Living here in the 1950s

6, Godwin Road in 2002

I only signed up to the site a couple of days ago, so imagine my amazement when one of the first ‘additions’ I came across was for Godwin Road, which is the road I grew up in.I moved there in about 1955 when I was 9, but lived further up the hill at no. 83, near the junction with Martin Road. My parents continued to live there until the mid 70s when my dad died and my mum moved to a flat in Portland Road.

So many memories
I have so many memories of Godwin Road – our neighbours were the Perrins on one side and the Wisdens on the other. I remember walking to Portland Road school every day, including there and back again at lunchtime. I remember Jim the co-op milkman with his pull along milkfloat . I remember the somewhat primitive hot water system with the copper in the bathroom that had to be lit. This was eventually replaced by a back boiler in the living room, but you still had to light the fire to get hot water.

Sweltering in the summer
The house was sweltering in the summer- but we made do with baths and wash day just once a week! The bathroom was downstairs next door to the kitchen, contravening all today’s building regulations, I imagine.

My dad was well known
My surname in those days was Wade and my dad was quite well known in the area – he had a dog (Winnie the Wonder dog) who did tricks (allegedly) and ‘performed’ for school parties and OAP clubs. Dad also did Dickensian character impersonations. I knew someone at the bottom end of the road, but can’t remember the number. Her name was Linda and we eventually went to the girls’ grammar school together.

When I have time I’ll put some photos on the site, which may be of interest to your correspondent from Canada. I was also interested to read about St Helens Church as I got married there in 1969.

Comments about this page

  • From about 1935 to 1939 my family and me lived at 29 Godwin Road. My Dad was in the Royal Navy but he lost his life in the sinking of the Royal Oak on October 14th 1939. There was a loss of 833 lives on this ship. My Mum’s name was Violet and I had a brother Peter and a brother David. When we left in 1939 we moved to Old Shoreham Road on the corner of Olive Road. If anyone remembers me and my family from this time – I would really like to hear from you.

    By Wally Kersey (23/10/2006)
  • I grew up at No 12 Godwin Rd from 1946 until going to sea in 1961. It was immediately opposite No 29 and I remember as a small boy hearing about a man who was lost in the ‘Royal Oak’. The family after you would have been Mr and Mrs Geal, their daughter Barbara and foster son Peter. All since moved on or passed away. With regard to Carol’s comment, there was a girl called Linda Dunstan who also lived opposite at No 27. She went to Hove County Grammar School. I was at Portland Rd from 1954 – 1957 then the Knoll Secondary. Now retired and living in the beautiful Province of New Brunswick, Canada.

    By Ian Wallis (17/05/2007)
  • I also grew up in Godwin Road. From 1964 living at number 85 (I think). Only to house swap up the road to 119. We moved out in 1980. My maiden name is Wilkins. How amazing! I remember Mr and Mrs Wade as a little girl, they always gave us ginger biscuits! They were lovely!

    By Elizabeth Henty (04/06/2007)
  • Oh gosh, the memories come flooding back. I grew up in Hangleton Road, I went to the Knoll First School, Portland Road, then Knoll Girl’s School.
    Most of my school friends and best friends lived in Godwin Road and surrounding roads.
    Linda Friend, Ann Ellis, Diane Houghton,Veronica Harwood and many more. Does anyone else remember me or them? I would love to hear from you. I now live in Cornwall. Happy days.

    By Janet Dove nee Cattermull (07/11/2008)
  • Hi Wally, I remember the kersey family I lived at no 37 Godwin Road, we also moved to old Shoreham Road, we where about 3 doors from the top of Olive Road.

    By Malcolm Citrone (27/11/2008)
  • Please can anyone remember a girl named Virginia who lived in the Martin Road/Godwin Road area in the years 1957-58, she would have been 15-16 at this time. I worked for Corona at the time which was situated in Old Shoreham Road opposite Harrington Coach Builders. I took a shine to this angel whom I used to call Blondie so if there is anybody out there who can throw some light in regards to this little angel I would be be forever grateful.

    By Ray (02/09/2009)
  • Hi Ray, just read this page for the first time. Virginia or Ginny as we called her, used to be my best friend. Unfortunately, I have lost contact with her too and would love to know where she is. Do you remember me? I used to come down with her to the Corona depot and I went out with a guy called Barry and Malcom Craigy? We were both 14 at the time.

    By Wendy (07/02/2010)
  • I resided at 14, Godwin Road, next door to Ian Wallis from 1946 until 1961 when I joined the RAF. I last saw Ian about 20 years ago. Glad to see he’s made a new life in Canada. Hello to anyone who might remember me.

    By Paul Hammond (25/02/2010)
  • Hi Wendy, thanks for info. I am now living in Cyprus. If you wish to write to me please e-mail on  – it will be nice to hear from you. Ray

    By Ray (26/02/2010)
  • Hi Paul, glad to hear your are still around and OK. Planning a trip to England sometime this year. Probably staying in Seaford. Best wishes.

    By Ian Wallis (03/03/2010)
  • I lived on Godwin Road from 1942 till shortly after the end of the war, when we moved to Amberley Drive. At that time I was Diana (at school) or Betty (at home) Coleman, and I walked every day to Portland Road Junior School, and then to Hove County Grammar School, having passed the “scholarship exam”. My brother Mike went to the Knoll School and then to Hove County for Boys, and my cousins, John and Paul Coleman, lived next door to us. I clearly remember my first day on Godwin Road, having previously lived on St Leonards Avenue, where there were few other children close by. I went outside and a little further up the road I saw 2 girls holding a long length of rope across the road, while girls lined up to take their turn to skip through the turning rope. I joined them, and one of the girls, Elsie Bennett, became my particular friend. Later, after I started attending Hove County, I also became friendly with June Heath who lived in one of the newer houses further up the road. Happy childhood days, in spite of the war!
    Since 1961 I’ve been living near Vancouver in Canada, so now all my visits to Godwin Road and other places where I’ve lived in the UK, are via Google street view, and Godwin Road looks so different. What happened to the little tunnels in the middle of the 4plexes, that led to the back yards? Or has the home that we lived in been demolished and rebuilt?

    By Diana Osborne (nee Coleman) (14/07/2013)
  • Hi, my grandson will be moving into Godwin Rd soon and was wondering if anyone who has lived there in the past can remember the layout of the houses? Did they have the toilets upstairs or were they downstairs? How big were the rooms and if there were air raid shelters outside or indoors? The man who my grandson has got the house off of seems to think that the air raid shelter that was there has been filled in due to someone falling down the stairs and passing. Does anyone recall any tales about this?

    Would love to know

    By Gloria Manning (07/02/2015)

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