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A childhood haven

Played up ‘Shady Lane’

I lived at 66 Hornby Road from 1950 and was 4 years old when our family moved there whilst the estate was being developed. We used to play up ‘Shady Lane’ which was a track running up to Bevendean Hospital from Plymouth Avenue. It was an area of scrubland, and grasses with allotments accessed from the ‘second lot of shops’, up from the Avenue. When the hawthorns blossomed in Maytime the air was heavy with scent, a delight.

How many steps?

Apples and blackberry brambles contributed towards many a pudding and grasses stretched towards the top of Jacob’s Ladder which was climbed from further down the Avenue. I wish I could remember how many steps there were in those days. There are certainly a lot more today, and ‘Shady Lane’ no longer exists having been turned into, possibly, the most hideous of housing of developments in Brighton.

An outstanding area

It was, in my childhood, an outstanding unspoilt area for wildlife, adventure, and play, and perhaps a little bit of childlike wickedness too. With apologies to those whose allotments we scrumped. Did you play here? Please share your memories by posting a comment below.

Paul Gillett / CC BY-SA 2.0

Comments about this page

  • Surely these Jacob’s Ladder steps lead to The Avenue in Bevendean from Jevington Drive, not Warren Road as the photo caption shows? Or is there another set of steps?

    By Alan Hobden (11/04/2018)
  • Well Jennifer, (Jennifer Drury, Web Editor & Volunteer Co-ordinator), I assure you that your presentation and the work that you do,  is much appreciated,  but the photo that you have chosen is not the locally known Jacob’s Ladder leading to the Avenue.  As Alan Hobden correctly points out, they appear to be the steps leading from the race hill to the Lower Bev’ factories, which were never known as Jacob’s Ladder in my time. By some the Warren Road to Lower Bevendean steps were known as ‘the piggeries’ and in Maytime the air, whilst heavy with scent, was far from delightful! But that is how we suffered for our free range bacon in those days.

    By Allan Lakin (11/04/2018)
  • In the 70s when I worked at Harrimonds (spelling) in the Hyde as security guard at night and bus driver in the day taking the workers home and to work. I was living in Bennett Road with my wife and kids at the time. For about a week I was without transport so I used to walk up Wilsons Avenue to the top and then across the racecourse and the Woodingdean road and down what I called Jacob’s ladder to work. Is this the same Jacob’s ladder as seen in the photo?

    By Mick Peirson (12/04/2018)
  • I’ve walked down and climbed those steps a few times as I used to work for Gulton/West instruments back in the 1980s, the factories that are located in The Hyde can just be seen at the bottom of the steps.

    By Michael Brittain (12/04/2018)
  • ALAN HOBDEN You are correct, this is not a photo that I have added and it is not the area to which I referred in my post. The photo is in error and should be removed  by the administrator/co-ordinator. The reference to Jacob’s Ladder on the displayed photo should be replaced with ‘The Hyde Steps’ or ‘The Piggeries’ as they were known locally.

    By Allan Lakin (12/04/2018)
  • Hi guys
    Sorry about the photograph – the photographer had titled it as Jacob’s Ladder. Not having any knowledge of the area I assumed he was right. Have replaced previous shot with a general shot of Bevendean. If anyone would like to submit a shot of the real location I would be very happy to publish it.
    Jennifer: Website Editor

    By Jennifer Drury (12/04/2018)
  • Thanks for the clarification Jennifer

    By Allan Lakin (12/04/2018)
  • No problem, Allan. I am not familiar with the other set of steps, but used Jacob’s Ladder many years ago.

    By Alan Hobden (13/04/2018)

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