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Smell of tarmac and Saturday pictures

St Nicholas Junior School Portslade
From the private collection of Ray Hamblett

The smell of tarmac

I lived at 37 Foredown Drive with my parents and grandparents from birth in 1943, until I left home at 21. My earliest memories as a child are of the bread being delivered by a horse and cart. I also remember Foredown Drive itself being tarmaced and rolled by a real steamroller – oh the smell. Highlands Road, and Benfield Way were rough flint tracks for many years after the WWII. I cannot remember when they were surfaced.

Saturday morning pictures

I recall the Brighton ‘B’ Power Station chimney being built. The roar of the steam safety valve from the old power station, or would it have been the gasworks? Of course there was the Saturday morning pictures at the Rothbury Cinema. I remember lots of snow – but snow like we never get these days. I went to St Nicholas’ Infants School and St Nicholas’ Junior School. Mr Ternouth was headmaster at the Junior School at the time I attended.

No misbehaving

Mrs Wells was the music teacher and I still think of her whenever I hear ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ sung. She was insistent that you sang the ‘mother’ in ‘mother of the free’, as one word, rather than moth-er as most people do these days. This was a bit unnatural, and we had to go over it time and time again until we got it right. I clearly remember getting whacked across the back of bare legs with a gym shoe by Mr Elder. It was very painful, but you did not misbehave again. Remember school plays? They were a wonderful opportunity to dress up.

Comments about this page

  • I went to the infants in about 1944/5 and remember having to go down the air raid shelter which was under the front playground I believe. I remember also the worry if you somehow managed to kick the ball on that flat bit of roof at the front. My best memory is when you were given a box of nice wooden bricks to play with instead of a lesson. I recall going back after one term with my cousin Gordon Halewood  to the juniors but when we not called on the new class register panicking only to discover we should have gone across the road to St Andrews, another rollicking ensued. Happy days though

    By Den King (17/04/2015)

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