Introduction to Woodingdean

'The Hunns Mere Pit'

By Peter Mercer

'The Hunns Mere Pit the story of Woodingdean and Balsdean' by Peter Mercer was published in 1993.

This was followed by a further book by the same author in 2000 entitled 'Woodingdean Reflections and the Millennium'.

Added at the Brighton and Hove History Centre on 25-11-03
This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page
I have been asked very many times to have a reprint of the history book on Woodingdean but this can only be done if the print run makes it viable. If people would care to email me then I will look at the demand and go from there. I have one copy of the Hunns Mere Pit if anyone cares to have it.
By Peter Mercer (author of the Hunns Mere Pit the story of Woodingdean and Balsdean) (14/06/2005)
I'd love a copy of Huns Mere Pit. Do you still have a copy?
By Paul Bemrose (Channel View Road) (15/06/2005)
I am interested in a copy and I could probably get a couple of others interested too.
By Stuart Green (09/03/2006)
I am trying to get a copy of your book The Hunns Mere Pit. We used to have a copy that we bought at the launch but we lent it to someone and have forgotten who so we seem to have lost it. Please do a reprint so we can get another or perhaps any of the people who visit this site know where I can get a copy. I have lived in Woodingdean for twenty six years and Brighton all of my life so I do have an interest in all things local.
By John Plowman (09/05/2006)
This book was very special to me as well as the the interesting facts in the book. Near the back of the book was a picture of my recently deceased mother when she was thirteen with a group of children celebrating VE Day. A lovely picture to have found to put a smile on my face.
By Danny Lindsay (28/05/2006)
We have just moved to Channel View Road and I would love to get hold of a copy of 'The Hunns Mere Pit'. Have any more copies been reprinted? [Editor's reply: Hi Nicki - I am not aware that a reprint has been done. But you can still get a loan copy from your local library.]
By Nicki Myers (30/07/2006)

I moved to Woodingdean nearly two years ago and I have just read your Woodingdean 2000 book, which I got from Chris Yeatman. I would like to find out more and "The Hunns Mere Pit" sounds interesting.

By Alan Thorpe (01/04/2007)

My mother-in-law's family were one of the early "settlers" in Warren Avenue, in 1926. Their name was Robinson. We have only been able to read "The Hunns Mere Pit" on an inter-library loan, so would love to buy a copy if it is re-printed.

By Sue Steel (13/05/2007)

I have now started the third and final book on Woodingdean and Balsdean which will be similar to the ''Hunns Mere Pit ''and will contain many pictures of bygone times yet unseen. The narative will also contain fresh historical information on the village and a map of the original plots of land on the Downs Estate created at the end of the First World War. Please contact me if you have original rare material for publication.

By Peter Mercer (17/02/2008)

Dear Mr Mercer, as an 18 year resident of Woodingdean with a great interest in archaeology and history, I would love to buy a copy of your book, please? Thank you.

By Rev Peter King (06/03/2008)

Malcolm Latham, my husband, son of Ron and Rita who lived in Rudyard Road, would love a copy of your last two books. We have the 'Huns Mere pit in our possession. Wonderful memories.

By Phyllis Latham (24/09/2008)

Dear All. Thank you all for the kind comments about my books on Woodingdean - it makes it all worthwhile. Unfortunately I do not have any spare copies of 'The Hunns Mere Pit' at the moment and I am aware that they are expensive to buy secondhand. I do however have a couple of spare copies of the second book 'Woodingdean Reflections and the Millenium' although they can still be purchased at the Java Cafe in the village.  My email address has changed to prm442@hotmail.co.uk if anyone wishes to offer historical data for my third book. Best wishes.

By Peter Mercer (19/10/2008)

Please can you let me know how I could get a copy of the Huns Mere pit? Trying to trace my father and have been told there ae photos in the book that may help.

By Mrs Warriner (24/10/2008)

I would love a copy of this book. I bought a copy for my mum years ago when I went to the opening evening at the community centre and brought it then. Sadly when my mum past away I didn't find the book.

By Pam Way (25/11/2008)

Peter, I am a Rottingdean resident looking for a copy of The Hunns Mere Pit. Is a reprint on the cards?

