Part 1 Growing Up in Southwick
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The Sussex Poet said, As a Man will paint with a peculiar passion, a face which he is only permitted to see for a little time, so will one passionately set down one's own horizon and one's fields before they are forgotten and have become a different thing. (Hilaire Belloc)

And so I set down my memories. In the early days of the century, when I was a small child, Southwick was a pleasant village divided socially by the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Line. South of the Line was mostly the seafaring community, to the north The Manor, The Hall, a few farms and farm cottages and a small rural community bounded by the main Old Shoreham Road and the Downs. I and my mother and father lived on the south side, my grandfather having been a sea captain. We lived in Adur Terrace, now demolished, but in those days a respectable terrace of houses largely owned by sea captains. Adur Terrace
Adur Terrace
It was on the main road between Shoreham and Brighton and on the opposite side of the road was a grassy bank studded with birds-foot trefoil and purple mallow. As a little five year old I remember running across the road, over the grassy bank and jumping down on the clean, firm, silvery sand that bordered the River Adur. Across the river one looked towards the narrow strip of beach between the river and the sea, made beautiful by the dark foliage, snowy topped, of the tamarisk. To the right there was the harbour where the river met the sea between the old wooden piers and, on the far side of the river, the old red brick Victorian Fort, a favourite place for picnics. And on the shore side of the river the old lighthouse and the lifeboat. To the left there were Mr. Brazier's oyster beds and an old cottage where my mother remembered buying winkles. My parents had no fear of allowing a small child to run to and fro across the road, for only an occasional horse drawn cart trundled its way along. One of my earliest recollections is the sound in the quiet of the early morning of the market carts returning from Brighton market and the clang of milk churns as the milk cart came along. The first car I ever saw in Southwick was owned by Dr. Grune who lived on The Green. I can see it now, a small elevated affair chugging along as he visited his patients. At the rear of our house in Adur Terrace a long garden ran down towards the railway embankment. It had a path down the middle lined with gooseberry bushes and half way down there was a break in the wall that divided our garden from the neighbour's where there was a covered well. This was my meeting place with the small boy next door. My mother, I remember, was not altogether happy at the liaison as he so frequently seemed to suffer from a cold and left his hanky indoors!

Part 1 Growing Up in Southwick
1999 Doris Randall
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