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Childhood memories of the 1970s

New Barn Road
©Tony Mould: all images copyright protected

An idyllic childhood

I had an idyllic childhood growing up in Rottingdean in the late 1970s with my brother and parents. We lived at 2 New Barn Road;I remember Barbara and Len Moppett who lived next door to us. Such a lovely couple, I can still remember Mrs Moppett’s smiling face, she always greeted us with a friendly smile. My childhood was largely spent roaming the hills near Rottingdean Windmill and walking the under-cliff path to Saltdean or Ovingdean. We went rock pooling on Rottingdean beach and spent all summer at Rottingdean pool.

A wonderful school

I went to Rottingdean school; the Headmaster at that time was Mr Lawrence. It was a wonderful school and I loved my time there. The school had a pet sheep named ‘Ajax’ and the whole school would watch in amusement when the sheep was sheared in the school field. Being a Church of England school, we would often have assemblies and services in St Margaret’s Church. We would walk down the lane and through the church yard filling our pockets with the little green stones from the graves along the way. They were such happy days.

Do you have any Rottingdean memories? If you can share with us, please leave a comment below.

My Saturday job

I had a Saturday job at Rottingdean Bookshop, my Gran, Majorie Woolard worked there and I worked with her; such a lovely traditional bookshop, I would trot over to the Post Office to buy the stamps for the shop and then after my shift, I would buy chips from The Smugglers chip shop. I also worked in The White Horse for a few months doing work experience as a receptionist.

Comments about this page

  • I only visited Rottingdean once during my holidays in Brighton over the years. There seemed to be a fair number of French people there on that particular day, and there was a beauty contest on a the Green, which we enjoyed watching, although my dad made some rather naughty comments during the procedure much to my mothers annoyance, and embarrassment! I can also recall that there were attractive flowers and shrubs around the country-style houses. I think there was a tennis court, too, with aromatic plants acting as a hedge. Just vague memories, but it seemed a pleasant place in the early 1960’s sunshine.

    By Stefan Bremner-Morris (28/08/2014)
  • Hello, Helen – a splendid, well-stocked bookshop indeed, and not forgotten.  A ‘seventies child, I remember Marjorie at the counter, a cheerful, friendly lady. The shop no doubt contributed towards my lifelong love of books. The facia bore the name “E. L. Bacon”, white lettering on black. – I’ve just spoken of the school on another page, but would like to say I clearly recall the sheep shearing session you described.  Lively, wasn’t it !

    By Sam Flowers (01/09/2016)
  • Rottingdean in the seventies was lovely. I worked at Lloyd’s Bank. Friday lunchtimes would see us either in the Black Horse for cheesy jacket potato and a cider, rendering us asleep for the rest of the day, or at the Cheshire Cat for scallops & chips. I would get a lot of my clothes from the boutique near the seafront (where the buses used to turn around) and every morning would get a cheese and tomato roll from Manson’s bakery, which also did a jam and cream doughnut to die for and at Easter people would queue up the street for their hot cross buns! There was a lovely village feel. Many of the useful shops have gone and it seems now to be just a crossroads. By the way, does anyone know if ‘the hangman’s stone’ still stands on the cliff top, or has it finally gone over the top?

    By Cheryl Felix (07/02/2017)
  • Yes, the Hangman’s Stone is still there! Moens and Blyth gave a clear account of its history – told from the Copper family – in their Story of a Village, first published in 1952 and several times reprinted.

    By Sam Flowers (08/02/2017)
  • My Husband & I used to visit the area regularly in the 70’s & used to have lunch in the Valetta in Rottingdean.  Whatever happened to it? I think it was run by a single lady, & there always seemed to be a single lady dining with her dog

    By Rosemary Vinnicombe (24/10/2017)
  • I lived in Dean Court Road in the 60/70s and went to primary school with Mrs Hilton in Rottingdean. It is a lovely village and l loved the pond with the ducks and the walk down the main road to the sea.

    By Diana Fitz Aucher (26/09/2019)
  • To Diana Fitzaucher, I think your Dad Aucher was my uncle (i.e. my Mum Dorothy Fitzaucher’s brother, married name Dorothy McKenzie), and we used to visit you both in Rottingdean before he passed away and you went to France and lost contact. I have done a family tree for the family going back all the way to 1780. It would be lovely if you ever read this to get in touch if you want to, so you’re welcome to contact me. My email is

    By John McKenzie (27/10/2020)
  • I remember you, Diana. We were in the same class and sometimes walked home together with your grandfather(?), my mum, and my sister Clare. Your house was quite different when I last visited home in 2019.

    By Janey Haselden (nee Thwaites) (10/10/2021)
  • My wife and I bought the Crossroads Cafe in the early 70s and (because of my Cheshire upbringing) re-named it “The Cheshire Cat” I was told that the Crossroads had so little trade in winter they displayed knitted garments for sale in the window, After early struggles we managed to improve the business. We had some lovely customers who became friends and who visited us in our later business adventures. We had to sell the business after about ten years due to Janet having a problem with her eyes. Despite several operations she is now blind and in poor health. I have fond memories of my time in Rottingdean and would welcome news of anyone who was a ‘regular’ at The Cheshire Cat – teachers at the school, the bank, the flower shop, post office, tackle shop (Wally) electric shop (Eddie), pub, chemists and customers who would come from as far afield as London especially to eat with us. Two of my children Russell and Sindy went to school close by and I am sure they would love to hear about anyone who remembers them. Finally, the spur that instigated this post is an invitation to the wedding of Eric Marchal a teacher at St Aubyns and son of Baronne Jacques de Faultrier any news of him would be appreciated. Thank you.

    By Trevor Turner (15/12/2021)

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