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Childhood memories of the 1940/50s

I was born in the Brighton General Hospital in April 1943. The family home was 10 Channel View Road, Woodingdean .  I remember Mrs. Jenner’s School was a large bungalow at the bottom of our garden. It was on Warren Hill next to what was called the ‘Gap’ and opposite the woods.  Mrs. Jenner taught the violin and the noise of her pupils whilst they learnt was grim. It meant that my mother would keep all the windows closed, even in the summer.

Local families
Other people living in Channel View Road at that time were Mr & Mrs Timbs, the Lane family, Mrs. Cherry, Mr & Mrs Swan, Mr & Mrs Heather, the Johnson family, the Wright family who were builders.  I also remember the Turner family, the Pitman family, the Fowler family with a daughter called Marion.  At the age of 10 I was in love with Marion!  Last, but certainly not least, good old Dougie Holland. He was such an interesting chap who sadly passed away quiet recently I believe.

Children’s Fancy Dress competition c1946. My elder sister is second from the right

Childhood friends
I have a younger brother called John and an elder sister called Jackie. Our friends at that time were Peter Lane and his sister, John and Martin Clarke, Kenny Rawlings, Victor Parks, Ian Pitman, Peter Rowell, Edie Nean, John Marsh, Robert Tasker, the Turner boys, and many more lost in my misty old memory.  I also do remember Peter Mercer, Roger Harman, John Martin, John Baker, Chris Yeatman, Robin Buss, John and Peter Mann, the Curd family and the Cox Family who owned the grocers shop opposite Warren Farm School .

A young boy’s paradise
Growing up in Woodingdean in the late forties and fifties can only be described as a young boy’s paradise with so much open space. In summer we camped out over in Balsdean or Woodsman’s, as we called it. We played in the woods, built camps and tree houses.  Does any one remember the tramp who lived in a shack at the bottom end of the woods? He did gardening work in the village and was a curious fellow who would tell us all sorts of very grim stories about World War II .

Childhood pastimes
We would play British Bulldog across the Race Course, not on race days of course.  We often hiked down to Ovingdean , past Baker’s Farm and the Olde Vienna Café. We would go down Greenways to the Undercliff Walk.  You could catch prawns and winkles if it was low tide. We would then go along to Rottingdean for a Wall’s ice cream at the Seaspray café, which is still there to this day.  We also love to sail toy yachts on the Village Pond.  At the end of the day it would be back home on the good old No. 2 Bus, front upstairs seats of course.

Comments about this page

  • Hello Chris, I remember your family. I was born in Rosebury Avenue, John Baker is my cousin, John Johnson still lives in Channel View Road, I also remember the other families you mentioned. Also the Nashes from Channel View, I was at school with Barbara who had a sister called Hilary. Robert Tasker lived next door but one to me. If I remember, Mr. Swan was our lollipop man at Woodingdean School.

    By Janet Gravett (nee Baker) (12/02/2009)
  • Hello Janet, such a pleasant surprise to discover someone who remembers my family and friends at that time. Thanks also for jogging my memory of Barbara and Hilary Nash, also Mr Swan the school lollipop man. Your cousin John Baker and Robert Tasker were my class mates and popular school chums. I spoke to Robert Tasker some time ago although I had not seen him for forty odd years. We enjoyed a long chat about our memories, agreeing that they were such carefree days to live in Woodingdean. I wonder if your cousin John remembers a school outing to Portsmouth Dockyards circa 1953? (The lovely Miss Barns was our teacher). We all thought it was great fun that our school teacher was continuously being chatted up by the sailors. Not surprisingly on the journey home, and lead by John Baker, we all sang “All the nice girls love a sailor”! I’m sure Miss Barns enjoyed herself as much as her pupils did. Happy days indeed. Janet, I wonder if you remember any of the other boys and girls in the fancy dress picture? The tall girl on the right and the boy in the middle saluting, both look vaguely familier? It would be good to put some names to faces. However all would have been my elder sister’s friends, she being five years older than me.

    By Christopher Wrapson (16/02/2009)
  • Once again I am seeing more names that are familiar to me. Chris, was your father the caretaker at Woodingdean School for a while? I think Robert Tasker was in the same class as me through the junior school. Colin Turner was in the same class. He was the son of the Turner part of Foulger and Turner, the ironmongers. Another name from the same class was Tom Price. He was the son of the village butcher. It would be fascinating to discover where these people are now.

    By Dave Leggett (14/03/2009)
  • Hi Dave. I think you were in a higher class than me. I had Lynda Turner in my year. Remember the Price family in the village? I saw Tom Price not so long ago – still as cheeky as he was then! He is not so far away from here, I will tell him you have been asking after him.

