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Eastbourne memories

Here are memories of Eastbourne and the local area. You can start now: Add your own Memory of Eastbourne or a Eastbourne photo.

Childhood Play

The Helen Garden c1960, Eastbourne
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This park is about half a mile from where I grew up, my mum brought me here many times. I was four when this photo was taken, so I would have been here regularly around this time. When I started school my mum would bring me here after school to burn off any excess energy, before taking me home.

The Road to Town

Meads Road 1894, Eastbourne
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This is the road from Meads to the town centre. I grew up in Meads and so it is no exaggeration to say I have been down here a thousand times over the years. It looks remarkably similar today. The flint wall on the left is still there. There are less trees on the right, and there are certainly no trees across the junction to Blackwater Road as there are in this shot (look on the right, it is not that clear).

Glyndley Manor Hankham

From The Wish Tower 1901, Eastbourne
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We had many a happy holiday in Eastbourne, staying at Glyndley Manor, an old Elizabethan Manor house, between the years of 1961 and 1970.  It had a mounting block in front of the entrance that me and my three sisters used to love climbing on.  In the hallway there was a lovely old cabinet with mother-of-pearl inlay.  We used to love playing in the grounds.  The gong used to be banged when it was time for breakfast or dinner.  There was a herony and a dove cote.  Our Mum & Dad didn't have a car in the earlier years and we used to walk into Eastbourne along the country lanes with hardly a car passing us.  

Proposal

From The Wish Tower 1901, Eastbourne
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This is where Alan asked me to marry him on a beautiful moonlit evening in January. The weather was mild and the moonlight was shining on the sea making it all silvery. There weren't many people around, just the odd jogger and dog walker as it was a Monday night.

I guessed what was happening as he was so nervous, but due to some advice from my friend Simone I kept quiet for once. He took my hands in his and gave a lovely speech about the year we have  spent together and then got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife.. and of course I said yes. The mischievous side of me was dying to mess around though  and pretend otherwise, but I decided that would be too naughty.

Afterwards we walked home, which is close to the seafront and shared a bottle of champagne whilst we called and texted our family and friends with our news. Everyone was very happy... Read more

Our First Home Together.

All Souls Church 1890, Eastbourne
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In September 2007 my partner Alan and I moved into a first floor flat on Tideswell Road directly opposite the church. The fact that the lounge windows overlook the church was the clincher for me when I was viewing the flat for rental. I love the fact that we are not overlooked by other properties which is very unusual for a town centre property. The church itself is a very attractive building and a great piece of architecture. The gardens are smart and well maintained, although small boys sometimes get told off for playing football on the grass. There are now some trees on the pavement around the church which were really pretty when we moved in, dark green and covered in berries (a bit bare at the mo though as its March).

As I am typing this I can see the church out of my window and it hardly looks any different to the photo. Although the picture doesn't relay the size of the building, it is huge!... Read more

Childhood And Parents History

Born Southfields Nursing Home 12/01/47. Gladys May Haines (maternal grandmother) who owned The Queensborough Hotel on the sea front before the war. Parents, Madge Haines married Andrew Aitken, a survivor from the sinking of aircraft carrier - HMS Courageous - in Sept. 1939, 3 weeks into WWII. Paternal grandparents, Andrew and Mildred Aitken lived in a house in Arundel Road, now, I believe, a nursing home. Grannie Haines also lived at 59, Milton Rd. where my mother and I joined her whilst my father was away at sea. Michael Fish, the notorious weather forecaster, had a family newsagents on the corner of a road (name escapes me) but visible from no. 59 Milton Rd. Both my brother, Peter Andrew and sister Sally where born at Eastbourne Maternity Hospital in the 1950s. When I was nine my family left Eastbourne to live in Woking, Surrey as my father was working in the Admiralty. Sadly no relatives live there now, but I so enjoy revisiting and feel I am... Read more

Bon Dolphis

I remember Bon Dolphis, it was a rather posh place that as children we used to dream of going through the door and sampling the lovely cakes and at Easter they had giant Easter eggs bigger than us.

Bon Dolphi's Tea Shop ?

Late 1940s vague recollection. Does the name Bon Dolphi ring a bell with anyone out there, as possibly a tea/cake shop, possibly down on sea-front ? I believe it was in Eastbourne but I was only a nipper at the time so could easily be mistaken.

