The northern end
As a young boy in the 1940s and 1950s, I lived locally in Reading Road so remember quite a bit about Rifle Butt Road. Starting at the northern end: there was a garage and bakery on the eastern corner with Roedean Road. This was known as the Orange garage and bakery. The bakery had originally been tea rooms. Moving southwards, there were several terraced cottages on the eastern side of Rifle Butt Road the line of which was broken roughly in the middle by a Quakers’ chapel and cemetery.
The southern end
At the southern end and on the western side were the remaining terraced cottages, culminating in the mysterious part-completed building site beside Stephens bakery. Although I well remember playing amongst the reinforced concrete pillars, unfortunately I only have a vague recollection of being told that it was originally going to be a theatre or picture house. I think Stephen’s bakery was number 1 Rifle Butt Road followed by the cottages 2, 3, 4 and 5. My grandfather, Richard Guy, owned the builders’ yard of number 3 and subsequently also owned 4 and 5. These properties remained in our family till I think approximately the mid 1950s.
Demolished for the Marina
When the cottages were being demolished to make way for the Marina project, a large flagstone was removed from within the front doorway of one of them only to reveal a hitherto unknown deep well shaft. Although it was considered to be a well it is possible that it was originally a ventilation shaft dug when the underground coal tunnels were built from the cliff face to service the gas works. My father, Lou Guy, was a blacksmith working for the gas works in the 1930s and early 1940s.