Walking my dog

My favourite place in Whitehawk is above the White Hawk in Sheepcote Valley. When I’m walking my puppy along the top of the hill, sometimes higher than the hunting kestrels, I can look down across the valley to Race Hill on the other side.

See the Isle of Wight
Behind me, the sea stretches from the Seven Sisters in the east right around Shoreham harbour to Worthing in the West. On a clear day you can see the Isle of Wight. Curiously, wherever I stand in Brighton, the horizon of the sea seems to be higher than I am – a fact I’ve never understood!

White hawk carving
In the summer of 2001, local artists Same Sky worked with The Friends of Sheepcote Valley and the residents of Whitehawk to carve a stylised figure of a white hawk into the chalk. When the figure was completed, there was an inaugural party on the hill.

The beacons lit
From my attic window, I could see beacons being lit on the chalk – I knew there would be baked potatoes and fireworks for all those who had helped. What I didn’t know was that the hawk itself would be lit – it was the most spectacular sight – a glowing, fiery hawk! Congratulations to all involved.

For those who are worried that the weather will eventually eradicate the chalk, there is this encouraging news from the Same Sky website: Each year there will be celebrations on the anniversary of the creation of the white hawk ,which will include re-carving the hawk to help maintain it.

Comments about this page

  • Just reading some of the comments about Whitehawk, brought all those memories flooding back, where I spent most of my childhood. All those long summer days playing on Whitehawk pitches. Whoever did the planning for the new Whitehawk estate needs sacking – it’s a disgrace, all those alleyways, just waiting for drugs and crime.

    By Steve Rhodes (06/01/2006)
  • Steve, maybe you’ve not been back in a while. The alleys of the 80s are long gone and many have recently been closed off or added to peoples’ gardens by the Council and eb4U. Look at the roads round Manor Way and Whitehawk Crescent. Crime has feen falling for a while.

    By Warren (13/01/2006)
  • We are thinking of moving into this area with a young child. Why does it have such a bad reputation and is it well founded? Should we reconsider before it is too late?

    By Nadine (28/06/2006)
  • I too am thinking of moving here, it seems beautiful, fresh air and very friendly. But I am also a bit worried as I have a little girl with Down’s syndrome and a baby. Being on my own, and a bit of a hippy, we are probably an exceptionally vulnerable family, should we risk it?

    By Jane (02/08/2006)
  • I spent most of my young life in Whitehawk and looking back in time enjoyed every minute of it. I lived with Mum (Vi) and Dad (Vic) and three sisters (Pam, Pat and Babs) at 185 Whitehawk Road until joining the RAF in 1955 for my National Service. I remember spending most of my school summer holidays on the ladder beach at Black Rock (long before the Marina came into existance). I wonder what happend to my friends of those days, they were – Brian Mathews (Dibbles), Dennis Greir (Groggy), Trevor Howells (my classmate), Ron Betteridge, Tommy Kingsley and Johnny White. They were wonderful days and I have vivid memories of them.

    By Des Deans (14/08/2006)
  • My Grandfather was a Police Inspector with Brighton Police for many years. He once told me that in his day, ex-prisoners and their families would sometimes be housed in Milner and Kingswood flats as they were near to the police station and they could have an eye kept on them. He also said that Whitehawk and Moulsecoomb housed the “overflow”. I think that’s where the bad reputation has come from for these areas.

    By Claire (13/04/2007)
  • Hi Sue – re your article about the white hawk cut out of the chalk – it’s all but gone now. There’s just one wing showing and the other wing has completely gone and it looks very sad.

    By Bluey Atkins (12/10/2007)
  • I think they should have left Whitehawk as it was and not change it to what it is now. Great memories.

    By Peter Bridger (21/03/2010)

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