24 November 2022

Eaton Road, Hove

Judy Middleton 2002 (revised 2022)

copyright © J.Middleton
All Saints has a beautiful frontage to Eaton Road

Today, you would never describe Eaton Road as an elegant thoroughfare, and only a few Victorian mansions remain. The rest of the buildings are in a variety of styles, and there has been an invasions of flats – some tall and massive, others comparatively modest.

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Sussex Court, Eaton Road

Architecturally speaking, the road is redeemed by the magnificent structure of All Saints, which although defined as being in The Drive has a longer frontage to Eaton Road.

It is interesting to note that one of the grandest of the houses fronting Eaton Road is actually numbered as 51 The Drive, no doubt emulating the example of All Saints.

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Number 51 The Drive

There are also some fascinating historical details about the road.

Background

Eaton Road was originally part of Blatchington Road. But in 1879 Mr Evan Vaughan asked the Hove Commissioners if the east end of Blatchington Road, starting at Denmark Villas, might be re-named Eaton Road, and his request was granted. Vaughan was involved with some land transactions at Aldrington,and in 1880 he was described as a gentleman of 6 Moorgate Street, London. However, in 1885 Vaughan acted in a most ungentlemanly manner by vanishing, leaving his mortgaged property behind him.

On 11 March 1880 William Willett wrote to the Hove Commissioners asking them to adopt Eaton Road from Wilbury Road to Denmark Villas. But the Commissioners refused because there was no sewer in the road, and, they added darkly, for other reasons. It was not until November 1881 that this part was declared a public highway.

The Hove Courier (8 April 1882) had this to say. ‘On the south side of Eaton Road Mr Willett has built seven detached or semi-detached residences in character with those in The Drive and Eaton Gardens, the rents of which vary from £160 to £220, two of them are sold or let, and a third utilised for his office.’

In the Directory for 1888 there were three houses on the south side between Norton Road and Tisbury Road called Kenilworth, Eaton House and Avoca. Near the Hove Skating Rink was Hereford House, built in 1881, where Mr A. Walker ran a Military Academy.

copyright © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Eaton Road in the 1960s before Ashdown flats were built over the former sports hall.

Cab-stands

In December 1893 provision was made for two paved cab-stands to be laid in cement opposite Tisbury Road and Norton Road at an estimated cost of £15.

Paving

In 1895 new paving of artificial stone slabs was laid on the south side, west of Selborne Road for a distance of 110-ft at a cost of £61.

In 1914 it was stated that the brick pavement on the north side for a distance of 150-ft west of Selborne Road was defective, and would therefore br replaced by artificial stone slabs at a cost of £45.

Lighting

In 1900 the lighting in Eaton Road was overhauled. Twenty new gas burners (New Sunlight Jena Suspension Chimney Combination) were fitted; there were four new lamps, while six other lamps were re-located. The total cost came to £42-10s.

Street Works

The new street works between Palmeira Avenue and Salisbury Road were finally finished in 1925 and the cost came to £191-2s.

Black-spot

In July 1998 it was stated that the accident black-spot at the junction of Eaton Road and Wilbury Road would be improved under a £18,000 scheme that slowed down traffic. It would also make it safer for pedestrians to cross the road.

All Saints Church

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All Saints Church

The church has the distinction of occupying the only piece of land in Hove donated for the public good from the owners of the Stanford Estate on whose land the church was built. All Saints was designed by the notable architect John Loughborough Pearson (1817-1897). The foundation stone was laid on 25 March (Lady Day) 1889, and the nave and aisles were consecrated in 1891.

Arnold House

This was a small prep school for boys that arrived at Eaton Road in the 1890s, having twice moved house. It started off at 97 Montpelier Road, Brighton, where it was known as Western College, then changed its name and location to Cromwell Road. Dr William Porter Knightley was headmaster from 1887 to 1895, and the school lasted until around 1903. Since the site in Eaton Road was so near the cricket ground, the boys were given free passes to various matches.