    By Lynda Whymark (19/03/2009)
  • Hi Chris.  I don’t know how long you lived at No 10 Channel View Road, but we bought the house in 1979 from a Mrs Ann Wrapson. The neighbours by then were Mr and Mrs Parsons at No 8 and Mr and Mrs Power at No 12.  We lived in the house until August 2007 when we moved to Saltdean. We happily raised three children in the house and expanded it from a three bedroom house to a four bedroom house. We sold the house in 2007 to another couple who have sold the house since but I am not sure if the sale has gone through yet.  We were quite friendly with Dougie Holland who lived at the other end of Channel View Road. Dougie passed away about 3 years ago now.  Mrs Cherry passed away just after we moved to No 10 and the house she was in then was divided into two flats.  Channel View has changed a lot over the last 30 years. There were at least two if not three vacant plots of land which have now been filled in. I do not think that there are too many of the original residents in Channel View Road either.  I hope this updates you on your old home.

    By Debbie & Melvyn Tyler (02/06/2009)
  • Hello Debbie & Melvyn, thanks for that. The lady you purchased 10 Channel View Road from in 1979 was my stepmother. In 1956 along with my mother, brother and sister we all moved to Saltdean; I was aged 13 at that time. My father stayed at No.10 and later on married Ann. Father passed away in 1978. It’s good to hear you both lived there happily for nearly thirty years with your three children. I too have many happy childhood memories of the old house, and of course Woodingdean – also remembering many of the names you mentioned. You know over the years I often thought of knocking on your front door – somehow never got round to doing so. Those two little words- if only. Perhaps now you live in Saltdean we should all get together and exchange our memories of good old 10 Channel View Road. Also, if you have not already done so check out ‘Remembering Woodingdean schooldays’. With kind regards

    By Christopher Wrapson (10/07/2009)
  • What a lot of names from the past. I went to Mrs Jenner’s next to the Gap. The Misses Clarke had an allotment above it. Does any one know where Eddy Neen (Kneen) is? His house was a second home to me in the 1940s. I also remember the tramp who lived in the hut below the ‘woods’. It now seems such another age.

    By Barrie Boon (21/07/2009)
  • Hello Barrie Boon – I remember you and your family living in Downland Road. I also remember Eddy Neame, his parents were really nice folks. His Mother made very tasty homemade cakes – she would always offer you one or two when you called for Eddy. Barrie do you remember Peter (Gobby) Rowell? He was also a good friend of Eddy and you as I recall. Sadly I have not seen or spoken to Eddy Neame since my family left Woodingdean towards the end of 1956. However I stayed in touch with Peter Rowell – like me he spent his working life in the motor trade, so our paths crossed from time to time, although not in recent years. After all these years it’s great to hear from another senior Woodingdeaner (I wont say old). Hopefully there are many more of us still in the land of living.

    By Christopher Wrapson (21/07/2009)
  • Hi guys. I lived in Rosebury Avenue from 1942-47. Then moved to Brighton until 56. My father built a bungalow next to the large Patching / Neane house after knocking down the stable. I have never been able to locate my cousin Eddie or Ray who was a bit older than me. I have lived in Australia since 1972. It was great to find this webpage.

    By Len Patching (22/08/2009)
  • Hello Len, I lived opposite you in Rosebery Avenue, I was then Janet Baker. When you had outgrown your scooter it was passed on to me.

    By Janet Gravett (11/09/2009)
  • Hi Chris. I have only just read your comment re: visiting Channel View Road. It was a shame that you never knocked on the door, we would love to have met the previous occupants. Yes, it would be good to get together – I believe you live in Saltdean as well – but I could be wrong. I now work locally, afternoons, at Chris Stringer’s the Funeral Directors in Rottingdean. You would be welcome to email me at any time so that we could catch up.
    [Editor: Please let us know if you are happy for your email address to appear on this page.]

    By Debbie & Melvyn Tyler (20/09/2009)
  • Hello Len, I remember the Patchings and your cousin Eddie Neane, who lived in Downland Road. I seem to remember the stables and an old horse called Dobin?? I also remember a sort of small holding run by the Patching family and located on the Hillside overlooking Bevendean – lots of pigs, chickens and things – a very smelly place as I recall. Of course you must remember Mr Hylden’s Knackers Yard and his scary, well fed Blood Hounds. It does seem such a long time ago – perhaps after 60 odd years the memory plays tricks!! Great to hear from yet another senior Woodingdeaner living so far away in Australia, Len do you ever come home to the UK? You know I often think about your cousin Eddie, a really decent chap as I recall. It would be nice to think he is still around, if so I hope you catch up with him one day. Regards Chris Wrapson.

