A potted history

Reproduced with permission from the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder, 1990

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Photo:St. Mary Magdalene's Church, formerly the flint barn of Coldean Farm

St. Mary Magdalene's Church, formerly the flint barn of Coldean Farm

Photo by Chris Webb

This page was added on 04/02/2007.
Comments about this page

I was christened at Coldean school in 1954 when it was a temporary church, before St Mary Magdalene's was built. I use to live at the top end on Hawhurst Road before it went up to Devil's Dyke or down to the school.

By Marguerite Parsons (10/01/2010)

I was christened at St Mary Magdalens church in 1957.

By Nina Jaiherm (nee Bowditch) (03/04/2011)

I'm Alan Cribb, I was born at 20 Elder in 1945, but when it was demolished our family was given the best house to have. We moved to 10 Selham Close Coldean about 1957, our house can just be seen. I'd like a penny for every time I have walked through the church yard to Stanmer Woods. Next door was Bobby Bell, and Bobby Parks opp. Anyone out there?

By Alan Cribb (27/04/2012)

I was also christened in the school as the church was not ready. Remember Father Best and Father Derek Cordell? Mum used to attend the Young Wives at the church.

By Lyn Smith (nee Pettit) (30/01/2013)

I was a child of the 60s/70s and the church here was a very big part of our lives. I remember Father Derek Cordell, not sure if I have a pic of him in my late Dad's millions of pics? Our day was more Father Peter Chapman, he was so handsome (I had a crush on him) - can't remember his wife's name but one of the children, a little girl, I think was Ruth. We attended a group made for us with Mrs Merryfield: 'crossbearers'. We had lots of bits and pieces to do to keep us off the streets one evening a week I think. We used to have really lovely Easter parades through Coldean, starting at Hawkhurst Road top end, right back down to the church through Hawkhurst Road. It was lovely with a real donkey and we had palm crosses to hold in our hands. We had amazing bazaars where we dressed up in costumes from different countries, with Mrs Shirley Gillham I think who used to do a lot for the church. Also Mrs Brown and her husband, and I remember my sister used to have her ballet classes in the church with Miss Rosemary Carden. My brother Karl was in the church choir - all the lads looked amazing each week in their robes, very smart. I remember I was confirmed by Father Chapman. I used to go to his vicarage to do Bible Studies, I loved it. I still remember lots from the Bible to this day. And I'm glad I was born in 1960 and felt privileged to grow up in Coldean. Keep the stories coming, I will look for the pics over the coming weeks, but don't hold your breath - got a funny feeling they went when I cleared Dad's house earlier this year.

By Liesa Saunders (nee Gohmann) (02/09/2013)

This picture stirs memories as my Dad helped tile the roof of the new vestries, church hall and the vicarage when they were built and my Mum was seriously involved in sewing and laundering choir robes when I was in the choir as well as jumble sales, bazaars etc.

By Steve Mintram (18/10/2013)

I moved to Coldean in 1953 and lived in a new council house in Rushlake Road. This was prior to most of Coldean being built.I was one of the first children to attend Coldean School when the headmaster was a Mr Burroughs. I remember I was chosen to model the schools first boys uniform. And the badge was old boat corner emblem. Before becoming a church St Mary Magdelens was an old barn, I can still remember playing there before it was made into a church. One of my memories was that of cow skulls lying around in and outside.

By David Collins (25/12/2013)

Hi Leisa, I remember the Palm Sunday procession with the donkey, we even used to stop playing football to watch it go by. Mrs Merryfield lived over the road from us.

By Ken Valder (25/12/2013)

To Allan Cribb - I was looking at my old address first, then put my wife's (Linda Early) address at 8 Selham Close before moving to Selba Drive in the early 60s. My wife remembers the Bells but were Renie and John your parents on the other side?  My wife had a brother Mike.

By Clifford Marlow (24/05/2014)

Hi to Clifford Marlow. Please contact me

By Alan Cribb (07/06/2014)

To Clifford Marlow. Hi Clifford, I'm sure that my "secret hearthrob's" name was Linda, but she lived about four houses to the left facing no 10 and next door to policman Mr Head on one side and Mr Cooper another policeman on the other.The Greens moved in next door to us on the left when the previous moved out. This could be Linda Early, a name I remember but not my Heartthrob.

By Alan Cribb (24/06/2015)

To Alan Cribb:  Bobby Bell was my boyfriend for a while  and I remember his family lived at 12 Selham Close. My family lived in Hove. I hope you track them down.

By Sue Boxell (04/12/2016)

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