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Summers always seemed longer

Moulsecoomb estate
©Tony Mould: all images copyright protected

Moved in as a three year old

I was about three years old when we moved to 48 Colbourne Avenue, Moulsecoomb in 1960; I attended Moulsecoomb schools from the infants’ right through to the seniors. I lived there with my mum, dad, brother, sister and my maternal grand-parents. I had a lovely dog called ‘Toby’ who never left my side. Summers seemed longer in those days and we used to spend whole days out in the back garden with our tops off, but never getting as burnt as we do today and we did not have any factor 40 sun lotion. When we did get burnt, then out would come the camomile lotion or my Nan would apply cucumber to soothe the burn.

Sunday picnics in the park

On Sundays we would sometimes go for a picnic in either Wild Park or Stanmer Park. We would call in at Woolven’s under the railway viaduct to get some sweets on the way. If we did not go out on a Sunday, it was a hard and fast rule that we were not allowed outside the borders of our garden, as our neighbours had worked all week and deserved some peace and quiet. One of our favourite pastimes was collecting car numbers. We used to sit outside on the pavement and wait for a passing car, this could be anything up to half an hour in those days. I still don’t know why we did it or what we did with the numbers. My Dad had a fabulous Vauxhall Victor car; I still remember the registration, PAW 357.

Do you have Moulsecoomb memories to share? If you have, please leave a comment below

Our great neighbours

We had great neighbours, I remember one day when I was about five years old, I was helping myself to gooseberries from the bush between the houses when a big voice said “You’ll get bellyache!” It was our neighbour Horace Worledge or ‘Horry’ as my parents called him. He was a lovely man but he frightened the life out of me that day as I thought I was going to get a telling off. I remember going to school with short trousers on during the winter of 1963, when it snowed for about 3 months! We opened our front door one morning and the snow had drifted halfway up so we used the back door that day. The washing used to go as stiff as a board on the line as there were no spin dryers, just a mangle.

Joining the cubs

I joined the cubs when I was 8 years old, they met at the barn in Hodshrove Lane. I really only joined because my brother was a cub, but I was not keen and I drew the line at going camping so I left. Even at that tender age I couldn’t see the joy in sleeping in a cold field with only a blanket between you and the ground and a cold wash when you got up. I liked my home comforts, even though in those days there was no central heating or fitted carpets, and you stepped out of bed onto cold lino.

Comments about this page

  • In addition to my story above, I do look back to my time at Colbourne Avenue with some affection and would like to share a few more memories. We had some other really nice neighbours that some of you out there may know. At 53 which was just across the road was a girl about my age called Evelyn Hebbard with whom we used to play together sometimes as we were about the same age. One memory I do have is that one day she got her leg caught in our wooden front gate and I went into a panic as I thought she’d really hurt herself, I remember running into my Nan and shouting “Nan, Evelyn’s broken her leg”! Of course she hadn’t but I was only about 10 years old at the time so it was a real shock as she really couldn’t free herself but she was fine and only a bit bruised as I remember. At number 52 was a lovely family called the Elliott’s. I was the same age as the children and they had a lovely Grandad called Edward. He actually played for Brighton & Hove Albion at the time they won the Charity Shield in 1910. I think my Mum, Dad and Nan’s favourite neighbour was right next door, funnily enough their surname was ‘Neighbour’ (George and Leah). They had a great old black car similar to an ‘Austin 10’ with leather seats – they used to ask my Mum if they could take us kids (my Brother Allan and my Sister Yvonne) into town but my Mum was a very proud woman and used to take us in, wash and change us then send us out with them. Leah (or Aunty Leah) as we called her, used to get really frustrated as she said we always looked okay. One day she got us kids into the car and George tooted the horn so my Mum would come out and Leah shouted “Eileen, just taking your kids out in the car for a couple of hours”! Honestly, I can still remember the look on my Mum’s face, panic, then when the realisation set in a smile would break out! Great memories.

    By Paul Clarkson (23/07/2014)

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