The Avenue, Bevendean

Panoramic views, 2002

Photo:The Avenue, Bevendean

The Avenue, Bevendean

Photo by Sam Carroll

Photo:The Avenue, Bevendean

The Avenue, Bevendean

Photo by Sam Carroll

This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page
It was between the two trees in the centre of the picture that the aeroplane landed in 1939 (report and picture in the Evening Argus, 17th May 1939). The Central Kitchen, a war-time building, was on the right near trees and the tennis courts were on the green in the foreground. It will always be home to me.
By Michael Wilson (19/03/2003)
The house that I grew up in is in this picture. It really is something to see it now. Wow! I grew up on The Avenue; left in 1990 to move to Canada; spent most of my youth playing football on the green and running around in Jacobs Ladder.
By Tony White (10/05/2003)
Yes, I remember the days of The Avenue. I moved there in 1976 and my parents still live there, close to the Valley Stores and the newsagents, then run by Jim Smith, not forgetting the fish and chip shop, which is now a heating shop. As a child, playing in the woods was fun, and yes, of course, I went to the school. Buses in those days were 110 and 111. Who else remembers?
By John Buss (13/05/2003)
Do you all remember the lizards, slow worms, and toads in the fields behind our houses, also the foxes? I still live nearby, and remember sticking fireworks up the railings of Jacobs Ladder. They were fun. I lived there during the 50s and 60s. We used to play on the green with Dutch arrows and I nearly killed the vicar with one. I remember when they dug a huge trench in the green (early 60s) to lay in some kind of piping system. All us kids nicked bits of lead from the pipes to make fishing weights. If only such times could return.
By Paul Smith (06/06/2004)
I remember The Avenue very well, I remember Paul Smith and Jeff; they used to live opposite. I think I remember Paul had a Sunbeam Tiger, my Dad was on a kidney machine so people will probably remember that. Dutch arrows, Steve Dollymore, Ian Nibblett, Paul Dyer, the Thomases, the good old days. Best wishes to all who remember!
By Robin Thorpe (18/04/2006)
I was a kid but maybe it was Alan that owned the Tiger - not sure -its 35 years ago. Regards to everyone who share all those old memories.
By R Thorpe (05/05/2006)
I used to love playing football back in the 60s. Anyone know my name? Thank you.
By Pat Dowds (04/07/2006)
We lived at 2 The Avenue from about 1932 to well past the war years, and I can recall the De Havilland Dragon Rapide making a nightime forced landing in The Avenue (dated above as 17th May 1939). I have never found any reliable record of this event. Does anybody know where this incredible feat of airmanship is recorded?
By Peter Bartlett (19/08/2006)
I recall when Robin's dad passed away; we were all sad. My mum especially so. My dad died last year. I also remember swapping Rupert books with Robin. My older brother Alan had a Sunbeam Tiger. I once kissed Poppy winning 'spin the bottle' - this was in Mrs Dollymore's house. Robin will know who Poppy is. Regarding the tennis courts on the Avenue green, I have a photo that I'll scan and send to this site along with a photo of the aircraft that landed. These two photos are via a pal's dad, Ron Watts, who lived in the Avenue at the time.
By Paul Smith (26/08/2006)
Paul, your comment made me smile. So sorry to hear about your dad. Hope Jeff, Alan and your mum are all OK. Yourself also! bobthorpe@ntlworld.com
By Robin Thorpe (27/08/2006)

Steve and I and our 6 children have lived in the avenue for the last 21 years. Couldnt think of anywhere else I would like to live. The whole area has changed much over the last 10 years or so, it's now students paradise. No young families playing on the green, for me it's sad there are no families around here anymore (there are some but not many). Incidently, Steve Dollimore died a few years ago, he was our friend, great man much missed, have seen Ian Niblett many times over the years, nice chap.
My husband Steve spent many happy times in the avenue as he was growing up as his grandparents and aunts lived at 44, (we are at 40 strange) his parents worked and he was looked after by the family, he has many fond memories of many people around here, i came down from Coldean,
oh to be a kid again.