    By Christopher Wrapson (26/09/2009)
  • Hi Chris, I remember your name but having trouble with the face. I have never been back to the UK. The weather is better here. I do not remember Janet at all, but I would like my scooter back. You placed dobbin right, I used to go to the Bear Road abbatoir with Eddy’s dad to take the pigs, which is the smell you can remember. Do you remember the Page’s block works that used to be at the bottom of Warren Hill just before the prefabs. Chris Page was in the old school at the bottom of Rosebery Avenue- I often wonder what happened to him. I’ve tried to contact John Johnson in Channel View Road. We flew model aircraft together as teenagers on the golf course, but he doesn’t answer his phone. If anyone sees him perhaps they would mention me to him.

    By Len Patching (07/10/2009)
  • There are lots of memories about Seaview Road and Channel View Road on this page, however no-one has mentioned the Webb family, who I’m sure lived in Seaview Road - certainly in the 1950s. About halfway up on the righthand side. They had a greengrocers’ shop in Rock Street, Kemp Town and when I was at Fitzherbert would bring me and my bike back to Woodingdean after lunch in their Commer 10cwt van. The son, Teddy Webb, had been in the Navy during the War and after his ship was torpedoed in the Pacific spent two weeks floating on a plank before being rescued. I put a bit about him on the message board some time ago but the only response I got was from someone who didn’t seem to believe this story. I’m sure someone must remember them? If anyone does put a note on the message board as I do look at that regularly but don’t browse all these pages. TCS.

    By Tim Sargeant (20/10/2009)
  • Hi Chris – I have just found this site and what a surprise to see names of people I haven,t seen for over 50 years. I was also born at the Brighton General Hospital in 1941 and lived in Woodingdean until the mid 1990s when we then moved to Ovingdean. My mother’s maiden name was Powell and my grandparents settled in Seaview Rd in the 1920s, living originally in a converted railway carriage, and then replacing this with a bungalow constructed out of asbestos sheeting – no health and safety in those days. As a child we lived in Farm Hill number 24 just behind the shop that became Rogers Pet Shop. The people living above the shop were the Butterfields, Vi and Ken and they had two children Keith and Lesley. I also went to Woodingdean P.S. when it opened transferring from Warren Farm P.S. and our class photo taken in 1951 is in the Hunns Mere Pit book by Peter Mercer – some of the names I remember from that class were Brian Todd, Tony Wilmott, David Curd, Frank Sweetman, Ray Harrington, Martin Lewington and Clive Alexander whose mother was the school secretary and they lived in Seaview Rd opposite my grandparents – of the girls the only names I can recall are Sheila Price and Lillian Kerry. My childhood friends were John and Peter Mann, Tom and Rod Price, Rodney Lidbetter whose parents had the grocers shop next to Price the butchers, Brian Todd, John Baker, Martin Lewington, Roger Harman, Tony Wilmott, Robert Tasker & Gerald Wood. I am still in contact with Tommy Price who now lives in Saltdean and Brian Todd who is in New Zealand. The girls I recall from those days were Hazel and Carol Spencer, Pamela Bates, Kaye Bashford and two sisters from the Warren Farm Orphanage Pat and Irene Ridpath. I have many happy memories from Woodingdean in the 50s and 60s but two I should mention are the Boys Club where I first met my wife, she was in the table tennis team from Brighton Girls Club, and my first girlfriend whose name was Shirley Turner, she lived in the Falmer Rd. Many of the names that have corresponded on this site I well remember, Barrie, Dave and yourself Chris, but the faces are harder to recall, whereas Lynda and Janet are still in my memory bank, and I hope they remember me or my parents Mary and Norman Barclay.

    By Graham Barclay (05/12/2009)
  • Hi Graham, I do remember you and all of those you mentioned, I lived next door but one to Robert Tasker and next door but one the other side was Tony Wilmott, and Gerald Wood was opposite but a bit further down next door to Joan Byford. Also in Roseberry Avenue were Jean & Susan Rowland, Joan and Marion Wisdon and Bobby Morris. John Baker is my cousin and his Mum (Teresa) worked in the school canteen. I know my Mum remembered Mary Powell. Woodingdean was only a village when we were younger, so nearly everyone knew everyone. Lynda is stiil a good friend of mine after all these years, both sets of parents used to go to the local dances during the war. Lynda’s parents were Bill and Bunny Ruffle and Lynda used to work in the post office in Falmer Road.