By Andy Wilson (01/01/2009)

Dear Andy, whilst there cannot be a reprint of the Hunns Mere Pit I am still striving to finish my last and current book which will be entitled The Hunns Mere Way. Progress is slow as it always is when writing local history but hopefully it will be finished at the end of the year.

By Peter Mercer (30/01/2009)

I too am very interested in a copy of Hunn Mere pit - please let me know if you do another print run.

By Matthew Moore (19/04/2009)

Please advise how I can purchase these books. Brought up in Woodingdean till we emigrated to NZ 1974.  Interesting stuff.

By Glen Wilson (05/05/2009)

Would be great if there were reprints on the way! I'd love a copy of both 'The Hunns Mere Pit' and 'Woodingdean Reflections and the Millenium'. I have searched the net and managed to find one copy - somewhat out of my price range at £226.45! My memories of Woodingdean 'only' date back to the early 50s but I have many more fascinating memories having been one of the 'lucky' young couples given the opportunity to purchase property at the top of Lockwood Crescent, "at a fair price" in 1975 (this was just after the days of 'gazzumping' which caused house prices to rise far beyond ours and many other young couples financial limits or expectations). We understood the houses were built on land previously owned by, or the responsibility of Cllr Catherine Vale. Each plot of land was sold for £1 and the cost of each new house was a mere £7,800! After having enjoyed working with the Young People of Woodingdean for many years, I moved in 1997. However, as so many do, my sons have now returned to its beauty and own property of their own (though somewhat higher in price)!

By Cheryl Magee (27/05/2009)

I would love to get my own copy of this book. My nan, Edna Stowell, still has the signed copy you gave her and my Grandpa Ernie. I didn't know much about my grandpa's family and found it very interesting reading about them.

By Clarissa Stowell (07/06/2009)
I too would like a copy. We grew up in Woodingdean in the 60-70's before emigrating to New Zealand. Through the internet searches I came upon a small history of the well and your book was mentioned. If there is any chance to buy a copy it would be great. My father is 80 in September and it would be a great gift. He has had me print off all the information I can find and he was very excited about the whole thing. Amazing that we only found out about it recently. I saw a copy for sale at $US350 but hopefully a reprint would be much cheaper. Please let me know availability. Scored many a goal in the nets at Fitzherbet in kick arounds after school oblivious of the history a mere volley away. Thanks.
By Glen Wilson (20/07/2009)

Hi Glen, your Aunty Lynda here. I will make a few enquiries for you but don't get too excited, have not heard of any recently. I know there is an update book in paperback. Also Peter Mercer is writing another book on "Old Woodingdean". I will speak to him about it.

By Lynda Whymark (nee Ruffle) (18/08/2009)

Hi Linda. How good to see your name on here. Perhaps you can help me too. I have been searching for Peter's books for a couple of years. Had started reading a borrowed copy of Hunns Mere Pit but had to return it before finished. Would also love to read the other one and Peter please let us know when the third is finished so we can be sure to buy quickly before they sell out too.

By Caroline Reilly (20/09/2009)

I lived in Rottingdean and Woodingdean from 1933 until 1963. I remember vividly the day war was declared. I was in Mrs Larcomb's shop at the bottom af Vernon Ave. We lived at No 26. I would like to have a copy of your third book when it becomes available

By Arthur Pearson (22/10/2009)

I posted a comment on 22/10/09, but omitted to say that my Father was George Pearson and grandfather Charles Pearson, who built the bungalow at 26 Vernon Avenue sometime after the First War.

By arthur pearson (24/10/2009)

Would love to have a copy of The Hunns Mere Pit. I spent most of my childhood in Woodingdean.

By Barry Plank (07/11/2009)

Hi Peter, we have a copy of Huns Mere pit and would love another copy if possible to send to his counsin in Canada. In the book is mentioned my husband's Grandfather who run Brown Egg Farm, Captain Beckett. If there is any chance of copy please let us know. It's a great book and the children, our Grandaughter included, is learning the history of Woodingdean at Woodingdean Primary School where the book is talked about.

