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Our prefab: the height of luxury

These were built in the late 1940's as a temporary extension of the pre-war Whitehawk Council Estate. They were designed to have a life of about 10 years, and soon after that period had elapsed, their removal commenced. View from the foot of Findon Road with Nuthurst Road seen at the extreme left. Subsequently, this area was largely given over to "self-build" schemes. Date of photographs - 20 July 1958.
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

All mod cons

My brother, Geoffrey, my sister Deirdre and I all went to Whitehawk School and I then went to Varndean, my brother to Fairlight. We lived at 75 Findon Road in a prefab from the date they were built, until they were demolished. Those prefabs were the height of luxury; immersion heater, heated towel rail in the bathroom, built in cooker and fridge, loads of cupboard space in every room, back boiler, and so on. All the family loved living there.

Do you remember the prefabs? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Our neighbours

Where we lived  there were the Bashfords at the bottom of the road, then the Powells, then there was us, the Sharps, next were the Steeles, and then there were the Chapmans. Further up were the Richardsons, he was a scrap metal merchant. He used to drive off each morning in his lorry. I was in the Life Boys, and we met in the hut at the end of the coach park; I still have the hat.

Happy summer holidays

I recall playing in the tanks at the refuse tip, and the swimming pool at Black Rock where we spent virtually every day in the summer holidays, even as I recall, when it rained. My dad taught us to catch the prawns on the rocks. Even now I go back and catch them when in Brighton visiting, but now of course it has to be at Ovingdean gap. I remember too that we used to go ice skating Sunday afternoons.

Comments about this page

  • This must be quite rare for prefabs to have had such a short life. Many lasted for years after the war, and were very popular where I live now in East London. I can also recall a few in an upmarket area of West London surviving into the ’80s because they were connected to a nearby school. I wonder if any still remain in the UK these days?

    By Stefan Bremner-Morris (11/05/2014)
  • Great photo! My son lives over to the left somewhere but, of course, it’s unrecognizable. Makes you realize the swathes of downland that were built on in the post-war boom. 

    By Janet Beal (12/05/2014)
  • I lived in Whitehawk Road, opposite the coach park, at the front facing Findon Road.  I remember the Powells, the Thews (Hyde), the Ryans, their dad was a park keeper at East Brighton Park, the Brookers and the Englishes. I was quite pally with Pat Thew. Happy days.

    By Bluey Atkins (22/05/2014)

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