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Brighton Herald 15 October 1902

In the 1890s Arnold House boasted a fine football team, beating every school in the neighbourhood, and even the Junior School of Brighton College. It also provided a decent education. A famous, or today infamous, former pupil was the artist and sculptor Eric Gill (1882-1940) whose father taught at the school when it was Western College. He wanted his son to gain a scholarship to Bradfield College but Eric was stumped by the Latin paper.

Church of the Seers

It was an occult church, and was also very supportive of the suffragette movement. When the famous suffragette Emily Davidson (1872-1913) died, the Church of the Seers held a special requiem with music for the repose of her soul. It was Emily who, wearing suffragette colours, caused a sensation at the Epsom Derby on 5 February 1913 by attempting to grab the reins of King George V’s horse Anmer, and was kicked in the head. She did not intend to take her own life, and had a return ticket in her pocket, but the horse was travelling at such speed, a fatal injury was unavoidable. She did not die at once, but lingered on, finally passing away on 8 June 1912. It was stated that the injury she died from was a fracture at the base of her skull.

copyright © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Brighton Herald 25 October 1913
Church of the Seers at Number 1 Eaton Road

The Church of the Seers started off at 140 Western Road, Brighton, but in 1913 moved to Hove. There is some confusion about the correct address. For example, the Directory of 1914 places it under Eaton Road, while a newspaper stated it was Selborne Road.  The Sussex Daily News (24 February 1914) had this to say, ‘Sunday was a high festival at the occult Church of the Seers, for it was the first anniversary of its dedication and all the services were of a bright and inspiring character. Madonna and arum lilies decked the altar and festal vestments were worn. Beautiful music and singing was as usual a striking feature in the praise and thanksgiving.’

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Brighton Herald 28 April 1914
Church of the Seers at Hereford House, Eaton Road

It is interesting to note that a prominent Hove man was the churchwarden. He was Samuel Isger, a Naval veteran and a Hove Commissioner, who once lived at 2 Carlton Terrace, Portslade, at the same time as the eccentric Mr Wood, the self-styled ‘King Solomon’ lived in the road.

There was also something of a question mark over the Revd Henry Oliver Thompson who presided over the Church of the Seers – was he or was he not a bona fide man of the cloth? However, whatever his professional status, he could certainly attract a congregation, and Samuel Isger was a man of wordly experience. When Isger died on 26 August 1924 he was living at 188A Church Road where the first part of the funeral service was conducted privately by Revd Thompson. Isger’s widow Sarah died on 1 November 1933, and they were both buried in the south part of Hove Cemetery where their memorial takes the shape of a rose-coloured column.

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Church of the Seers at Number 1 Brunswick Street East in 1918

War requirements meant the Church of the Seers was obliged to move from Eaton Road and it was to be found at the former St Michael's Mission Hall at 1 Brunswick Street East between 1918 and 1921. Meanwhile, there was an interesting interlude when Revd Thompson was called upon for war service. But he registered as a conscientious objector and he was hauled to court in 1917 where he had to plead his case. Obviously, his eloquence had not deserted him, and he was acquitted.

Hove Skating Rink

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Brighton Herald 30 May 1874

The out-door roller-skating rink was situated next to the Sussex County Cricket Ground in 1874, and the indoor skating rink was built and opened in October 1878. The Cliftonville & Hove Mercury (30 May 1879) had this to say: ‘This place of healthful recreation and amusement continues to be patronised by both sexes under the excellent management of Mr Harry Lillywhite whose Monday and Thursday classes are well deserving of support.’

In the 1870s national newspapers reported that, 'Rinkomania' was sweeping the Country, Hove Skating Rink was not alone locally, there were six roller skating rinks in neighbouring Brighton.

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This 1874 illustration of Brighton’s Corn Exchange Skating Rink is a typical example of an indoor roller skating rink that could be found throughout the Country.

In 1878 Harry Lillywhite had been an instructor at St Andrew’s Hall Skating Rink in Plymouth where he took a benefit under the distinguished patronage of Sir Massey Lopez MP, Rear Admiral Willes, and the officers of the garrison and ships-of-war in the port.

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1898 map of the east end Eaton Road shows the location of the Skating Rink next to the County Cricket Ground.

In July 1878 Harry and Lottie performed a double act of their rolling skating skills to the delight of the visiting German Imperial Royal family at Devonshire Park in Eastbourne.

