Hangleton residents' memories

Grenadier Pub, Hangleton
Photo by Tony Mould

These reminiscences are from residents who are involved with the Hangleton and Knoll Community Development Project and were facilitated by Ruth Melia.

Nancy Kersey
I moved to Godwin Road in 1935, when I was only 4 years,  I lived at number ninety one, which was then known as being on the old Godwin Road.  This was because it was there before the part of Godwin Road that joins up with Stapley Road was built.  My maiden name was Nancy Pelling and I still live in Hangleton.  I have been married to Wally Kersey since 1950.
I remember the Knoll Infants’ School in Bellingham Crescent, and Miss Lelliot who was the Headmistress there at the time. I then went onto Portland Road Juniors and I remember Miss Calnam. I wonder if anyone else remembers this teacher?
I attended the Knoll Senior Girls’ School on Old Shoreham Road which shared the area with the Boys Senior School.  The school has now gone and has been replaced by the Knoll Industrial Estate.
In wartime I was 8 years old and remember playing with friends helping to fill sandbags for the soldiers who were responsible for the gun emplacements.  This happened in West Hove and is where the Sainsbury’s is now based.  Does anyone else remember this?

Freda Mainwaring
My first memories of Brighton were of the Florentine Hotel where my husband and I stayed when we moved here from Shropshire.  The hotel was owned by my uncle. Unfortunately it was demolished and replaced by flats.  Does anyone remember this hotel?
I remember working in Smith’s in Hollingbury.  This was a watch factory that made the parts for barometers and watches.  Of course the building has long gone and now Brantano is on the site.

Lovinia Golding
I taught at several schools around Brighton.  I started at All Souls off Eastern Road and taught there for eleven years from 1949 to 1958.  Unfortunately the school was demolished in the road widening scheme.  In 1959 I went to work at St Mary’s and stayed there until 1967 when I moved to St Andrew’s in Hove until 1979.  I did train as a junior school teacher and taught needlework, but I filled in doing nursery teaching for a time.

Roy Taylor
I went to the Knoll Infants’ School and then on to Portland Road Juniors.  When I left junior school I moved to the Knoll Senior School between 1937-1946.  I remember having to spend a lot of time in the local bomb shelters in my school years.  As  kids we played along the Cattle arch and the Boundary hedge between the Grenadier and the Dyke Railway.  We  would tunnel out a hole and make pretend camps.  I also remember guns positioned on top of the Gala Bingo Club in Portland Road.
When I was a teenager I used to go to the Milk Bar in Portslade, where I would get a milkshake and listen to the jukebox before going onto the pictures. The picture houses were the Rothbury or the Pavilion; the price of the ticket depended where you sat.  On the way home I would pop into the railway coach at Portslade, to pick up a hot pie.

Comments about this page

  • I remember the parties in Hangleton Park and once a concert and fireworks at Hove Lagoon. Those were the days. I took part in some amatuer plays. During the projects I was in the Waysiders. We ran shows at St Helen’s Church Hall.

    By Wayne Wareham (11/12/2007)
  • Does anybody remember JJ Waller?  He played a major part in the Hangelton and Knoll project.  He was on the radio this morning.

    Wayne – you can find a link to JJ Waller’s website at the bottom of this page on the Alexandra Children’s Hospital
    Web Editor

    By Wayne Wareham (19/02/2008)
  • I lived at 113 Stapley Road from 1934 to 1958. Does anyone remember the motor car auctions, held in Hangleton Road, almost opposite Stapley Road during 1949-1950 on waste land where the Dyke railway bridge had been? These were held once a week, I believe on a Wednesday lunch-time. Also I think older people will remember the waste land at the top of Stapley Road, where the school recently stood. There was a trackway across this land which gave a short cut to Hangleton Road from Stapley Road. On this land was a huge pile of curb stones for a few years, which made an ideal playground for us boys. My house backed onto what is now Knoll Park, in the 1940s it was an overgrown area of trees, bushes and brambles, with the old Dyke railway track bed at the Rowan Avenue side.

