Hove Lagoon

Happy times and great memories

By David Phillips

Having read a couple of comments about the 'Train Rides' at the Lagoon and just come across this photo of me, I thought that I might stir a few memories. Those days with, as I remember, the Bandstand with dancing area, the boats and the play areas and the very happy times I had there with my family.

Great memories!

Photo:Happy times at Hove Lagoon

Happy times at Hove Lagoon

From the private collection of David Phillips

This page was added on 10/04/2008.
Comments about this page

Great picture, nice memories brought back of my childhood living in Hove, and played frequently there on the trains and boating on the lagoon, with my parents. A fair walk from Livingstone Road where we lived at the time, through Stoneham Road, & Wish Road play areas too.

By Gordon Dinnage originally from Hove Actually! (12/04/2008)

You certainly have stirred some memories - thank you - I have a similar picture (as many others probably have too) - My photo is of my daughter when she was about 2 years old so taken about 1973. I remember going on the trains when I was young too. I expect there are quite a few people who can say the same. I don't remember the bandstand but that could be down to my poor memory. I spent many happy hours at the Lagoon from the 1950's right through to the 1990's when I went with my daughter and grandchildren. We had lots of fun on the swings and the plank swing was my special favourite. Have happy memories of the boating lake and watching the model boats on the larger lake - just lots and lots of happy times. It is funny but nearly all my memories seem to include the sun shining but I know I went there when it wasn't.

By Helen Shipley (12/04/2008)

Was that back in the 1950s?

By Ed Castle-Herbert (12/04/2008)

Hi David, can you date the photo? I remember the lagoon with great fondness, probably during the late 1950's and very early 1960's. But I don't remember the train, is it late 1940's?

By Peter Groves (12/04/2008)

Oh the great times we had here. Watching the speed boats, ice creams and the swans. Do you remember in 1963/4 it froze solid and there was a foot gap between the edge & the ice. Just the other side of the prom was our favourite beach. I was no different than the rest - but it was ours.There was a private water front house there I think. Best wishes from Brisbane.

By Chris Edwards (12/04/2008)

Hi all, the photo would have been taken in the 1950s as I was born in 1948. If my memory serves me correctly the Bandstand and dancing area was over by the Cafe but I could be wrong there. Chris in Brisbane (good move) I was in the RN in 1964 and my Lagoon days were gone. I noticed that your surname is Edwards as is my mother's maiden name. Her family is from the Portslade and Hove area with her father being William son of Mark Edwards any connection.

By Dave Phillips (13/04/2008)

I remember the trains too. I guess this photo was early 1960s. I lived in Coleman Avenue and regularly went to the Lagoon as a child in the 1960s. It was a real treat to go on the trains, as everything else was free. I can remember a huge slope at one entrance to the Lagoon, where friends and I would roller skate down as we grew older and were allowed the venture out without our parents.

By Jacqui (13/04/2008)

That train was still there in at least the early sixties. Do you remember the ice cream window in the cafe where you could get a cone and have it dipped in melted chocolate? That is the only place I have ever seen that done.

By Neil Underhill (13/04/2008)

Hello David, It's me again! The trains were most definitely there in the 1950s and possibly into the early 1960s. I, too, remember riding on them when I was a child, having been born a year after you in 1949, and living until 1959 in St. Leonard's Avenue. The bandstand with its dance area though were certainly further east that the lagoon, just to the west of the bowling greens, where tennis is now played. I remember going to an open air concert at the bandstand one summer evening in 1964(?) and hearing The Animal's "House of the Rising Sun" for the very first time. Everyone was talking about it because it was a whole four minute long single. Unheard of at that time. What great memories!

By Alan Phillips (16/04/2008)

Dave said "I noticed that your surname is Edwards as is my mother's maiden name. Her family is from the Portslade and Hove area with her father being William son of Mark Edwards any connection." Sadly no - But I think I went to school with you - Both Benfield and Mile Oak - I'm circa 48 too. Ex St Andrews Road and Later Old Shoreham Road - both Portslade. Ken Edwards (Cousin) and I were Mods at the King Alfred Bowl.

By Chris Edwards (17/04/2008)

Hi Chris, it was worth a shot. I didn't go to Benfield but to St Nicholas and Portslade County and had an LI 150 with fly screen, wing mirrors and a goat skin covered dual seat and of course the statutory US Army parka. Oh the impetuosity of youth, but fun.

By Dave Phillips (17/04/2008)

I had a LD 150 in the last year of school and a LI 150 Series 2 later. We moved to Devon when I was 17 and a half.