At Whitsun 1879 it was stated that the two Lillywhite children would appear at the Hove Rink to give ‘a juvenile illustration of combined figure skating, introducing feats of grace and skill.’

‘Mr Harry Lillywhite and his young daughter Miss Lottie are known in most of the large towns of England for their great abilities, which have been gracefully acknowledged by Royal personages before whom they have appeared and we are glad to find that Master Willie, whose precocious talent we have frequently witnessed, is now to be prominently brought forward before the public.’

In December 1879 Harry Lillywhite took advantage of a cold snap, and created an outdoor ice rink, no doubt to the delight of many people in Hove; the ice was claimed to be very even.

On 2 April 1881 a public meeting was held at the rink to consider the building of a new church in Hove, which was later called St Barnabas Church. In 1906 the rink was also used by All Saints Church for a fund raising event in aid of their Church Hall.

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Brighton Herald 20 October 1906

Harry Lillywhite was born in 1838 at the Royal Sovereign Inn, Preston Street, Brighton, the son of the landlord and the famous England cricketer William Lillywhite.

The 1881 census records Harry Lillywhite, aged 42, a widower, living in Connaught Street, Hove (no longer exists), giving his occupation as a Professor of Skating, also in his household was his daughters, Lottie aged 14, Daisy aged 8, and his sister Charlotte aged 54 whose occupation was also a Professor of Skating. Harry is credited in introducing 'roller skate polo' to the Brighton area and organised a number of exhibition matches.

In 1883 Harry Lillywhite was still the lessee, in 1887 Harry and his family emigrated to the United States of America.

The 1900 New York census records Harry living in Southampton on Long Island, with his son William and daughter Charlotte, who was a trained nurse. Harry and William were in business together selling ‘Lillywhite Sporting Goods’, Harry's brothers in England also ran Lillywhite Sports Shops.

copyright © National Library of Australia
The Leader (Melbourne) 24 August 1918

In 1886 F. James Vickers was the manager, while by 1889 George Brown was the general manager.

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Brighton Herald 13 August 1888
The 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment used the skating rink hall for their Monday night drills from 1888 until 1900

In December 1992 an old advertisement was discovered in the attic of a house in Selborne Road for the American Roller Rink at the top of Selborne Road. The poster offered free instruction, a live military band, and Samuel Winslow’s exclusive ball-bearing steel skates. The following claim was made, ‘If you would be graceful, learn to skate, three sessions a day’. However, it seems that Harry Lillywhite preferred Plumpton’s roller skates.

copyright © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Brighton Herald 18 September 1909

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Brighton Herald 4 December 1909

Hereford House, now the St Catherine's School for Girls, objected to the noise from the skating rink disturbing the girls education.

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Brighton Herald 12 February 1910

At the start of the First World War the hall became the headquarters of the 6
th (Cyclist) Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment.

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An army boxing tournament held at Hove Skating Rink on 6 February 1915, which was not the first Boxing Tournament held at this venue, before the First World War the Brighton Herald reported that nearly three thousand spectators turned up to watch similar boxing events at Hove Skating Rink.

By 1918 the 4th Volunteer Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment were in occupation. From around 1923 to 1924 the hall was used by British Film Productions. In the mid 1920s the former skating rink hall became the home of Hove Badminton Club.

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Brighton Season Magazine 1926-27
Hove Badminton Club occupied the Hall in the late 1920s
 
It seems the place was also used as a drill hall during the Second World War. Then in 1946 CVA engineering works occupied the site. The building was demolished, and in the 1970s the block of flats called Ashdown were built on part of the site.

Sussex County Cricket Ground

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Sussex County Cricket Ground

Before the Sussex County Cricket Ground was laid out, the land supported a fine crop of barley, and was part of the Stanford Estate. The cricket ground consisted of nine acres, and was opened on Whit Monday 1872. It is remarkable that the ground is still in use, despite the surroundings being swamped by housing, and at one stage the club thought of moving into the countryside, but no suitable site could be found. However, in these more travel-conscious days, perhaps the ground is well suited to the times, being easily accessible.