    By Alan Knight (16/10/2008)
  • I also had an experience with a German plane, while walking to school at the Knoll during the war. I lived in Applesham Avenue during the war, and walking down Stapley Road one morning this plane came over very low, I could see the pilot, when a woman came out of her door and dragged me indoors as it zoomed over.

    By Ron Jones (19/01/2009)
  • I was born at 13 Isobel Crescent 67 years ago in 1941. I remember the VE party in 1945 to celebrate the end of the war. We moved to Hangleton when the new estate was built and I went to Portland Road Infants, Knoll infants, Hangleton jouniors, and Knoll Seniors. I was in Mrs Upton’s class. I got married to Wally James when I was 22yrs old and my parents moved to Wilfred Road.

    By Pauline James (nee Small) (27/01/2009)
  • I lived in Godwin road twice. First time I was at Knoll Boys School and lived at number 145 between and 1957 and 1963. I then moved to number three in 1980 through to 1984 when we moved to Florence Avenue.

    By Neville Crowe (05/02/2009)
  • A bit of bad news I’m afraid. My old friend Barry Hoad passed away on the 26th of January 09. I went up to the service at Woodvale on the 18th of February 09 and afterwards at the Jim Parks pavilion at the County Ground where Barry had been a member for many years. He lived at 104 Rowan Avenue and when his mum died when he was about nine I think he was brought up by his dad Reg and an aunt whose name I can’t recall. He was not one to spend money on things that he did not think essential and he did not have a TV nor a house phone. He will be sadly missed by his many friends and also those who just stopped for a chat when he was sitting on a seat up at the Grenadier shops on a sunny day. I have since found out that he was a prolific writer and kept a journal for about the past forty years or so. Also at the funeral I met Jo Wade, Cyril Clench and Jo Boon and his wife, all who are old Hangletonions

    By david smart (22/02/2009)
  • It may be too late but on 27.4.09 at St Richards Church and Community Centre in Egmont Road, Hove from 2pm to 4pm another meeting of Knollites will be held. I went to the last one and there were 23 people attending all from the Knoll/Hangleton area talking over old times. Tea, coffee, and biscuits were served and it looks as though this group is going to be a success. See you there.

    By David sSmart (27/04/2009)
  • Ron Jones, my grandmother the late Lilian May(Mac) Mackenzie and my grandfather Allessandro Roncoli also lived in Applesham Ave during the war, (around the No 80 series). Apparently she was an ARP warden in that area during that time. I remember her showing me her old uniform and tin hat and a big parchment she received from the King in recognition of her services. Sadly this all became lost when we emigrated to Australia in 1964, although for some reason she kept a bed blanket that was full of holes apparently made from bullets fired by a low passing German fighter plane, wonder if its the same plane. Sadly my grandfather died of cancer before I was born so if you or anyone can recall or remember this part of my family, I would appreciate hearing from you.

    By James A Roncoli (27/04/2009)
  • Hi James, I live in a road at the top of Applesham Avenue and drive up it every day. At present all the ‘conker’ trees are in bloom and it looks a picture. I did go to the meeting yesterday afternoon. There were 20 people there and they have elected a committee and have started to plan the old reunions for the old Knoll School in Old Shoreham Road. The school is still there but is now used as a business centre. What a shame your grandmother’s old outfit has been mislaid. I hope you have luck re. info about your family. If I come across anything I will send it on.

    By David Smart (28/04/2009)
  • I lived at 84 Rowan Ave from 1983-2008 and knew Mrs Boniface who had lived at no 86 since the house was built. She was full of stories of the neighbourhood. Wonderful old lady. I didn’t know Barry at 104, but my friend, Eva Shaw lived opposite in the 80s, and she told me he didn’t even have hot water then. He had an enormous hydrangea in the front garden, if I have the right house.

