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Living in Halland Road in the 1940s

As a child in the late 1940’s I spent my holidays where I lived, Halland Road, one of the last roads to be built at that time in East Moulescoomb. It was surrounded by fields and woods and in my memory the sun shone from a clear blue sky everyday.

Simple pleasures
Holiday pleasures in those days came from many venues. Accessed from Ashurst Road, the top field, so named because of the steep hill that after a strenuous climb, flattened to a meadow. The field was full of different grasses and I spent hours lying on my stomach watching small lizards scurrying through what was for them, a veritable jungle. The hill was chalk and covered in wiry grass, excellent for dry tobogganing. A piece of cardboard or better still a tin tray gave hair raising enjoyment.

Halland Road, Moulsecoomb 2007

Happy times in the woods
In the woods grew beech, horse chestnut, oak and sycamore trees. Many hours were spent in these woody havens finding wild flowers and fungi and listening to the red-headed woodpecker drilling into the trees. A rope installed by one of the ‘big boys’ on the stout branch of a tree over a natural hollow gave ever-lasting daring fun. A fall from this swing could sometimes result in a broken limb. Then there was real excitement. There was a trip into the town for hospital treatment, the resultant plaster cast was autographed until no space remained.

Joan aged 8

Annual raspberring
Each year when the time was right, I joined with my siblings and friends for the long trek to the raspberry bushes. Armed with our lunch, bread and dripping and a bottle of water, we made our way from the top field and across fields of swaying corn over which I could not see. All day we picked raspberries supposedly to bring home for jam making, mine went mostly into my mouth and the remainder held in a jar with a string handle were scoffed on the return journey.

Comments about this page

  • Thank you for those lovely memories, Joan. We grew in the 1950s at the top of Hollingdean Estate, with Downs on our doorstep. I think we were so lucky back then, being able to roam – as long as we stayed together.

    By Janet née Keats (15/06/2009)
  • I am glad you enjoyed the memories, Janet. Yes, we were lucky to have the freedom to roam. I used to walk home from school, to save the bus fare, over the Downs at the back of Hollingdean Estate. I don’t remember it raining on those days, do you?

    By Joan Cumbers (nee Oram) (14/07/2009)
  • No, I don’t remember it raining either. But I do remember walking from Hollingdean, up over the golf course and down through the bushes into the Wild Park with our bottle of water and, if we were lucky, sugar sandwiches – spread with marge. Nothing would induce me to eat one now but it was just the best picnic back then, when there was so little money to spare. When we went to Westlain, my sister and I also used to sometimes walk home to Hollingdean that way, to save our bus fare. What with you walking one way and us walking the other, we must have beaten a few paths over the Downs. We think we had the best of times, but I guess today’s children will look back with similar thoughts of their own childhood.

    By Janet née Keats (26/07/2009)
  • Hi Joan. I moved into Birdham Road in 1947. Do you remember the two horses called Roman and Pedler who were often loose in the wood behind Moulsecoomb Way where the rope swing was? I remember long sunny days building straw houses from the corn blocks. All very poor and having to make our own entertainment.

    By Bob Golby (psv KK57891) (20/08/2009)
  • Hello Bob. I too moved to Moulsecoomb in 1947. I remember very clearly two horses, Roman a dapple grey and Gipsy (I thought she was called) a chestnut brown. In those days Halland Road ended with a field at the bottom, built on now, and I remember the two horses sliding for fun or so it seemed to me, on the snow. Yes we were poor but free to roam as were the horses!

    By Joan Cumbers (nee Oram) (23/08/2009)
  • I lived at No.30 Halland Road from the mid 50’s and remember it well. There was no University, only fields stretching, unbroken, past Falmer village and on to Lewes. There was a long, low flint wall stretching from Coldean Lane to the end of Stanmer Park and Woolards field which, to us football fanatics, was Wembley Stadium. The name Oram rings a bell, did you know Johnny Oram?

    By Robin Muzzall (06/10/2010)
  • Hello Robin. Johnny Oram is my brother! I don’t think I remember you although I do Tony Trigwell, Johnny Newman, Geoffrey Lewis and Tommy Fogarty. If you are the same age as them maybe you do too.

    By Joan Cumbers (09/10/2010)
  • Hi Joan, Johnny,Geoff and your brother were the older, more grown up lads that we held in awe, even though they didn’t speak to us. My generation was more the Brackpools (no 26) being Roy, David etc. Do you remember Gaffer Groom?

