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Memories of a less materialistic time

Hawkhurst Road
Photo by Tony Mould

Playing in Stanmer woods

My family lived in Hawkhurst Road from 1952 to 1986, and I attended Coldean and then Stanmer Schools. I remember Mr Brown the caretaker, as my mum worked at the school as a cleaner for a short while. Most families arrived together and had young children so there was never a shortage of things to do and kids to play with. Nobody had much money so we contented ourselves with playing in Stanmer woods and organising huge football games until it got dark and our parents called us in.

The summer on Brighton beach

We spent the whole of the summer on Brighton beach, I remember going to the pie shop in St James’s Street to buy Beano pies for our lunch. I remember friends like Billy Pollard, Barry Ward, the Gregsons, Dave Ballard, Ian and Norman Cox, Lee Dodd and Phillip Jouanadies (never could spell that name) and after leaving school many of us formed the Stanmer Old Boys football team. I seem to remember we were the kids who built the first huge bonfire on the green between Haig Avenue and Hawkhurst Road, a tradition carried on by numerous generations of local children for many years after.

A less materialistic time

In later years we started going to Brighton Suite on Saturday nights and I can well remember walking home on numerous occasions because we had spent our bus fare on Watney’s Red Barrel.  I got married in 1970 and moved away, I am now living in Spain, so lost contact with these old friends, but it’s lovely to read all these comments about a bygone age. It was a time when our lives were less materialistic and somehow happier for it.

Do you remember?

Do you remember Hawkhurst Road? Maybe you lived closed by? Do you remember the big bonfires? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • Hello John, your brother Chris would sometimes join us on that playground where football matches would last all day, first to 10 then change teams as lads would come & go. That awful sandpit is long gone and, I believe there’s a big upgrade going on to bring more play equipment into the park. Of course they only hindered our games and I doubt if kids still play football there. Oh we had some fun with the neighbours!

    I was born in Hawkhurst Road, my sister still living in the family home and a brother nearby. I often think of the good kids from the estate and the fun we had. I still look on Coldean as home even though I rarely visit, and I’m always so pleased to receive a warm welcome at The Hikers where I’m surprised to be remembered considering my rare visits.

    By Ken Valder (05/04/2014)

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