    By Renia Simmonds nee Lambor (02/05/2009)
  • I was born in 1943 and lived at 6 Applesham Avenue and my grandparents were in Holmes Avenue at no 43. I do remember getting woken up one night because we had to move; a landmine had landed two streets away, but I do not know which address I was at. This could have been the landmine David Smart was referring too. Also the old Dyke railway embankment behind Poplar Avenue had great blackberries, as my sister and I found out after climbing up the side of the chalk pit next to Westway Close. There was quite a drop down behind the old Grenadier in Westway Close, and where the old Dyke railway went across it used to flood in heavy rain until the houses went up along there. I went to Knoll Infants, Hangleton Juniors and Knoll Senior boys. And Ron, as you lived in Applesham Ave. can you remember the Pullens or the Kays either at 69 or 71. A lot of time in my childhood was spent with my mates in the Hangleton Manor area which we found of great interest.

    By Roger Hartfield (11/07/2009)
  • Just a little update re the Knollites mentioned earlier this year. It is still going. I attended the meeting 26 Oct 09 and there were nearly thirty people there. They had a stall at the recent 50+ Open day at St Richards in Egmont Road where I met up with with several members of the boys ‘class of 51’ from the Knoll Seniors and there were lots of photos with one showing me on the beach with Ron Kerley and Peter Hiscox. We were about 16/17ish and all looked so slim and tanned.

    By David Smart (22/11/2009)
  • I have just finished reading an account of WW2 taken from the diary of Helen Roust who was a school teacher in Brighton. In it she mentions under the entry for 29th of April, 1941 of the siren going off at 9.30pm and a good deal of noise overhead and a mighty bump that shook the windows of her house at 10.20. It turned out to be a landmine exploading in Nevill Avenue that injured 10 people She then mentions that there had been a second mine that did not go off and was probably the one I remembered and that it was defused by 12.30 the next day. As to the plane crash she confirms the event and gives it a date of April the 2nd 1943 but that is all. I have since spoken to a local at the last meeting of the Knollites at St Richards in Egmont Road, Hove, who also recalled the event and stated that he was sure that the plane was also fired upon by the anti-aircraft gun on top of the Gala Bingo Hall in Portland Road, which was at that time the Grenada Cinema.

    By David Smart (03/02/2010)
  • Hi David, I’ve seen a photo of the bomb damage in Nevill Road I think, not Nevill Avenue, but I cant remember where! Regarding the anti-aircraft gun in Portland Road, I’m pretty sure there was one on the roof of the CVA building further along Portland Road. CVA also had their own platoon or squad of Home Guard!

    By Peter Groves (12/01/2011)
  • Being a few years younger than a lot of you people, I can’t remember all the things that you do, but I do remember the soldiers manning the guns outside St. Helens Church and down the sides of the green in front of the Church. We often went there and shared their beans and got the odd piece of chocolate. A lot of what Mr Smart rings true but he may know my brothers Denis and Tony better than me although I do recall the name, Cyril Clench and Joe Wade are also friends and if they could get in touch it would be appreciated. It was also good to see that Pauline Small is still around, I lived next door to her in Henfield way. The bad news is that Reg Keeper passed away some 10 years ago, Reg was the Knoll 1st x1 Goalie and also had a trial with Arsenal but height let him down. Anyone on Facebook can find me there along with Dave Morgan.

    By Terry Perchard (24/07/2011)
  • I remember Miss Golding, she was my teacher in 1966. During that year she taught us how to do sewing, we loved all the incredible coloured threads and material with little holes punched on which we learnt to do cross stitch. Also that year we had student teachers who built a teepee in the classroom and taught us about North American Indians. If you were good you were allowed a special treat of drinking your daily milk sat inside the teepee. Miss Golding was great for reading end of the day stories whilst we all lay our heads on our desks.

    By Bonita Holland (Deane) (16/07/2012)
  • I went to Knoll Infants in the 70s and then onto Knoll Girls and then Hove Park Upper leaving in 1982. Miss Vicken was headmistress at the Infants when I and all my older siblings were there.

    By Annie (14/08/2012)
  • Hi there, I’m a trainee journalist for Journalist Works and I’m currently writing for submission to The Argus. I have recently been assigned as a community reporter for your area and I was wondering if there were any issues or events you would care to share with me? If so, please do send me an email.