By Susan Beckett (26/11/2009)

Hi Peter it's probably all too late now, but if you have any reprints of your books I would be interested. My grandfather John Roberts (known as Jack), built several houses in Woodingdean. Some in the Ridgeway, Kee Kin (now demolished, but was once on a postcard and several in Falmer Road. I lived in Woodingdean and even worked at the Downs Hotel for a while. I am researching my family and would like more visual references

By Dee Drew (26/12/2009)

Dear Peter, I have just discovered your comment to contact you asap. I am afraid that my asap is the very slow version because I was living in Ireland from 1971 until 2004 when Maureen and I moved back to Kemptown, Brighton. Maureen, unfortunatelly died in October, 2008, but I still live in Kemptown, Maureen is  buried in Co Wicklow, Ireland. At present I am in Ireland visiting my families, most of whom are Irish born now. I am still in touch with Cyril (Ginger) Weller, as he lives in Hassocks, a village some 10 miles outside of Brighton. I met his brother (Harold) "Rookie" last year. They are as well as us old ones can expect. I believe your father built my Grannie Hall's bungalow at 10 The Ridgeway. That has now been demolished. I am back in Brighton around May 15 or so if you would like to contact me by email.

By Robert Coe (30/04/2010)

The launch of new book on Woodingdean  "The Hunns Mere Way the Untold Story of Woodingdean" will be launched by the publishers at the Woodingdean Community Centre on the 7th December 2010. The event will kick off at 6:30pm with wine, tea or coffee and book signing by the author will commence shortly after. For those unable to get to the launch books may be obtained directly from the Publishers S B Publications of Seaford (01323 893498) or sbpublications@tiscali.co.uk

By Peter Mercer (12/11/2010)

Hi Peter. It was great meeting you again at the launch of your latest book (The Hunns Mere Way). You obviously put in a lot of hard work - creating such an interesting book. I particularly enjoyed the chapters about The Wick Estate and People and Places, much of which I could relate to. Also The Balsdean Village story with pix was brilliant. I recall as a young boy back in the early 1950s camping out over there during school summer holidays. We would play for hours, on an old tank that had been left to rot in the bushes pretending, that we were fighting WW2 also, searching and collecting old mortar shells some live (although we didnt know that at the time). A pretty dumb thing to do thinking back. However, we are still here to tell the story. Your book has recalled many dormant boyhood memories (throughly good read, well done). Kind Regards, Chris Wrapson.

By Christopher Wrapson (09/01/2011)

Peter, I'm a Woodingdean 'resident' currently working in Singapore for a couple of years and would like to pick-up a copy when I come home for Christmas. The Huns Mere Way is a definite one to get hold of, any others? If you drop me an email I can arrange to make a payment one way or another and get someone to collect from the Java Cafe. Best regards, Gary.

By Gary Drew (19/05/2011)

Dear Gary, sorry for not replying to your email sooner but life has been rather hectic of late. If by now you have not obtained a copy of my latest book "The Hunns Mere Way the Untold Story of Woodingdean" copies may be obtained directly from the publishers at www.sbpublications@tiscali.co.uk Hope you enjoy the book.

By Peter Mercer (23/09/2011)

H Peter - Hope you are well.  I have a copy of your book 'The Hunns Mere Pit" and bought it as I grew up in Woodingdean from 1955-66, having attended Woodingdean Primary School, and in my later years have developed an in interest in the history of the local area. I was particularly fascinated by your account of the digging of the Well (wow, what a feat!) and would be particularly interested in knowing the exact location of the Well. I'm afraid your book only quotes as being near to the 'Old Laundry' and I don't know exactly where that would be. Would it be near to where the old Fitzherbert School is? A teacher friend of mine is also interested as he wants to tell his class about it. I hope you can help.

Kind Regards

David Clews, Steyning, West Sussex

 

By David Clews (13/08/2017)

The Well is in the car park of the Nuffield Hospital. 

By Geoffrey Mead (17/08/2017)

A very elderly friend of mine used to work at Warren Farm School in the 40s and 50s. Her late husband had been an inmate of the school and he, too, went on to work there. After the school and it's successor, Fitzherbert, closed, the site appears to have undergone a period of dereliction. When my friend's husband became aware that the site was being developed for a new private hospital, he had a few sleepless nights worrying that a worker might fall into what he felt sure was now a forgotten well-shaft. He informed the authorities and led them to the spot where the well head was located. I've no way of verifying this story, or of knowing if the exact location of the well was indeed forgotten, but my friend is insistent and is happy that her husband performed a life-saving service.   

By Janet Beal (18/08/2017)

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