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Ditchling Road and Hollingdean Road, c1939

Trolley bus cables are visible overhead, running along the centre of Ditchling Road.

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  • Oh my goodness, no traffic lights, and look – hardly any cars. I would love to have a time machine right now wouldn`t you?

    By Bridget (13/03/2006)
  • I believe that the lampstands in the middle of the road supported the cables for the trams. The trolleybus lines were supported by posts on each side of the road.  That would probably date this picture to pre-trolley buses which was before 1939.

    By Ron James (01/10/2006)
  • As my memory serves me, off the picture on the left would be Ditchling Road School where I attended the junior department.  Down a little bit on the left side of Upper Hollingdean Road was a little sweet shop where we could buy something for 1/4d.  Off the picture to the right was the dust destructor. I was very happy at Ditchling Road School. Miss Renno was the head mistress while I was there. This would have been 1938-1940.

    By Pat (06/10/2006)
  • Ron James is right – these are tram cables as trolley buses always used two cables (for positive and negative) per direction.

    By Adrian Baron (24/01/2007)
  • I recognise this picture because I too attended Ditchling Road School as a London evacuee from September 1939 to July 1940, being cared for by the Thorpe family at Semley Road. They had a bookshop somewhere in town.

    By Leslie King (09/03/2007)
  • I lived on the left side of the road all of my childhood from 1965 to 1979.  It has changed much from when the photo was taken from my ealy memory of it. Has anyone got more photos of this area I loved this place

    By Kevin Dirrane (02/04/2007)
  • Does anyone know the name of the hotel that was replaced by the new school in Ditchling Road or have any info about it?

    By kevin dirrane (21/04/2007)
  • I’m getting more confused. I also used to go to the school just off the picture to the left and, so did my Father but it was always called The Downs. Is this one and the same as the Ditchling Road School? We used to call the corner building shown “The Pepperpot” (there was also one in Elm Grove) and the shop underneath was a fish and chip shop in the late 50s/early 60s with a bag of chips, wrapped in newspaper costing 3d (1.5p).

    By Ruth Mitchell (07/12/2007)
  • You can see my old house in this picture! On the left you can just see the end of the brick and flint wall that surrounded (still surrounds?) the school. It was certainly known as ‘The Downs’ in the late 50’s and throughout the 60’s. The shop immediately underneath the Pepperpot was an opticians in the late 50’s and early 60’s and was then a ‘mini-market’. The shop underneath was a newsagents – ‘Pearsons’ was the name I think. The fish and chip shop was a little further down Upper Hollingdean Road. On the right is another brick and flint wall that surrounded what we called the ‘dust destructor’. It had a huge chimney. I remember it coming down in the early 60’s. Two tower blocks were built on the site.

    By Martin Sweetman (05/02/2008)
  • Does anyone know if there are any old pictures that actually show the dust destructor chimney?
    I recall a former partner in Field and Cox telling me that when it was nearly finished, the brickies refused to go up because of the wind. He went up a showed them that it was perfectly safe to work and reluctantly they eventually joined him. Once they were all working, he decended and immediately went behind the site hut to be violently sick.

    By Roy Grant (08/03/2008)
  • Am I correct in thinking that Ditchling Road was renumbered at some time? I had a relative who lived at number 5 in 1939 – but the photos on the net show different properties. Does anyone know what number 5 was in 1939? My relative was called William Coo.

    By Graham Swindon (25/11/2008)
  • I believe the Downs School was once a secondary school as my Uncle was a pupil there. It was at this time Ditchling Road School. Presumably once it became an Infants and Junior School I assume there was a name change. Miss Steer was the Headmistress of the infants plus teachers Miss Reeves, Mrs Smith, Mrs Fitzsimmons. Mr Morgan was Head of the Junior school – notable teachers – Miss Spalding, the infamous Mrs Pegler (clearly bonkers), Mr Hinton etc

    By Martin Scrace (24/12/2008)
  • My mother Edna Rose Mann lived at 280 Ditchling Road until 1945. She lives today in Canada. But her stories of life in Brighton are still vivid. Does anyone know know anything about this address?

    By Glenn Allen (30/12/2008)
  • These are tramway pylons in the road and therefore date before the trolley buses came. I too was at the Ditchling Road School which was an Elementary School having a Senior Department, Junior Department and Infants Department. I remember all too well the sweet shop in Hollingdean Road because it was the site of my first attempt at grand larceny. One night we had attended a church fete which included rolling coins down a chute. I managed to acquire a French or Italian coin which looked like a copper penny. The next day armed with this I approached the chewing gum machine outside the sweet shop, placed the ‘penny’ in the slot and pushed. Of course, Murphy’s law was immediately applied; the shop keeper dashed out and captured me with dire threats of police etc. My Dad rescued me eventually but how long it took to reinstate the Wrigley machine to good order I do not know..

    By Kenneth Why (28/10/2009)
  • I went to the downs in the sixties. Miss Steers was the head of the infants and Mr Morgan was head of the junior. I remember Miss Spalding, she taught my brother.

    By Jane Dugdale (22/06/2012)
  • Please could anyone tell me if they knew or remember Tony and Paddy Solman and their daughter Margaret who used to live at ‘Four Winds’, Larkfield Way – they lived there around 1952 and I would so like to know what happened to them. Many thanks.

    By Tony Stevens (19/06/2013)
  • Seem to remember the sweet shop just off the junction of Ditching Road and Hollingdean Road was called Pearsons in the fifties. I also went to the Down’s junior school.

    By Barry Plank (23/02/2017)
  • Reply to Roy Grant. I lived at no. 36 for about two years (69/71) but on a recent visit did not recognise the position of 36. It used to be further down the hill.  I thought I must have mis-remembered it but I found a photo of my mother and me outside on graduation day proving it was no. 36. I also had a friend in Florence Road which was just around a couple of corners, so I do think the road has been renumbered. 

    By David Champ (30/05/2018)

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