Hartington Road Viaduct

Photo:William Clarke Park, Sept 2007 (site of Hartington Halt), north-west towards Hartington Road

William Clarke Park, Sept 2007 (site of Hartington Halt), north-west towards Hartington Road

Photo by Jackie Blackwell

Photo:Children's Playground, Sept 2007, showing the back of Bonchurch Road

Children's Playground, Sept 2007, showing the back of Bonchurch Road

Photo by Jackie Blackwell

Memories of the 1930s

By Mike Killick

I grew up around here. I was born 44a Brading Road in 1932, in the top flat looking out over the Bakery and we moved to this house in Hartington Terrace around 1934. I went to Fairlight School when I was 5 years old and stayed there until I was around 11.  I did get moved around a bit because of the 2nd World War, when we were sent to Elm Grove School and St Wilfred's Hall in Whippingham Road and to some other places.

A beautiful brick skew bridge
In those days you couldn't get across the Patch to get to school because it didn't exist. So I'd come out of Hartington Terrace turn right and down into Hartington Road and you'd see the viaduct, a beautiful brick skew bridge, a single arch (at least the height of 2 double decker buses) across the road, where we'd shelter under if it rained...  It was a wide bridge cos it was built for a double track. Sometimes we'd see the platelayer walking across the bridge on the track to Kemp Town, he was checking the line.

Hartington Halt
Going down the road, past the bridge on the left near to Lewes Road, you'd pass the entrance to Hartington Halt (it was closed to the public). The cutting was used for the Kemp Town railway and I never went in there then (although I did when I got older). There wasn't any passenger trains, in fact there was only one goods train a day at ten past 3 from Monday to Saturday.

A bomb like an earthquake
When I was about 9 years old I remember the bomb that dropped in the cutting next to Bonchurch Road (now the Patch), behind number 79. Luckily nobody was killed, though some did get taken to hospital. I got woken up about 4am with the noise and the house shook - it was terrifying. I went with my Dad to see if my Uncle & Aunt were ok - they lived at number 49 Bonchurch Road. Thankfully they were fine but most of the windows were blown out of their house and also loads were gone at Elm Grove School. And Sunny Bank Laundry at 82-84 Bonchurch Road was totally demolished. Windows were smashed and most houses had slates off their roofs in Seville Street & Upper Wellington Road . Binnie Best, who I used to sit next to at school lived at number 1 Seville Street... the blast from there must have felt like an earthquake...

This page was added on 24/03/2008.
Comments about this page

Picking up on the Halt, really would be interested in ANY pictures of that HALT, its platform & signage.
The Kemp Town Branch Line operated from Brighton Station, through London Road Station, , Lewes Road Station, Hartington Road Halt, through the tunnel to the Kemp Town Station & goods yard. Opened 1869, closed to passenger traffic 1933, and goods in 1971, with a special enthusiasts run as a commemorative day. I have a copy of the original plans for the railway extension from Kemp Town to Newhaven via Rottingdean. Would that solve part of todays congestion on the A259?

By Gordon Dinnage - Transport/Picture Publisher (30/03/2008)

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