    By Amy (17/01/2013)
  • I went to Knoll Infant school from 1956-1960, then i went on to Portland road junior school, the knoll secondary leaving in 1966

    I have fond memories of Portland Road school, Mr Wallis was my teacher,then went on to Knoll secondary. Teachers were Mrs Upton, Miss Wilson, Miss Shields was the headmistress. I lived in Hangleton Road, i was friends with Lyn Dadswell, Linda Friend, Ann Ellis, Elizabeth Stone, Diane Houghton, Jennifer Martin, Susan Ward, Sharon Hanson,along with others that have slipped my mind.

    This is a great site, well done.

    By Janet Dove (Cattermull) (29/12/2013)
  • I attended Knoll Secondary School from 1965 to 69/70. I also went to St Richards church and got married in St Helens church in 1975. Does anyone remember me? I have 4 younger sisters and we lived in Halliburton Road, Hove.

    By Valerie Pennifold (20/05/2014)
  • I lived on the Knoll Estate in Wilfrid Road and then Old Shoreham Road. throughout WW2 until 1962.  Does anyone remember the brickyard at the bottom of Egmont Road where it meets Bellingham Crescent? This was on the opposite side of the road from St. Richard’s Church. The yard contained huge piles of bricks about as high, I guess, as the gutters on nearby houses. The local kids, including me, used to get in there via a hole in the fence. We used to climb on top of the piles of bricks and then remove some from the very top. This made a hollow which we used as a secret ‘den’. If this was deep enough we could not be seen by adults as they walked by on the pavement.  I guess these bricks were stored there to repair or rebuild following bomb damage. Houses were built on this site some time after the war had ended. On the opposite side of the Bellingham Crescent from the brickyard were the ‘trenches’. These were the air raid shelters for Knoll Infant’s School. They may also have been available for use by the Knoll Senior Boys’ and Girls’ Schools as well, but I can’t confirm this. I was in the Infant’s School during the war and I recall two or three practice air raids during which each class filed two by two across the playground and into these shelters. Whether any of these practices coincided with an actual air raid, I don’t know, but it was all done very calmly, so all credit to the teachers. We sat in there for a while until the teachers decided we could come out – simulating the “all-clear”.  The doors to the shelters were locked outside of school hours. However, the grassed area on top of the shelters was another, unofficial playground.  Local kids got in, again through a hole in the fence. As well as running around on top, some used to climb down inside the ventilation shafts into the trenches below. Apart from some natural light near the shaft openings, the rest of the shelters were completely dark. It was a bit spooky but we used to dare each other to walk round inside. We got to know the trenches quite well. Once or twice we even tried to play ‘it’ in there, but that didn’t really catch on as several of us collected bruises and cuts due to tripping over or bumping into things in the dark. I am sure none of the childrens’ parents knew what we were doing. What daft things children can get up to when they have no appreciation of danger!  

    By David Robertson (11/01/2016)
  • Just to let you all know that the “Knollites” are still running but with the new name of “Old Knollonians” and it will be our 10th anniversary next year 2018. Sadly Nancy and Wally Kersey, our co-founder’s as “Knollites”, passed away in 2015. We still meet at St Richard’s Community Centre, Egmont Road, Hove and would love to see you all at our next Social Meeting on Monday 11th September to hear about your memories and share any photos that you may have. Refreshments are provided and we may even have a Guest Speaker. My name is Mike Hookham, the current Chairman and, although there would be a small charge of £4 to cover our costs, I would like to invite you and a partner/friend as my guest/s to our next Social Meeting on Monday 11th September to come and try us out. If you require further information please ring me on 01273 777733 or my email address is :   mrhookham@yahoo.co.uk 

    By Mike Hookham (12/08/2017)
  • I lived at 20, Stapley Road and went to Knoll Infants, Portland Road Junior and Knoll Secondary Modern School for Girls. I have nothing but fond memories of my school days and school friends. Great times at Knoll Park with friends on the Knoll Estate.