    By Janet Gravett (nee Baker) (09/12/2009)
  • Hi Graham – So glad you found the site and this page. I remember you and your family living in Farm Hill and most of the names you mentioned, although you would have been one or two years ahead of me at WCP School. If my memory serves me right, some of my class mates were Robert Tasker, John Baker, David Leggett, Tom Price, Roger Harman, Colin Turner and Gerald Wood. I also remember some of the girls. Were the Ridpath sisters twins? I had a crush on Patricia or was it Irene? Although they lived at the orphanage they were always happy smiling girls as I recall – it would be nice to think life treated them kindly. John Mann is my close neighbour here in Saltdean and Tom Price also lives nearby. Tom still occasionally works part time for our local butcher David Shoebridge, another ex Woodingdean lad – and we often chat about those boyhood days living in Woodingdean. I too remember the Boys Club in the old youth hut, if you paid your subs on time you were given a larger piece of home made bread pudding. Recently, thanks to Janet, I looked up John Johnston, he’s still living at the same house in Channel View Road, Len Patching remembers him and his model airplanes. I recently had lunch and a couple of pints with Peter Mercer, telling me all about his latest book. You know its great to read all the comments from everyone – especially from Janet, Lynda and Jean, who seem to have such amazing memories, so keeping all the Woodingdean pages rolling along on this site.

    By Christopher Wrapson (13/12/2009)
  • Hi Graham, well I have not seen you for a few years now ,but have fond memories of your mum and dad as my mum was very good friends with your parents. I have been in touch with your cousin Mary who was in my class at Woodingdean C P school. I still live in Woodingdean, the same as Janet Gravett and are good friends. We have just had some snow, real Woodingdean weather, lots of it. well bye for now. Oh A happy new year to you all wherever you have moved to .

    By Lynda Whymark (15/01/2010)
  • Cris, This is Colin Turner. I can remember you or at least your name and playing with you. Round the corner and up the hill Warren Rise lived Peter Rowls. I think the three of us used to play together and get in to all sorts of mischief. In Hillview Road there was a lad Michael can’t remember his other name, and in Holtview there was a girl Pauline Adams and a younger sister I think- I am not 100% about the surname. Didn’t Mr Swan live on the opposite side of the road from you and wasn’t he a lollipop man? Next to us there was a Polish family- the lad was called Michael Mackewieze? Next door to them was a girl I don’t remember her name. Next door to us in the bottom flat lived the Dawson family, their daughter was called Sally. The Wright family lived opposite with the Pym family there were children there, but I don’t know their names. Dougie Holland was a school friend of my dad’s- they used to walk from Woodingdean to Rottingdean to go to school. There’s lots of other of the other names that seem familiar- Robert Tasker, the Curd boys I seem to remember two of them, and David Legget, Tom Price, Ken Rawlins, my gran and granddad, Mr and Mrs Foulger used to live in Hillview Road behind P.Rowls before moving along the road next door to us in no 50 on the corner. My dad and granddad had the hardware shop next to Mann’s electrical shop. Every time you read all that through some you remember some more of the names, it seems like another life. I have now lived in Saltdean for 25 years or more and work in the Brighton Marina; I have a small marine engineering business. Regards

    By Colin Turner (10/02/2010)
  • Hi Colin I don’t suppose you and I have spoken to each other for at least 50 years, so it’s good to say hello again. I well remember you and all the names you mentioned, although there are so many more on the other Woodingdean pages, I did not know quite as well. Yes we did get up to all sorts of mischief- nothing too naughty as I recall. In those days we were kept in check by our fathers and the two village Police Officers-Sergeant (don’t mess with me) Jack Walton and the more kindly PC Sinnett, looking back now – those two remind me of Mr Mackay and Mr Barraclough from the TV series Porridge. One day Peter Rowell and I hid PC Sinnett’s bicycle however a lady who lived in Downland Road saw us and told my parents, needless to say I received a good hiding from father and a very stern telling off from Sergeant Walton. No ASBO reqd. in those days. Like you I remember a Michael who lived in Hillview Road but not his surname. Pauline Adams, I think had a sister called Brenda? The family, kept horses as I recall. The girl who lived next door to Michael Mackewieze was Marion Fowler, Ian Pitman lived opposite. I still have some of the dinky toys purchased from your father’s shop – keeping them out of reach of my Grandsons is a full time job. Colin, did your father run a Jowett van in the 1950s? As you say it all seems another life time away. I too live in Saltdean. It would be great to look you up sometime down at The Marina. Kind Regards

    By Christopher Wrapson (08/03/2010)
  • Hi, it’s Lesley. Heard about this website so thought I’d look through it. I was so suprised to see so many names I would remember. I used to live in the flat above the shop which was a sweet shop one side and a wool shop the other – before it became Roger’s Pet Shop. Graham Barclay was my neighbour at the back, he lived next door to lady called Mavis Arnold on one side and Christine Wilkinson on the other side. I knew the Manns from the electrical shop, the Prices from the butchers – there are so many more. I would love to hear from anyone that remembers me from those days, there must be so many more. I went to Sullivan Mount School on the hill; the teacher was Miss Jenner. I also went to Woodingdean PS and then to Longhill Secondary School. Look forward to hearing from anyone.

