Whitehawk bus garage

1960s photo

Photo:Buses in Whitehawk in the 1960s

Buses in Whitehawk in the 1960s

From the private collection of Tricia Leonard. Submitted to the webiste at the My Brighton and Hove 1960s photo event at the History Centre, May 2004

This page was added on 17/09/2006.
Comments about this page

The photo above depicts the coach park just past the Broadway cafe in Whitehawk Road. Whitehawk bus garage was further down the road towards the sea. When we were kids in the late 40s and 50s, we used to roller skate around the bus garage as the floor was as smooth as anything. When the trolley buses were being tucked up for the night, the drivers would unhook the power poles from the wires and use the batteries to drive them into the garage. We would hang on to the back of the buses on our skates and have a free tow along. When we were young teenagers, we would sneak onto a bus in the middle of the garage and do our courting in peace and quiet. Lovely days gone by. Damaging anything was not in our minds as it is today. Would love to hear from anybody else from that era who lived in the vicinity

By Mick Peirson (14/10/2006)

To Mick Peirson. I lived bang opposite YHT coach park. Do you remember the green grit bin, that was there? My mates Georgie Roberts, Terry Dunk and Peter Eason used to open the doors and use the bin as our goal. We only played with a tennis ball and got quite skilful. We earnt money cleaning the coaches in the summer at two bob time, until somebody stole a camera and the cleaning stopped.

By Bluey Atkins (07/06/2007)

As a young boy I used to walk home to Wiston Close through the coach park after many great days at Black Rock swimming pool or the beach. There are some buildings in the picture that I am curious about, I wonder if anyone can help? In the upper left corner there are 3 buildings, behind the block of flats. (I don't think the flats were there when I lived there between 1946-1958). But the buildings I do vaguely recall. The large building at the top, the stone barn-like building between the flats and the large building and the small lighter coloured building to the right of the flats, which I seem to remember as a sort of home-made dwelling. Does anyone have any info or pictures of these buildings? Anything would be appreciated. My email is eric.cristina@yahoo.com  Thanks.

By Eric Cook (06/11/2007)

Hello Bluey - I haven't been on the website for a time. I remember the names of Terry Dunk Georgey Roberts and Peter Eason. He was the cousin of Paula and Shirley Jones from Rugby Place if I am right. Peter lived near my mum in Bristol Street when he got married he was working as a telephone engineer I think.

Mick Peirson

By Mick Peirson (21/12/2007)

Hi Mick,, your dead right. Pete did live there and was a telephone engineer. Happy days.

By Bluey Atkins (04/01/2008)

Hi, I worked in this depot as a conductor in 1969. As I came from Scotland I knew nothing about Brighton bus routes. I do not recognise anything from that picture but every time I seen the TV 'On the Buses' I am sure that was the entrance to the Whitehawk depot. There was a large bar close by I believe called the Whitehawk Inn. It had a massive bar and a piano lounge. I boarded close to the depot in Whitehawk and up in Roedean at "The Cliff". I remember the Whitehawk route was very busy and everybody called me Jock due to my Glasgow accent.

By Mick Carroll (13/08/2009)

I worked at Whitehawk bus garage from Sept 1972 to Jan 1999. In the early years it was like home from home; it was like one big family. It was one, if not the, best job I had.

By John Dine (24/03/2010)

Hi John, I worked at Edward St depot from 1970 till 1985. I remember you well.You're right, it was a great job, a pleasure to go to work.

By Peter Bradick (05/03/2011)

Hi Pete, I have not been on site for a while, good life. I still meet up with a few through golf and breakfast club. Hope you are well.

By John Dine (08/10/2011)

Hello Pete Bradick! Could you send me your email address, as a few people would like to get in touch. Mick Clifford is on facebook.

By John Dine (14/10/2011)

Does anyone remember the conductor whose face had been badly burnt and disfigured whilst flying with the RAF during WW2? Such a brave, brave man to take on a job where he met hundreds of people every day and faced up to his problems. He was a favourite with all of the passengers. There was also a very 'posh' one, of whom it was rumoured was a Lord.