    By Marina Tanner (nee Chapman) (09/01/2018)
  • I lived in Dale View, Hangleton from 1938 until l married in 1957 and those years despite the depredations of war were full of very happy times. I went to Knoll Infants, Portland Road Juniors,and then back to the girls seniors. Miss Lelliot was head of the infants and made a very good job of it too. I was scared of Miss Calnan in the juniors with her big bulgy eyes and the habit of catching you by the back of the collar and frog marching you to the middle of the empty hall to stand there for as long as she deemed necessary. The seniors had Miss Shields after Miss Wilson retired. On one occasion during a science lesson with Miss Wolfenden there was a huge explosion and we all dived under our desks, only to emerge to see blood pouring down from the test tubes she had been holding. Health and safety would have had convulsions. After the war I played out a lot round Hangleton farm and helped taking the milk round with a skittish pony, Kitty. Sometimes Hilda the farmer’s daughter would let me take the reins, and I was in seventh heaven as I trotted along with all the empty bottles jingling merrily in the crates. I remember June Heater, Mary and Anne Hazledean, the Cooper family,,and the Goldsmiths. As we Played out in the street on summer evenings mum would shout out when Dick Barton came on the radio and the street was immediately emptied as we rushed inside eager not to miss one second in the exciting episodes with Snowy and Angus. Happy days

    By Audrey Haigh (Cox) (14/10/2019)
  • I am trying to find out info about my grandparents and came across your memories. One post mentions the Florentine Hotel and from what my parents/grandparents said years ago I think my grandmother ran the Florentine Hotel (she didnt own it). From Freda Mainwaring post I think the hotel has been demolished and replaced by flats. Please can you let me know exactly where it stood? At some stage in the future it would be lovely to visit the area.

    By Dee Weekes (20/01/2021)
  • Hi, I lived in Hangleton, but went to the Knoll boys school 62/67 Great times ( and a few bad 🤣) I remember a girl called Lorraine Ford lived at 57 Godwin road during that time : often wondered what happened to her . She was best friends with Linda Hammond, who lived in Hangleton and with whom I had my first teenage kiss with, at about 14. 🤣🤣🤣

    By Steve Bennett (08/02/2021)
  • Just seen an earlier thread about 57 Godwin road and my enquiry about Lorraine Ford. She definitely told me her name was Lorraine not Anita as mentioned on an earlier post. Maybe she was telling me porkies 😂😂😂 she would be 68/69 now, or did she have a sister called Anita ?

    By Steve Bennett (08/02/2021)
  • Hi, I am a Hangleton lover born there, brought up there, went to school there, in the 1970’s -1980-s my aunt still lives there and has told me many stories from her childhood and my grans life .

    By Sarah Forrest (06/05/2021)
  • Hello,
    I lived in High Park Avenue from 1940 until 1951 and can remember as a child, seeing the British warplane, which crash-landed at the east side of Park close in Hangleton.
    To date, I have found nothing about this being recorded either in local newspapers, or in the My-Brighton Website.
    Is there anybody still living who can also remember this war-time event? It is something I will never forget, because if the Wellington bomber had flown only 150 yards further, it would have hit our home.

    By Kenneth Ingle (28/03/2022)
  • Hello, You might like to know, that the BBC does have some record of the crash-landing I mentioned. After a lot of searching, I found the following:
    BBC – WW2 People’s War – My thoughts from Hangleton
    All the best, Ken.

    By Kenneth Ingle (02/04/2022)
  • Thanks Ken!

    By Peter Groves (03/04/2022)
  • Hello Peter,
    I found these words after looking for Vic. Brately, teacher” on the internet: “I was interested to see mention by David Smart of Vic Bratley as the woodwork teacher at Knoll in the early 1950s – he must have subsequently moved to Cottesmore RC Secondary and taught with my father. I have many happy Hangleton memories and hopefully many more that I am waiting to be reminded of. ”
    The name of the writer was not given, but on another site, it was said that Mr rately died in a road accident.
    Can you possibly use this infomation, to search yourself?

    By Kenneth Ingle (04/04/2022)
  • Thanks Ken

    By Peter Groves (05/04/2022)

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