.

    By Andy Carter (23/08/2012)
  • Hi all, I moved to Foxdown Road in March 1967 at three weeks old and lived there for nearly 14 years. I went to Rudyard School then Longhill. Childhood names I remember are Linda and Nigel Down, the Gosdens, Kempshalls, Wendy Jones amongst others. My mum now lives in Crescent Drive and I have very good memories of my childhood there.

    By Sarah Caulfield (nee Barnes) (09/09/2012)
  • To Jane Manton: Hi Jane, I remember you from Longhill – you and your little troop of friends. We didn’t speak much but I do remember you. I also really remember your dad’s Granada, to the point where I have owned two since, because I fell in love with it! Lovely car and your dad’s was so well kept.

    By Andy Carter (05/10/2012)
  • I’ve got a photo of Anthony Lenton at Rudyard Kipling School in the school play! What a great school. I often visit Woodingdean when I come home to visit my father in Brighton. We used to live at ‘Lingatina’, Crescent Drive South and Ros, who was at school with me, I believe now is hairdressing at Cowley Drive. I live and work in Wolverhampton now.

    By Linda Nevill (01/02/2013)
  • Hi. My mum Linda Enticknap grew up on Cowley Drive (217 I think). She attended Rudyard Kipling and Longhill (she was born 1953). She tells me a story of finding a live bomb with her brothers and rolling it down a hill and the police had to come. My mum moved to Wales before I was born and I’ve never been to Woodingdean. If anyone remembers my mum or the bomb incident, or has any pics from the ’50s of the area or schools, I would really love to hear from you as I am putting together a scrap book for my mum’s 60th. Email is princessjenny52@hotmail.com. Many thanks! 

    By Jenny Brierley (10/02/2013)
  • My uncle and aunt lived in (I think) Roseberry Road. They were Mr & Mrs Billenness and I think my uncle (Ben) built the bungalow. Does any one remember them or their children Ernest and Vera (died in 2012)?

    By John Snelling (03/03/2013)
  • Jenny, there are a couple of books [the only two?] written on Woodingdean with lots of images. You may be able to locate them through your local library loans scheme- they are both by Peter Mercer. ‘The Hunns Mere Pit: the story of Woodingdean & Balsdean’ 1993 Book Guild (in collaboration with Douglas Holland) and ‘Woodingdean 2000:reflections and the millenium’. Woodingdean Community Association. If you have trouble locating them, please come back to me.[g.mead@sussex.ac.uk]. I travel to Wales frequently (and depending on your location, I may be able to drop them off).

    By Geoffrey Mead (04/03/2013)
  • Hello John, a friend of mine told me that you’d asked about Mrs Billinness. As a child I lived four houses away. I knew Mrs B and Vera, she once worked in the ‘old’ Co-op at the bottom of Warren Avenue in Woodingdean. Ernie married Jess who I called ‘Auntie’ Jess as she was my Mum’s friend and they lived with Mrs B and Vera. I have a wedding photo of them. They had two children, John and Janet (named after me) -I believe Jan used to live in Donnington Road but don’t know her married name.

    By Janet Gravett (nee Baker) (07/03/2013)
  • Does anyone remember Mr Finch who was the vicar of the Holly Cross Church Warren Road about 1958? He had two children Elizabeth and Richard whom I was great friends with. Mrs Finch use to serve up a great dripping on toast!

    By Carol Durrant (nee Webster) (21/04/2013)
  • Hi Jenny. I was interested to hear you mention your mum, Linda Enticknap. She lived very near me in the little alley next to the flats and near the phone box on Cowley Drive. Other neighbours there were the Richardsons and Michael Knight. I wasn’t close to your mum as a kid but I bumped into her in London when she was at Middlesex Poly in about 1979. She was a friend of my flat mate, Mick Devlin. Give her my best wishes!

    By Anthony Lenton (17/11/2013)
  • Hi, can anyone remember me, Freddie Tester? I lived in prefabs in 1946-54 opp Val Seymour.

    By Freddie Tester (22/11/2013)
  • Hi Freddie. I’m sure I remember your name from Woodingdean Primary School days although after the best part of 60 years it’s difficult to put a face to a name.  I too grew up in Woodingdean during the immediate post WW II years and have many happy childhood memories. I also remember the prefabs being constructed during the late 1940s when the sections were transported through the village on what seemed at the time to be very large articulated lorries.   My family moved from Channel View Road down to Saltdean in 1956 where I have lived ever since – I was around twelve years old at that time. It all seems like another life time away now but this wonderful MyB&H site has rekindled so many dormant boyhood memories.

    By Chris Wrapson (24/11/2013)
  • Hi Freddie,  I remember you, we were both in the same class all through Whitehawk School, and I think we were at Woodingdean School together. I lived in Kipling Avenue till 1954 when we moved to Cowley Drive. I seem to remember that you moved to Craven Vale?

    By David Leggett (08/12/2013)
  • I used to lodge with Edna.

