Revisiting my memories

Horsdean Park, Patcham, 1962 | Photo taken by Les Ashton, 1962
Horsdean Park, Patcham, 1962
Photo taken by Les Ashton, 1962

This photo was taken in Horsdean Park Recreation Ground, Patcham in 1962.

I had last kicked a soccer ball around it in the summer of 1946; the colours were just as vivid, the grass smelt just the same (and so did the farm on the ridge).

Doesn’t often work that way. Perhaps that’s because Patcham is my ‘Dreamtime Place’.

Comments about this page

  • Lots of people forget how rural Patcham really is, as the picture of the farm on the ridge shows. Now the by-pass runs through here. I remember taking my sledge to school one day in the early 60s so that we could go to Horsdean in our PE lesson and play in the snow!

    By Gillian Coles (07/11/2005)
  • Yes, wasn’t it a great place. Imagine now the hill opposite being covered in tarmac and parked cars.

    By Brian Richards (04/12/2005)
  • Spent many happy hours playing here as a child during the Second World War, living adjacent in Vale Avenue for 20 years.

    By Maurice Wyatt (12/01/2006)
  • Has anyone a photo of the old many windowed pavilion and shed once just to the right of the bushes in this picture or of the football pitch adjacent to this cricket field where The 30th BB (Patcham Methodist Church)regularly played Tuesday night cricket here as well as Boys Brigade Saturday league soccer? On the soccer pitch we played too an inter school cup match against Fawcet School (they came from opposite St Peter’s Church in those days). We expected to win but I recall we lost 1-0 in about 1952 and our Patcham Senior School goalkeeper (who shall remain nameless!) decided to unnecessarily show off his athletic diving skills and pushed the ball into his own net!

    By John Hancock (10/11/2006)
  • I remember doing a lot of my ‘courting’ (you called it that in my day) at Horsdean. It backed onto Braeside Avenue where my late husband lived. I had relations at Patcham Farm, next to Horsdean, where I was pushed in a pram (about 2-3 miles) when I was getting over whooping cough when I was a very young child to see the little lambs – 1940s.   I remember the alley from the Old School -‘Legs Hill’.  Anybody else remember this as a very short cut? Muddy and overgrown, but fun.

    By Christine Martin (24/05/2007)
  • I remember the park above around 1954. Mr Mann, the PE teacher from Patcham School used to make us all run out there, do a couple or more circuits and then all run back. Not much in the way of lesson planning or worry about children’s safety on the roads in those days.

    By Roy Grant (31/10/2007)
  • I was born in Patcham on 3rd September 1939 and lived at No. 63 Vale Avenue until December 1960. Horsdean was my local play area. I went to Patcham Infants and Junior School until 1951. Having passed the 11 plus, I then went to Varndean Grammar School. Got to know Barry Cook who lived at Churchfields (in the extension of Highview Avenue North towards the farm) with his younger brother Trevor and their parents. Mr Cook had concessions on the West Pier for the rifle range and the miniature cars.

    By John Orgar (23/09/2009)
  • I lived in Mackie Avenue from 1979-1987 and I used to play for Patcham C.C. at Horsdean. I have no idea if the club is still in existence but I was aware it approaching its centenary. It was a good ground to play on and I have many good memories of the games I was involved in. It was a real shame the bypass had to go through the top half of the recreation ground as it has now lost a lot of its character.

    By Chris Bankes (23/08/2010)
  • Our class (boys only) used to run here from Patcham School and then four times round the track while Mr Mann jogged on the spot, he told us it was a quarter mile each circuit. The annual cross country started here and then went up the track at the back of Mackie Ave, up past the bull’s field, onto the Downs and then down Ladies Mile Road back to the school. I managed by some miracle to come 9th one year!

    By Alan Spicer (08/07/2011)
  • Yes Christine Martin, I too remember Horsdean as a regular courting spot in the early to mid 60’s. I used to park there evenings in my Mini with girlfriends. Sometimes ‘Parky’ (the Park Keeper) would bang on the roof and shooo us off. One wet evening I’d pulled partly into the bushes up by the pavilion and got stuck. I had to phone my girlfriend’s father to drive down with a rope to tow us out. Luckily he only lived over in Fernwood Rise in Westdene but I was nevertheless acutely embarrassed as we were supposed to be at the cinema in Brighton!

    By Neville Bolding (14/01/2018)

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