    By Lesley Mclenahan (nee Butterfield) (10/06/2010)
  • Hi Chris, Just a few names to get started: Donald May, Peggy Latham and Susan Mayle. I was born at Baywood Gardens in March 1942 and I went to the old Warren Farm school and remember you and your family well, and then transferring to the new one with the pig barn next door. We later moved to the Ridgeway for many years then the rest of my family ended up in Balsdean Road. In 1965 I got married and moved to Southampton and only returned here to Sussex 10 years ago, and now live in Peacehaven. Best regards.

    By Chris Page (01/07/2010)
  • Hi Chris. Was your father owner of the block works on Warren Road? If so, I remember we played a lot together until I was seven and moved into Brighton.

    By Len Patching (03/07/2010)
  • Hi Len, no my father was not from that side of the Page family, we were more closely related to the Bashfords of Baywood Gardens. I had an older sister and younger brother while we lived up there, but I do remember your name from the old school.

    By Chris Page (06/07/2010)
  • Hi Chris, thanks for more names to add to the memory bank. Like Len, I always associated your name and family with the James Page breeze block works, with that curious, grinding and crunching dredger-like machine used in the process of manufacturing breeze blocks. You know about 18 months ago when I first sat down to write a contribution for MB&H re childhood and school days and memories of good old Woodingdean, I never for one moment imagined it would create such a fantastic response – it seems with every comment added, more names are mentioned so adding even more memories. Chris, I wonder, have you checked out the Woodingdean primary school page where you will find Sports Day and Teacher photos taken in the early 1950s added last year by Janet Gravett and myself. I have some more photos of that era to be added sometime. Cheers for now

    By Christopher Wrapson (11/07/2010)
  • Old Vienna coffee house in Ovingdean you mentioned was our favourite place to walk to and have a rest when we were at University of Sussex. The lady who ran the shop was a refugee from Vienna, aunt of the famous historian Eric Hobsbawm.

    By Saime Timms (23/07/2010)
  • Hi all, The Church of the Holy Cross is having a ‘Then and Now’ weekend on March 5th-6th 2011. Do you have anything, photos, memories you could lend us on Woodindgean. We would be very gratefull, or come and share other people’s photos. For more info contact the church 681582. Thank you

    By Lynda Whymark nee Ruffle (18/01/2011)
  • Hi Lesley. Not sure if you remember me. We first met at Longhill when it first opened. I lived in Foxdown Road until 1974. I do go back to Woodingdean a fair bit as my husband’s family still live there. Look forward to maybe hearing from you.

    By Marian Leggett (nee Ashton) (16/02/2011)
  • Thank you very much to all of you who brought in photos and items to the Holy Cross Church for the ‘Then and Now’ weekend – it was a very good turn out with loads of positive remarks. We all had a grand time and met lots of people we had not seen for a long long time. I only wish I had had a name badge on! Regards to all that came along. Thank you.

    By Lynda Whymark (nee Ruffle) (07/03/2011)
  • Hello Lesley, your maiden name (Butterfield) rings a bell. We lived in Bexhill Rd, it must have been in the ’60s. I can remember going to Woodingdean Primary school and then on to Longhill Secondary Modern in 1963 as part of the first intake. I left England in 1973. One forgets a lot of things after being abroad for nigh on 40 years although after reading the pages on this web site some memories do come back. Most of my recollections relate to Longhill. I was in Chichester House, classes 1 to 4c and was good friends with Gary Humphrey (or Humphries) and John Milton, we used to hang around a lot together. Some of the tutors’ names that come to mind are – the headmaster Mr Morley and deputy headmaster Mr Robertson (or Robinson..I’m not quite sure). He took us for maths and was a keen beekeeper and when we didn’t feel like doing maths, which happened quite a lot, we would ask him something about bees and he would forget maths and ramble on about bees with enthusiasm until the bell rang for the next lesson! Mr Mann was responsible for the boys PT and maths, the girls had Miss Lumley, I believe. She used to come to school on a motorbike and in leather gear, she reminded me of Emma Peel from the TV series The Avengers. There was Mr Cutts for woodwork and Mr Goldsmith for metalwork – I found those names befitting. There were two English teachers , one for language and one for literature, didn’t one of them marry the biology teacher? I think her name was Miss Penny. I can’t remember the names of other teachers at the moment, the history teacher ran a chess club during break times –  was his name Mr Castle? Other names that come to mind are Wayne and Paul Calcutt (I don’t know if the surname is spelt correctly). The surnames Legget and Mitchell also seem vaguely familiar to me. Hoping to hear from you, or anyone who may remember the names mentioned.

