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A great place to be

Blakers Park
Photo by Tony Mould

Sledging at night

I grew up at 187 Preston Drove and our house overlooked the park. I lived there from when I was born in 1961, till 1985. From the first floor, we had a view down the length of the park and down across Brighton right to the pier.  I remember sledging at night in the park, by the light of surrounding roads street lights. That is until they put the railings in, halfway down.

A favourite childhood place

I seemed to have spent my entire childhood playing in that park especially football, and cricket; there was always sports equipment in our hallway. My parents Jim and Barbara Fenton bought the house in 1949 when they were first married. My Dad died in 1990 and my Mum lived there until she died in 2000. I remember a park centenary celebration in 1993 or 1994 with the Mayor, my Mum was the second longest resident from surrounding roads.

Winter or summer – a great place to be

My Dad told me once that he remembered the children’s playground at the bottom of the park being lawn tennis courts. Then they built the concrete courts and put in the playground I guess. It did not matter what season it was, winter or summer, there was so much to do there. I have great memories of much fun in Blakers Park.

Comments about this page

  • My husband lived in 251 Preston Drove (Paul Townsend) from 1970 until 1989 and spent many an afternoon in Blakers Park. He also was in the 2nd Brighton Scout Band which became The Imperial Knights then The Southern Knights. The dads all drank in The Blakers Arms pub (?) and they used to display the trophies won.

    By Claire Townsend (16/05/2013)
  • The pub that Claire is referring to is The Cleveland in Cleveland Road, at the side of the park. It is still there. I spent many hours in the park in my early teens, in the late 50s. It hasn’t changed a lot since then. The children’s play area at the bottom was then lawn tennis courts. The toilets were at the top by Preston Drove and the cafe is more recent. We would play in the bushes at the top and when the Parky (Ted) started to walk up from his hut we would scarper.

    By Ron James (17/05/2013)
  • Cleveland…..of course! That’s the pub!

    By Claire Townsend (19/05/2013)
  • Ron refers to a lawn tennis court at the bottom of the park. The space was under threat of being surfaced with asphalt in the late 1980s so that prompted the formation of the Friends of Blakers Park. The community group managed to stop it from happening and had a children’s playground installed instead. The Friends also campaigned for the Council to let the former tennis pavilion as a café and to have a new toilet block built near the playground, after the ones by Preston Drove were demolished. The Friends are still active in protecting and enhancing our community’s green space. See

    By Max Glaskin (29/06/2015)

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