By Liesa Saunders (20/02/2007)

I drive the 49a [10] (Bus)  up here every day and have to say I love this estate. Ok the cars speed a bit but eveyrone says hello It's a real pleasure

By Cameron Vallance (03/06/2007)

I lived at 34 The Avenue, with a lovely family called Redhouse when I was six years old in 1965. I went to the Bevendean Primary school and have great memories of the area. I remember playing in the woods just before school and walking home after school. I left in 1967 to live with my father in Nigeria. I am now married, have a lovely family and live in the US. I would love to re-connect with the Redhouse family, and especially give my gratitude for their looking after me at a very vulnerable point in my life. I remember David and Gloria Redhouse who were the children of Mr and Mrs Redhouse. I believe at that time Gloria was 19, she was very kind to me.

By Tayo Ibikunle (22/07/2007)

I visited Brighton in summer 1984. It was a kind of exchange of students, I was 15 and visited a private language school during this weeks to improve my English. I guess it didn't help. All students lived with local families and 'my' family had their small house on Manton Road (I remember it was blue and my host father was a painter - never asked if he painted it by himself). It was a wonderful family, I loved Brighton and I still remember this holiday. Every morning I had to take the bus to school and so I had to wait on the Avenue. I recognized the pics and had to smile. So I write you this comment and maybe I can visit Brighton again. I love this town and will never forget it. Thanks for the memories Mr. and Mrs. Kelly
Editor's note:
Hi Alex: maybe you could write down some of your happy memories of Brighton and we will publish them? If you need help contact me:
jennifer@mybrightonandhove.org.uk

By Alexander Zwarg (06/01/2008)

I grew up here from 1968 until I got married in 1982. We lived at number 68, Mick Wilson, at number 69, was my best man. Also I remember Rob Thorpe was at 65, and the Norths further down by the path. It was the best street in the world to live on with football and cricket on the green every day of the year and building camps in the woods behind our house. Does anyone remember the dry grass slope behind the old people's home in Heathill Ave? A bit of cardboard box and away we go! Kids today are missing out big time. Can't wait to finish that time machine...

By Kelvin Healey (08/01/2008)

How great to read all these memories. I too have some real memories of the Avenue where I lived at 65 after Robin Thorpe untill I married in 82. I am now divorced but getting married again in September to my childhood friend and neighbour Ian Niblett whom I live with. He shares lots of happy memories and sees Robin all the time whilst working as a cabbie in brighton.

By Maria Turner nee Potter (12/03/2008)

That first comment above regarding the aeroplane landing also takes me back to that time. I'd heard about it before schooltime commencement and decided to dash along and have a look. It was a large (to me) silver coloured passenger biplane and I just stood and gawked! Never before had such a huge monster from the sky been so close. Sequel - late for school and usual strap punishment.

By Ron Spicer (03/07/2008)

Just realised. Where is that promised pic of the aeroplane?  I'd love to see it. From later experience I'm guessing it was a DH passenger aircraft.

By Ron Spicer (04/07/2008)

I did not live in the Avenue but I knew a Kelvin Healey and spent some time working with him and played a lot of football on the Green as I was growing up (its all at the Co-op). Remember me Kelvin? Darts got any better?

By Andy Nye (24/07/2008)

Further to my earlier comment regarding the De Havilland Dragon Rapide that landed in the Avenue on 16th May 1939, I raised this subject with the staff at Shoreham Airport whilst enjoying a visit there some two years ago. Whilst they had no immediate knowledge of the incident they later contacted one member of their staff who apparently is an aviation historian. He delved into the details of the flight and kindly telephoned me to advise that he had established that the aircraft was owned by a company 'Air Dispatch', it was on loan to the military and on that date it was on a night flight from Doncaster to Croydon. In the relatively poor weather conditions it missed Croydon and found itself at the coast. Apparently the pilot, a Mr J.H. Chappell, initially attempted a landing on Hove lawns before flying to the Avenue where he managed a brilliant landing, only damaging the wing tips on one side where he clipped a tree at the end of his landing run. Like Mr Spicer above, I too managed to view the aircraft before arriving at Moulsecoomb Infants School, but, unlike Mr Spicer, I managed to avoid the 'strap' or 'tawse' as it was often called.

