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A young girl in the 1950s

Woodingdean Methodist Church
©Tony Mould: all images copyrighted

Making daisy chains

I lived in Woodingdean as a young girl in the 1950s. We lived for a while in a council bungalow in Crescent Drive North. We later moved into a bungalow near the bottom of Crescent Drive South, which my father named after myself and brother and sister ‘Lingatina’, Linda, Gary and Tina. I went to Mrs Jenner’s school for a while but did not like it. I remember being rapped on the knuckles when I made a mistake playing the piano. Better memories of sitting in a meadow with the other children, making daisy chains.

Woodingdean Methodist Church

Later I went to Rudyard Kipling School, which I loved. Mrs Ferner was an amazingly good music teacher and I remember playing the cello and also singing in the choir. There was a great atmosphere in the school and we had great trips, including a residential trip when we went to Burwash. We went to the Methodist Church and my mother was involved in the running of the Youth Club.

Do you have Woodingdean memories to share? Please post a comment below

A good place to grow up

I knew Susan Webb and Janet Cox at that time. We spent hours making up sketches which we thought would be suitable for the radio; we recorded them on a reel to reel tape recorder. Susan went to Varndean Grammar School for Girls with me. She was really good at the piano. Her father had a greengrocer’s shop, in KempTown I think. Woodingdean was a good place to be a young child, especially in the summer with The Downs, the park and the grassy area near the Methodist Church where we could play to our heart’s delight.

Comments about this page

  • My family lived at 26 Crescent Drive South from 1955 until the late 1980s, although I left Brighton to go to university in the Autumn of 1964.  We had a house with a wonderful view at the back, down the valley to Rottingdean and the sea.  So we were very close to your bungalow.  I attended Woodingdean Primary from 1955 to 1957, being taught by Mr Betts and then Miss Rice.  Then I went to BH & S Grammar (boys only, in those days, unfortunately).  For me it was certainly a happy time, as I roamed widely with my school pals.  The grassy area behind the Methodist church was almost on my doorstep, but we often went further afield.  Crossing the Downs to Lewes was one favourite.  And yes, however corny, it did seem to be summer most of the time – though at least when winter came it was proper winter, with snow that lasted for a week or two – not two hours as now seems to be the norm.

    By Christopher Pollitt (21/04/2017)
  • I moved with my family from Kilmarnock to South Woodingdean – first to Merston Close, then to Donnington Road in 1966.  I spent the last few months of my primary school days studying for the 11+ which the rest of my class had already taken.  The Headmaster at Rudyard Kipling School helped me while my class had French lessons.  I can’t remember his name. Can anyone help?

    By Heather Hilder-Darling (11/05/2017)
  • I attended Rudyard Kipling from 1957 to 1964. The headmaster was John Bridden who later was a Tory councillor. He was such a lovely man.

    By Chris Witcher (23/05/2018)
  • Mr Bridden had a lovely dog he would take to school with him called Rickey.

    By Alice (18/06/2018)
  • Yes. What a lovely bloke he was. I also remember Rickey. He was a black and brown Spaniel,I recall. I also remember I once had a fight with another lad from the year above and he ran in to school crying. He came out with Mr Bridden and I thought I was in real trouble. He made us stand back to back then said to the other lad that as he was bigger than me it was me who should be crying. That was the end of it. He’d probably get sacked for that now.

    By Tony Lenton (10/07/2020)

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