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Weekend Visits From School - a Memory of Newhaven.

I was a partially deaf pupil at Ovingdean during the 1970s and as my home was a long way from there, I was one of the very few pupils that resided at the school during the weekends. I do remember two very profound memories of Newhaven during my four years at the school and although we often used to visit, snippets of memory are occasionally recalled to my mind.

My first memory was that on the east side of the harbour, there were a very few of us with a supervising teacher who took us in the schools minibus. I remember us singing current pop songs as we made our way there from Ovingdean. There was a rather large and badly overgrown railway storage yard there with lots of wagons, mischievously we played amongst these, changing the points and trying to push the wagons etc. The east side always felt mysterious, cold and damp and you never saw many people there, it was always the west side that had the most people about. It was at this time I started to fancy a girl and got to hold her hand as we walked along the shorter breakwater, peck kissing without letting the teacher see of course. A particular song was repeating itself in my mind at that time and funnily now as I hear it, my memory races bringing me those pleasant times back again. (Bee Gees  Run to me)

Of course as a lad and one other particular weekend, I visited the fort with three other lads from school. We had arranged a pack up lunch from the school chef and caught the train from Brighton to Newhaven town station. I remember it raining all day and was wet from morning to evening. We had found our way into the tunnels that run under the fort, it was a well-planned day out as we had even brought the bedrooms emergency lighting, some big torches with us to explore underground. That was when the fort was overgrown and all boarded up; its amazing how it has all changed now.

I plan to return during the summer on an old classic motorcycle, tent and paraffin stove with young daughter on the back, to reminisce those times while there, there will probably be a tear or two as so many years have passed now. Happy Dazes!

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