High Street, Portslade

Personal view

By Bob Carden, community activist and lifelong resident

There are lots of postcards of this particular bridge; this postcard was very prevalent. They had to take the bridge down just at the outbreak of war. There was a steam tractor that turned over in this road, coming up from the brewery. The cottage is now gone. Some of the flint wall is still there.

Photo:A photograph of Portslade Old Village

A photograph of Portslade Old Village

From a private collection

This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page
A hint to the bomb shelter where my parents and many others went during the war would be a great add-on piece.
By Andy (29/01/2004)
To reply to Andy's comments, I believe the bomb shelter you're referring to is the one in the school grounds to the right of the picture. I always remember the shelter from my school days there (never got a look inside it though). Unfortunately today I think the shelter is flooded and in very poor condition.
By Simon Clout (23/02/2005)
The shelter was at the north west side of the lower yard...or that's what the teacher always told me ... I was there from 1981 to 1983.
By Ian Wickenden (19/07/2005)

That's exactly where it is/was when I was there in the early 1960s. The bike racks were next to it - at the bottom of the stairs to the upper assembly area.

By Chris Edwards (11/10/2006)

What a challenge this hill was to the little number 9 bus in the 1940s - it didn't always make it. This was the only single-decker BH&D bus (Station to Mile Oak).

By Mike Baumann (14/12/2007)

We lived in old North Road, first after the Brewery Houses, before the orchard was removed for new North Road. I worked at the Power Station and Metal Box.

By Arthur Dalby (26/09/2008)

Hi from New Zealand. I lived in Windlesham Close from 1932-1946. This iron bridge joined the two parts of the old Porstslade House and grounds property. It was the second bridge, the first wooden one was burned down by the sparks from a steam-roller sealing the road in 1885.
The bridge existed well into the war years [1940+]. The Portslade Station-Mile Oak bus was a small single decker, enabling it to get under this bridge. We used to get into Applesham Way via a hole cut into the high flint wall on either side as the first houses began to be built. High Close had been cut in and building begun about 1936.

By Tony Flude (21/11/2008)

I well remember the old bridge joining the two halves of the estate together, also the doorway knocked through the old flint wall at the top of Applesham Way. I also recall all the trees being felled prior to the bungalows being built, the estate agents office at the bottom of Applesham Way, with the well at the back. Is it still there, I wonder? I was in the infants school at Windlesham House prior to the infants school being built at Southern Cross. I can also remember sitting in the Air Raid shelters that were built around the play ground.

By Pete Winstanley. (03/01/2009)

I was one of many of the last pupils to go to the school in those days- it was called the lower school. It once had a swimming pool which was no longer in use which was under the library. Also there was a plaque in the staff room about boys that died in the war. All around the corridors was old photos of boys that attended that school. I can't seem to find any History of the school and what it is now. I do remember the air raid shelters in the lower playground.

By Carol Lee (17/01/2010)

I went to this school from 1960 to 1964. There were actually two bomb shelters, both accessed from the lower playground. One was brick built in the northwest corner, above ground, the other was an underground shelter. The entrance to the underground shelter was a doorway in a small a red brick, shed-like, structure that was almost directly in front of the stairs that came down the side of the building from the upper playground. I never saw down into this one and as far as I am aware no one, not even the caretaker, ever went down there. During my time there, the school never had its own swimming pool, we used to walk up to the then London County Council Industrial School for Boys (later to become the Mile Oak Approved School) to use the pool there once a week. Also, the library was on the first floor, on the east side of the rectangle in those days. It certainly wasn't built over a swimming pool.

By Alan Phillips (29/01/2010)

Hi Allan, that shelter under the lower play ground, if you remember there was a chicken club and we would use that to raise the new chicks. One day in my last year four of us were down there having a smoke and enjoying the time off from classroom when who should walk down but Mr Bennett, we thoiught it was his slipper for sure but he made us give him one fag each a day for the rest of the year.

