Seafront (Hove)

A magical place

By Mick Gates, soldier

Even before I moved here four years ago, our seafront has been a magical place for me. My earliest memory is walking along the prom with my family. I guess I was about 5 or 6. It was a classic Brighton and Hove day - big waves, spray in the air, very windy. Needless to say Grandad's hat blew away!

Whatever is happening in my life, whether I'm happy or sad, the wide open spaces and mystery of the horizon promising adventures elsewhere always help me calm my thoughts. The variety of people in our town (sorry - city!) always makes me smile. Its truly a great place to live.

Sent to the website by e-mail 19/9/02
This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page

When I was a young teenager in the sixties, Hove Seafront was my magical place to walk alone especially in the winter when the grey waves were crashing and wind-driven rain splattered my face and hair. In a strange way, I found those cruel elements calming and invigorating at the same time. I now live in Hawaii; oceans away and in a world I used to hope for in all my teenage dreams. I'm planning a visit soon to Brighton and Hove. I'm sure much will have changed, but the waves, pebbles, wind & rain will no doubt bring back memories.

By Jackie Collins (04/12/2006)

Does anyone remember the West End Cafe? It was situated between the
promanade and the main road, about half way between Hove Street and the Hove Lagoon. It had beautiful gardens at the front and  access to a games area from the promanade with arcade games in. I specifically remember a game called "Boot Hill", it seemed to be there for ever and I spent many an hour watching the older kids playing it! I don't even know if the building is still there or if it's still a cafe.

By Chrissie Burton (23/09/2007)

I remember the West End Cafe very well. In the 1960s you could get a fantastic scrambled egg on toast with a pot of tea and sit in the cafe looking out to the wild ocean waves crashing up to the promenade with the wind screeching in your ears. At the same time, you felt completely protected from the elements, with the very nice waitresses looking after you. Or you could have tea and home made scones. After that, the walk home along the seafront did not seem so daunting. It was demolished and replaced by an unattractive building which is now a nightclub, so no more tea and toast!

By Jillian (02/10/2007)

I had four happy years living opposite the West End Cafe in Girton House. It changed its name to the 0273 bar, then The Island. They had a fire in the Island in 1995 and it attracted the wrong kind of punter.

By Tim Hodges (08/09/2008)

I have some odd memories of Hove prom as a kid. I remember one evening, in winter I think, my Dad taking me and my Mum down from Mile Oak, on to the prom near the Peace Statue. There were aircraft all the way along, including, if memory serves me, a roped off Spitfire! Does anyone else remember this event? I'm pretty sure I'm not dreaming it. Sadly my Dad is dead, so I can't check with him. Paul Edwards

By Paul Edwards (19/10/2009)

Dear Chrissie, yes I remember the Boot Hill game at the West End Café. And the shop on the prom side that used to sell chocolate, crisps (including the unsalted ones with the small blue sachet of salt) and ice cream. The building is still there, unattractive though it is. I used to love the sunken gardens behind, where as a kid living in Walsingham Road and Sackville Gardens I used to skateboard down the slope to the bin area. I would scramble in the bushes, and climb up onto the flat roofs of the shelters that overlook the gardens (found a leather football there once that my dad made me take to the police station). The backdrop of the Sackville Hotel is now sadly lost, since it collapsed during recent renovations. Shame they're not putting it back, as they probably should.

By Jamie Marshall (09/01/2010)

As a current tenant of a beach chalet at Saltdean (No.1 of 20), I can assure everyone in the S.R.A. that these chalets are all used on a regular basis throughout the year. Some are occupied by pensioners who visit daily (weather permitting) and others by families at weekends and in school holidays. There isn't one that is not used less than 50 days a year. Some have invested hundreds of pounds fitting out the interiors and securing the doors with metal plates and high grade locks and hinges, following a spate of break-ins. It is not until recently that the Council has deemed to carry out much needed repairs to the fabric of the building, we had no gutters at the back and damp was coming through the back walls creating mildew on anything left inside. Most of us waited on a list for 5 years or more before we became tenants, because of mismanagement by the Council and connivance by the then chalet tenants to keep empty chalets for their own use and deny families with children from occupying them. This has now changed and we are all one big happy family who feel privileged to have the use of this amenity.

By Joel (06/03/2012)

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