German prisoners laying the roads
We moved to number 1 Petworth Road on 6th of July 1946. It was my 6th birthday! There weren’t many houses built on the east side of the hill, County Oak Avenue and the roads on the right hand side were still being built. I remember German prisoners of war laying the concrete roads. There were no shops at that time. As kids we had to walk to the Carden Avenue cash store, down past the Wilmington pub. Groom’s the baker, the milkman and the greengrocers all came round with horse and carts
The bad winter of 1946
There was a small parade of shops by The Snipe public house. I remember a newsagents where you could buy bottles of Tizer and get money back on the bottles. The winter of 1946/47 was very bad; three feet of snow on all the pavements and we wore short trousers and overcoats that only came to our knees. There was ice inside the windows and the snow drifted up past the front windows. Huge icicles hung from every gutter, they were two feet or more long.
Lardie cakes to die for
I remember much later as a teenager seeing American rock star Gene Vincent, who sang ‘Be Bop Alula’ at the youth club when he was appearing in Brighton. When the shops were built at the bottom of Midhurst Rise there was Larter’s the grocers, a green grocers, and Nicholl’s bakers who made the best cream dougnuts I have ever tasted and lardie cakes to die for. There was also a newsagents where an assistant named Mary worked; as young boys we were all in love with her.