Bennett Road

I lived there too

By David Collison

Thanks Mike I remember you and Tony very well. I lived in Bennett Road, number 54 from 1948-1966 when I left to find the pot of gold in London. 

The Street was full of kids but sadly I missed the Ice cream factory...but the crumpets were still available to us. I think the top shop became a Bike Shop and opposite was Mrs Bridges sweet shop, come general store. By then the houses had been rebuilt and almost unrecognisable as new places apart from the chimney stacks.

My parents lived there until 2006 when mum had to go into a nursing home...she is still alive, virtually running the place. Dad died in 1994 after the big storm and somebody crashed into the low wall that divided all the houses from the pavement. Strange how stress can finish you!!

On Saterday mornings we used to go mob handed to the Odeon Kemptown and watch Saturday morning pictures and then go to the nearby cake shop and buy a big bag of stale cakes for a few pennies...and we are still alive to prove that sell by dates are just a commercial ploy to get stuff off the shelves.

I remember one Saturday Roy Rogers turned up in the Odeon, with his horse Trigger and had it counting and doing things that we had never seen an animal do before...he probably wasn't Roy Rogers or Trigger but he convinced us. Sad how you become cynical in your old age.

That was between Pathe News, or was it Pearl and Dean and the Cisco Kid as I recall.

There was no fear of getting run over in those days...there were very few cars around

One year it snowed so heavily that we were able to build a wall right across the road, which must'v annoyed Mr Gibson, the Insurance man in his Riley. One of the few cars that came down the road. then Mrs Stevens won the pools and bought a big car that sat outside her house forever. She lived opposite the Jones's who are probably still there, but I could never keep up with them!  And the Collinse's used to go hop picking every summer, load all their gear onto a lorry, kids on top and clear off for ages. Linda is the only one I remember.

Next door was Sandy who one day fell over and cracked her head open..i've never seen so much blood...well at that age I'd never seen blood before. She lived and even came to see mum once, not so long ago.

My best mate was Ray Bruce from No 61 whose mum and dad were great and very kind to me..Rays Mum put a fire out in my bedroom...yes, playing with matches, that's why I am still here to tell the tale.

I wish I had some pics but we really didn't go in for taking photographs, well I say that, but mostly the films just never got processed.

If I find some I will add them later.

This page was added on 08/06/2012.
Comments about this page

Hello David.......... I am a couple of years older than you I think, I was born in London in 1943 and moved to Bennett Road in 1944 with my family. I went back and lived in London for a few years but got out when the kids were in senior school as I could see the rot setting in sad to say. I now live with my wife of 43 years on the Romney Marsh in Kent and love the peace and tranquility. Sure I remember you and your family, your mum, and your dad with his briefcase coming home from work. Bennett Road was a lovely place to be brought up. As you say there was hardly a car in the road. The person that won the pools was Mr. Boston from number 27 who bought a black Rover that did not seem to move much. The George family just across the road from you at number 57 were the ones that went hop picking every year. When Mr. George died, Mrs. George, Linda, Colin and Michael went to live in Australia in 1964. The elder brother Raymond took over the house until he also went to Australia. Opposite the Jones family were the Charmans at number 45, Mr. and Mrs and Ken, Ivor, and Chris. I remember Ray Bruce, his dad was the window cleaner if I remember rightly, and always rode his bike around. I can remember nearly every family from the road, but have to keep a diary to remember what went on last week. Glad to know your mum is still going strong. I often wonder if anybody else from the road is still alive and kicking. The sister website to this has quite a bit of info regarding Brighton and some of Bennett Road. Nice to hear from you David, we have good memories from that time. Best wishes, Mike Peirson

By Mike Peirson
On 15/06/2012