By Dave Hamblin (23/03/2012)

This photo brought back memories of the '60s when I used to take a bucket and mop up to the waste ground by Findon Road. I used to clean the interior of the coaches parked there on summer afternoons; the drivers were usually having a doze before taking the day trippers back home again. I used to pick up all the sweet and crisp wrappers from the floor then give it a mop, the drivers used to give us a couple of bob for our efforts. Talking of bus conductors in some of the other posts, one conductor I remember from the '60s was a guy they affectionately called Trigger; he had some missing fingers but could still turn the ticket dispensing machine with ease. He always seemed happy in his job shouting out "hold tight!", as he rang the bell.

By Michael Brittain (24/03/2012)

Reply to Dave Hamblin. I remember both of the bus conductors. I agree entirely with your remarks regarding the badly burnt man, as I recollect he was not very tall and of slender build and always cheerful. The 'posh' one was a tall chap who, I believe, was the son of a titled family. He was well spoken and very polite. I also believe he fulfilled his ambition to become a qualified bus driver.

By Barrie Searle (25/03/2012)

The conductor with the disfigured face could have been Mr Hewison. He was one of the 'Guinea Pigs' for plastic surgery at the McIndoe  unit in East Grinstead. His daughter was in my year at school. I remember the school children being very cruel with their comments.

By June Churchill (25/03/2012)

In the 1950s we were paid a bonus of 5 shillings per month if we held a perfect record for attendance, for time keeping on the route, for ensuring that all fares had been collected when an inspector boarded the bus, and for civility to passengers. There was an aged lady shareholder who rode continuously from Wish Road to Palmeira Square, and back, to seek fault with the bus crew – to save the company paying the bonus. Sometimes she would stand back from the platform and try to scramble aboard after the bus had started - I lost my bonus one month for ‘not giving her time to board’. I lost it the following month because she mistimed her leap and I grabbed her to save her falling off. I should not have touched her, I was told. The third month’s bonus went because she tried it again. I let her fall and gave the emergency stop signal. The bus stopped, I flew to the floor and slid to the front of the bus, and she collided with the hand rail. The following month she claimed to have lost her Shareholder’s Bus Pass, and I insisted on taking a fare. The company couldn’t fine me for that, and agreed that I had had my share of the lady, and my route was changed. 6 months later the driver on that No.1 bus had still not earned a bonus!

By Ted Brooke (25/03/2012)

The small badly burned WW2 bus conductor was often on the 26 and 26A buses, and I remember him well, issuing the tickets from that little silver box with the clothes peg type catches, holding all the different coloured square tickets in place (blue, mauve and pinkish, I think). We used to get on at the Open Market and travel to Springfield Road for a halfpenny as children, and then they issued twice the size, oblong, white tickets for a penny, a bit later (pre-decimal money). This was a time when the drivers and conductors were true "gentlemen of the road" and took great pride in their jobs, which were their careers for life.

By Mary Funnell (29/06/2012)

I was a seasonal bus conductor at Whitehawk depot during the mid 1970s (in other words it was my summer job while I was a student). My father Alf Wilkin was a conductor there from 1959 to 1980. I remember John Dine and many other drivers from that era - Harry Hopper, Les Mansell, "Rubberneck" Roberts, Peter Able and Bob Golby, to name a few. Most drivers and conductors tried to give good "customer service", though there were some passengers who would try the patience of a saint. The beauty of that job was that at the end of a shift you could switch off, go home and forget it - unlike almost every job I've done since!

By John Wilkin (29/06/2012)

The posh conductor is still alive and is Lord Teviot, he used to be on the 5b. He also for a while worked at J.Sainsburys in Blatchington Road. I was at London Road JS in the 60s and it was a feature of the house magazine to show Lord Teviot at work in the store. He is a long standing historian with a passion for family history research, so not far removed from 'My B&H' interests.

By Geoffrey Mead (02/07/2012)

I remember the disfigured man well on the 42 circular in the late 60s; he was a Corporation bus conductor. The titled conductor was Lord Teviot, and he worked for some time with Brighton Hove & District (the company).

By Martin Nimmo (02/07/2012)

What about Ray Brooks, the actor. His mum was a conductress and dad was a driver. Both were musical and some nights they played and sang down at the Whitehawk Inn, A very lively couple.

By Harry Atkins (08/07/2012)

I had a drink with Ray Brooks and his Dad a couple of times in saloon bar of the Whitehawk Inn, back in the early '80s. Nice people.

By Andy Mountford (09/07/2012)

When I lived at Woodingdean from 1956 to 1965, there were several coach companies in Brighton in addition to Southdown. There was Camping's coaches, Alpha Coaches and Unique Coaches. Dose anyone know what happened to these companies and when they went out of business?