    By Neil Steadman (05/01/2014)
  • Hiya Dave.  Long, long time no see.  Last time I saw you, you were living in Devizes.  I still remember that walk with Cathy and Maria and Jackie and me.  If you read this drop me an email at andrekish@gmail.com.  Last time we met I told you about a medium who said to tell my brother who wasn’t my brother, you my foster brother, about a tarot reading being completed and you went white and told me about your nan in the mirror.  I don’t know if you ever found out or not but your Mum, Dutchie – the ‘Dutchess of Woodingdean’ died in the 90s.  I last saw her in an old folks home in Hollingdean where she was dying of dementia.  She is buried in the Memorial Gardens next to the old Fitzherbert school.  Really, really sad.  Did you sell off her furniture in the end?  I last saw you disappearing in a white van.  Hope all is OK in Essex and you are doing OK.  Get in touch if you fancy, it’s been ages and we are all old these days, eh?  You must be about retiring this year, 1st August?  andrekish@gmail.com.   Paul still won’t talk to any of us.  I think the miserabe-itis really set in but he did say he never wanted to see any of us again.  I wonder what we did to deserve that.  Oh yeah, I remember now, we kept trying to get him to drink floor polish.  I still don’t know why he got so upset.  He got his green beret with the marines and has been married longer than me so I guess it all worked out well in the end. Jackie Beck – wow, it’s been yonks and ages.  How are things with you?  My wife Caroline and I have been married 23 years in September…doesn’t time fly?  We have got two kids, Oliver and Tommy, 19 and 10.  Maria and Paul are both doing fine and still in town.  I’m living in Kemp Town now.  Drop me a line or an email,  we’ve all got loads of catching up to do.    andrekish@gmail.com

    By Andre Kish (14/01/2014)
  • Hiya Richard Paine, gosh you seem to be the only one from this long, long ‘comment’ that I know! Where have all the others gone? But I do know Maurice Wheatcroft’s sister Debbie, she was in my class, used to have a lovely long golden plait, and Andre Kish, I used to work with Karen! 

    By Danuta Simmonds (Reynolds) (28/01/2014)
  • Hello. I was in a childrens home in Littleworth Close in the early 1960s. I was in love with a girl called Pamela who lived in the corner house in Foxdown road. My brother Roger also lived there, He died in an accident when he was 19. I went to Whitehawk school for a while. Used to catch the school bus.

    By Bryan Eastwood (07/02/2014)
  • I remember the children’s home in Littleworth Close. The back garden of the home joined the top part of our back garden in Cowley Drive. I cannot recall any of the names from the home. I also went to Whitehawk School, but I think it may have been before Bryans time as I left in 1959.

    By David Leggett (08/02/2014)
  • My Auntie too sadly died (Sandy Tidey); she was murdered by Phil Tidey in 1988, a crime of passion. I still can’t quite believe it.

    By Sasha Kennedy (16/05/2014)
  • Oh what memories, I grew up living on Balsdean Road, attended Woodingdean Primary School. I remember many of the teachers, Miss Stanger who we were all scared of, then my brother had her and said she was really a nice teacher. I remember horrible Miss Granger who I had as a teacher, she had hair like a rat’s nest and I despised her, she was mean and I’m positive slightly crazy. Miss Tamkin was a very strict teacher, back then she would smack us for talking or misbehaving, my older brother had her a year before and liked her. Never forget, when signing our little notebooks at the end of the year she wrote ‘silence is a virtue’. Reading everything people wrote I do remember some names of people I knew.
    I remember the sweet shop at the bottom of I think Sandhurst Avenue, and the hardware store next door, the betting place too, and a cake shop too I think. I also remember Mr Roger’s pet shop, I went in many times. Now on to Longhill High who used to call Mr Morley ‘mole’. I also would go scrumping as well.
    Many good and bad memories. Now I live in the States, Washington.

    By Lisa Smith (06/10/2014)
  • I lived in Woodingdean from 1954 till 1968. We first lived in a prefab,14 Rudyard Road, and then moved in 1957 to 67 Sandhurst Avenue, when the houses were just built. I went to Woodingdean School where the head was Major Haggard. A few years later, I was in the same class as his son, John, at Westlain School.  My last teacher in Woodingdean was Mr Betts, a great teacher. I remember other teachers: Mrs Stanger, Miss Novaski, Mr Collins who ran the athletics team of which I was a member in 1961, and of course ‘Pop’ Hemsley. I thought Woodingdean was a great school. We did woodwork, gardening and at lunch times ran errands for teachers, mainly to buy cigarettes for them – imagine that now!
    I also remember the terrible winter of 1963 when Woodingdean was cut off by deep snow for days. In Bexhill Road the snow reached the tops of the lampposts and we would trudge through the snow playing leapfrog over the tops of the light which were still lit at night! I walked over the Downs to Westlain School that winter as there were no buses!
    Also remember the great smell from the Sunblest factory at the corner of Bexhill Road.
    One thing which I haven’t seen mentioned was that down the lane past Woodingdean School was a disused swimmimg pool, this was in the late 1950s. But the controls were still operational and I remember going there after school with some mates and turning on the water, great fun! We also used to go to the dew ponds and walk over to Newmarket Copse.
    Great memories but I haven’t been back for years as I have retired to Lincolnshire.

