Coastal Reflections - Life in the deans in the 1930s,40s and 50s: recollections of local life, before, during and just after the war years
Coastal Reflections in a marvelous collection of stories and memories of life in Ovingdean, Rottingdean, Woodingdean and Saltdean from the 1930s to 1950s compiled by noted local-based author Christine Foster.
The recollections are sometimes humorous, sometimes thought provoking and sometimes very sobering, bringing day to day events into focus through the experiences of the young (often children) people who were growing up as the urban Deans developed and then war-time took hold.
The book has been funded by The Co-op Local Community Fund and will raise funds for The Saltdean Community Charity (no 270950).
The book is available to buy for £5 from:
The Grange Gallery in Rottingdean
The Rottingdean Open Art Cafe
And The Laughing Dog in Brighton Marina.
Cover illustrations by Amanda Davidson.
An excerpt from the book about the Messcherschmitt 109 German aircraft that was shot down near Harvey's Cross, Saltdean in October 1940.
The book is dedicated to all the residents of the The Deans past and present with special gratitude to the contributors:
Robert Coe - Edna Godfree - Judith Grant - Patricia Greenwood - Peter Jobbins - Ivor Levett - Shelia Miles - Brian & Pat Page - Colin Piper - Kathleen Reece - Bob Richardson - David Rose - Joan Rose - June Slimmon - David Smith - Peter Titchener - Tony Towner - Gordon Tucknott - Barbara Whatley - Don Williams - Antony Willey and Christopher & Lesley Wrapson.
Mary Mears, Douglas d'Enno, Darren Skilton & Gaston Mallia of ZoneZine, Deryck Chester, The Saltdean Lido Community Interest Company, The Saltdean Lido Trust, The Saltdean Residents Association, Maria Mariott, The Deans Senior Tea Club, Jon Ray, Eve Longthorn, Peter Grove, Sarah Haybittle, Matthew Ebeling, Gary May, Dr Geoffrey Mead, My Brighton & Hove, and Impact Initiatives, Brighton.
Saltdean Lido CIC: Thank you to Trevor Curry who shared these wonderful pictures of the Easter Bonnet Parade at Saltdean Lido (1965-1973). Please pledge to save Saltdean Lido so that the Easter Bonnet Parades can resume!
You can donate here: www.spacehive.com/saltdean-lido
The Saltdean Bowl
By Mike Laslett
Many of Brighton & Hove’s archaeological treasures are held at Brighton Museum, safely stored in the Prince Regent’s wine cellars below the Royal Pavilion. One of the most beautiful from the Museum’s Iron Age collection is an object known as the Saltdean Bowl.
The Bowl's discovery
It was discovered on 6th May 1910 on the clifftops at Saltdean Gap, close to where the tunnel is today. It was found by twelve-year-old Edward Hales and his friend, fourteen-year-old George Wicks, both from Brighton, who then sold it on to the Museum in 1914.
The Bowl's location
About eighteen inches below the surface, cliff falls had exposed the beautiful urn you see illustrated. Such items are normally found as fragments and reconstructed like a jigsaw puzzle. Amazingly, the Saltdean Bowl was found undamaged, precisely as you see it here. At Brighton Museum, the Curator at the time, Herbert Toms, identified it as an Iron Age Cinerary urn containing both human remains and some pig bones, dating it to around 200 BC. The site disappeared in a further cliff fall the following December. On examination it is plain to see from the surface and the dimple on the base that it was crafted on a potter’s wheel. The design is extremely artistic and delicate for an object of this antiquity. A couple of years later, some Roman coins were washed out of the adjacent cliff so, while there is no proof, one may conjecture whether there may have been a small community living in Saltdean, spanning the late Iron Age and Early Romano-British periods. Most of Saltdean, with the exception of the old barns, dates from the Twentieth Century. Archaeological finds like the Saltdean Bowl reveal how humans have been active in the area for thousands of years. The bowl is now stored at Brighton Museum and I would like to thank Andy Maxted, Curator, who allowed me to inspect it.
The uncrowned king of Brighton!
In this beautifully charming BFI film we follow the ghost of Lieutenant Colonel John Eld on his journey back to and around Brighton 100 years after his death!
Click on the image below to go to the Brighton Zone Facebook page
The Telscombe Cottage with a Hidden Secret.
By Roy Grant
There used to be a small cottage on the seaward side of the South Coast Road near the Telscombe Cliffs. The views must have been magnificent, but nobody ever seemed to live there. I presume that was because it was never actually built to be lived in and also had a very deep cellar. If you look closely at the attached then and now illustrations you will discover more.
The cottage was a phony, built to hide the entrance to a lengthy hidden staircase which led to an equally hidden position in the cliffs below. The purpose of the cottage therefore was to conceal the shaft which gave access the original Portabello sewer pipe. When the recent modifications to the sewerage outfall were made, the cottage with magnificent sea views that presumably had never been lived in, ceased to be required. Post Script. Has anyone got a picture of the cottage? Not either of the two that are now by the roadside, but the original one that split the difference between the coast road and the cliff face.
