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Do you remember the 1950s?

Coldean Lane 1954
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Once a country lane

Coldean Lane was once just a country lane some distance away from Brighton. It served the dual purpose of linking the Ditchling Road and Lewes Road, and it led to Coldean Farm which was situated midway between these two roads. In 1936 private builders began the development of Park Road and West Drive, and in 1937 the Hikers’ Rest public house was erected.

Do you remember when the area looked like this? Please post a comment below

Parkside estate 1947

Only a few houses were built before the 1939-1945 war however, and the area did not really develop until 1947 when Brighton Corporation commenced the building of the Parkside housing estate. This view shows the junction with Lewes Road. Note the old farm cottages and traces of an earlier slight widening.

Widened in 1954

At this period the area lay outside the municipal boundaries and it was not until 1951 that it was absorbed into the Brighton Borough. The completion of the estate and school, increasing traffic, and the use of buses, made widening of the narrow country lane a necessity. In 1954 it was decided to widen Coldean Lane throughout.

Comments about this page

  • Yes, I remember it well – was wonderful, I used to walk right through the woods to the right on my way to Stanmer Secondary School, then back home again all the way over the hill to Hollingbury Road. Sad to see it all built up so much now!

    By Tony Stevens (10/01/2015)
  • This is just how I remember Coldean Lane in the 50s. Myself and a mate of mine would get sort of tanked up a bit on Friday nights in the Hikers Rest and just walk to the woods at the top of the lane or further up the Lewes Road toward Falmer and just wild camp for the hell of it. We always had rucksacks and camping gear with loads of nosh with us and a kettle and all the rest of it for an easy enjoyable couple of days in the country. I loved the mornings cooking grub on an open fire with eggs and bacon in the pan and of course fried bread. Simple life and easy.

    By Mick Peirson (11/01/2015)
  • I lived in Kensington Place but we used to go bluebelling in the woods by the lane. We moved into Coldean in 1978 and sadly most of the bluebells had disappeared. They’d probably been picked too often or dug up.

    By Jennifer Capper (14/01/2015)
  • In the 1940s, after the war, we moved to 74 West Drive, Coldean, on the Parkside estate (now Rushlake Road). My baby sister Sylvia, was the very first baby born on the estate.  I went to Moulsecoomb Infants School as Coldean did not have its own school then, and every morning on my way to school I would walk along West Drive, down Forest Road, walk to the bottom of Coldean Lane and stop by the hedge, just above where the people are in the photo, and stand mesmorised, looking into the garden of the last house on the corner at the many wild flowers growing in the garden. I loved the smells from the flowers and the sheer abundance of varieties and colours. I would spend ages just gazing at this garden, both to and from school. Such a shame that it, and the other beautiful thatched cottages, have gone forever.

    By Keith Herriott (10/04/2017)
  • I remember Coldean Lane from the late forties and fifties. From old boat corner to Lewes Road. I remember the Lucas family who lived on the Lane service road. I remember too around 1950, my father helping find a lad that was unfortunately blown up by a bomb near the beacon road.

    By Edmund Jackson (26/03/2019)

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