Picnics by the Lagoon

In the 1950’s my Grandma (who actually lived in Brighton) used to share a beach hut with a couple, Mr and Mrs Truett, who lived in a flat near the Hove Lagoon. The hut was ideal for the whole family, with folding chairs, a gas ring (and kettle) and only a short distance to an ice-cream stall, the Lagoon and of course the sea. We usually spent the day there, having a huge picnic! One of my earliest memories was of being wheeled along the promenade in my push-chair, in about 1949.

Sometimes we used to go on the petrol-powered boats on the western lake at the Lagoon; “Come in No 5, your time’s up!”. More often we went on the little electric fairground-type railway with its engines named after Captain Hook (black, I think), Peter Pan (green) and Aladdin (blue).

Comments about this page

  • I remember gong on a little fairground ride when I was a child (we visited Brighton and Hove regularly). I have never been sure whether the ride was in Brighton or Hove. Is it the same one you mention – primary colour trains going round on a small track and I think each train had a bell you could ring? They were very happy memories.

    By Sandra (31/03/2007)
  • Yes, I remember the train ride. It was a special treat to go on it and the boats too. The smaller lake had row boats and the larger lake had motor boats. That was the best lake to go crabbing in. We would dangle in string with bait (usually apple cores) on and pull out some fairly large crabs that we would save in our buckets until we went home. I seem to remember a kid’s fairground roundabout as well. It would be nice to take my children there now, but it has been taken over by windsurfers!

    By Neil Underhill (10/04/2007)
  • I took my grandchildren to the lagoon a couple of weeks ago. Alas, the smaller lake is now almost drained with not a boat in sight. The location of the trains in the 60s is now grass, which was a shame as Molly, at 3, would have adored a ride. The two small buildings (identical on south and north sides) at the Shoreham end of the lagoon are now falling to ruin. My husband asked me what they were used for when I was a child but I could not remember any use at all – we just accepted they were always there! The children’s play area is good though – plenty for little ones to do. The cafe looked the same as it did when I was a child and in desperate need of a refurbish. Is it not time the lagoon had a face-lift?

    By Jacqui Woollven (17/05/2008)
  • I well remember as a young lad (about 6) being in a boat whilst my grandmother waited at the side of the lagoon. ‘Come in number six’ was the command which I duly ignored. Finally a man in big wading boots came out and towed me back to the edge. Grandmother asked me in a worried tone if ‘anything was wrong?’.  I replied ‘no’ whereupon she gave me a clip round the ear! No supper and an early bed followed my ‘maiden’ voyage.

    By Garry Peltzer Dunn (24/05/2008)
  • A bit late to answer Jacqui’s query. The two small shelters you mentioned on the south and north side of the Shoreham end, were once used by the model yachting clubs that used to sail these models on a Sunday when the motor boats were not being used on the large lake. I remember well watching these model yacht enthusiasts running around the lake with poles in their hands ready to stop their models hitting the sides. Some of the yachts were really magnificent and I believe cost a lot of money to purchase.

    By David Broad (06/07/2011)
  • Remember so well The Lagoon, this was a favourite place for my family to come at the weekend, didn’t cost any money and was fun. They even came when it wasn’t good weather and can remember them sitting there in their deckchairs probably freezing while us kids where having fun!

    By Brenda Tucker (14/09/2013)

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