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A treasure trove for kids

Sheepcote Valley
Photo by Tony Mould

Full of interesting things

When we were kids in the late 1940s and the 1950s, Sheepcote Valley was one of our main playgrounds. It was a dumping ground full of the most interesting things you could imagine. We would go through East Brighton Park, skirt around the camping ground and then on to the rubbish tip. There was a lot of war surplus armoured cars-lorries-bits of planes and just loads of other stuff. We used to build our own pedal bikes and the valley was full of old bits of bikes.

Happy as sand boys

Being a rubbish dump we used to go home filthy dirty and happy as sand boys. Later on there was loads of dark grey soot that came from the power station at Portslade being dumped there. It was transported from the power station by S. M. Tidy in green tippers that had a job getting up Wilson Avenue; crawler gear all the way. This soot was another joy to us kids. We would jump from what seemed a great height to us, and land up to our knees in this stuff, getting really dirty in the process.

Junk was our treasure

We also used this as a scramble track for our pedal bikes which of course had those cow horn handlebars. The bits and pieces we took home with us were our treasures. It is a wonder our parents did not go around the bend at the ‘junk’ that kept finding its way home. Lovely days – great memories


Comments about this page

  • Sheepcote valley dump was also one of my favorite playgrounds in the late 40s and 50s . I lived in Wiston Close (now gone). We used to walk down the path from Wilson Ave opposite Wiston Rd., through the wheat field to the dump. I remember that dark grey soot, it was great fun to play in. I also remember an old armoured personnel carrier with a movable turret. My dad made me a fabulous peddle car in the shape of a double decker bus from old pram parts he found there. Happy days.

    By Eric Cook (01/07/2013)
  • We both wrote about the tip some time ago I think Eric. It was as you say happy days and cost nothing. I did get earache sometimes from my mum about the stuff that I took home, but it was the best fun that I knew as a kid. I learned about bikes from the c**p that I carted home, and I still love messing about with our bikes and looking after them, never lost the delight in riding my bike especially as there is a cycle path just down the road from my house.

    By Mick Peirson (02/07/2013)

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