The Sussex Cricketer Pub

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The Sussex Cricketer was photographed in August 2019

This was the final name of the pub chosen in 1978, but there were three other names during its lengthy life. The pub was built in the 1870s at a cost of £1,942, and it closed its doors for good on 19 January 2020. The building was demolished but the developers promise a new pub will arise. The new flats are to be called the Tate apartments, and no it has nothing to do with the Tate Gallery in London, but is a tribute to Maurice Tate (1895–1956) who came from a cricketing family and who joined the Sussex team at the age of fifteen. (For more information see The Sussex Cricketer Pub)

Wilbury Grove

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Wilbury Grove

This was once a mews and has two entrances, one in Eaton Road, and the other in Wilbury Road (for more information, please see under Wilbury Road). Suffice it to say here that the 4 August 1914 was a sad day for the occupants because the military authorities requisitioned most of the horses for the modest price of £30 each and most of the owners never clapped eyes on them again.

Major Poole was a veteran of the Crimean War, and lived in Connaught Road but he was the riding master at the Eaton Riding Stables. He had five sons who served in the First World War, but he was fortunate to only lose one of them; he was Private Ernest Albert Poole of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps and was in France for two years before contracting a disease and being honourably discharged; he died on 17 February 1917. Major Poole’s other sons were as follows:

Private Charles Poole, 7/ Royal Sussex Regiment

Rifleman Henry Poole, Rifle Brigade

Private John Poole, Royal Field Artillery

Private William Poole, 2/6 Royal Sussex Regiment

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Wilbury Grove looking towards All Saints

House Notes

Number 3 – Warsaw-born Revd Simon Anekstein lived in this house from 1938. In 1910 he married Dora Gilbert of London, and it would be interesting to know how she coped with their frequent change of abode. He must have met his future wife while he was Reader at the Borough Synagogue, but then in 1912 it was off to Sheffield, followed shortly in 1914 by transferring to Edinburgh; there was a brief return to London, but by 1929 he was to be found serving the Southend and Westcliff Hebrew Congregation. At last he settled at Hove, becoming the first minister and secretary at the newly-formed Hove Hebrew Congregation, and presided at the consecration of the new synagogue at Holland Road in 1930.

It is interesting to note that he found time to minister to the Jewish internees in the Isle of Man. It would seem logical that Jewish people who had fled from Nazi Germany to seek refuge in England would be the last people to endanger their place of sanctuary. But of course their official classification in wartime was ‘enemy aliens’ and to the Isle of Man they were obliged to go.

It is ironic that his son, Squadron Leader Cyril Anekstein, was serving in the Royal Air Force and had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Unhappily, this gallant man was killed on active service while on a RAF mission over Germany in August 1943. It must have been heart-breaking for his father who died five months after receiving the terrible news.

Hereford House

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Hereford House

In the 1890s Hereford House was a Military Academy ran by Mr A. Walker, by 1908 Hereford House became St Catherine's School for Girls ran by Miss Turner and Miss Walton.

The Saturday Review 24 March 1894

For a short period in 1913-14 the Church of the Seers met at Hereford House before moving the Brunswick Street East. (see above)

In 1936 Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Bertram Firman was living in flat number 3 at this address. Since he was born in 1859, he was a venerable age when he took up residence in Hove. He started off serving with the Middlesex Regiment, becoming a captain in 1886. In that same year he decided to retire. No doubt he thought he deserved a rest, having seen active service abroad – in the Nile Expedition, and in the Burmese Expedition, earning along the way a medal with two clasps, the Khedive’s Star, and another medal with one clasp.

However, when the South African war broke out in 1900, a man with his valuable experience could not be spared, and soon he was in khaki once more. This time he served with the 11th Imperial Yeomanry in the Orange River Colony and the Transvaal, and was Mentioned in Despatches; he also earned the Queen’s Medal with three clasps. Indeed, his services were so valued that in 1901 he was made a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order.