    By Dave Crockatt (07/10/2014)
  • Hello everyone. It is with sadness I would like to add a note to this page about my dad, Frank Parsons, who sadly died on 17/10/2013. He loved this site and had such great childhood memories of his youth which he shared with me , I have read his entries to this site with such smiles! Of course I was brought up in Brighton too, in the Queens Park area, born 1973. Does anyone know me or have children of my age? If anyone has any more stories about my dad or anything you would like to share about your memories of him please, please email me. I would love to hear about them (bigpaulyp@hotmail.co.uk). Miss my dad so much. RIP Frank Parsons.

    By Paul Parsons (16/10/2014)
  • Hi Paul, so sorry to hear about your dad. Did he live in Vernon Ave in 1950/60s? I lived with my grandparents, the Kings, at no25 and the family next door were Parsons. I went to Woodingdean Primary school which was at the end of the road. My name then was Carol Webster. I remember going next door to watch the television, which was a novelty in 1959!

    By Carol Durrant (19/10/2014)
  • Perhaps a little bit of a long shot. Does anyone remember the Woods who lived on Bexhill Road from about 1963 until this year! There was Anthony, Dave, Helen, Ian and Angie and their parents Barbara (Babs) and Joe?

    By Vicki Costello (04/11/2014)
  • I just read some of the comments on here. I lived in Woodingdean in September of 2014, I lived there just for one month because I was studying English and I really enjoyed it. It’s fantastic to live there – peaceful, nice, calm and so on.
    I am from a country where it is not easy to live peacefully and other things, I really felt Woodingdean was like my home. I don’t know when I could came back, but I am sure that someday I have to go again.
    All of you are so lucky to have lived / live in this wonderful place where I could find a piece of myself.
    I love England.

    By Liliana V. (03/12/2014)
  • I lived in Woodingdean for nearly 20 years, spent my whole primary years at Mr Haggard’s school and then on to Westlain. Like all the contributors, I too have great memories of a carefree childhood there. But after reading through many of the comments I started to wonder about my memory as I seemed to know nobody apart from the primary school teachers (yes, Mr Betts was a great chap), and the slightly creepy Slaters for whom I was a paper boy.
    We started off in a brand new bungalow in Falmer Close (now Gardens) and then moved to Balsdean Road. I did recognise the name Tidy.  Didn’t they live in the big old house between Falmer Gardens and Warren Road, later demolished to make way for an extension to The Brow?  They had a great scrumping orchard.  Somebody mentioned the dew pond – birthplace of many unfortunate tadpoles and newts who became short lived pets.  Yes, what a great place to grow up and enjoy mischief in the 50s and 60s.
    Thank you to whoever bothers to keep this website up.

    By Tom (Michael) McKernan (15/12/2014)
  • Hi, I was born in Langley Crescent in 1961. We have seven of us, Gillian, Steven, Martin, Colin, (Me) Chris, Mandy and Dawn Spender. We also lived in Sandhurst Avenue, Torrington Road, Crescent Drive South. All of us kids went through Woodingdean school and I remember Mr Haggard. My dad Joe worked for the Sunblest bakery for many years, my mum Doreen worked in the paper/sweet shop at the bottom of Sandhurst Avenue. I also remember there being a Keymarket supermarkert at some stage in the row of shops. We left Woodingdean in about 1971. I had just finished my last year there. I think it is brill this page, if anyone remembers any of us please send me an email at chris.spender@me.com as it would be great to catch up. All take care for now, Regards

    By Chris Spender (18/12/2014)
  • I used to work at Acers the Baker in my later teens, during the time I attended Brighton Poly. My name is Lucia. If anyone does remember me you can email me on speak2lucia@yahoo.co.uk. Would like to know how you all are getting on. (Lucia, we have amended your query as we are not able to request information about specific people, I hope you are able to get in contact with the people that you used to work with at Acers Bakery. Best wishes, Editing Team)

    By Lucia (11/02/2015)
  • Does anyone remember a double decker bus crashing into a bungalow at the top of Shipley Road? I believe it was in the 60s? My grandparents Eff and Chuck Parker owned the house and I would like to track down some information for the family tree. We live in Canada and used to visit them every summer, loved Woodingdean and Rottingdean.

    By Sharon (25/03/2015)
  • Update on my previous question about the bus crash, it was on the corner of Crescent Drive South and Shipley Road late 60s early 70s.

    By Sharon (25/03/2015)
  • Sorry Sharon, I can’t help you with your family tree, but I do remember the bus crash and the location you describe.  As I recall (although not absolutely certain) the unfortunate accident occurred in the mid 1960s? If I remember correctly it was early evening Spring / Summer therefore still daylight.  We were waiting at the Cowley Drive shops bus stop to catch the No. 2 bus down to Rottingdean needless to say it didn’t arrive. With others we walked up to the top of Shipley Road only to find our bus well and truly stuck in someones front garden. Thankfully as I recall there was no serious injurers. However, the bus suffered frontal damage and no doubt the drivers pride would have been somewhat dented!  Bearing in mind all this happened 50 years ago.  I wonder does any other Senior Woodingdeaner remember this bus crash and / or what caused it. I’m sure if I have any detail wrong here someone will correct me. 

