Applesham Avenue

Applesham Road

Remembering the Doodlebugs

By Ron Jones

Father in the Fire Brigade

I was born in 1937 and lived with my parents at 16 Applesham Avenue which was a house that my father bought when it was new. My father was in the Hove Fire Brigade and we did not seem to see a lot of him. My first memory of going to school was to a nursery called Overbury in Hangleton Road, just past Miss Peck's chemists shop. Later on I went on to the Knoll School.

Playing on army lorries

I also remember the army using the garage at the corner of Nevill Road and us kids playing on the lorries that were parked on what was waste ground in Hangleton Road. Does anyone remember what I think was an estate agents opposite The Grenadier pub; the building had a small clock tower? I remember playing round there and climbing up the stairs at the back and turning the hands round on the clock. I cannot find any trace of this now in any books or pictures.

Shooting down the Doodlebugs

My memories of living there through the war are of the guns on the old Dyke Railway bank trying to shoot down the doodlebugs as they tried to reach London. I also remember watching the lorries bringing these huge concrete blocks up from the seafront and tipping them into the cutting of the old Dyke Railway. When the lorries tipped them, they sometimes got caught up and the weight of them used to lift their front wheels off the ground. As kids we used to wonder if the lorry would go down with the blocks.

Do you remember?

Do you have any wartime memories of Hangleton? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

This page was added on 14/10/2013.