At flat number 4 in Hereford House during the 1930s, another retired military gentleman was in residence. It would be fascinating to know whether or not Major George Lyndsay Hardinge Manby ever met Lieutenant-Colonel Firman because they could have enjoyed interesting conservations seeing as they had both served in the same theatre of war – namely the Orange River Colony and the Transvaal, although in different regiments; Manby served with the Notts & Derby Regiment. He was also the recipient of medals; the Queen’s Medal with three clasps, and the King’s Medal with two clasps, as well as being Mentioned in Despatches.

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Brighton Herald 11 May 1895
Numbers 8 to 12 could be rented for £60 a year in 1895

Number 10
– For a couple of years from 1907 until 1909, another retired military man lived at this address. He was Major-General Herbert Hale Forbes, a veteran of the Afghan War of 1878-9. He was promoted the rank of lieutenant-colonel of the 13th Hussars in 1885, and retired in 1887.

The Ireland family then lived in the house from 1909 until 1920. The family consisted of Mrs Elizabeth Ester Ireland, and her grown-up children – John aged 28, Elizabeth 27, and Charles aged 22. It must have been a harmonious household with the children quite happy to stay in the nest, and besides they all had outside interests too. The sons worked in their father’s business at 103 Western Road, Hove, which was a long-established cutler’s enterprise. But by 1914 the business had moved to premises near the Clock Tower, Brighton, at 203A Western Road.

John Ireland was happy to act as secretary to several local organisations such as the Junior Philatelic Society, the Sussex Advertising Club, and the Primrose League. The latter had only been founded in 1883, and was designed to promote the Conservative Party. The organisation was set up in honour of Lord Beaconsfield, and his favourite flower was supposed to have been the primrose.

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Brighton Herald 30 August 1916

Elizabeth Ireland took a great interest in Esperanto, and indeed was a life-long member of the British Esperanto Society. She wrote two books on the subject but she did not pen them under her own name but under the pen-name of Stella. Esperanto was devised by Dr Zamenhof and published in 1887. It was designed to be an international language and to facilitate communication between different countries. But this was not Elizabeth’s only interest. She was well enough versed in the application of First Aid to write a booklet about it, which was on sale during the First World War.

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Brighton Herald 17 July 1915
Charles Ireland listed on the Roll of Honour

Charles Ireland was interested in literature and music, and was a member of the British Empire Shakesperian Society, and the Brighton & Hove Operatic Society. His social conscience found an outlet in the YMCA. However, this peaceful existence was abruptly halted when he was called up in 1915. He was killed in action on 30 June 1916 at the Battle of Boar’s Head in France. Many articles have been written about this battle which is also known as ‘The Day Sussex Died’ because so many Sussex men were killed. His brother John was called up in 1916 but he survived.

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Brighton Herald 2 June 1916

Number 11 – Charles West (1816-1898) lived in this house 1893-4. No doubt his name will not ring many bells but he founded a very famous institution indeed, now known throughout the world – it is the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. Charles West was born in London; his father was a Baptist reader, later becoming a minister in Buckinghamshire, where he also ran a boys’ school, and naturally enough his son attended. At the age of fifteen young West was apprenticed to a Mr Gray, an Amersham G.P. West was grateful to have learned about the composition of medicines from Mr Gray, which he found most useful in later life. But he also came away with an appreciation of Shakespeare, an unexpected bonus. In 1833 West became a medical student at St Bartholomew’s Hospital where he stayed for two years.

It seems he might have gone on to Oxford but his father did not approve because of his strict Baptist beliefs, and Oxford was fast becoming a hot-bed of Anglo-Catholics. It is ironic that in later life West himself would become a Roman Catholic. Thus, West did not proceed to Oxford, and instead widened his knowledge by going off to study in Bonn, Paris and Berlin, being awarded his medical degree in the latter city in 1837. Afterwards, he spent a year in Dublin.

His appointment in 1842 to a hospital in Waterloo Road, London, was a pivotal moment because it brought to his attention the pressing medical needs of the younger generation. The institution was called the Universal Dispensary for Children, and it is interesting to note that at the same time as he was working as a physician there, he was also giving lectures on midwifery at the Middlesex Hospital and St Bartholomew’s Hospital.

