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Childhood memories of Madeira Mansions

Once upon a time in Arundel St
I used to live in Arundel Street, No.1 Madeira Mansions – now the site of Corsells – a 40 year old block of flats, now right opposite what was the French Convalescent Home.

Boundary Rd
The other side of Madeira Mansions was Boundary Road, this being the borough boundary of Brighton and Rottingdean (you know, where those gas holders are!). The next road up was Rifle Butt Road. In this little road was Stephens the bakers and GJ King the builders. Their claim to fame must have been the renovation of the Royal Pavilion. There was also a Quakers’ burial ground and also a chapel of the Salvation Army. As kids, we used to go here sometimes on a Sunday to get out of mum’s way.

Allotments, recording studios and toilets
Behind all this was a derelict Marine Gate. The northern end was all allotments, now the site of Roedean Fire Station. On the other side of the junction going west was an electricity sub station and behind this was a rough road with a public toilet (now, I believe, called Strummers, a recording studio). Just along from this was a blacksmiths and as a kid I used to watch the smithy shoe the horses.

Photo of Madiera Mansions - next to the French Convalescent home
Photo from a private collection

Comments about this page

  • Where the Roedean fire station is built used to be our first lizard field in the 40s and 50s, where we would catch lizards by the dozen in the summer. We kept them in a cardboard shoe box filled with grass until it was time to go home, then we let them go. There were also loads of fieldmice on the site. We were a bit unhappy when the fire station was being built, not understanding the need for the station us being kids.

    By Mick Peirson (13/11/2006)
  • Another memory from Madiera Mansions was that we had a friend of the family that had a brother living in Madiera Mansions in the 50s. His name, if I remember rightly, was George Gray. I also knew a family called Freeman that lived there at the same time. Their son, Anthony, went to the same school as I did. Their father was a chauffer and a taxi driver for Streamline Taxis.

    By Mick Peirson (21/01/2007)
  • Mick Peirson, where are you now? Maybe we could meet up. What about it? Let me know:

    By Tony Freeman (02/12/2008)
  • I also played and caught lizards on the first lizard pitch. There used to be derelict lorries there to play on. I also remember playing on the building site of the fire station and climbing the scaffolding to the top of the practice tower. We built a den on the second lizard pitch, a field behind Marine Gate flats which is still undeveloped.

    By Paul Thayre (20/09/2011)
  • Mick Pearson, if you still look at this site, I would like to get in touch. With thanks Tony

    By Tony Freeman (06/08/2012)

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