Old Eastbourne

This memory is about the 1960s. Eastbourne was always my favourite seaside resort and I never wanted to go home to Croydon at the end of the day. I told my mum that I lived there a long time ago. Of course I got told "Don't be silly". It was only when I was doing my family history in the 1990s that I found that my ancestors came from the old town in Eastbourne. In fact I had a famous one, the artist John Hamilton Mortimer (my grandad also had this name) through Mr Wtevens (local historian) talking about JHM on Sussex Radio. My mum was also listening to him and suggested that I write to Mr Stevens to see if there was a connection, and wow, did he open up a lot of news about the Mortimers. Through him we traced my Mortimer line back to 1650, and he also put me in touch with my great- grandfather's first marriage descendants in Australia. My Australian relatives visited here in... Read more

Birbeck Engineering Co.

Does anybody remember Birbecks Engineering? and 6" Shell Fuse Bases? If anybody reads this would love to hear from you. Names I recall are :- Nancy, Rose, Rita, Fred Laker, Bert Irvrin, Ted Colley, Ernie Lidyard, Mr Bodkin, Miss Birbeck.

Eastbourne Flower Gardens

My Grandad was foreman of the Carpet Gardens on Eastbourne seafront. He took over from his elder brother who had taken over from their father. They had, as a family, looked after the Carpet Gardens for over a century.

The family name was Cottington. Grampy always told us that when digging over the flower beds they uncovered Roman mosaics. As a tribute to them they copied the design in the flowers.

Just a simple family memory from long ago.

Memories of East Sussex

Bygone Days

Does anybody remember Jean Harradence, Jessie Beard, Peter and John Tyler, and Cherry Gardens before the area was developed arround 1937?

Willingdon Childhood

Church Hall c1955, Willingdon
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I was born and raised in Willingdon and lived two doors away from the previous correspondent Ian Friend. I also attended the school referred to as Willingdon Church Hall before a new school was built in Rapsons(?) Road, Lower Willingdon. I have very fond memories of my childhood days there and spent many hours playing and exploring the Downs nearby. The Chalk Pit above Willingdon was a favourite area where I explored for fossils and iron pyrites. One of the unique features of the Downs (I think) was the dew ponds. These were round concave excavations created at appropriate positions at or near the bottom of long slopes. These ponds were created for sheep to drink and accumulated water from dew that condensed when cold air moved down the slopes at night and formed droplets when it drifted over these ponding areas which had retained warmth from the daytime sun. These seemed a very effective idea with no running costs and I used to catch newts and tadpoles in these... Read more

Wannock Avenue

The Village c1955, Willingdon
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My grandad, Joseph Woodgate, was the builder that built a lot of early Wannock Avenue's houses and bungalows. He built Wee Cott - one the first houses to be built which had a very large monkey puzzle tree in the garden, until the hurricane of 1986 and my dad was born there. I have pictures of Hazel Grove under construction and my dad, Ernest Hazel, was named after it. I also have pictures of semi detached houses in Wannock Avenue being built. I spent my summer holdays in Wee Cott with my nan, Freda Lavender, and remember every day going 'down the bottom' to get our dinner and to go to Holters, the sweet shop and also the bakers (which is now a take-away) to get a jam donut. I still live in Wannock Avenue and have lived in the area since 1981. I have recently bought a lovely postcard of the parade of shops with Phelps the drapers, Holters the sweet shop and Flowers's shop on the corner, but... Read more

Childhood Memories

The Village c1955, Willingdon
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I had a wonderful childhood in Lower Willingdon - we lived, my brother and I, in a bungalow in St Annes Road and went to the village school in Upper Willingdon where Mr Morrell was the headmaster. I remember in the playground was a stone shelter left over from the war where we used to play sometimes. I remember one of the previous contributors, Peter Miller, was the first boy I kissed, in the said shelter. Sorry for any embarrassment! Holters sweet shop is also well remembered. It was a great thrill when sweets came off rationing to go there and buy whatever we wanted. As children we used to play in the fields behind our bungalow for hours and on the Downs too. I was in the Sunday School run by Eva Parris and we used to go to Dittons or Diplocks Wood to pick primroses and violets for Easter or Mothering Sunday. When I passed my 11 plus I went to Bexhill Grammar School. Yes, the journey was... Read more

Willingdon Church Hall

Church Hall c1955, Willingdon
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Referring to the photograph ref: W446012 I used to attend Sunday School in the pictured church hall from the mid 1950's to 1960 the teacher being Miss Parris. I also went to Cubs at the Memorial hall opposite the church hall (out of picture to the left) at the same time. I remember the A22 being the main road between Eastbourne and London and pre speed limit days there were many fatal accidents on this road, mostly at Lower Willingdon where I lived at 77 Eastbourne Road. I now live in Brisbane, Australia.

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