Waterhall

Little remains of the 18th century farm

Reproduced with permission from the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder, 1990

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Photo:Original bridge

Original bridge

Photo by Tony Mould

This page was added on 11/05/2008.
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The photograph of the Mill Road bridge by Tony Mould is entitled 'Original Bridge.' It is actually the bridge after modification, turning the round arch into it's present-day square design. From 1947 I lived in the tea gardens at the bridge end of the four cottages on the lower end of Mill Road. This was called the 'Rest-a-While tea gardens from before our time there. We left in 1955 when it still had that name. The bridge was the scene of frequent accidents and it was a common sight to see my mother taking trays of tea to support victims of these incidents. High-sided vehicles getting stuck under the bridge was a typical event and tyres would be let down to free them up. The lower part of Mill Road would flood most winters and this was an opportunity for me to float toy boats down the middle of the road. We kept a flock of forty ducks who occasionally escaped from their quarters and, as ducks do, waddled in tight formation to the end of the road and stood watching the changing traffic lights at the crossroads (now a roundabout). The tea gardens saw it's share of celebrities coming regularly as customers: boxers of the day like Tommy Farr, tennis stars like Daphne 'Gem' Gilbert and scores of regular families who came year after year to enjoy Patcham Place with a tray of tea and cream scones from the tea gardens.

By Ian Tracy (02/07/2014)

Further to the above contribution, the land below the area known as Waterhall was owned by the Water Board, as were the four cottages at the bottom of Mill Road (in earlier times they were called the Toll Gate houses). To the west of the railway line was a fine Victorian waterworks. Between the waterworks and the railway was an open municipal tip. This was the scene of many happy hours spent by this writer, scavenging amongst the rubbish, catching sloworms, spotting adders, building camps and generally getting exposed to any bugs lying around the tip. In today's climate of obsessional cleanliness, puritanical health and safety laws and sun phobia this would indict my parents on grounds of neglect.The area between the railway and the London Road, an acre of which was our garden, was fairly swampy. This was in part due to sporadic risings of the underground river, the Wellesbourne, and to the drainage from Mill Road (the A27). To the west of the waterworks rises Sweet Hill where I picked blackberries sixty five years ago and still do today - and very good blackberries they are.

 

By Ian Tracy (27/07/2014)

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