“When about ten or eleven years old I used to go carol-singing in aid of the National Canine Defence League (I can’t really think what the reasoning was behind that, now!). The NCDL ran the dogs’ hospital on the corner of Miller’s Road and Robertson Road, just by the South Road Railway Bridge.
My patch was my own road, Cedars Gardens, plus Withdean Court Avenue. On the other side of London Road, it included Withdean Crescent, Surrenden Crescent and Peacock Lane. Peacock Lane was (and really still is) a country lane marking the boundary between Preston and Patcham, with the few houses set well back from the lane and the forbidding dark woods of Withdean park on the other side.
My favourite road was Withdean Crescent (my Aunt Ada once lived in a house – “Caxton” – near the bottom), as it was a relatively gentle climb up towards Surrenden Crescent, but my best “clients” lived in Surrenden Crescent, where I usually managed to obtain several half-crowns for my trouble!”