    By Colin Shepherd (11/08/2012)
  • Hello it’s me again. The name wasn’t John Milton, now after thinking a bit – I’m pretty sure it was John Milson. He used to live somewhere on the Falmer Rd towards Rottingdean and his dad was a policeman. Gary Humphrey lived further along Bexhill Rd (we lived at number 146), it must have been in the near of Laughton Rd, and Wayne and Paul Calcutt lived down the Downsway. Maybe someone remembers these names?

    By Colin Shepherd (12/08/2012)
  • My dad passed away last year, his name was John Marsh, he lived at 18 Holtview Road. He came to Woodingdean in 1947. He went to Warren Farm School, later going on to Whitehawk School. We lived at 35 Sandhurst Avenue before going to USA. In 1981 my brother Gary, also no longer with us, worked at Gary Moore’s stables late 1970s with Tony Mitchell. Does any one remember these two people dear to me? My mum was married to dad for 56 yrs, her name is Valerie Marsh,nee Allan.

    By Wayne Marsh (27/12/2012)
  • Patricia Ridpath married a Laurence Edwin Willis in 1964 in Bromley, so maybe your crush scared her off!

    By Laurie (27/10/2013)
  • Wayne Marsh. If it’s the same Tony Mitchell, he was Gary Moore’s best man & he lived in Manor Road off Manor Hill. He still has family in that area.  Ironically he has been in USA for about 30 years & is training horses in his own right.  I think he has a base in Lexington/Flemington (?), nr Kentucky. When I bumped into him at his aunt’s funeral about 6 years, he was in the process of setting up a training stables in the Chicago area, attached to a course but I don’t know which one.

    By Martin (22/12/2013)
  • Hi Wayne Marsh, I remember your brother Gary well. We were in the same year at school. So sad to hear he is no longer with us. Your mum was my mum’s hairdresser, we used to come to Sandhurst to get our hair cut. We often mention her. I now live in Sandhurst and have done for 35 years. 

    By Caroline Hayes (26/03/2016)
  • Hello Wayne Marsh. Only just spotted your comment dated 28/12/2012. So sorry to read your Dad passed away at that time. Back in the 1940s /50s, we lived at 10, Channel View Road, a few doors down from 18, Holtview Road. The two roads were separated by what was known as ‘The Gap’ which lead down to Warren Hill. I remember your family and your Dad well; although he was two or three years older than me. I also remember John’s father ‘Mr Marsh’, who at that time helped run the Woodingdean Boys Club. He also organised football matches between us local lads, we often played on the stretch of land adjacent to the newly built Bexhill Road (mid 1950s). There were plans to build more houses etc thankfully it never happened. The fancy dress photo above shows my elder sister Jacky (sadly no longer with us) second from right, the lad standing next to her is Peter Harvey, your Dad would have known and remembered both of them. Kind regards Chris           

    By Chris Wrapson (28/03/2016)
  • Hi Chris, I’m amazed that no-one seems to know the whereabouts of Eddie Neane or Raymond Patching who both lived in Downland Road next to me. I know that later in life Ray moved over the other side of Farmer Road and had a couple of children.

    By Len Patching (02/12/2016)
  • Hi Len, I often think about all the many friends we grew up with living in Woodingdean in the 1940s and 50s, including Eddie, and wonder how life is treating them. There seems some confusion as to how Eddie’s surname is spelt.  Was it Nean, Neane, Neen, Kneen or Neame? I have a copy of Peter Mercer’s book ‘Woodingdean Reflections and the Millennium’ published in the year 2000. One of the illustrations is of a shop or business premises with the name “Neame and Son” above the door. The shop was located in Warren Road at the bottom of Vernon Avenue, the photo dates from the early 1960s. The shop was one of the earliest buildings in Woodingdean originally “Larcombes Grocery Stores”. I wonder was Neame & Son related to Eddie’s family in Downland Road? Sorry I can’t help much with Raymond Patching, wasn’t he your cousin?

    By Chris Wrapson (03/12/2016)
  • I’m not sure I know any of you, but I was born in 1958 and remember Mr Morley and Deputy Head Mr Robinson, and was there in the 70s. Indeed after getting the cane for not having a PE kit and other reasons, I never went to this school again and spent the last two years being absent. Ha-ha,  the days before Ofsted when teachers and headmasters did their own thing!  I lived in Stansted Crescent in Woodingdean.

