The railway behind the houses
Behind the odd numbered houses of Halland Road in Moulsecoomb runs the Brighton to Lewes railway line. When I moved there in 1947 the trains were pulled by steam engines.
Waving to the driver
I remember standing in the bottom field waving to the engine driver and his stoker who kept the fire for the steam. Often sparks would shower down on the bank and amid the steam the men always waved back to us. The bigger boys taught us how to put a penny on the line so that the engine wheels flattened the coin.
Taking a risk for strawberries
Connecting East and North Moulsecoomb was a railway bridge, commonly known as ‘the arch’. If you put your ear to the arch wall you could hear the train approaching long before it actually thundered overhead. Even after the line was electrified we youngsters still dared to cross the line because on those banks grew wild strawberries, something we didn’t have in our diets.
A nice country station
In 1957, the buses went on strike. I worked in Western Road, to shorten my walk I went into the town by train from Falmer Station and what a nice country station it was with a roaring fire in the grate in the waiting room. I wonder if it is still like that and if the carefully tended flowers still make the place so attractive?