Cream and green canopies in the 1950s
Although today an unremarkable halt on the main London-Brighton line, in the 1950’s Preston Park Station had cream and green LB&SCR buildings with canopies, on both platforms, with ticket offices manned all day. There were four lines, all used, either side of both platforms. My Dad used to catch a train at 8.13am into Brighton each morning, which had spent the night in the Preston Park sidings. Among regular passengers was the Brighton Stationmaster, Mr Tanner, in his top hat and morning suit. He used to walk through the train, greeting the passengers.
Racing the steam goods train
The train usually ran into platform 6 at Brighton and then became a semi-fast to London (so my Dad simply stayed on board). He had a season ticket, but I bought a 3d half-fare Cheap Day Return (an adult ticket was stamped and then cut diagonally in half for this!). We usually raced a steam goods train (Merchant Navy class engine) to Lovers Walk (where there would often be long trucks loaded with Isetta bubble cars), and almost always saw steam engines being turned on the turntable in the goods yard outside Brighton Station.
The reason for this return trip from Preston Park was that I went too, on my way to school in Hove. My journey continued outside Brighton Station, where I would catch a number 6 bus and pay a 2d fare to Westbourne Street off New Church Road.