Just as I remember it
The aerial photograph below of the area surrounding Rifle Butt Road, looks almost as I knew it as a kid. My father told me that he remembers the cliff top houses in his childhood, and how they went over the top due to erosion of the cliff. I remember playing in the rock pools on the undercliff beaches in the 1950s and seeing the bricks and other bits of building material, and that is when my dad told me the story of the houses.
We played in ‘the dungeon’
I used to knock around with a lad who lived by the bakery in Rifle Butt Road almost opposite Marine Gate flats, his name was Ray McCarthy (hope the spelling is right). I am sure that he lived with his nan. At the very bottom of the road was some sort of half built concrete building that we played in. We called it the dungeon, it was dark and we took candles with us to see where we were going. Sometimes there were some odd looking characters sleeping there, and we would flee for our lives if we came across one of them.
The pumping station
There was a builder’s yard, and a little cemetery behind a high wall next to the houses. Near the top of the road near to the East Brighton Park, was a pumping station in a big building to the left. There was an overgrown yard next to the pumping station that looked as though it was used as a smithy at some time, owing to the little piles of coal or coke dust. We played in this yard for hours and got filthy.
My paper round
There was also a garage to the right, next to where the fire station is now. Opposite the garage were allotments, above the John Howard Convalescence Home in Roedean Road. There were loads of blackberry bushes growing on this site. This area was my paper round area, Roedean Road, The Cliffe, Rifle Butt Road and ending up at Marine Gate flats. Happy Days!
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