By Chris Edwards (25/04/2008)

Hi all, I remember going down the lagoon in the late 60's and riding on the motor boats, at that time there used to be 2 lift up landing stages on the south side where they could bring the boats in to repair them. Then in the mid 70's I used to race the model power boats down there, what great time we had.  Does anybody have any old photos of the lagoon which they would mind me using on a website? We are now launching the "Brighton & Hove model power boat club" and will start using the lagoon again as a racing venue in March.  I am just sorting out a website and wanted to include a section entitled 'history of the lagoon'. Any help, photos etc would be gratefully appreciated. I will keep a look out on here for anybody wishing to participate.

By Andy Davis (12/11/2008)

Any one else remember crabbing at the Lagoon? Round the edges of the big lagoon was best, with a bit of bacon rind. In the winter of 1963, we skated on the big lagoon. Also made 3/4 of an igloo in one of the set of curved steps, before the parky told us to remove it. They rounded up all the swans because it was frozen so hard, and put them in the big black wooden hut - I suppose it was some kind of shelter, but it had a door. I remember all the flapping and screeching. Our dog Sally used to chase them, but once they chased her until she fell into the small lagoon. Also do you remember the 'rude' postcards in the stands by the ice cream? Barley sugar twists in the windows? The fantastic mahogany and brass toilets? And the huge numbers of daddy-long-legs that used to gather in the summer under the colonnades? Happy days!

By Amanda Bevan (28/11/2008)

Now that photo brings back memories. Not of riding on the train, but operating them at the weekends and school holidays. At the right of the picture can be seen the platform, and, just to the right but out of sight was the operators' hut. I spent many days sitting there controlling them, two foot pedals for the two station sections and the master switch for the "country" section. Worst part was if one of the trains stopped on the sharp curves and needed a push start to get it moving again. I don't know why but I often got a static shock from them.

Behind the photographer was the roundabout and that had the power switch in the center. On a quiet day, there was often only one person running both the trains and the roundabout so you would switch it on, push the roundabout to help the motor get going, jump on, from the inside, then jump off to the outside and then, leaving the roundabout running, get the trains going.

In winter, they were taken up to London and set-up in one of the big shops for the Christmas.
No "Elf an Safty" to tell us it couldn't be done.

By Mike Dennis (10/06/2009)

My family ran the Cafe at the Lagoon from the early 1950s to the late 60s. Headed by my grandma, my uncle then my father served nixious cups of tea and egg and tomato sandwiches along with Eldorado ices. The family also ran the kiosks in the parks. Many a time, in the 1950s and 60s, I've buttered bread or poured tea to the sound of leather hitting willow.

By Barry Coidan (12/06/2009)

To Chris Edwards: I knew a Johnny Edwards; he was a boxer and worked on the building sites. I wonder if you are related?

By Victor Voice (15/08/2009)

Similar to my cousin Barry's comments: our family owned and ran the cafe in the 50's and 60's. It was always an exciting and fun place to visit when I was a small boy. I remember buying a wooden sail boat at the cafe and sailing it on the large lagoon.

By Andrew Coidan (09/02/2011)

I can remember skating on the lagoon in the 1950s. My brothers and sisters and I spent many, many happy times at Hove Lagoon during the 50s and 60s. It hasn't really changed that much.

By Janet Pike (17/06/2011)

Hello David et al. I am hoping you can help. I would like to use this lovely photo in vbites, the cafe at the lagoon and any other old photos of the lagoon. If anyone would like to help me with where I can get old photos of the lagoon, that would be great. David, with regards to this lovely photo of you at the lagoon, I was wondering if this was ok and may I have your blessing to do this? Could you please, when time allows, perhaps contact me on management@vbites.com. Thank you.

By Melanie (09/02/2012)

My birth certificate states 48, Coleman Avenue as the place my parents lived. Is there anyone out there who lived near that address in 1936? So many different surnames appear there at that time.

By Shirley (18/03/2012)

Message deleted. [Hello Shirley. I am afraid that we are no longer permitted to publish requests for information about Brighton and Hove residents for data protection reasons. Good luck with your research] 

By Shirley (20/03/2012)

Does anyone remember a mechanical clock nearer to the Brighton and Hove border - pelicans came out when it chimed?

By Emam Burnett (02/03/2015)

Hi Emma, I think you are referring to the Guiness Clock. Enter this in the search facility at the top of the page and you will find lots about it, including pictures.

Regards, Andy

By Andy Grant (02/03/2015)

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.