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Childhood memories 1950/60s

Lived in Sandhurst Avenue

My family moved to Woodingdean in 1957, when I was eight. We lived in Sandhurst Avenue, the road had no tarmac because they were still building from plot 33.  There were plenty of places for us new kids to play and make new friends. There was only the few shops in Falmer Road close by, as the parade was just an overgrown field at that time. Sunblest Bakery was not built for a couple of years, so there were woods behind the garden.

Like a new world to me

It was like being in a new world. I remember the Goodenough family at the post office, Slater’s newsagent with the two sons and mum; the pet shop where I used to get my pigeon corn that Roger took over when he left school; and Price’s butcher shop. Tom Price had a daughter Jill who I went out with for a while when in my teens.

The bad winter of 1963

When the parade was being built we all had fun messing around in the new build as kids do, climbing up the scaffolding etc. I started a paper round at the corner shop when Wally had it until the bad winter of 1963. I had to deliver the Bexhill Road papers through the upstairs windows, as the snow drift made the houses look like bungalows, and the front doors were buried under about 10 foot of snow.

Remember Henry Mears?

Ina took over the corner shop not long after that terrible year. The laundrette/ hairdressers at the other end of the parade was run by Barry Steel’s mum and sister. Barry used to say were good friends of Cliff Richard. The doctors surgery was built at the bottom of Sandhurst Road, and the Sweeny family moved in, both were doctors. Does anyone remember Henry Mears in the greengrocer’s coach that used to go all over the estate selling fruit and vegetables, he was a character!

View of modern Woodingdean from Happy Valley
© Simon Carey: Creative Commons Licence.

Comments about this page

  • We were moved out of Mighell st in central brighton to a council flat up the road opposite the end of Bear rd, by the railway line, it was not great and we ended up being moved into 70 Langley Crescent about 1960 ish, I went to school at Fawcett in town and caught the bus every day.
    Seems like a lifetime ago now.
    Have lived in many places overseas and only ever been back to Brighton once. It didn’t seem to stack up to the childhood memories.

    By Gavin (24/07/2021)
  • Hi Gavin, we (Phillips’s) lived at 74 Langley from 58 to 66 and had the Boxer dog? Between us at 72 were my aunt and uncle (Gearings). Had some good times there!

    By Barry (13/08/2021)
  • Just to add that it seemed there were no worries, so much freedom for kids then, local park, cornfields, we spent lots of time over the large ‘dew pond’ making rafts etc.

    By Barry (14/08/2021)

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