By Peter Bartlett (15/08/2008)

Hi, Paul Smith, I can remember you from my days at Moulsecoomb School. You bused to do lots of space type drawing (great imagination). My friend  Ross Poulton and I always played football near the shops (start of the Avenue). My elder brother Tony used to go around with Allen on their scooters. I lived at 41, The Highway. All the best.

By Clifford Marlow (21/11/2008)

Hi Clifford, are you Pat Marlow's brother? She used to live at the bottom of The Avenue and we went to school together in the 50s. Can you tell me if it is her?

By Pamela (05/02/2009)

Hi Pamela. Yes, my elder sister is Pat. Still going strong in Portslade. Cheers.

By Clifford Marlow (12/02/2009)

Hi Clifford. I remember when Pat had her appendix out and Miss Dawson told us not to eat pomegrannet seeds as that is what causes the problem. I went to your house with some fruit minus the pommies. As far as I remember you had that lovely round window at the top of the stairs. I thought it was real posh. Give Pat my best and  ask if she remembers me.

By Pamela (27/02/2009)

Does anyone remember me? I lived at 71c The High Way. I went to school from 1958 -1966. I remember Mr Drapeford who loved to give you the cane and the P.T. teacher whose name I have forgotten. I went to the 67 Centre with Dave Prodger. I now live in Lewes with my wife and two sons.

By Ross Poulton (27/10/2009)

Hi to all who may remember us. We lived at 78 The Avenue. Reading other entries brought back many memories of my younger years with brothers Paul and Jeff. We lived next door to the Dollymores and couple of doors from the Williams. I am sad to say my brother Paul passed away a couple of years ago. I remember all the Williams and Dolleymores. I was sorry to read about Steve- the motor scooter era was a special time. Tony Marlow and Dave Nichols (who had a moter bike) were among these I remember well, also Ron Townsend and the Marchent family who lived next to each other by the Jaccobs Ladder path.

By Alan Smith (03/12/2009)

Hi Alan. I lived in Walmer Crescent. Do you remember the Baines family?  I went to school with Maureen. She would be nearly 68 now. Can you help? Thanks and a Merry Christmas.

By Pam (10/12/2009)

Hi Pam, sorry but I don't remeber the Baines family. I went to Moulsecoomb School and left in1963. Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

By Alan Smith (22/12/2009)

Thanks Alan for replying - it was just a chance Wishing you a very Happy New Year.

By Pam (26/12/2009)

Hi, just wondering if my old scooter mates are still around, Bob Eley from Colbourne Avenue and Allen Brill from Lower Bevendean. Any information contact marlowdec@yahoo.co.uk

By Clifford Marlow (17/01/2010)

Curious to find out what a Dutch Arrow was, I Googled it. For others as ignorant as me, it's a missile shaped like a conventional arrow but with a notch just in front of the flights so that it can be thrown with a loop of string, rather like a sling or an Aboriginal spear-thrower. No wonder the vicar was in mortal danger.

By Len Liechti (24/02/2010)

I enjoyed reading about people that lived on th Avenue. I lived on Southal Ave and went to Moulsecoomb School from approx. 1949-1953. I knew the Banks that lived on The Avenue. I would like to contact some of my old school chums from that area. These would be there maiden names. Brenda Lambert, Yvonne Tait, Pat Epps, Valerie Wingham, Jean Savage. Would love to hear from any of you. My maiden name was Sylvia Watts, I went to Coombe Road School also. Please contact me.

By Sylvia Stickel (Watts) (02/05/2010)

I live along Colbourne Avenue and when I go out me and my mates spend most of our time at the Avenue. It's quite a nice place to chill - loads of boys like to play football on the Green at the Avenue. All of us children like to play in the woods at Jacobs Ladder - I was surprised how old it is. I went to Moulscoomb Primary School and do any of you remember Falmer High School may I ask?

