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A brand new estate in the 1950s

The Hollingdean Estate photographed in Februry 1952. Click on the image to open a large version in a new window
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Our semi seemed very big

My memories of Hollingdean are much the same as many others. My parents, together with we three kids, all moved into a brand new house in Mountfields, about 1953, when the Hollingdean Estate was brand new. Our semi-detached house seemed so big, with three bedrooms, and the garden seemed huge. Dad planted potatoes and other vegetables, we always seemed to be picking peas and other vegetables. We played out in the street all day in the summer, and used to go over the ‘field’ most evenings as we got older.

Dad with his old push mower

I lived there until I got married in 1969, and have now lived in Australia since 1980. I often ‘street view’ the area on Google, and look at my old house. The road looks very narrow, the house looks very uncared for, and the garden looks overgrown. This is very to different to when we lived there. My Dad used to get out in the garden on a Sunday, with an old push mower, and cut the grass until it resembled a golf course. I do not know what Hollingdean is like now, but in the early 1950s it was a safe and exciting place to be with all your new found friends, from all around

Do you remember?

Did you live in Hollingdean at this time? Do you remember the brand new houses? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • I had an Aunt, Uncle and Cousin who lived in Hollingdean, now sadly all deceased. As a child, there were frequent visits between families. While on a visit to us, probably in the early 1960s, they told us they had a new address but had not moved house. The name of their road being renamed Uplands. Can anyone tell me please what was the road’s original name?

    By Suzie S (31/12/2013)
  • Moved into Thompson Road, into a newly built house, about 1959. Got to know every family that lived there. Watched the police flats being built down the road. Open space opposite us was called “the dump” until it was built on, first a terrace of shops at the top corner, which included a newsagents/sweets, run by a Mr Andrews.  Before that you had to walk over to “the Dip” to buy anything. To do proper shopping you went to Lewes Road or London Road, getting the 53 or 54 bus, stopping at the Open Market. I can just remember the trolley buses going up Ditchling Road to Hollingbury. I remember the winter of 1963 when we were snowed in.  I guess as you get older you get more nostalgic about your childhood and growing up. So this site is great at bringing back the memories. Left Hollingdean in about 1975.

    By T H (15/11/2014)
  • My family moved into a flat in Horton Road in the early 50s. It was brand new, they hadn’t even made the pavements then. We had an idyllic childhood there – played out for hours, roamed safely round estate, made lots of friends, some of who I still have contact with, shopped in The Dip, went to school at the Downs. Really loved it there.

    By Pat Robinson (24/04/2015)
  • I knew Dave Reynolds who at  lived at 38 Horton Road. We both went to Downs, left in 1963.

    By T H (26/04/2015)
  • I lived in one of the white houses you see in the picture. I went to the Downs and then Dorothy Stringer. There were garages down the bottom of the yard for those houses, and the trains went by as the lines were very close. My friend Philip Hardy lived two doors from us. I now live in Canada.

    By Mike Bryant (03/08/2017)
  • Both my sister, Margaret, & me Pauline, lived in Horton Rd in the 50s until we both married in early 70s. I used to know a lot of the neighbours due to working in the new shops, like VIVO, at the top of Davey Drive in 1967. We all had so much fun back then, could go out to play in the morning & come back early evening, mum & dad never worried about us. I lived at 61 Horton Road & went out with Dave Reynolds from no. 38, we married in 1972 and still together after 47 years!

    By Pauline Reynolds (27/02/2019)

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