Brighton seafront in the 1950s

Photo:Black Rock swimming pool: click on image to open a large view in a new page

Black Rock swimming pool: click on image to open a large view in a new page

Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove

An important part of my early years

By Dave Cresdee

Playing on Volks carriages

Brighton seafront was major to my early years. We moved into a tiny terraced house in Whitehawk Road towards the end of WWII and if my memory serves me well, access to the seafront at that time was somewhat restricted; I was told that Dukes Mound was actually mined. I do recall going with some older lads on two or three occasions down to Madeira Drive and playing on the Volks carriages that were parked under the arches, presumably for safe keeping during the hostilities. Each time we were chased off by someone who I suppose was the watchman.

Black Rock reopened

When Black Rock swimming pool was re-opened after the war it was a big event for the family. Living in Whitehawk Road meant it was just a short walk to the pool, which was an absolute sun trap. I remember that after one visit my teenage sister's back turned into one huge blister after sunbathing there and she was pretty ill for the following week. Nobody seemed to worry about skin protection in those days. If you got sunburn you slapped on loads of calamine lotion which didn't seem to help the situation one little bit.

Watching the racing cars

When the Brighton Speed Trials started again along Madeira Drive, I recall going with my dad to the bottom of Arundel Road watching the racing cars return to the starting line near the Palace Pier. Most were at a more leisurely pace via Marine Parade and amongst the normal traffic. I suspect that some returned somewhat less leisurely and that could be why this practice did not continue.

Rides on the miniature buses

The Johnstone buses were perfect replicas of Southdown coaches, my guess would be about 1/10th scale. They sat three in line, one child in front and one child behind the driver. Before they moved to Peter Pan's Playground they were run at the north end of The Level. Sometimes when Mum and I went to meet my father from work midday Saturday, I'd be treated to a ride. Dad worked in the Nissan huts situated on the Level and part of R. E. Records office.

This page was added on 22/08/2013.
Comments about this page

Is anyone else having trouble with the links under "Rides on the miniature buses" ? They don't work when I click on them.

Editor's note: All fixed now Alan - Thanks -Jennifer

By Alan Hobden (23/08/2013)

Dave, one of those buses you speak of on which I had many rides, normally after church on a Sunday morning, can be seen outside of the antiques shop at Rolvenden in Kent.

By David Wickham (26/08/2013)

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.