    By Robin Muzzall (11/10/2010)
  • Hello Robin. I have spoken to my brother Johnny and he does remember you. He tells me you lived next door up Halland Road to the Newmans. He remembers your older brother Brian and your sister Carol. It seems my nephew Mark (John’s son) has connections with your sister by marriage. I can’t remember exactly what – sorry. I do remember Gaffer Groom. John tells me, Gaffer whose proper name was Michael died last year.

    By Joan Cumbers (30/10/2010)
  • Hi Joan and Robin. I moved to Staplefield Drive when it was first built in 1955. Robin, you were in my class at Moulsecoomb Juniors. I remember Roy Brackpool too, also John Webb, Kenny Dean, Paul Spencer, and many others. I loved the freedom of being able to climb over my garden fence and walk all the way across the Downs to Falmer. I’m sure it never rained either!

    By Jeannette Locorriere (nee Mitchell) (19/12/2010)
  • Hello David how nice to hear from you, I remember you all. You, if my memory serves me correctly, went to Brighton and Hove Grammar school, your Dad worked in Allen West and Stella went to Varndean a year later than Marion Lewis, Jean Edwards and me. I remember the Silsbys too, weren’t there four boys? – Eric and Tony (the boxer) I can recall. Didn’t they go to live in Northern Ireland? You say the Huggets lived at the first house in Ashurst, I remember the Challens lived there. The Dad ran the Sea Scouts. I can’t remember where the Mum was but Ann the eldest of several children (5,6 or 7) ruled them with a rod of iron. The Allen West hooters I remember very well, one at 7.25am and then 7.30 and again in the evening at 5.15pm.

    By Joan Cumbers (29/01/2011)
  • Hello Joan, good to be in contact with you after all these years. You certainly have a good memory. Yes I went to Brighton & Hove Grammar school. My sisters Stella & Marilyn both went to Varndean and my brother Roy went to Moulsecoomb Secondary. Actually my dad worked at Underwoods Typewritwers (remember those?) and then Gross Cash registers. Yes my Uncle and my cousins (4 boys) did move to Northern Ireland and there a 5th child was born, Sandra. However I am sad to report that Eric, Peter and Allan have all died and so only Tony and Sandra have survived and they now live in Wales. Yes you are right about the Challens living in the first house in Ashurst Road but cannot remember much about them. When they moved out the Huggets moved in. Can you remember who lived next door to you at number 34?

    By David Johnson (02/02/2011)
  • Hello again David. I cannot remember the Huggets at all and Rita, my sister, cannot either. Wasn’t Roy the same age as Rita, born 1942? Mr and Mrs Mac and their partially blind daughter Ruth lived at number 34 and next to them, in Moulsecoomb Way, lived the Edwards girls, Margaret, Eileen and Jean (who was my age). Above them on the bend were the Swallows. Do you remember the Trigwells? They lived in the last house, same as ours, on the other side of the road going up Halland, before the flats.

    By Joan Cumbers (07/02/2011)
  • Hi Joan. Thanks for the information. Yes it all comes back now – Mrs Mac, the Edwards and Trigwells. Roy was a little younger than Rita, being born in 1943. It’s amazing how time has flown and we are now all retired with our bus passes.

    By David Johnson (13/02/2011)
  • Hello Joan, it’s lovely to read all about Halland Road. I was born in no. 12 in 1943. My sister was June Poore and brother Barry Poore.  I was good friends with your sister Rita. The Tucknotts lived at no.10 and the Coppings at no.16 and the Standens at no.18.  I went to Moulscoomb infant and juniors and Stanmer secondary the first year it was built. We used to put a thick rope across the road to play skips outside my house and the bus drivers would stop the bus to tell us off. I live in Worthing now and I last saw Rita in M&S Churchill square about four years ago. Give her my love when you see her.


    By LINDA DIMERY NE POORE (30/03/2011)
  • Hello Linda glad you enjoyed reading about Halland Road. I spoke to Rita and she was so pleased to receive your message and returns your love. Rita says our Mum often saw you in Western Road. Rita also tells me you were in her class every year in Moulsecoomb Juniors. I have class photos of the two years that Mrs Briggs was your teacher and keep meaning to get them on this site. I’ll get down to it and then you can let me know which one you are.

    By Joan Cumbers (03/04/2011)
  • Hello again David, delayed reply due to me moving home. I think Roy was in the same school year as Rita, she was born in December 1942. You say in your comment dated 20/1/2011 that the Dawes lived next door to Mrs Field, if my memory is correct, it was a large family, 8 children I think, called Orr.