By Vic Voice (14/02/2010)

Hello Vic, Great memories! I never knew that a chicken club existed at the school, nor that anyone ever went down into the old bomb shelter. I remember Mr Bennett catching the whole class talking when he came back into French lesson one day and as no one would either own up or shop anyone else, he called the whole class out, one by one, to administer three each of the slipper (aka Fido). Before he finished, his arm was aching so much he couldn't do justice to the task at hand. It all descended into a joke - he determined to see it through - we all knowing he was flagging - and both sides knowing what the other was thinking.

By Alan Phillips (20/02/2010)

I went to school there between 85-87 before going to the Upper School in Chalky Road. The shelters were under the big playground from what I remember as we did go down there for a project we where doing in history. The swimming pool IS under where the library is now. Mr Watts had a photo album from what I remember and there were photos of the swimming pool and some of the boys' swimming team when it was a boys only school. If you saw the photo you would recognise it being where the library is, due to the windows (or could, not sure how much it has changed in recent years). There was a rumour that someone was actually buried under the library when filling in the pool. There is also mention of this in a book called Brighton ghosts, Hove hauntings.

By Laura (11/08/2010)

Hello, I am the caretaker of the school at the momment and I have found this page and old pupils' comments very interesting. Sadly there are plans ahead to sell or develop this school as there seems to be a need to move the Sixth Form College that is on this site now to Chalky Road. However the air raid shelters are still there and I have been clearing them of all the old school equipment that was just dumped down there. There are still quite a few interesting items to remove, one being a Lister engine and loads of old jam jars - will keep you posted. Please if anybody can give me more information about the school's history, I would be grateful.

By Keith Wedd (13/01/2011)

I went to school there between 87-89 and remember the air raid shelters also. The caretaker at the time (Mrs Abnett, cannot recall her first name) and the teacher Martin Watts tooks us down there for a project we where doing to do with WW2. I also recall the story of someone being buried under the library and it did give me a really odd feeling whenever I was in there! The whole building used to creep me out to be honest although it's probably because it is such an old building. @Keith Wadd - you could try posting on the Message board part of this site which is accessed through Messages and see if anyone has any info on the school? I would of said to ask Marin Watts who was a teacher at the school and had been there for years but he must have already retired. Good luck, Rob.

By Robert Herron (04/02/2011)

Keith, the Portslade books by Claire Green & Judy Middleton give short histories of the school along with some interesting old photographs.

By Tony Clevett (13/03/2011)

I remember the bridge over High St, just above the hole in the wall as we called the opening leading to Applesham Way. My grandparents lived at 15 High St- the old Swiss style cottages on the bend. Sad that they survived tanks in the war but were demolished later for road widening. My grandfather used to grow beautiful chrysanthemums in his garden and take them down to the old George pub on Sunday lunch times to pay for his pint. Does anybody remember the old Hook and Eye on the HIgh St?

By Ann Singleton nee Hawkins (17/11/2011)

Hi from New Zealand. Loved reading the comments above about the Old Village at Portslade. Co-authoring with Judy Middleton, we put together an article of my early recollections during the war years in Windlesham Close to be published in a new book. Unfortunately the book was not published last year due to the present financial crisis. As a matter of interest I have sent this to the B&H libraries, so Portslade may have a copy if anyone would like to read my little story with pics. I'm knocking on 85 but well remember the Hook and Eye Hall and wartime Xmas parties there, and also the Swiss stone thatched Cottages Ann talks of. What a shame they had to come down. Keep the comments and recollections coming. My NZ history webpages: http:crash/ihug.co.nz/~tonyf/

By Tony Flude (19/04/2012)

As a little boy in the early 1900's, my Grandfather lived at the racing stables where his father was a jockey. He told me of this pretty bridge and said peacocks from the Manor House gardens used to wander around the area.

By Suzie S (22/04/2012)

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