Hawthorn Way

Photo:Hawthorn Way

Hawthorn Way

Hawthorn Way

A difficult place to find?

By Sandra Bohtlingk

Known as Upper Portslade

I lived at 23 Hawthorn Way between 1969 till 1981 during my first marriage. When I lived there it was known as 'Upper Portslade'.  Many people would say, 'Oh, so you live in Mile Oak then?' We would answer 'No, we live in Upper Portslade'. What confused people was it was not just Portslade…nor was it ….Mile Oak. It was a common mistake which some friends of ours really took to extreme. We had invited them for Sunday tea and a viewing of our new home. 4 o’clock came and went and so did another hour or more. This was before we had a home phone so there was not much else to do but wait and see.

Frustrated friends

Finally there was a ring on the bell. A frustrated husband, almost ready to blame us for living in the wrong place, told how they had toured Mile Oak several times to no avail. They had even driven back home, to the far side of Brighton, to check they had written the address down correctly and then set off again to tour Mile Oak for the second time.

Instructions to visitors

Our instructions to all visitors were, On arrival in the dip of the of Portslade Old Village follow the road round and as you leave the village take your first turning right into Valley Road. A short way along Valley Road there are a row of shops on your right hand side. In the middle of these shops is a turning. Take that turn into the Crossway and immediately take a left on North Lane. The next left is Croft Drive, turn in there, and immediately on your right is Hawthorn Way. We are at the top, on the left, number 23. It is a cul-de-sac with turning space outside our house. Sounds clear enough, don’t you think? Especially as the husband of our visitors ran his own business as an estate agent. Well, whatever I had cooked for tea was rather a sad sight but we ate it all the same.

This page was added on 04/01/2013.
Comments about this page

More about my time at 23 Hawthorn Way. I was known as Sandra Poole then. I loved living there. It was a quiet area with nice neighbours and the views were wide. The house backed onto fields which many times were for cabbage planting. (Not a pretty smell I must admit). From the back of the house we could walk out towards the Foredown area or walk through to Mile Oak and over the Southwick hills. When my son was born in ’75 I would often walk with the pram through the rough path at the bottom of the back field and collect shopping in Mile Oak itself, just for a change from the Valley Road shops, and then pop into the Library in Chalky Road for books to take home. I remember taking evening Yoga classes at the local school there which was very relaxing. Also quite fun tackling those unusual positions. The summers of ’75 and ‘76 were heat waves and a couple of times the shrub waste in the field behind caught fire. The fire brigade came along knocking on all doors and organised setting our hose pipes to the kitchen tap. Then said take the baby and leave the house. The weather was hot enough by itself so raging flames added on was quite something. I think there was not much they could do with the fire except let it burn itself out. The hose on the kitchen tap was just a safeguard if something in the garden started to catch light and threaten things further. I went across to a neighbour opposite till the heat had died down and the flames were abated. A close call as the back garden was short and the wind was encouraging the fire towards the houses. But all was well. ***

By Sandra Bohtlingk (05/01/2013)

After looking at the MB&H street map things have changed a lot as far as new buildings behind Hawthorn Way. Probably a closer bus route now too. At one point, probably around ’74 I think, there was a busman’s strike. One of my colleagues in Mile Oak had no option than to stay home. On the other hand I had more options available to me. One was the 49 bus that ran along the Old Shoreham Road but I guessed it would be rather too full to board by the time it reached my closest stop. My second option, and the one I took, was to walk the length of Southdown Road, turn left and walk up Foredown Road and round into Mill Lane where there was a bus stop. Number 11 perhaps? I believe this only took me to Brighton Station but I was not one to be put out by a little bus strike. So, a bit more walking, down Queens Road into Churchill Square where I worked at Miss Selfridge. At the end of the day I waited for the 49 Shoreham bound bus to take me home as this stopped right in front of Miss Selfridge. Plus it was a bit shorter walk to Hawthorn Way when I got off. Much needed after a busy day and tired feet that had covered, the then, four floors of Miss Selfridge. I think this strike only lasted a couple of days or so but it gave us ‘Portsladers’ all something to talk about. Through that I made friends with neighbours in Downsview Road. Later when we started our families I would walk along the footpath in the field at the top edge of Hawthorn Way, drop down into Downsview Road, have tea and a chat with one or the other friends giving a chance for our little ones to play a while.

By Sandra Bohtlingk (05/01/2013)

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