    By Joan Cumbers (03/04/2011)
  • Can any one remember the Martins at no. 42?

    By Paul (16/05/2011)
  • It’s lovely reading all the comments. I’m related to the Emerys and wonder if anyone can please tell me anything about the Emerys that lived at number 44 Halland Road, such as names and dates?

    By Miss Sarah Wake (31/05/2011)
  • Are you the David Johnson who worked at the Alliance Building Society in the 1950s/60s/70s in Princes House and then at Hove Park?

    By David Smith (06/06/2011)
  • Hello Sarah Wake, sorry for the long delay in letting you have info on your relatives. The Emerys were: eldest Dennis, then Marion and youngest Janet. I remember Marion most who had ginger hair. My sister, Rita, recalls Janet. They were a very private family and rarely did the children play in the street. I remember Marion saying she couldn’t come out until she “had done her chores”. I can’t remember the Mum and Dad but I think they both worked, unusual for most women in the 1940s. Their neighbours looking onto the green were the Ballards, two very boisterous lads and on the other side were the Challens, a large family. Hope this is of interest.

    By Joan Cumbers (23/08/2011)
  • Hi David Smith, yes I started work at the Alliance Building Society (Princes House) in August 1956 earning £3-15 shillings a week and then later at Hove Park. I remained with the Alliance until taking voluntary redundancy and early retirement in April 1990.

    By Dave Johnson (18/03/2012)
  • Hi Joan Cumbers, yes I also remember the Emerys but I agree they were quite private. I also remember the Ballards, I know one son was called David and when they moved the Martins moved in. There were several children in that family but cannot remember their names. Regards to you

    By Dave Johnson (18/03/2012)
  • Hello David Johnson, it’s good to hear from you after all these years. We were close colleagues in those days at the Alliance Building Society and I remember visiting your home in Halland Road. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since those days. It would be good to catch up if you would like to, maybe by separate correspondence so as not to clog up this website. I retired in 1997 and live in the South Midlands.

    By David Smith (15/04/2012)
  • I see some of you remember my family, Newman. It was my uncle George and Auntie Beat, and the kids were Bobby, Johnny, Peggy, Janet and the twins Richard & Lynn. I can’t remember the house number. I lived there for a while with my brother Alfred when our parents had split up in 1956. It was a horrible time for us. My Dad (Ted) used to visit us, usually on a Friday. I went to the local school, I was 7 at the time. I remember playing in the woods at the bottom of the road, one day I saw a snake or something very similar that frightened me. I played in the garden which was quite big and on a hill, my Uncle grew gooseberries. I expect it’s all very different now. I live in Nottingham now. We lost touch with the family as they moved from Brighton when they won the pools years ago. I did hear that my uncle had died and my Dad died in 2003. It was all quite different for me living there as I lived in the town before, at Preston Circus.

    By Anne Newman (16/04/2012)
  • Hi David Smith. Good to hear from you after all these years. Yes we must make contact but not block up this site. You can find me on Facebook. I’m away the week after next for 4 weeks. Regards Dave.

    By David Johnson (25/04/2012)
  • Hi Anne. You lived at No.32 Halland Road. My family lived next door at No.30 and I fondly remember Richard and Lynn. Your house was on the corner and the front and back gardens were very sloped (if there’s such a word). I have lots of fond memories of the 60s in Halland Road and am in touch with a few of the people that lived there then.

    By Robin Muzzall (23/07/2012)
  • Hello, I stumbled across this fantastic site while searching for information about my family which, sadly, I have only just started doing and should have done it while my parents were still alive. Anyway, my Mum was a Ballard, David, as you mentioned Joan and Dave is my uncle. He and his brother John were the ‘boistrous boys’ both turned into great fun loving men. There was also the girls Joan, Greta, Joyce and Betty (my mum). I think they moved to Moulscombe Way after Halland Road. I could be wrong but my research is continuing. It’s been lovely reading all about your memories and learning about a small part of my parents’ life. Dad lived at Moulscombe Way prior to marring Betty and worked for 30 years at Allen West. I see there is also a section on that so I will take a proper look later. Thank you.

    By Jenny Cowley (nee Woolven) (15/01/2013)
  • Hi, is there anyone out there from Stonecross Road? I lived at 22 in the late 60s to 1974 and would like to contact anyone.

    By Mick Hussey (16/01/2013)
  • Thanks to Robin Muzzall. Yes I remember it was on a corner and it sloped. Richard and Lynn were a bit younger than me- I was the same age as Janet. I don’t know where any of them are now- it would be nice if I could get in touch.

