Moulsecoomb housing estates

A favourite day out

By Joan Cumbers


When I was a child, a favourite day out from Moulsecoomb was a visit to the pond in Falmer village. A long trudge up the main road brought us to our destination. A very large pond with an island in the middle, Swallows and Amazons weren't the only ones with islands unfortunately we had no boat. 

Boys then wore short trousers and girls could and did tuck their skirts into their knickers. Into the pond we went, jam jar in hand trying to catch the slippery newts. Endless time was spent paddling, stirring up the mud and disturbing the small creatures that lived in its fascinating shallows.

Photo:Falmer church and pond: date unknown

Falmer church and pond: date unknown

Image reproduced with kind permission from Brighton and Hove in Pictures by Brighton and Hove City Council


Sixpence a sack
Potato picking, to some a remunerative outing, started very early in the morning. Once there, the aim was to fill hessian sacks with potatoes. Adults earned sixpence a sack and children threepence. I only recall gaining this princely sum once. I probably spent too much time lying on my back in the grass on the edge of the field, building castles in the white fluffy clouds. I can still remember being tired and hungry when I returned home late evening.



Enduring memories

In the fields, proper haystacks were built then, and we had great fun playing on them. You mustn't believe those stories of sleeping in a hay stack. Other than a gorse bush, a more prickly bed would be hard to find. Recently I returned to my 'roots' to show my granddaughter this joyous place. All gone, all built on. The tree hollow where the swing had been was fenced in. All in the interests safety I suppose. A notice at Falmer pond forbade bathing. They can't obliterate my memories though.

This page was added on 14/07/2009.
Comments about this page
Oh what memories were suddenly awakened. Falmer pond was a favourite place to go on a Saturday. A few coppers for a return ticket from Brighton Station and armed with a jam jar on a string, a small net on the end of a bamboo pole and one was away "newting". Oh happy glorious days before the war, never to return.
By John Wall VK2 (15/07/2009)
Yes John, all those years and we still remember the pleasure. Do children no longer have such enjoyment while learning about wildlife? I remember my Mum screaming at the little black frogs jumping all over the living room. They had developed from some of Falmer's tadpoles. The cat enjoyed the game they provided.
By Joan Cumbers (nee Oram) (16/07/2009)

Most of my family are interred at this church. Though my mum and dad where cremated, my paternal nan and granddad are buried here and also my Uncle Jack (John) Pelham Edwards, my dad's brother. My mum's ashes were sprinkled on my nan's grave - Lillian Edwards nee Deacon. The story goes that my nan's side had some sort of connection with the Pelhams - Sir John Pelham but I've never been able to find out why or very much about it.

By Paul Edwards (01/10/2013)

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