    By Chris Wrapson (27/03/2015)
  • I remember that bus crash quite clearly Chris, if I recall the Argus correctly, the bus driver misjudged the corner, hit the curb and finished up having tea with the family at the top of Shipley Rd. Mark Brickley, USA. Anyone remember me? e- mail me at markjbrickley@hotmail.com

    By Mark Brickley (07/04/2015)
  • Danuta  Reynolds  and Richard Paine, yes old names I remember from my early days in Channel view road, and my mother is still there today. I still live in Woodingdean, and now in the Ridgway, I have many memories like us all about the best days of my life, even at times being the rascal I was, but in a good way, I always think of family’s like the Baxter’s, and yes others like Danuta and her parents, who at the time probably did not want their daughter playing with me, being a Mr Rascal. The time I spent laying on the grass around Pitmans pond sometimes all day to catch a large newt, and then when home my late father Harold Wright making me take it back. Contact today from old friends would be great, and best wishes to you all. feel free to e-mail me at susanscrumpy@aol.com.


    By Christopher Wright (24/07/2015)
  • I love reading bits from way back. I moved to Woodingdean in 78, married Sharon Canfield but am sadly split now but there were great times. I saw one piece from Joyce Chapman who was a close friend of my Mrs. We lived in Selhurst Road for a while with her parents, then 28 Farmhill, then Marden Close just off Langley Crescent.

    By Ronnie Gray (02/08/2015)
  • Hello, does anyone recall the Smith sisters – went abroad as war brides – lived at 16 Seaview Road during the late 1940’s early 1950’s. Their Dad Sidney was a postman?  Have forgotten their names – can anyone help? Thanks Jen

    By Jen Hill (26/08/2015)
  • Have just spent hours reading the comments. I and my family moved to Langley Crescent in 1958. I was just 18 months old (had older siblings) and remember so many names from this site. Apart from 3 years where I lived in Kemptown and Whitehawk, I have spent my whole life here. Went to Woodingdean and Longhill. I remember Dutchie, Andre and many others. The Wheatcrofts were very friendly with my parents and Sandy worked with my mum. Haven’t seen her for a while but used to regularly bump into her. So many memories of this family, I could go on forever. Still love Woodingdean with a passion. One small thought, can anyone find any history or pics of Warren House? It was a huge house at top of Warren Hill. The owners must have been wealthy as they had a maid and butler, drove huge cars and gave a huge christmas tip for the times of £5 to my sister who delivered the paper. Have been looking for its history but cannot find much.

    By Caroline Hayes (27/03/2016)
  • “Warren House” dates from the mid 1920s and is said to be one of the earliest houses in Woodingdean. The house was built in a pleasing 1920s mock tudor design typical of that period. I grew up in that part of Woodingdean in the 1940s-50s.  For us youngsters “The Big House” was always slightly scary surrounded as it was by a seven foot high flint wall and very tall pin trees, the dare was to ring the front door bell and then run away but I don’t remember anyone being that brave or foolish enough to do it.  Sadly this substantially built house and attractive gardens survived for barely four decades, demolished in the late 1960s to make way for what is now known as Warren Close. Check out the James Gray collection  Image Reference: JG_33_111.tif

    By Chris Wrapson (30/03/2016)
  • Thank you Chris. Oops, I rang the doorbell and ran too – wanted to spot the butler I think!  I also used to work with your father I believe. Was his name Jack? Worked at Violet Harmer Lodge in his older years. He used to play the piano and taught me the song ‘Only You’ and I used to sing (sort of) along to his piano playing.

    By Caroline Hayes (07/04/2016)
  • Wow, someone else has been looking up Warren House. A pic has just been added to My Brighton and Hove. it was good to see it again.

    By Caroline Hayes (11/04/2016)
  • Only just discovered this site after living in Woodingdean for 48 years! I lived at 200, Cowley Drive in 1967 and remember the tragic accident of a boy on a bicycle on the corner of Foxdown, opposite my house. A gentleman on this site was asking for information sometime ago now. 

    By Sylvia Crompton (23/04/2016)
  • Wish I was there now…  would be nice to just have a walk around and hopefully the childhood memories would flow! Great place to raise children – had a fantastic childhood there.               

    By lee george (08/05/2016)
  • I was born in Woodingdean and left there to emigrate to Canada when I was 13. I am going back in a few weeks and staying at the Downs Hotel for a few days. Looking forward to seeing everything again.

    By Jill Ooms (17/05/2016)
  • I was raised in Woodingdean from birth in 1976 until I left in 2002. My paternal grandparents, Alf and Winifred lived there from the 40s until their deaths in 1982 and 1993 respectively and initially ran Furzedown poultry Farm, in what was to later become Crescent Drive North.  They built a bungalow themselves on the site and it is still there at 114 Crescent Drive North. I remember my childhood days there very well as they kept geese and three Shetland ponyies. My father moved out of there in 1975 after he married my Mum and they lived in Sycamore Close until I was 6. We then lived in what turned out to be the oldest house in Balsdean Road (Number 43) until I left and my parents emigrated to Spain.  I still have very fond memories of my time there and am hoping to drag my kids around for a tour of my old stomping grounds this summer.

    By Chris Maile (23/05/2016)
  • Just read all the comments on this site, brought back many happy memories of my childhood in Woodingdean. My older brother played for Treyford, as I did. Also Tony Harris and Len Godfrey were in charge then, used to play at Happy Valley. Good times. 

