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Living in the prefabs in the 1950s

These prefabs were built in the late 1940's as a temporary extension of the pre-war Whitehawk Council Estate. They were designed to have a life of about 10 years, and soon after that period had elapsed, their removal commenced. View from the foot of Findon Road with Nuthurst Road seen at the extreme left. Subsequently, this area was largely given over to "self-build" schemes. Date of photographs - 20 July 1958.
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

We lived in Wiston Close

In the 1950s we lived in Whitehawk, in the prefabs. I remember the neighbours being the Downards on one side, and the Eves on the other. Across the road opposite lived the Cooke family who emigrated to Australia, I remember the father of this family drove a lorry. There was the Hale family who lived on the corner of Wiston Close, Terry and Sandra were the children. Other families near us were the Constables, Charlie and Rodney, the Mascals and the Knights.

Do you have any Whitehawk memories to share? Please leave a comment below.

Moved to the Bristol Estate

I went to the Infants School when I was three and remember having Cod Liver Oil and Orange Juice daily, and a nap in the afternoon. I also remember a teacher called Mrs Duchovsky and she always managed to make a screeching noise on the blackboard with her fingers; it really made your teeth go on edge. From Wiston Close we moved to the Bristol Estate.

Memories of a wonderful childhood

I remember going back when I was five or six and seeing all the prefabs boarded up ready for demolition to make way for the self build scheme. I remember the corn fields and Sheepcote Valley which had a football pitch at the bottom by the caravan site. There was also an old Army tank there which we used to play on. Just a few memories of a wonderful childhood.

Comments about this page

  • Ar, the lucky ones living in the prefab bungalows. Warm in winter and cool in summer. Nuthurst Place had prefabs and Nuthurst Road brick built house. The prefabs  had a basic form of central heating were as the brick built had one open fire place in the living room to heat all the house be it two or three bedrooms. You could not get all the house warm, I know as I lived in one.

    By R H Scott-Spencer (08/02/2015)
  • My aunt had a prefab. They were the Bowers, Joyce and Bill, both still alive. Their children were Stan, Richard, Peter and Silvie. They moved to Woodingdean. 

    By Maureen Doughty nee Muzzell (05/07/2016)
  • My family, Mother, brother Christopher, and myself lived at No 16 Albourne Close Whitehawk.There were just 16 Prefabs at the bottom of the footpath that ran from the tunnel under the race course down into Whitehawk. Our next door neighbours were the Marshalls. I used to walk up to the race course, then turn left and walk along to the stables then down Freshfield Road and turn right into, I think, St Luke’s Terrace, to go into St Luke’s School. I was in the juniors. In the summer we used to go to Black Rock Pool, lots of fun.

    By Ken White (20/03/2017)
  • If you lived in a prefab, or know someone who did, you might be interested in my books set in an imaginary prefab village in the 1950s.
    The latest one: “Christmas Roses – More Stories from Broome Park Prefab Village” is up for pre-order, due out Oct 25th 2018. 

    By Pat Posner (09/10/2018)
  • We lived at number 14 Wiston Close. When we moved in the prefab was only resting on four brick corner plinths.I remember seeing italian prisoners of war building them and my mother used to heat up food and water for them during the winter. the beauty of them was that to us the indoor bathroom and loo was the height of luxury, they also had a built- in electrolux fridge and a copper boiler for washing with a fold down mangle attached, a boon for mother, one drawback during the hot summers was that the screws holding up the aluminium ceiling strips used to drop out due to expansion and, it always seemed to happen that it dropped into your dinner. Our one overlooked the whole lower estate and from our back windows we could see almost the whole estate down to Whitehawk and the channel beyond. We had the racecourse on one side and sheepcote valley on the other. does anyone remember the trolley buses they used to run up the hill to the racecourse. They were faster than the other buses which used to struggle. happy days.

    By ted(eddie) guile (21/07/2020)

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