Rugby Place is a cul-de-sac of late Victorian terraced houses at the Eastern end of Kemp Town. I lived there on and off from 1964 until 1999, during that time I have seen many comings and goings in the street. Being a cul-de-sac with no passing traffic and few parked cars, it was a great place in the 1960s for kids to play in the street, and I have formed long lasting friendships with my peers of that carefree time.
I lived in number 58 with my parents, Harold and Marjory Brittain and my older sisters Carol and Susan. Some local family surnames living in the street were, Thorns, Lowe, Godden, Skelton, Pierce, Michalek and Edwards. I went to school at St Mark’s Primary School in Arundel Road, as did most of the kids from the surrounding streets. Although Rugby Place is not quite in Whitehawk, I do think myself a Whitehawk boy as I spent lots of time and made lots of friends in the area.
The street in the 1960s had a council yard at the top end with a waste piece of ground to the side where I believe an old laundry was demolished. Strangely there used to be an old aeroplane stored on that waste ground, which mysteriously caught fire and had to be removed, Rugby House now stands on that site now. On the street corners at the bottom end were two shops, on the east corner was the wonderful White’s Bakery and on the west corner was Vaughn’s fish and chip shop.
The top end has a twitten leading to the Broadway and Whitehawk Road where all the local shops were. You could buy most everyday items there; some of the shops I remember are Mr. Smith the fruit shop, Mr. Laine’s newsagents, Mr. Teenby’s wet fish shop, Stan Millers Broadway Café, Meredith’s DIY, The Tuck Shop and of course the Whitehawk Inn.