West started to raise funds in order to try and establish his own hospital especially for children. In 1851 this started off in a modest fashion at 49 Great Ormond Street with precisely ten beds. The need for such a hospital was patently obvious by 1854 when 4,251 out-patient visits were recorded in a single year and there was still only 30 beds for in-patients. If West and his father developed differing religious viewpoints, at least West inherited his father’s eloquence, and was well able to inspire an audience to give generously after one of his moving talks.

The children’s hospital went from strength to strength with West at the helm. Unhappily, there came a parting of the ways in 1877 when West ceased his association with the hospital after a disagreement with the management committee. Like many brilliant men, West was not always an easy character to get along with, but West thought the row stemmed from his being a Roman Catholic. The management somehow considered that this would make him unfit or unsafe in his work but of course West was only ever concerned about an individual child’s welfare, and caste or religion never came into it.

Perhaps it was disappointment or plain old age, but West began to have health problems, and sought better air than was to be found in London. Therefore from 1880 he spent his winters in Nice where he continued to be a physician. It is no surprise that he should have come to Hove briefly because the fresh sea-air was no doubt beneficial for him. But he was in Paris when he died.

Number 13 – Although Hove was once awash with retired military personnel who had served in India, there were not so many representatives of the civil government. Such service was equally important of course, but not nearly so romantic as the colourful uniforms of exotic cavalry. Philip Graham Rogers C.I.E. was one of these toilers on the civic side. He held a number of important posts in the sub-continent, starting off with being assistant magistrate and collector in Bengal. Then he served as private secretary to the governor of East Bengal, and under secretary to the governor of East Bengal and Assam.

Finally, he became involved in postal affairs, serving successively as postmaster-general in the Central Bengal, Assam and Punjab circles. His most important role came when he was made postmaster-general of Bombay.

He retired in 1931, and came to live in this house. But he was obviously determined not to lounge around in his armchair because in 1936 we find him acting as a J. P. for the Borough of Hove.

Numbers 14 & 16

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Kenilworth House doorway

In 1908 / 1910 the house called Kenilworth was occupied by a lady with an exotic and rather long name – she was Madame Joaquina Maria de Souza Lisboa de Laski (1832-1920). She had previously lived at 2 Adelaide Crescent.

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Brighton Herald 14 October 1908

Mrs Pearson founded a school here with the idea of educating Roman Catholic girls. Perhaps not enough pupils were forthcoming because she also accepted Protestant girls and a handful of boys. In 1924 the Wickhams took over, and their establishment was known as Kenilworth House School.

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This elongated school photograph was taken in the 1930s. Mrs Dorothy Wickham and Harry Temple Wickham can be seen at the centre.

Mr Wickham had served for eighteen years in the Indian Imperial Police, becoming Commandant of the Military Police Battalion in Peshawar, while Mrs Dorothy Wickham was an Oxford graduate. In 1936 the Wickhams sold their school, and number 14 became Kenilworth Prep School for Boys, while number 16 became Eaton House School for Girls. By 1938 both schools had closed.

During the Second World War these houses became an RAF Volunteer Reserve Centre under Wing Commander W. N. Dolphin. It began in a small way in June 1937 on the ground floor of number 16 but in March 1938 it was stated that Hove would soon have a fully equipped and up-to-date RAF Volunteer Reserve Centre with headquarters at numbers 14 and 16 Eaton Road as soon as workmen had finished fitting it up. There were a number of lecture rooms, mess rooms, a reading room, and departments for gunnery, model bombing, and aerial photography. By April 1938 twelve men had already gained their ‘wings’.

Volunteers had to attend the centre at least twice a week for two hours of instruction, and every other week go to Shoreham Airport for two hours of flying time. It took around eighteen months for a pilot to qualify.

1940s advert

Number 16 – The house was built by William Willett and on 7 December 1989 it became a Grade II listed building. It is a typical Willett house with yellow stock brick and plenty of incised and moulded bricks for decoration. Inside, the original plasterwork friezes are to be seen, besides a black marble chimney-piece, cast-iron balusters, and stained glass. In the conservatory there are some delightful windows featuring painted birds.

Number 18 & 18A – This house was also built by William Willett, and when it became a Grade II listed building on 7 December 1989, the order also covered the adjoining house at 63 Tisbury Road. The listing covered the walls and iron railings as well.