    By Anne Newman (17/01/2013)
  • Anyone know the whereabouts of …….

    Sorry but we have had to delete your post. We are no longer allowing the posting of requests to find third parties, as sharing information like this breaches their privacy. We recommend you try Friends Reunited website if you want to track old friends or neighbours.
    Comments Editor

    By Mick Hussey (18/01/2013)
  • Hi Jenny, I lived at number 38 Halland Road and remember your parents. I also remember David and John. I have looked in the Kelly’s directories and found that the Ballards moved from Halland Road sometime between 1954 & 1956 but cannot trace that they moved back to Moulsecoomb Way.There is a good website MyHouseMyStreet whereby if you enter an address in Brighton/Hove you can get access to the street directories.

    By Dave Johnson (04/04/2013)
  • I am on this page on behalf of my dad, Mick Copping. He lived 16 Halland Road with his brothers Eddie and Vic and his sisters Pat and Jean. He loves hearing everyone’s memories.

    By S Copping (30/05/2013)
  • Hello Dave, sorry I’m late replying but I haven’t come back to this site for a while, thank you so much for that information. My parents married in 1949, I was born in 1957, I think my Grandad Ballard may have died around the time you mention them moving (haven’t yet established it to be correct, still working on it) I do know that Grandma Ballard lived at Bates Estate in a flat on her own for as long as I can remember, maybe I have been told wrong, maybe they were at Moulscoomb way first then Halland Road followed by Bates. I’ll have a look at the website you mentioned, thanks again.

    By Jenny Cowley nee Woolven (03/07/2013)
  • Hello Everybody, my name is Wyn Burgess nee Woolven. Although having visited this site in general for several years I have never read this page as I lived in Newick Road. Whilst browsing I discovered a mention from David Johnson of his sister Stella, Stella and I were in the same class at school both at Moulsecoomb Juniors and Varndean Girls. Elsewhere on this site is a picture of our class of 1948 2a teacher Mrs Briggs, in which Stella appears. I would love to hear how she is. Also in that picture is Barry Poore, the brother of another contributor to this page Linda Dimery.  For some reason my memory tells me he went to the new Bevendean School when it opened and then went to Australia, have I dreamt it? Lastly – hello Jenny Cowley, I was surprised to see your maiden name was Woolven, as I too was a Woolven and as far as I and my family knew, apart from the owners of the little shop by the viaduct there were no others in the area. Although it is highly unlikely that we are related as I have researched my family quite extensively, it would be interesting to find if there was a distant link. Is there anybody else out there who remembers me? My closest friends at that time (’40s/’50s) were Margaret Bean & Anna Pattenden. Wyn Burgess (nee Woolven)

    By Wyn Burgess (04/05/2014)
  • Hello Wynn Burgess. Well how stange is that us both being Woolven’s before marriage!

    I too am doing family research, albeit slowly, my Dad’s family originally came from Albion Hill area and, thanks to this site, have been able to find out so much about it and also Moulscoomb where they moved to, before marriage and moving on to Woodingdean and Bevendean.  I went to school at Stanmer and remember the shop Woolven’s, never even thought at the time whether they may or may not be related.

    By Jenny Cowley (nee Woolven) (14/06/2014)
  • Can someone please tell me when the houses on Halland Rd were divided into flats. My other half thinks they were purpose built as flats – but I don’t! Thanks.

    By S.R. (09/02/2015)
  • Hello SR, there certainly were purpose built flats, which started half-way up on the right side of the road to the top before Appledore Road. So your other half is right! The house I lived in which was a little lower down, was built in 1947 so the flats would have been built a little before that or after the war anyway as all that area was built as ‘homes for heroes’.

    By Joan Cumbers (10/02/2015)
  • Wow Joan, You just settled an 8 year debate! Thank you, although I am miffed it wasn’t me who was right 😉 I think this is very interesting as I also wanted to know when they were built. I had thought between the wars, but the decor and skirtings/fireplace do look very 1940’s I thought they had been modified later. I love learning about house history but knew nothing about our own place, so this has made my day!

    By S.R. (26/02/2015)
  • I remember Margaret Newman. I think about my age. I’m Maureen Muzzall who lived next door.

    By Maureen Doughty (05/08/2017)
  • I lived at 2 Halland Rd, from December 1990 to may 2011, in the loft, above the joists is an inscription in the original render, CRB 1937, so that`s when number 2 was built at least.

    By Ron Porter (12/12/2019)

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