    By David Clark (17/06/2016)
  • I am Tony, the second eldest of the four Thomas boys that lived at 18, Chalkland Rise. We moved from Teddington in 1954 and I can remember attending Woodingdean Infants, Juniors until Rudyard Kipling was finished and then attended there. All of us four attended Whitehawk CS Boys and I left there in 1965 starting my five year apprenticeship at Caffyns, Dyke Road Brighton. I met my wife at Top Rank in 1969, we got engaged in 1970 then we moved to Norway in 1971. We have lived here since and have two daughters and 2 grandchildren. I retired due to work-related injuries a few years back in 2008. I do remember many names that have been mentioned in earlier postings, many from Woodingdean Junior school, some from Rudyard Kipling school and of course Whitehawk, though that wasn’t strictly Woodingdean. I can remember Major Hagard (scary person I seem to remember), Mrs Newaski who often asked my mother how I was, several decades after. Mr Bridgland, Mr Kipling, Headmaster John Bridden. Chas Bartle was my metalwork teacher at Whitehawk and taught me a lot of things that stood me well for my mechanics career and could be passed on to other apprentices at workplaces here in Norway. I can remember most of the neighbours in Chalkland Rise, sadly many have passed on now. I often wonder what happened to Linda Cooper who lived near the bottom of Crescent Drive South / Falmer road area in one of the closes there. Linda had a sister called Carol. A few years ago I was fortunate to meet up with about half of my class from Whitehawk many of whom I had not seen since 1965. Best wishes to anyone that remembers us four Thomas boys from number 18, Chalkland Rise.

    By Anthony Charles Thomas (19/06/2016)
  • Hi all, have had a great time reminiscing about my childhood whilst reading all these comments. I lived in Stanstead Crescent and went to Woodingdean primary and then Longhill before we moved to Moulsecoomb. Have many happy memories particularly about Woodingdean school, the lovely playing fields for those long hot summer days and dancing around the Maypole! Happy days! Xx

    By Sandra Sibbald (Harris) (20/06/2016)
  • Really interesting reading.  I lived in Broad Green from 61-85 and went to Rudyard Kipling and Longhill, leaving in 1977.  I now live up near Tunbridge Wells.  I recognise some names from the posts above. Sally Madgwick (her horse stood on my foot – yikes), Yolande Burt – we have a mutual friend Carol Bennett (Bexhill Rd) who now lives in the US. Also Helen and David Wood who used to play in the Longhill School orchestra with me. I remember many happy times in the park on Falmer Rd and the other one near the bowls club. Remember the annual funfair visit on Bexhill Rd and hanging around the pony fields at the bottom of Cowley Drive hoping to get a free ride. Frequented The Toby too once old enough, or nearly old enough! Older brother Richard (Dick) still around and dad (Ken) now lives in central Brighton – still going strong at 92. Julie Wheeler, Janet Porter, Sharon Osbourne were some old friends there but no longer in touch – would love to catch up with them.

    By Ann Webster (Fennell) (23/10/2016)
  • Hi does anyone remember the children’s home in Cowley Drive just past the shops ?

    By Anna Coulson (13/11/2016)
  • Just spent an hour reading these posts, brings back happy memories. I remember Carolyne Hayes from school and Joyce Chapman from the bakery, our mums were friends. Mark Brickley was a neighbour but won’t remember me as I was a bit younger, I remember his old Transit Luton with “piston broke” on the sunstrip. I was glad to hear that Mrs Tamkin from Longhill smacked other kids as well, I thought it was just me she couldn’t stand. The backs of my legs were often sore after an English lesson, probably deserved it though. I do agree that Woodingdean was a great place to be a kid.

    By Leslie Phillpott (28/01/2017)
  • I lived in Woodingdean, Crescent Drive North, from when I was born in 1958 till I got married in 1977. Went to Rudyard Kipling, then Westlain, then worked in Lloyds Bank in Rottingdean for 8 years. Used to be Cheryl Corthorn, sister Deb, parents Harry and Mary, though mum sadly no longer with us. Dad still lives in Downs Valley Road. Best memories are playing over the fields behind Bexhill Road, we went for miles. Getting the number 2 down to Rottingdean, and the smell of the sea. Also, playing with our friend Jean (Levitt) two doors up at 66, exploring ‘the Haunt’ (a ruined house at the bottom of the Twitten between Bexhill Road and Crescent Drive North), playing in the old park at the top of the same twitten, now built over. I remember giving in mum’s grocery order to Walker Stores on a Saturday then going over the road for sixpence of chips and crackling at the fish & chip shop, going to Roger’s pet shop and buying our guinea pig and a tortoise. Also, the fog we used to get and the lovely fresh air, and the snow in winter, the annual fair opposite the bakery, walking to the library to choose books (engendering a lifelong love of books), Rudyard Kipling school and Mr Kipling – probably one of the best ever English teachers. I recall playing at playtime in the school field with Philip Day who lived opposite the school. I swear summers were longer and hotter then. I don’t remember the prefabs but I know they were there as my Nan, Rose Webb, had one before they moved to 27, Shipley Rd. I think they were pulled down in the mid-sixties? There used to be a small shop where Catherine Vale is now – does anyone remember what it was called? I used to have a recurring dream about it, the owner kept a mummified arm in a drawer and would bring it out go hit the kids with. Utter nonsense but God knows where that dream used to come from! I remember playing in Happy Valley park and the little kiosk there until some idiots torched it. Apparently Happy Valley used to be occupied by railway carriages with some dodgy people in them and there’s some sort of link between that and the Brighton trunk murders. Other memories – school dinners at Rudyard were pretty good, the octagonal tables used to have a teacher on each one to make sure you ate, and does anyone remember the little jug of rosehip syrup served with the semolina? Can’t get rosehip syrup any more since it was ‘nannied away’ from us. Didn’t Miss Tamkin go on to teach at Rudyard? I also remember Miss Riches, Miss Evans, Mr Betts, Miss Chandler, Mrs Holloway, and a Miss Hanoosh, who became Mrs Robinson. Can’t remember too well but they were good days. Anyone remember us? I get to Woodingdean to visit dad every so often but now live in Lincolnshire.

