The years following the Second World War
A small house in Overhill Drive
“I was brought up in Patcham in the years following the Second World War. We had a small house in Overhill Drive, and until 1951, when my brother was born, there was just Mum, Dad and me. There were allotments and fields at the top of the road, on the way to Old Patcham Church churchyard.
We used to have groceries delivered from Sandford’s Stores at Patchdean, and went to a doctors’ overlooking the school playing fields on the way to Ladies Mile shops.
An old Morris 8
In 1951 my father bought a car (a second-hand Morris 8 of 1936) for £70 from Braeside Motors. He was faithful to the garage, as we always had it serviced and repaired there by Mr Jantz (the proprietor) and Charlie, a cigar-smoking mechanic. Miss Hunter was the final member of staff there, who taught my mother to drive (with my brother and me in the back) on the developing Carden Avenue Industrial Estate. Many years later she also had the doubtful honour of teaching me to drive!
Despite having a car, we mostly walked everywhere or went by bus (5 or 5B) to Preston or the London Road shops. Very occasionally, on a Saturday evening, Dad would take me in the car up to Wilmington Fisheries in Wilmington Parade on Carden Avenue to get fish and chips, which we would all then eat together at home – no early evening television in those days, however.
Television in 1953
We were bought a television by Grandma in 1953 for the Coronation, which we all sat to watch in our darkened front room. As my brother and I found it rather boring, we went out to play in the garden; my brother started running around with two garden sticks in his mouth (pretending to be Dracula?) and fell over. We spent a good part of Coronation Day subsequently at the Ear Nose and Throat Hospital at the top of Church Street! I recall my brother yelling loudly when he was injected with penicillin.
In August 1954 we moved to Withdean – another story!”