By Sydney Pain (02/06/2010)

I am a distant relative of Michael, Colin, Christopher, Margaret and Jennifer Thomas who lived at 67 The Avenue in 1982. Does anyone know the whereabouts of any of them now? My email address is sahutchinson@fsmail.net We are trying to make contact as an aunt has recently died.

By Sandra Hutchinson (08/08/2010)

Message to Pam, Hi I am Maureen's youngest brother, she now lives in Uckfield. This is the 1st time I have been on this site, nice to see familiar names. I know Cliff's brother Malcolm, was it you Cliff who had the classy push bike and sold it to my neighbour Donald Carr? You also made the best Dutch arrows.

By Bob Baines (16/10/2010)

There is a concrete circle approx 20 feet in diameter, north of the water reservior at Bevendean and between the cow field back of Moulsecomb. Does anyone know what this once was (looks like a mini cycle track)? I found it whilst out running, looking for a short cut to the new Brighton football stadium at Falmer. Once on top of the hill you can see the new arched roof of the stadium.

By Bob Baines (18/10/2010)

Hi Bob. How nice to hear from you, sorry I took so long. I went to school with Maureen - she set me up on a blind date with a lad at The Regent and we went to the Odeon to see 'Wind through the Everglades' Can you ask her if she remembers me? I will look again soon. Thank you so much, Pam.

By Pamela Smith (16/01/2011)

Concerning the comments from Peter Bartlett, Paul Smith and Ron Spicer from 19/08/2006 foreward. The airplane that landed in the Avenue was indeed a mail plane in use by the military and my father and his brother (Leslie and Albert Catt) who lived in the Avenue at the time heard the plane circling, obviously in trouble and got their motocycles out to shine the headlights down the green to guide the plane down. This incident was covered by the press and in our family photo collection should be the original cutting. I will make enquiries and hopefully track it down.

By Bob. (20/02/2011)

For Bob Baines (18/10/2010). Hi Bob, if you are referring to the bowl shaped mound that is located approx 100yds up on the left of the track that runs from just before the junction of Heath Hill Road and Norwich Drive over to Falmer - it used to be a Dew Pond but when we were kids it was grassed over and there was no concrete on view. Hope this helps.

By Bob. (24/02/2011)

My uncle and aunt, Bill and Nellie Evans, lived at 89, The Avenue until my aunt died in 1966. Uncle Bill helped form the AUEW branch at the Brighton railway works. He worked for the railway most of his life. He started when it was the London, Brighton and South Coast railway through its grouping into the Southern railway and finally British Rail. He retired in 1953 and passed away in 1973. He was a staunch Labour voter yet he opposed nationalisation of the railways. His sons both worked on the railways. One at Eastleigh and the other at Derby.

By Richard J. Szypulski (15/07/2011)

Hello Brightonians. Does anyone have any memories of The Rolf Family, living at 32 the Avenue from 1967 - 1970 the 1970s? All the best Lee Rolf.

By Lee Rolf (23/12/2011)

I lived in Manton Road from 1968 to 1985. I've loved reading all your memories. I loved growing up in Bevendean. I also loved the dry grass with my mum's tea tray. Lee - did you have a sister called Zena, also lived couple doors away from Jackie Moon? Happy times.

By Alison Middleton (12/01/2012)

I have very fond memories of growing up as a kid in the Avenue. I was always playing out on the green at the bottom by the shops with all the other kids from the neighbourhood. I lived at number 24 just up the road from the shops. During my time here I saw so many changes. Even though I was young I can still remember Alex the green grocer, Marilyn who used to own the convenience store and Margaret who owned it afterwards, Brian and Rena with the post office/ sweet shop- it's a shame they all got sold and turned into Nisa. Does anyone remember Pat who used to work in the sweet shop? I think my fondest memory of the Avenue is my dog Elsa- she used to take herself off for walks. I can remember her being chased by the dog catcher on several occasions. She was well known by many people in the neibourhood. The Avenue used to have such an amazing family community feel to it especially when the church had its summer fair on the green. It's a shame that it's all changed.