    By Terry Johnson (11/05/2017)
  • Does anybody remember either Robert or Christopher Emmett? They would have moved there around 1949 from London and been about 4 and 6. Lived in one of the “new houses”. They are my uncle and father. If anybody has any stories, I would love to hear. I’m writing my uncle’s eulogy.  Best wishes, Susan Emmett

    By Susan A Emmett (25/06/2017)
  • Hello Susan. My name is Tom Paul and I was at Xaverian College with Robert and Christopher Emmett. At one time they lived in a flat in Sussex Square and I can remember them holding a party there one Saturday evening. I was about 17 at the time so Robert and Christopher would have been a couple of years younger. Somewhere I have a photo of us all at another party at the ‘Purnells’. I’ll try to find it and publish it here.

    By Tom Paul (26/06/2017)
  • Hello Tom Paul. I am very sorry but unfortunately I do not remember you but I certainly remember the Parnell brothers, although I no longer remember their first names. Yes, Robert and I certainly went to Xaverian College and lived in Sussex Square, Brighton. Before that we lived at 78, Balsdean Road, Woodingdean and went to Rottingdean Primary School as, my recollection is that Woodingdean Primary was not built when I started school. Around 1948, I guess. Yes, Woodingdean was a lovely small village when we lived there long before they surrounded it with thousands of both council and other houses. Our house was at the end of an un-mettled road right up on the Downs and we were surrounded by downland and woodland with a pig farm nearby. The only people whose names I remember from those days were Daphnie Taylor, David Scanes and Philip Shaw-Phillips all of whom lived on Crescent Drive South.

    By Chris Emmett (11/07/2017)
  • Hello Chris. I didn’t expect you to remember me since we only had a brief acquaintance. However, I particularly remembered you and your brother because of the party at your home in Sussex Square. A few other names you might recall – Michael & Anthoney Purnell. Ray Louchran?, Chris & John McEwan, John Foster, David Reid, Michael & Chris Simms, Nicholas Hind & Neil Clayton. The girls at that party were Suzanne Cleal, Susan Ayling, Heather Warne, Dawn Davis, Jennifer Jones & Judy Cohen. Do you think you can add any more? On this site under ‘places/schools’ there is a section on Xaverian college and another on the history of Atree Villa (The Brother’s House). 

    By Tom Paul (12/07/2017)
  • Hi Chris, I have been very remiss in answering your comments of 12/16. No, Neames and Co were nothing to do with Eddie, and I can’t remember fully how his name is spelt, but most likely Neane. Still not found him, or Ray. Have tried Facebook but no luck. I did come across Ian Pitman though, he lives in Chiddingley now.

    By Len Patching (05/12/2017)
  • Thanks Len, Good to hear from you again. Thanks also for clarifying your cousin Eddie and the Neames & Co connection. It would be good to think your cousins Eddie and Ray are still in the land of living, you have done your best in trying to locate them; keep trying, you never know. Over the years I have stayed in touch with John Mann, Peter Mercer and Tommy Price, more recently David Leggett and Graham Barclay (I did hear Graham has been very ill recently, hope he’s OK). We meet two or three times a year along with my good old friend and local historian Douglas d’Enno at The Saltdean Tavern pub. Best regards Chris.  

    By Chris Wrapson (06/12/2017)
  • Hi Chris, I recognize some of those names, particularly the shoebridges. Martin was in my class, David, Paul and then there was an older brother. We lived on the Ridgeway and then Balsdean in the 60’s and early 70’s. Me and my brother went to Rudyard then Longhill, Adrian only made it to Rudyard till we moved to Canada in 1972,  Deborah, Malcolm (3 years older then me, I think Paul’s age)  and Adrian Brown.

    By Deborah McEwan (27/10/2018)
  • What fun reading the comments about Woodingdean. Me and my brothers grew up in the Ridgway from the early 60s and although all of us have been married, divorced, separated and all that, had children, got older, we all still live locally. 

    By David Shoebridge (28/10/2018)
  • I have added a comment/list of memories, which I hope will be a good contribution. Reading through these memories, I can add that I remember Ray Patching moving down to Bear Road some long time ago, and it may help to know that Ian Pittman became a dentist, and had a practise in Haywards Heath, but has probably now retired to Chiddingly, as noted above. The more I read here, the more I remember things. Contribution part two is brewing. Cheers. A footnote – a lot of contributors say “I lived….” but don’t give their name, please add names. We probably all knew each other.