In 1936 Lieutenant-Colonel Benjamin William Marlow (1863-1943) lived in number 18A. He must hold some sort of record for the number of different regiments and appointments he held during his long army career. After Sandhurst he was appointed 2nd lieutenant of South Tipperary Militia, while two years later he was to be found in the Gloucester Regiment, and in 1886 he was seconded to the Indian Staff Corps before being attached to the 12th Madras Infantry; he was hardly able to get acquainted with the other officers in the Mess before he moved on.

However, in 1891 he changed course, and transferred to Military Accounts Department 1st class. Thereafter he became what we might term a number-cruncher, serving as Field Paymaster to the Suakin Field Force in 1896, military accounts in Calcutta in 1902, rising to be Military Accountant General in 1908. He must have made the folks back home jealous when he attended the Delhi Durbar in 1911 – a magnificent once-in-a-lifetime spectacle. Again, the relatives might have been envious of his First World War posting – holed up in the Army H.Q. in Simla, the magical summer headquarters to which the British administration escaped from the sweltering heat of the plains. Simla also provided the inspiration for many delicious stories by Rudyard Kipling. Marlow retired in 1920, and went live in his birthplace at Alverstoke, Hampshire, where he also died.

Ashdown

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Ashdown

This block of flats were built on a site once occupied by the cricket club’s south stand, and the former skating rink. It was designed by Hubbard Ford & Partners, the same firm who designed Eaton Manor, and built by contractors Rice & Son, who also worked on Eaton Manor. McManus Manfield Ltd were the developers., and in December 1971 they signed a £1million contract with Rice & Son. In January 1971 a £50 prize was on offer to the person who chose the most appropriate name for the structure. It was stated that all purchasers of the 125 flats would have a special membership of the Sussex County Cricket Club.

Sir Stanley James Gunn Fingland M.C., K.C.M.G. (1919 – 2003) lived at Ashdown House in the 1980s. During the Second World War he served with the Royal Signals in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Egypt, he was mentioned in dispatches and left the army with the rank of major. After the war he became a diplomat and served in India, Australia and Nigeria. In 1964 Fingland was posted to Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) as Deputy High Commissioner, and was still there in November 1965 when Ian Smith signed the Unilateral Declaration of Independence. Sir Stanley also served as High Commissioner to Sierra Leone, Ambassador to Cuba and High Commissioner to Kenya.

John Michael Evelyn CB (1916-1992)
lived at Ashdown House from 1990 until 1992. John wrote over 50 crime novels under the pseudonym of Michael Underwood. John qualified as a barrister just before World War II and after his military service he took a legal position at the Department of Public Prosecutions and eventually rose to the position of Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales. He retired in 1976. In 1959 he was elected as a member of the Detection Club and during the presidency of Dame Agatha Christie he conducted the business of the club in her absence. From 1964 until 1965 he was chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association.

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Ashdown

Eaton CourtIt is situated at number 20. Fausto Stocco once lived here. He was co-founder of the famous Cafe de Paris in London, which was bombed on 8 May 1941 killing 200 people, including his partner and entertainer Snake Hips Johnson. At Flat 4 lived the Misses Ida and Rowena Barnette. Ida wrote romantic novels and by 1963 some 23 titles had been published.

Wilbury Lodge

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Wilbury Lodge occupies a corner site in Eaton Road and Wilbury Road, and the other flats are called Saffron Gate

In 1973 numbers 11 and 13 Eaton Road, plus grounds extending for half an acre, were purchased at auction for £168,000 by 31-year old Peter Lee. Hove Council granted planning permission for a seven-storey block of flats to be built on the site containing 28 two-bedroom flats with parking space for 33 cars.

Sources

Brighton Graphic

Brighton Herald

Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade

Evening Argus

Hove Council Minutes

Hove Courier (8 April 1882)

Hove Mercury (30 May 1879)

Middleton, J. Hove and Portslade in the Great War (2014)

National Library of Australia

Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove

Street Directories

Sussex Daily News (24 February 1914)

Copyright © J.Middleton 2022
page layout and additional research by D.Sharp