By Haley Carey (22/01/2012)

Dear Alison, sorry for taking a time writing back. I'm not sure about the Jackie Moon family but I do remember the Turner family. Yes I have sisters Kim, Sherrie and Zena and a brother called Christopher. We lived at 32 the Avenue 1967 - 1974. I have been trying to find out on this site if any one here had any memories of the Rolf family living in the Avenue, between those years. (lrolf9@me.com )  All the best 

By Lee Rolf (11/05/2012)

Tayo Ibikunle, Hi Tayo I have just read your message.  I also went to Bevendean school and have strong memories of that time.  I lived at 32 The Avenue from from early 1967 -1974. Did you manage to make contact with the Redhouse family ( David and Gloria)? Do you remember the Rolf family, (Christopher, Lee, Kim, Sheree, and  and my mother Rose)? with care, and all the best lrolf9@me.com

By Lee Rolf (13/05/2012)

Love all these memories on here. I grew up in Manton Rd, number 10 and had the happiest years of my life there. I was friends with all the Middleton kids, Carol Shipton who lived in the house next to Jacobs Ladder, Pauline and Julie Croucher who lived at 27 the Avenue, oh I knew too many people to mention on here. We spent all our time either on 'the green' or in the woods behind our houses. I had a bad accident in the woods when i was about 6 where someone set up a horrible trap, they dug a deep hole in the ground, smashed a glass bottle of lemonade and stuck it in the ground with the jagged end up, then covered this over with grass. I slipped down this hole and ripped my kneecap out, had hundreds of stitches. I have a brother called Gary Breden and a sister Sharon Breden, and we lived here from the early sixties till 1980. We all went to Bevendean school, which was a fantastic school, then moved on to either Falmer or Moulscoombe school. My sister still lives in the Avenue and has done for over 30 years, and my brother has moved from the Avenue to Bodium Avenue. I remember taking my big piece of cardboard up the fields and sliding down the steep hills, it was such great fun. The only real bad part about living in Bevendean, and a lot of you will probably remember this, is when my sisters husband hung himself in the woods behind our house, near to Jacobs Ladder, he was only 18 years old. If anyone remembers me my email is cazajacks@yahoo.co.uk

By Caroline (21/07/2012)

I've just stumbled on this site and what a pleasant surprise it is! My family lived at No. 51 from 1949 through to some time in the 70's. I went to Moulsecoomb school infants, juniors and seniors (that's bound to have scared my for life!). I remember playing on the green and the school canteens before they were demolished. The Fairs lived at 53 and the Starleys(?) at 47. I can remember as a kid playing with Johnny Sturgess, Alan Smith, Phil Swan and Monty Green. David Deal who lived in Manton Road was a good mate as was his sister Sue. As teenagers we all got scooters and had a great time congregating at the Bar J café near St Peters church. I married Dawn Turner who lived at No. 50 we're still together, living in Herefordshire and have 5 grandchildren. Best wishes to all who remember me.

By Peter Woodard (23/02/2014)

Message for Peter Woodard, this is Alan Smith. Nice to see your name come up. I also remember you and our great childhood in the Avenue, playing cricket on the green, our scooters, those were the days. I now live in Burgess Hill having moved back here after living in London for 23 years. My wife and I moved here 3 years ago I have 2 daughters and 3 grandchildren. We moved here as our girls live down here one in Patcham, the other in Hassocks. Last year I drove along the Avenue stopped and outside my old house - No. 78. There was a young lad outside the house and I asked him if he would mind me having a look inside; it was more like a squat where students were living. It's over 40 years ago when we left there, where has the time gone. Hope you are keeping well, regards Alan.

