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Amberley Drive

Amberley Drive towards the sea
Photo by Peter Groves
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My family’s saviour

The start of my personal tour is Amberley Drive in Hangleton, or West Blatchington to be precise.  The council houses of this area don’t have the appeal of the houses in say Woodland or Shirley Drive, but they were the saviour to my family in 1957 when little else was on offer!

A very difficult time

I originally lived with my parents, elder sister and young baby brother in Osmond Road.  However the landlord wanted our flat for a family relation, and so we were given notice.  Although I was only three and not aware, this was probably the deciding factor in my parents’ marriage. My parents separated leaving my mother with three very young children to bring up; a very difficult time!

Never had it so good

Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was probably correct in 1957 when he stated; “most of our people have never had it so good.”  However it was the post war Labour governments building programme that created so many council houses, like ours in Amberley Drive. Aneurin Bevin had put the onus on local authorities to build houses, and Hove Corporation did an excellent job!  This was a wonderful time and area to grow up in, with no TV’s and very little to keep children indoors, the streets and Downs were our playground!

Looking out to the sea

From most places in Brighton and Hove, a view of the sea or Downs can easily be had, Amberley Drive has both.  Although the views aren’t stunning, from my bedroom window I could look out over the back gardens of Amberley Drive to the sea, and from my sisters, to West Blatchington School and beyond to the Downs.

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