    By Cheryl Felix (06/02/2017)
  • I lived in Downs Valley Road from 1942  to 1959. I went to Warren Farm School then on to Woodingdean School. Mr Peach was my headmaster, he was a wonderful man and a great friend of my father who was the local coal merchant. We had a great outdoor life spending most of our time playing over the downs. I remember the Rolfs and Freddie Tester who was a friend of my brother Ron. We moved to Crawley in 1959 where my father took on the village post office and stores. I often go back to Woodingdean and have happy memories.

    By May Attwater (nee Capstick) (12/03/2017)
  • Dear Cheryl. Reference to your information on Woodingdean: Thought I would let you know that, though we moved to Crawley in 1959, I have since moved to Alford in Lincolnshire a year ago. But return to Woodingdean quite often. Wonder if we are anywhere near you?

    By May Attwater (nee Capstick) (19/03/2017)
  • I lived in Crescent Drive South in the sixties and seventies. I lived with my mum and Dad, Betty and Peter, and sisters Christine, Susan and Mandy. Does anyone remember the name of the toy shop that was in the Warren Road parade of shops, please? I remember Manns the electrical shop and the “Spick and Span” dry cleaning shop.

    By Glynis Swallow (Hayles) (28/03/2017)
  • I was fostered by the Fairchild family (Gordon and Pat) who lived in Stanstead Crescent.  I was fostered by them from about 1964 to 1967 or there abouts but only stayed with them during the school holidays and for less than a year when I started work.  They had a son Philip Frank and a daughter Susan.  Anyone remember the family – I think they lived at No: 32.

    By Joe Adams (22/06/2017)
  • Hi May, we are about an hour and ten minutes away, near Gainsborough. Love it up here. Were down in Woodingdean last weekend. Couldn’t move back now – too busy and crowded.

    By Cheryl (21/10/2017)
  • I have just spent two hours on this site. I too have memories of Woodingdean Primary. I remember the lemon tree classroom, my first class, wasn’t that Mrs Matthews? I certainly remember Major Haggard, though I never experienced the infamous strap. I was there for four years, and we moved in 1962. Great to hear mentions of the vicar, Mr Finch, my father. Just to make a correction, he had three children. I was the third. Sadly Dad died in 1994. I remember only one class mate, Gordon Bamber. If there’s anyone who can add to the list I’d be interested to hear from them.

    By Gordon Finch (19/11/2017)
  • Well, it was great to see all the stories. I lived opposite the racecourse, Downland Road where the mist and snow would stay for ages, however what a wonderful view from up there! Mum worked in the pub for a few years. I remember Gazelles, the sweet shop; the café (one day I went past and it said closed for lunch, I did laugh); the hairdressers where I had all my hair cut off and it went to the dolls’ hospital. I was pleased as I got a free haircut only then to find out they got money for it; the toy shop; Rogers pet shop – lovely man and still looking after animals after all this time;  Stapletons butchers and my friends Mark and Karen; the Church where I was a choir girl – he was a young Vicar; the fish and chips shop where I still get teased that I couldn’t see over the top of the counter. I loved going to the swings in Falmer road – and the Sunblest bakery, the smell was so lovely!

    By Joanne Hancock (11/01/2018)
  • I have lived in Woodingdean for 50 years and can relate to many of the topics covered. I started off in Cowley Drive, moved to Lockwood Crescent, working at Ireland Lodge with Stella Bowman, then moved to Farm Hill, working in George Whites (estate agents). My sons went to Rudyard Kipling and Longhill Schools. I now go to the Downs Baptist Church and remember Rogers, Gazelles, several banks, a building society and solicitors, Sunblest and fresh fish & vegetables (next door to Rogers). All gone now. Happy memories….

