Home | Education | Cooking | About | News | Contact | Volunteer | Blog | Directions | The Book | Donations | Links

Extracts from the memories of Gladys White (nee Yeates) - written for her grandchildren

"I was born in Hollingdean Road in January 1920. At the top of our road was an abattoir and I can remember cows walking past our house being driven to the slaughterhouse. The boys would follow excitedly to watch but I don't think they ever saw much. The little girls would run indoors because they didn't like to hear the squealing of the pigs and wailing of the cows. Opposite the abattoir was an incinerator with a very tall chimney, this was where the dustcarts brought all the rubbish from the town to be burnt.

These carts were drawn by big cart horses as were many of the trades vehicles, and many's the time our brothers would rush outside with a bucket and shovel to collect the manure left behind in the road. Dad would use this on his allotment; this was at the back of Popes Folly. We were never short of fresh vegetables - he grew them all by natural methods and every bit of household waste was saved for the compost heap; organic growing is not new!

Every corner of space on the allotment was used, even for flowers, which we kids would sometimes bunch up and sell for a little extra money. Our pocket money often came from selling empty jam jars to the local rag and bone dealer; ½ old penny for a 1lb jar and 1 old penny for a 2lb jar. If your dad or brother caught a rabbit for our dinner you could sell the skin for about 6 old pence - riches indeed.

My father had previously had an allotment on the site where Hollingdean Estate now stands; it was approached by a wide track just past the railway bridge. My brother Charles tells a tale in his book Laughter is Free of an incident which caused much hilarity amongst his allotment friends."

`My father at the end of one summer harvested a crop of potatoes that filled 5 or 6 large sacks. To get them home he hired a barrow - upon which he loaded the sacks and both he and I (Charles) set off for home. The journey involved a downhill land bordered by iron railings, behind which were other allotments

At one point down the land the gradient suddenly increased. Whilst I normally walked alongside my father, who himself was in between the shafts, when we reached the steeper parts I was posted to the back of the cart to help hold it back as well as a little kid might be expected to. We had only gone a few paces when my father must have realised that on a steepish stony track, 5 or 6 hundredweight of spuds on a cart with no brakes would present some sort of a problem before very long. Realising this, he attempted something that he had seen others do before, which was raising the shafts to allow the back end of the cart to go low enough to scrape the road and act as a break. He had so sooner began to tilt the cart shafts upwards, whence two of the sacks rolled to the back


Home | Education | Cooking | About | News | Contact | Volunteer | Blog | Directions | The Book | Donations | Links