In an effort to find out more about the actual route of the sewer pipe which dates from 1875 by the way, I discovered that in Tim Carder's Encyclopedia of Brighton it also had a little more about the cottage itself.
Tim wrote, "There were sixty ventilating shafts along its length including a 102-foot chimney erected on the cliff top to the south-east of Roedean School; a coke fire was used to produce a continuous flow of air through the sewer, but the chimney was demolished in 1933 for the construction of Marine Drive although the concrete base remains. Another ventilating shaft was built in 1885 at Rottingdean Heights disguised as an octagonal-shaped house; it was known as The Mortuary because the bodies of ship-wrecked sailors were kept there before burial, but the building was demolished following its sale in 1973. There were also ventilation flues built into the corners of the Madeira Lift shaft."
Here is a selection of historical pictures of Saltdean from Getty Images.
Diving boards at the Ocean Hotel, September 13th 1937.
Honeymooners enjoy a relaxing time at the Ocean Hotel, April 1957.
May 31st 2001, then prime minister Tony Blair visits Saltdean on his drive through Brighton.
A busy Saltdean Lido with the Ocean Hotel in the background, circa 1940s.
April 1957, the 'classic' picture of a honeymooning couple kissing in front of Butlin's Ocean Hotel.
Terms and conditions of these embedded images are covered in these two links below:
ZoneZine does not give permission for you to 'copy and paste' any of the images in this article onto your social media account or website. If you wish to share any Getty images please visit Getty Images, read and then comply with their terms and conditions.
By the way, we are branching out and have started a shiny new Facebook page called Peacehaven Zone.
If you have an interest in the Peacehaven, Telscombe Cliffs & Village area please come and join!
We'd love your support to grow this new community page, just click/tap on the logo below to go there and like & follow! Thank you.
Chris Wrapson: I grew up in Woodingdean 1940s / 50s but have lived in Saltdean since 1955, having always had a fascination for our local buses and services.
Of all the buses operated over the decades on our local routes including Service 2, this has to be my favourite bus Bristol FLF pictured when brand new owned and operated by ''Brighton Hove & District Omnibus Company (BH&D).''
The photo dates from summer 1966 and appears in Glyn Kraemer-Johnson & John Bishop's book 'Streets of Brighton' 'Rottingdean High Street' .
Do you believe in witchcraft or magic?
Could a little stone gobliney gargoyle face set in a flint wall in Rottingdean really make your dreams come true?
What must you do to him before there is any chance he'll help fulfil your wishes?
To find out more just tap on his nose with your finger in the image below.
Photo courtesy of Badwitch
The British Film Institute (BFI) have just released this gem from its movie archives!
It features Saltdean's wonderful Butlin's Ocean Hotel in all its 1950s glory!
Nicknamed 'the honeymoon hotel' due to the many newly wed couples who spent their first night of wedded bliss there, the Ocean was holiday camp supremo Billy Butlin's favourite acquisition and became the administrative centre for his leisure empire.
Jane Nightingall 19/6/2017 07:19:57
How wonderful I used to work there as a receptionist and the tales I could tell are hilarious!
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The Copper Family Singers of Rottingdean
By Bren Hall - Sussex in History
For more than 400 years the Copper family have lived and worked in and around the village of Rottingdean, a village on the Sussex coast about five miles east of Brighton. They have worked as shepherds, carters, publicans and general farm-workers on the seaward hills of the South Downs.
For at least the last 200 years of those years the family has been renowned locally as country singers and they have been called upon to sing their songs at sheep-shearing suppers, Harvest Homes, family parties and pub sing-songs. But in 1898 their songs were made known to a wider public when Mrs Kate Lee visited Rottingdean and noted down the words and music of “about half a hundred” of them from the singing of James “Brasser” Copper, at that time a farm bailiff, and his brother Tom who was landlord of the Black Horse in the village High Street. Mrs Lee took the songs back to London where her adventures in collecting their songs were described at the first general meeting of the Folk Song Society in 1899, and subsequently published in the Society’s first Journal. James and Tom were made honorary founder members for their contribution of songs.
The family never lost their affection for the old songs, and in 1936 Jim, the son of James, wrote out the words of about seventy of them in a determined effort to keep the tradition alive.
In the 1970s, three books written by Bob Copper were published: A Song for Every Season (which won the 1971 Robert Pitman Literary Prize). Songs and Southern Breezes (1973) and Early to Rise (1976).
Sadly Bob passed away in 2004 but the tradition flourishes still – Bob’s children John and Jill inherited their father’s love for the songs, and in 1965 John made his public debut when he sang with his father at the Royal Festival Hall. The Coppers are still living on the Sussex cliff-tops and singing as enthusiastically as ever, having been joined by Jill’s husband Jon Dudley. To complete the picture, Jill’s three sons Mark, Andrew and Sean, together with John’s sons Ben and Tom, and daughter Lucy are all part of The Copper Family lineup, thus completing seven consecutive generations of singing Coppers, as well as also performing as The Young Coppers.
Songs collected by The Copper Family are credited from stages across the world.
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