    By Geoff. Johnson (17/10/2019)
  • I lived at 11, Holtview Road till 1952. Remember John Marsh, Mrs Cherry and lots of the other names. I went to Mrs Jenner’s School (Sylvan Mount) for a couple of year before changing to Warren Farm. One Christmas my mother sent me and my sister to take a dinner to the tramp in the wood. Small world

    By Richard Palmer (23/01/2020)
  • When we moved to Holtview Road, in 1941, there was a large house on the south side, at the racecourse end, occupied by the Canadian Army. The rest of that side was a market garden belonging to Mr Manktelow.
    The Canadians also had one of the houses on the other side of the road, I think it was No 3. They had Bren Gun carriers, and at weekends would take us for rides along Warren Road toward Elm Grove!
    We lived at no 7 and there was a vacant plot next to no 5. When this was developed, after the war, the houses on that side were re-numbered and we became no 11.
    In number 9 (13) were two elderly sisters, the Misses Shaw. They had been nurses with the Army in India. They had a large cabinet with drawers of tiny, spherical tablets and would provide remedies for common ailments – for a small fee. This was before the NHS!

    By Richard Palmer (26/01/2020)
  • I wrote up a rather large contribution, but cannot find it published here. It would be good to have Email addresses published if possible, and having my own copy of The Hunns Mere Pit, and getting it signed by Duggie Holland, it would be nice to get in touch with Peter Mercer – I don’t think I have ever met him, but we could share a lot of Woodingdean Memories. Editor: Please advise.

    By Geoff. Johnson (09/03/2020)
  • Hello Geoff – I have replied to your latest email
    Look forward to hearing from you

    By Jennifer Drury (11/03/2020)
  • Woodingdean in the 1940/1950s this website brought back fond memories of my childhood living in the ridgway brother bill. sister janet. and myself elizabeth head.I remember many names on the site and especially remember the school outing to portsmouth with miss barnes and the sailor:I am retired now living in west sussex near Arundel but have fond memories of Woodingdean. elizabeth hersee [head]

    By elizabeth hersee (04/06/2020)
  • Wow I’ve just found this site.. it brings back so many memories. Does anyone remember the Conlays, Truelys, Kings, Marion Steadman, Patricia Franklyn, Dennis Palmer, The Pages, The Cleggs from 1954 ish onwards. Thanks.

    By Janet (03/01/2021)
  • Good to read this and remember some of the names and old families of Woodingdean. I’m Sheila Barnard ( nee Price) lived away from Brighton for 40 years in Cornwall I came back to live in Seaford in 2004. But have kept in touch over the years. ) Having a go now at writing my own memories for my family, Woodingdean comes into the story. The pig barn going up in smoke and flames. Maureen and I could see it from our bedroom window. That was a night, we could hear the pigs squealing. Our Dads ironmongery shop,just the same in 1963 when we sold as it was when my dad bought it in 1923. There was so much stuff all over the place. Buckets, brooms, washing powders ,saucepans, bars of soap you name it dad had it. A real Aladdin’s cave . He always knew though where everything was even to the last screw or nail under the counter. I could go on……..

    By Sheila Barnard (08/02/2022)
  • Hi there! I’ve just stumbled across this page. Pete Rowell is my dad (no Internet – he’s still in the dark ages) and he’s back living in Saltdean. He’s still close friends with Eddie after all these years, who now lives in Eastbourne. Dad’s spoken to me many times about his childhood living in Woodingdean, and I’m sure he’d love to hear from some of you.
    Please feel free to drop me a message if you’d like me to pass your number along!

    By Emily Starkie (11/04/2022)
  • Just caught up on these posts too.
    Does anyone remember the little shop that used to stand where Catherine’s Vale is now? It was a little grocer’s, I think. It was demolished in the 60’s before those new houses were built over it. What was it called, and does anyone remember who ran it? My mum worked there for a short while in 1957 but she’s no longer here so I can’t ask her. Apparently, it was run by an elderly couple – he lost an arm.
    In some sort of accident? Before I knew that, I used to have a recurring dream
    about an old lady who kept a mummified arm in a drawer to hit kids with if they entered the shop weird!
    I look at these posts whenever I think about it. Would love to see some more contributions from people who remember the place and people from the sixties and seventies. My sister Deb and I used to be friends with Jean and Christine Levitt as we all lived in crescent drive north (62 and 66). I’d love to know where they are now. At no. 64 was Miss Brown (Brownie) with her little poodle. All three houses are now changed beyond recognition. The ‘twitten’ opposite, a stony track between Crescent Drive North and the park between it and Bexhill Road is all blocked off and grown over. The park has been built over. Mrs Yelland was at number 70 I think – she had a huge, glorious back garden that we used to sneak into and play, alas, now also covered in concrete and bricks. Sign of today, sadly.

    By Cheryl (26/11/2022)

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