Sheepcote Valley

Campsite: undated view

By Sue Loveridge

Sorry but I don't know the date of this postcard.

Can anyone hazard a guess as to the date?

Photo:Sheepcote Valley Campsite

Sheepcote Valley Campsite

From the private collection of Sue Loveridge

This page was added on 18/01/2010.
Comments about this page

Well it is definitely pre School which would be seen to the top left but I would suspect it is much older as I cannot see anything to do with Whitehawk F C which would be just in front and to the right of the campsite.

By Allan (20/01/2010)

Shame about the landfill site, but it may help to date the postcard. I'll guess 1930's based on no housing on Wilson Avenue, however the postcard may have been touched-up!

By Peter Groves (20/01/2010)

Hi Sue, when I was a kid we used to play over there. I guess the picture was taken in the early to late 60s because the garbage landfill is still deep and open. There used to be a wooden army assault course there as well just before you got to the dump. Used to pick the lead out of the old pianos and fish through the junk, also made bikes with whatever we could find, and found a nice necklace that I cleaned and gave to my Mum. We lived at 158 Wiston Road, from about 1949 to about 1970-71 (my poor memory is not as good now). It was great fun to be a kid then, I remember sliding down that steep pit many times, soot all over the place. The picture was taken from that upper level from Roedean Road, you have the main Roedean Road but there was another section about 20 feet up on the left hand side going up Roedean Road. I walked that many times to go to a house at the top to take a dog for a walk and earn my pocket money for the week. And I guess this picture was taken about June – August, the picture is sort of facing north north-east so by the shadows I would say from the sun from the east or just passed, between about 11:00 am to 2:30pm. All the best. Will add more when I remember.

By Robert Dawson (in BC, Canada) (20/01/2010)

Sue, In the foreground is the north end of East Brighton Park. I attended Brighton Secondary Technical School from 1957 to 1962, games day was held at the park. At that time the area at the end of the valley was the land fill area for Brighton Council (rubbish tip). The camp site in the middle ground was established about the time I moved from Brighton in the early 70s. If you wanted a guess I would say between 1975 to 1983. By the way the ridge line in the background was the site of the World War I scenes from the film "Oh What a Lovely War", I think it was directed by Richard Attenbourgh, at this time it was still a rubbish tip.

By Roger Sturt (20/01/2010)

I must admit to having sat back on this one awaiting some other views. Personally, I think, with the cornfield in production, what looks like the original chalk face on the northern face of the tip, and the infill being much lower and uneven in height, but still fairly high, I would put it late 50s. The bungalows built around that time and the houses and prefabs lower down, would be out of frame anyway, I think.

By Jeremy Homeward (20/01/2010)

I hung back too Jeremy as it looked to me to be around 1959 which is when my husband and I in our early days camped on the site in that summer several times. However, to be certain is not easy. Nice to think so though as it evokes many happy memories.

By Joan (24/01/2010)

Thanks for all your information. I guess the late 1950s is about right. My Dad was one of the self-builders who built the bungalows in the Swanborough Drive area.

By Sue Loveridge (02/02/2010)

I think early 60s as at the centre right of the picture there is a line of trees visible which separated Whitehawk's Enclosed Football ground from what was then general Council property, eventually taken over by Brighton College. Whitehawk's ground was moved from in front of the Pavilion - visible centre left in the early 1960s. That's my best guess as everything else, the shelf to the left, the house that the campsite owners lived in on the site itself and the old road that ran from Wilson Avenue through the park, to the site and then turned sharp right down to the football club, all seem to be there.

By Paul Hubbard (15/04/2010)

What was the the land fill site before it became a landfill? Can any one remember?

By peter (23/09/2010)

Can anybody add to a comment that the Dawson family owned Sheepcote Valley up until around the 14-18 War and used to farm pigs there?

By Terry (29/09/2011)

I remember Sheepcote looking like this in 1963-1967.

By Lee Rolf (08/12/2011)

I'm with Paul and Lee in saying this photo was taken in the 60s. I lived in the area at the time and I spent many a day at weekends and school holidays playing in Sheepcote Valley. I was lead to believe that the valley was part of Warren Farm which was located at the top of Wilson's Avenue. The pig farm which was mentioned in an earlier comment I’m sure was located in Whitehawk Valley, I think sheep were farmed in this valley; hence the name. The cliff in the photo was man-made, the valley was natural grass covered downland; the chalk slope was formed by bulldozers pushing chalk over the rubbish to create a covering for the landfill. One of the things I was told the Valley was used for was a rifle range, that’s how the local Rifle Butt Road got its name. In the late 60s early 70s, I remember the slope was being pushed ever nearer to the camp site until it was almost to the boundary fence - land filling of the valley was then halted. Part of Sheepcote Valley has now become a refuse transfer station and the landfill area has been landscaped and returned to downland. Over the last few years I have seen sheep grazing on the top end of the valley, as they probably did 100 years ago.

By Michael Brittain (10/12/2011)

Robert Dawson's posting (Canada) 20.1.12. Robert, further to my message posted on the 29.9.11 is it possible that you are related to the Dawson family that lived in this area? I have held long affection for Edward (Ted) and Rene Dawson who looked after me in the summer holidays for several years after WW2 when they lived in Henfield, North of Brighton.

By Terry Skelton (05/02/2012)

The land fill site was used by the Army as a firing range back in 1906, and the soldiers used to camp at Manor Farm. Also I remember it like this in the mid 60s.

By Robert Marten (12/02/2013)

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