Rottingdean reminiscences

Childhood memories of the 1970s

By Helen Wrapson

 
Photo:New Barn Road

New Barn Road

┬ęTony Mould: all images copyright protected

An idyllic childhood

I had an idyllic childhood growing up in Rottingdean in the late 1970s with my brother and parents. We lived at 2 New Barn Road;I remember Barbara and Len Moppett who lived next door to us. Such a lovely couple, I can still remember Mrs Moppett’s smiling face, she always greeted us with a friendly smile. My childhood was largely spent roaming the hills near Rottingdean Windmill and walking the under-cliff path to Saltdean or Ovingdean. We went rock pooling on Rottingdean beach and spent all summer at Rottingdean pool.

A wonderful school

I went to Rottingdean school; the Headmaster at that time was Mr Lawrence. It was a wonderful school and I loved my time there. The school had a pet sheep named ‘Ajax’ and the whole school would watch in amusement when the sheep was sheared in the school field. Being a Church of England school, we would often have assemblies and services in St Margaret's Church. We would walk down the lane and through the church yard filling our pockets with the little green stones from the graves along the way. They were such happy days.

Do you have any Rottingdean memories? If you can share with us, please leave a comment below.

My Saturday job

I had a Saturday job at Rottingdean Bookshop, my Gran, Majorie Woolard worked there and I worked with her; such a lovely traditional bookshop, I would trot over to the Post Office to buy the stamps for the shop and then after my shift, I would buy chips from The Smugglers chip shop. I also worked in The White Horse for a few months doing work experience as a receptionist.

This page was added on 28/08/2014.
Comments about this page

I only visited Rottingdean once during my holidays in Brighton over the years. There seemed to be a fair number of French people there on that particular day, and there was a beauty contest on a the Green, which we enjoyed watching, although my dad made some rather naughty comments during the procedure much to my mothers annoyance, and embarrassment! I can also recall that there were attractive flowers and shrubs around the country-style houses. I think there was a tennis court, too, with aromatic plants acting as a hedge. Just vague memories, but it seemed a pleasant place in the early 1960's sunshine.

By Stefan Bremner-Morris (29/08/2014)

Hello, Helen - a splendid, well-stocked bookshop indeed, and not forgotten.  A 'seventies child, I remember Marjorie at the counter, a cheerful, friendly lady. The shop no doubt contributed towards my lifelong love of books. The facia bore the name "E. L. Bacon", white lettering on black. - I've just spoken of the school on another page, but would like to say I clearly recall the sheep shearing session you described.  Lively, wasn't it !

By Sam Flowers (01/09/2016)

Rottingdean in the seventies was lovely. I worked at Lloyd's Bank. Friday lunchtimes would see us either in the Black Horse for cheesy jacket potato and a cider, rendering us asleep for the rest of the day, or at the Cheshire Cat for scallops & chips. I would get a lot of my clothes from the boutique near the seafront (where the buses used to turn around) and every morning would get a cheese and tomato roll from Manson's bakery, which also did a jam and cream doughnut to die for and at Easter people would queue up the street for their hot cross buns! There was a lovely village feel. Many of the useful shops have gone and it seems now to be just a crossroads. By the way, does anyone know if 'the hangman's stone' still stands on the cliff top, or has it finally gone over the top?

By Cheryl Felix (07/02/2017)

Yes, the Hangman's Stone is still there! Moens and Blyth gave a clear account of its history - told from the Copper family - in their Story of a Village, first published in 1952 and several times reprinted.

By Sam Flowers (10/02/2017)

My Husband & I used to visit the area regularly in the 70's & used to have lunch in the Valetta in Rottingdean.  Whatever happened to it? I think it was run by a single lady, & there always seemed to be a single lady dining with her dog

By Rosemary Vinnicombe (25/10/2017)

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