By Alan Smith (11/03/2014)

I lived with my family in Southall Avenue, and regularly played football on The Green at the bottom as a youngster. Got kicked a few times by some of them when our paths crossed playing parks football later on as well :-)

By Gordon Taylor (22/03/2014)

Hi Alll, we have lived in The Avenue since June 1986. Hayley Carey, you may remember us? The Saunders family, we live still at 40 just a few doors up from you and your mum and younger sister. This used to be a fabulous place for kids to grow up, we  loved the summer fetes on the green each summer, my kids loved the freedom of being allowed to walk around without being with mum just had to drum it into them about the road. I am not so keen living here nowadays due to the fact The Avenue is overrun with students. They play footie on the green up to all hours booting a leather football hard, often hitting the cars. They don't give two hoots about families living here. The homes look awful, grasses not cut, paintwork a mess, shreds of nets hanging in the filthy windows, such a shame. It's rare to see kids playing on the green, you may see a handful playing football just kiddie style, a few younger ones. Jackie Moon and family are still down The Avenue; it is such a shame the bottom shops are so different, we loved it when they were small friendly shops. Margaret and staff, Jean Brooker (sadly passed away just before Christmas), Margaret, then the lovely Alex greengrocer, remember Hilda when she worked in the butchers in the little blue box taking the cash? No longer have the fetes on the green, :( i know times change but not always for the best.

I live next door to Mary Molyneaux and husband Jack think they could be longest Avenue residents?  

Lee Rolf, I was at school with Sherree we were best friends. Sadly since your sister Kim's death a few years ago now Sherree and I keep in touch via email (we met up at Kim's funeral after many many years) so sad. I have seen your mum about often but not often late. Guess she's not walking around so much down here now as I believe her legs are bad? Bumped into Rose and Zena in a fish and chip restaurant in Portland/Blatchington road.

Wishing you all a happy new year and if anyone has any info from before our time at number 40 The Avenue would be great to hear about it. Two sisters lived here, Sarah and don't know the other one.

By Liesa Saunders nee Gohmann (11/01/2015)

What a fantastic site! I lived at No 49 The Avenue and was fostered with the Brooks family.  I remember the Woodards in 51 and played with Cecelia and Jimmy(?) - could be that Peter was the baby in the family then (we'd play Robin Hood and I was Maid Marian - they also had a goose called Ethel and was horrified when they ate her!). Also Pat Fair (redhaired) lived next door. Went to Bevendean Primary (a swanky new school in the 50s). Does anyone remember Mr Leach, he taught Maths and I was hopeless! In those days I'd pop home for lunch via the meadows where cows grazed and I hated going back to school! I particularly remember Jacobs Ladder - above it was all farming land - great to explore and I roamed all over on my heavy duty bicycle.
Loved going to the pictures at the Gaiety and Astoria - paid a shilling to sit upstairs. Do you remember Vincent Price's "The House of Wax"? And I loved "Genevieve" - then came all the American musical blockbusters: "There's no Business like Show Business" with Ethel Merman, "Love Me or Leave Me" with Doris Day, and another favourite was Carmen Jones - oh so very risque at that time.
My memories go way back to a period when life was so simple compared to today - you didn't have much - there was no inflation and no one knew the meaning of "materialism" - we just got on with it! I now live in Cape Town and will always have fond memories of my early childhood in Brighton.

By Violet Pollock (nee Castle) (02/06/2016)

I lived at 12 Manton Rd in 1954. The owners of the house were Fred & Bunty Evans (my Godparents). Spent the first years of our married life in the upstairs rooms. I have lived in California for 54 years but always dropped by when I visited. Great memories.

By Henry John Stenhouse (03/09/2016)

What year was that Violet?
Does anyone here know of the Hurrell family who lived at number 30 The Avenue? If so please email me: lrolf9@me.com  Thanks

By Lee Rolf (05/09/2016)

Hi Henry, we were neighbours of Fred and Bunty Evans at no 11 from around 1960 and they had relatives staying with them named Connie and Vera. I remember when they went to Expo '67 and they brought my sister Pat and I back a T Shirt. They were such a lovely couple and if I remember rightly they had another gentleman there named Alfred. Wow, how much we remember when we tap back into our past.

By Roger Heath (31/08/2017)

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