By John Todd (09/07/2012)

Hello John Wilkin! What a lovely man your dad was. I still see quite a few of the lads through golf and breakfast club: Arthur Percy, Ian Jowet, John Hunt, Pete Gillingham. Hope these names bring back a few memories.

By John Dine (28/08/2012)

Hi John Dine, You weren't so bad yourself!  I remember you having a "service" on the 26's. I had a service on the 3's, my mate was Ken Barson. I also remember going out OMO training with you. All those names...  I am still working for B&H as it is now - on the coaches.

By Graham Maskell (29/08/2012)

Just been to lunch with Alan Blunt, Mick Clifford and Len Connolly. Great to catch up.

By John Dine (28/01/2013)

I can confirm the name of the conductor with the disfigured face was George Hewison.  I worked at Lewes Road Garage from 1973 until 1997.  At the start of my employment there a number of the ex-trolleybus crews were still working.  George was a great character and despite all his difficulties still kept his humour, though he was a little hard to understand at times, particularly after a visit to the local 'establishment'.

By John Goddard (02/12/2013)

Anyone remember my father-in-law Ted Woolgar? He worked as driver/ conductor/ inspector 50s, 60s, 70s, and lived in Hervey Road?    Steve Bennett (married to Ted's daughter Barbs)

By Steve Bennett (09/01/2014)

Hi Steve, I well remember working on the 44s with Ted in the 60s. I was only 19 and he put me wise to the tricks of the trade (as did most of the drivers I worked with). Nice guy to work with.

By Den Mackey (11/01/2014)

Lord Teviot was my driver when I was a conductor on the 8/11 services and I was based at Conway Street in the early 60s. He was very much a gentleman.

By Jim Stapleton (06/03/2014)

So would that be Findon Road, sweeping uphill from right to left before disappearing behind the block of flats on the far left, above the coaches? Is the block of flats still there?

By Alan Hobden (06/03/2014)

Yes, the block of flats is still there - South Lodge. Me and sister and mum got a flat in 1960 after my dad died and we had to move out of our house. I used to clean out the coaches at weekends for pocket money.

By Terry Eggy Boyle (07/03/2014)

I don't know if anyone knew my cousins that lived opposite the coaches in the Whitehawk Rd area - the Calways, Tony and Terry. I used to love going to Whitehawk and waiting for my dad and Uncle Bert Calway to have a pint. Can anyone tell me what they remember of them? Mark Brickley, USA.

By MJ Brickley (14/01/2015)

Hi Mark. I was Terry's partner, we have a daughter together- Sasha. Sorry to tell you Terry died 8/7/2003 and Tony died some time this year. I am sorry but I don't know the month he died as I was only told last week that he passed away, Brenda 

By Brenda White (08/04/2015)

The coach park site which later housed the library and youth & community centre building, with its very popular top floor function room, is right now being built on to house 57 new flats - to be called Kite Place. I am a community worker in Whitehawk and very keen to see the rich history of the area kept alive as so many changes take place. If you have memories of the old coach park or more recently of the Whitehawk library or youth & community centre, or of great times spent in the function room there, please e-mail me: g.j.allen@ntlworld.com. I would be really pleased to hear from you. Thank you.

 

By Graham Allen (01/09/2016)

Message to Brenda White; please contact me if you can. I would love to chat my email is markjbrickley@hotmail.com 

By Mark J Brickley (14/09/2016)

I remember the coach park well. We used to live up behind where the coach is parked on the far right in Reading Road and out the back of our house was waste ground and then the coach park. We used to earn some money some times when they let you go through the coaches and pick up any rubbish on the floors. Some of the drivers would have a good drink in the hot Sundays sitting on the waste ground and there was a few bad car crashes at that junction as the cars used to wiz down Findon Road. That was our play area all up there. There used to be 100s of coaches, where are they now?

By Andrew Gumbrill (01/11/2016)

My husband, Mick, was on the buses for eight years; his dad, Harry Knights, for a very lot longer. First as conductor then driver. His uncle, Les Swayne, was also on buses 

By Pauline Knights ( Beadle) (24/11/2016)

Before Lord Teviot became a bus driver, I remember he was the conductor on the No.6 route past Langdale Gardens, and always very helpful towards the elderly.

By Richard Albright (28/11/2017)

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