    By Sylvia Crompton (12/01/2018)
  • I lived in Cowley Drive in the late 50’s after coming back to England from Malta (dad was in the navy). Hence at Woodingdean Primary School I was nicknamed “Malta” or “Snowy” because my hair was bleached blond by the Mediterranean sun. I really enjoyed Mr Hemsley’s classes, and got on well with Mr Haggard as far as I remember.   I recall friends like Gilbert Fenner, Vicky Dew, Jimmy Foster, Peter Slade? Norman Farrer (a good footballer, I think) and going bottling on the building sites to collect the deposits from workmen’s Corona bottles from the shop at the top of Cowley Drive for our spending money. Times were pretty hard for kids then. We would also save bus fares by walking to the school via Happy Valley in summer. That stopped when a body was found there. Great summer walks upon the Downs to the dew-ponds and collect old mortar bombs; walking (if only I could now!) to Rottingdean to swim in summer.  Sundays, we went (were sent) to Sweetman’s Sunday school – he picked us kids up in his car, sometimes, we just sat in the car boot as the inside was full!.. health and safety??

    I moved away to Hampshire (Navy again) just after I started at  Varndean and I’ve only been back to Woodingdean once since, when I was teaching my daughter to drive, 20 or so years back, just to show her where I grew up. I now live in Rotherfield, up in Wealden, and my brother Bob lives in down in Devon.

    John Richardson

    By John Richardson (24/01/2018)
  • Wow. ots of memories. I lived in Langley Crescent until 1975. I went to school firstly at Rudyard Kipling which I loved and then to Fitzherbert which was not a particularly great experience. I remember lots of the people/places and events already mentioned. I was a great friend of Sue Kirk who lived opposite the racecourse near Downland Road, but we lost contact.

    Dear Shirley
    Sorry but we have had to delete part of  your post. We are no longer allowing the posting of requests to find third parties, as sharing information like this breaches their privacy. We recommend you try social media websites if you want to track family, old friends or neighbours.
    Comments Editor

    By Shirley Johnstone (18/03/2018)
  • Does anyone remember my family the maile family who owned furzedown poultry farm in crescent drive north from 1932? My family have been in woodingdean since 1932 and some still live there now.

    By steve maile (15/07/2018)
  • I was born in Brighton General in 1953 and moved to Woodingdean in May 1955 and lived at 21 Stanstead Crescent till 1962 when we moved down and over the road to No 2 Stanstead. I still live in Woodingdean, 63 years. Does anyone remember the murder of Keith Lyons, the son of a band leader? I remember all the teenage boys in Woodingdean area were fingerprinted. I loved when we were growing up all over Woodingdean. There were bits of wild land, where there were snakes and lizards. We spent hours in Happy Valley Park, where there used to be café. We also went a lot to the swimming pool on the undercliff at Rottingdean. I too remember John Bridden; he was such a lovely man, he was a Conservative councillor in the 1970s for the old Warren Ward.

    By Chris Witcher (25/08/2018)
  • What a treasure trove of memories there are here! Living in Millyard Crescent for 10 years 56-66, I remember hours spent in the Happy Valley park playing Hide and Seek among the little coppice of trees. Spent more hours walking our lovely Staffy straight into the fields off Falmer Road and up to the ridge to walk along to Ovingdean. Does anyone remember when they filmed Oh What a Lovely War in Brighton and they planted hundreds of poppy remembrance crosses in the fields there? I have a vague recollection of being taught in a room in a separate building at Woodingdean School where there was a huge metal boiler for heating, all very snug and cosy when it worked but I’m sure Healthy and Safety today would have condemned it! Playing marbles in the school yard, the maypole for the Spring festival and going to the Friday night swimming club at the pool at St Lukes with six penneth of chips from the fish and chip shop at the top of Elm Grove, are all wonderful memories of a carefree childhood.

    By Linda Brooks (16/09/2018)
  • This is to Harold at 60 the Ridgeway, that is so weird, we lived at 61 the Ridgeway from about 61 to 68… I don’t remember you.. I think the Alfricks (?) lived right across the road… I was about 3 to 9 yrs old then, older and younger brother.. my older brother Malc was also head paperboy at the newsagent and I worked for Roger at the Pet Store saturday afternoons as soon as I turned 11 as he promised he would hire me… we used to stop at the fish and chip shop on the way to brownies to get “crispy bits” with vinegar and salt… best snack ever… the occasional pickled onion..  been in Canada too since 1972.

    By Deborah McEwan (27/10/2018)
  • Wow. What a treasure trove of names. I lived in Netherfield Green from 1958 – 1963 and the Ravenswood Drive until I married in 67. So many names and places. I went to Rudyard Kipling then to Warren as the first year intake (never had older kids above us). Was a Prefect in every year and a Prefect and House Captain in the first year of Longhill. Such happy memories of my childhood. Anyone want to get in touch my email is jeanneclarkewalker@gmail.com. Have lived in Canada since ’89.

    By Jeanne Clarke-Walker (nee Cornwell) (08/01/2020)
  • During the 1950’s I worked at several different branches of Sainsbury’s in Brighton. I am currently writing about my life history for my grandchildren and time is getting tight.
    I am currently a little confused at which branch I was when various things happened. I would also like to know about the people I worked with. Seeing Woodingdean on this site I wondered if anyone can put me in touch with somebody I worked with. A married lady called Mrs. Nina Bartup. At one time she was living in Netherfield Gree but I don’t know the number. This was a few years ago.
    I lived in Woodingdean for around 20 years (Farm Hill) and worked part time for Mr. Ghazal doing his bacon.

