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A place for all seasons

Happy times with the dogs

I was born and lived in Port Hall Street from 1943 to 1964. Dyke Road Park holds many happy memories for me. The park keeper who everyone feared was Cyril, and there was old Charlie and younger Charlie. The cafe was run by Evelyn with Lola helping out part time. I used to take my dog Scamp to the park every day. Normally I would meet Valerie Miller and her mum Eve, and their dog Rob; we had many happy times walking the dogs. I remember that all the children from the area played in the park.

A changing landscape

At one time the big field at the back was allotments. It was ploughed over and grassed in 1951; the steps from the rose garden to the tennis courts were put in about 1954. Between the cafe and tennis courts there was a plot of yellow broom bushes, and in the rose garden above the fountain on the wall, was a bronze lion’s mask spouting water from its mouth. The original privet hedges were replaced in the seventies.

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Dyke Road Park

Dyke Road Park

Memorable people

Some of the people I remember were Wally an older man said to be an ex Leyton Orient player. He wore a Norman Wisdom type cap and played football with us, and old Harry who I later became friends with. He wore a black overcoat and a blue French beret in winter and summer; he used to walk in the park every day rain or shine. The older boys formed a football team, and used to play the amateur teams in friendly matches at Hove Park. There was also a strange old couple, who used to lay a blanket out, and lay with another blanket covering them in the middle of the big field.

Dyke Road Park

Dyke Road Park

Many happy memories

On the terrace of the café there used to be the old ladies from Fairways flats; they were always very chatty and friendly. On a Sunday evening in Dyke Road at the Army Barracks opposite the tennis courts, the band would play and people would gather in the park to listen. Although I don’t live in Brighton any more I still go there now and again it hasn’t altered much. I have many happy memories of my times there.

Comments about this page

  • I lived in Dyke Rd Drive from 1949-1982 and was at school nearby at Stanford Rd infants and juniors and Brighton Grammar. Dyke Rd Park was a favourite haunt after school. My mum used to meet me at Stanford and bring my trike and I would whizz around the paths of Dyke Rd Park for what seemed like hours, especially through the Rose Garden which was probably ‘Out of Bounds’ so all the more inviting. The belt of trees at the bottom of the park by the playing fields seemed like a dense wood but probably was only a scraggy copse. It gave hours of fun to small boys, with a watchful mum on the bench across the grass by the path. Then a glass of lemonade and some Smith’s crisps on the south side of the cafe sitting in the last of the sun. On a clear evening at sunset you could see the Isle of White from the top of the twitten by the old tram shelter.

    By Geoffrey Mead (16/02/2013)
  • I have lived in the Dials by Dyke Road Park for about 16 years and have walked my dogs there nearly everyday for all of those years. If anybody knows the history of the park prior to the 1950s I would be very interested to hear it, also has it always been owned by the council?

    By Dinah Tracey (20/02/2013)
  • The old tram shelter that Geoffery Mead mentions is now at the open air museum at Amberley.

    By terry hyde (13/10/2013)

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