    By David Rowland (28/04/2020)
  • David,I worked for JS from April 1966-May 1977 so just outside your time, but I did start in 55 London Rd and at Churchill Sq when it opened. When I was starting as an ‘egg boy’ I remember going up to Blackfriars HQ for training and was taught to use the wooden butter pats still in use at that time but luckily for me…not at 55 Brighton. In 1997 Sam Royce who worked for JS at 66 Western Rd wrote for QueenSpark Books ‘How it was for me-a backward glimpse of the grocery trade’. That has some useful background on some of the local stores. Sam died in 2006. With the libraries shut if you need to use my copy for your research give me a ring on 01273 501590 and I can post it to you .

    By Dr Geoffrey Mead (28/04/2020)
  • Just found this site……. I was born in a bungalow ( in 1952) that my parent’s had had built on a plot they had bought on Falmer Road.
    Initially I went to school at Sylvan Mount and was educated by Madame…….it is surprising I have survived ! Luckily my Dad’s friend John Bridden persuaded my parents to send me to his school, Rudyard Kipling when I was about 8 or 9 .
    I went on to Westlain but when I was in the third year my parents moved up to Yorkshire.
    I shall certainly enjoy reading some of the comments on this site in order to stir memories of my childhood.

    By Linda Lake ( nee Nicholson ) (01/05/2020)
  • We return from Lincolnshire every now and then to visit relatives. We lived at 62, Crescent Drive North – 4 of us, parents Harry and Mary, me (Cheryl) and my sister Deb. Neighbours were Winnie Brown, Mr and Mrs Warden, the Levetts, the Reid’s, the Cowards.about all I can remember! Have to say sadly that I much prefer where we are now – we will never get the old Woodingdean back, too much backyard development and too much traffic. Happy memories of long ago though. By the way can anyone shed any light on the little shop that stood at the top of Rudyard Road and was pulled down in the sixties to make way for yet more housing, now Catherine’s Close I think. My mum worked there for a short while in the late fifties. Some sort of general grocers. What was it called? For years I used to get a recurring dream abut it.

    By Cheryl (17/05/2020)
  • Hi to all…my name is Nicholas Coomber.I lived in no 147 bexhill road ,I think from birth to approx 1979.I had 3 brothers Leslie,Kevin and Mark.my mothers name was Sylvia she married a french man and we moved away to live in france.I was just curious to know if anyone remembers me or a family member.great memories of some neighbours.Jackie Emery..Alahna Price….the Bishops across the road…..if anyone has any memories of us please contact me…nickcoomber@outlook.com..it would be great to know if i’m

    By nick coomber (25/10/2020)
  • Fascinating site. Our family lived, c1960, at 10 Warren Way. In my memory, a huge rambling sort of house. From pictures, it looks like it was torn down – to be replaced by an Indian restaurant.

    By L Gent (05/12/2020)
  • I happened upon this site whilst doing some family research. It seems my mother (Elsie Stowell Raymond) was mentioned several times. If there is any interest, she would love receiving mail. She is currently living in an assisted living center in Antelope, California… is 96 years old, and still enjoys reading and writing. I’m sure you would hear back.

    7748 Black Sand Way, Antelope, Ca. 95843

    By Kevin Raymond (02/04/2021)
  • I moved from London to Lockwood Crescent in 1952 when I was ten years of age. I went to St John the Baptist in Bedford street then in 1953 went to Fitzherbert. My family moved to Bexhill Road in the late 50s I can’t remember what year for sure then we moved to Tillstone Street in 1963. Still lived in Woodingdean when the awful winter in 1962 into 1963.I was working in Hove at the time and the buses stopped running so had to walk home from top of Elm Grove.

    By Rosalind Hughes nee Sullivan (21/04/2021)
  • I dont know if Danny/Dave Kimberley still visits this page but I remember your mother well. I am the daughter of Keven Elkins from Sandhurst Avenue. I left after my parents split in the late 1980s. I regularly think of your mum, especially since mine passed, and the photos taken by your mum of my sister and I outside her house.
    I have memory difficulties but when I think of ‘Dutchie’ I always smile.

    By Dawn Elkins (06/09/2021)
  • I have read almost all of the comments thus far, most of which was interesting. The only name I recognised is that of Maurice Wheatcroft, who was in the same year as myself. Our family moved from north London to Briarcroft Road in September 1959, and I grew up in Woodingdean from 1959-69, moving away when I became a student. My mother worked for some years at the Sunblest factory. She’s still alive – aged over 97, and is all-Ireland’s only Holocaust survivor. Our family had a little cat (“Sammy”), black with white socks and tummy, and he used to walk half-a-mile with my mum to the launderette in the then-new parade of shops (1961/2 build?), sit on the floor and come back with her. We had to give him away, because someone was killing and wounding local cats in 1966. I had an elder sister, Ann, whose best friend was Geraldine Hearne. I haven’t been in Woodingdean for many years now. Our family has moved to County Down, Northern Ireland. I miss restored railways (like the “Bluebell”) and Woodingdean. I have very good memories of Woodingdean School, and of Mr Betts (our class was 4A with him , 1961/62).Maybe that’s partly because I detested almost every moment at Varndean Boys’ School afterwards! I wish Woodingdeaners well. My name was Pollard, but I changed it some decades ago to keep my mother’s family name in existence.

    By Robert Weissman (14/10/2021)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *