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07 May 2018

Aldrington Recreation Ground (Wish Park)

Judy Middleton 2002 (revised 2018)

copyright © D.Sharp
Aldrington Recreation Ground looking west to the Saxon Road pavilion

Wish Mead

On 26 November 1895 Hove Commissioners resolved to call the proposed park Aldrington Recreation Ground. Although this is still the official title, local people refer to it as Wish Park. Indeed, today’s community group is called Friends of Wish Park, which it must be admitted is a snappier title than Friends of Aldrington Recreation Ground. To add further confusion to the issue, in the early days photographers and newspaper reporters referred to it as Marine Park.

The word ‘wish’ goes back a long way and derives from the Old English word ‘wisc’ meaning a marshy meadow, a short and accurate description of the land. By 1833 the name of the land had changed to Wish Mead, and it appeared in a map drawn by Figg & Son of Lewes, showing that Wish Mead was 27 acres in extent. At that time Wish Mead formed part of Red House Farm, with the farmhouse being situated on a site now covered by the United Reformed Church, Station Road, Portslade. The farmhouse was centrally situated because the farm encompassed land holdings in Portslade as well as in Aldrington. There was a Wish Barn and a Wish Cottage too.

Hove’s Obligation

In the 1890s one of Hove’s obligations during the process of the amalgamation of Aldrington with Hove, was to acquire enough land to be made into a public recreation ground. It was stipulated that the area must not be less than ten acres, and the purchase price must not exceed £400 an acre.

In 1894 Hove Commissioners were prepared to pay in the region of £10,000 but in the event it was a more modest cost. They were offered 12 acres immediately west of Wish Meadow, and opposite Wish Barn. The land cost £4,000 and was purchased from the following people:

Richard Gibbs, 1 Victoria Mansions, Victoria Street, Westminster
Elizabeth Ann Jenkinson, widow, of Christchurch Street, Streatham, Surrey
William Wilberforce Jenkinson, land agent, 6 Moorgate Street, London
Joseph Moore, Faygate Sussex

Additional expenses were:

£1,050 – towards the cost of making up roads east and west of the site
£100 – legal expenses and costs

These, together with the expenses of laying out the recreation ground came to the grand total of just over £6,000. Messrs Box & Turner supplied the 6 ft high oak paling fence at a cost of £400. There were two gateways on the east and west sides, near the south and north corners.

Delay in Opening

There was a five-year delay between the purchase of the land and the opening of the recreation ground. The delay was due to the terrible state of the ground caused by its previous use as a brickfield – in addition there was also a hollow at the south east corner that needed to be filled in. The first attempt at levelling the ground and sowing grass seed, proved to be a dismal failure. In 1897 the Borough Surveyor lamented that the surface was so irregular and the grass so coarse that the only way forward was to plough the whole lot up and start again. Mr Lewonski, who was a prominent businessman in George Street, offered to supply 150 loads of mould at a cost of one shilling per load, and this was accepted. As the Sussex Daily News put it ‘the soil had to be coaxed by all possible means before grass would consent to grow’.

 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums,
Brighton & Hove
James Warnes Howlett (1828-1911) 
‘Father of Hove’ 
A cultivated border was made on all sides and planted with Cornish elms, shrubs and flowers. The Sussex Daily News wrote poetically ‘When the elms … are in full leaf … there will be a fine belt of foliage all round the ground. Strollers … will find the sea breezes very cool and enjoyable and a pleasant view of the sea may also be had’.
There were four cricket pitches, which at first, unrealistically, were free of charge, but by 1923 the charge was three shillings per pitch per match. Head gardener, Mr W. Hammond, kept the cricket pitches well rolled, and earned 27/- a week, while his assistant earned one guinea plus extras.

In the winter, there were football pitches – good ones too, and it seems good football pitches at Hove were a rarity at the time.

Twelve seats were installed in the ground, plus a supply of water, and Alderman Howlett said he would provide a drinking fountain at his own expense. James Warnes Howlett (1828-1911) earned the unofficial title of ‘Father of Hove’ for his legal battle to keep independent of Brighton – he also laid the foundation stone of Hove Town Hall, as well as opening it, and his name was engraved on one of the bells; he devised Hove’s motto Floreat Hova too.

A urinal, cleverly disguised as a rustic hut, was built at the north east corner and cost the grand sum of £40. The ladies were not so fortunate because a convenience for their use was not installed until 1913. It was situated on the south side some 300 feet from Wish Road and it cost £85.

A galvanised iron building containing two dressing rooms and a shelter was installed in 1900 and an addition dressing room was built in 1910.

Grand Opening

 copyright © J.Middleton
The men of Hove Fire Brigade (George Street Fire Station) were nimble
 on their feet and often won prizes for their speed of deployment in 
National Fire Brigade competitions. In this photograph two cups are on 
display together with the Challenge Shield embellished with a 
fireman's helmet on crossed firemen's axes.
The day chosen for the grand formal opening was 24 May 1900 – Empire Day and Queen Victoria’s 81st birthday. An added bonus was that people were still in a state of euphoria over the Relief of Mafeking. The streets were lined with bunting, numerous Union Jacks were on display and ‘flags floated from the windows at nearly every private house’.

The procession formed up outside Hove Town Hall, and the festive feeling was enhanced by organist John Crapps playing the carillons for a whole hour, and when he struck up with the National Anthem at 2.30 p.m., the processions moved off.

Mounted police led the way, followed by the band of the 1st Sussex Volunteer Artillery. Then came the Mayor and Mayoress of Hove in their carriage, followed by town councillors and borough officials in their carriages. Men of Hove Volunteer Fire Brigade from George Street's Fire Station followed, together with their ‘manual and horsed escape, the men presenting a very smart appearance’.

Captain Olliver was in command, and he also marshalled the procession; Second Officer Coombes, and Engineers Smith and Dumbrell accompanied them. Men belonging to the Tunbridge Wells and South Eastern Counties Equitable Friendly Society were part of the procession too – most of them wore their regalia and brought along their banner as well. Finally, came all the children, some 3,000 of them, from all the Board and National Schools in Hove plus those from the Convent School in the Upper Drive. The shops had closed their doors for the afternoon, and consequently there was a huge crowd of people accompanying the procession, and lining the route.

The opening ceremony was held at the east gate, and the Mayoress, Mrs J. Colman, unlocked the gate with a silver key made especially for the occasion. The silver key was beautifully decorated with an inscription on one side, and the Hove coat of arms enamelled in colours on the other side. The Mayor had gallantly paid for the band, and purchased enough buns and oranges for every child. He also provided swings and roundabouts and arranged for a hot air balloon to make an ascent.

Jeremiah Colman (1853-1939) served as Mayor of Hove for three years – his father being Edward Colman, one of the original founders of the famous firm of J. & J. Colman, mustard manufacturers of Norwich and London. Although his business career was in London, he had a long association with Hove, having been a schoolboy at a small establishment in Victoria Terrace.

A Hot Air Balloon
copyright © J. Middleton.
This view is one of the rarest postcards associated 
with St Ann's Well; it also dates from the
 time before it became a public park.

The ascent of a hot air balloon was a major attraction at the time, and there had been several ascents at St Ann’s Well Gardens. Eustace Short was the man in charge of the hot air balloon ascent at the opening of Aldrington Recreation Ground. However, it turned out not to be such an exciting event after all. Brothers Eustace and Oswald Short of Hove had purchased the balloon at a sale some two years previously. It was therefore past its best, and when the time came to inflate it, gas was leaking and it never assumed its proper proportions.

The Sussex Daily News reported as follows:

‘Interest … centred on a balloon ascent, which was made by Mr Eustace Short of Hove, the inflation – a rather lengthy process – being watched with much curiosity. Would-be passengers could not accompany the aeronaut, however, owing to the balloon not being fully inflated. In fact the quantity of gas was hardly sufficient to carry one person.’

The balloon managed to limp as far as Old Shoreham Road, where it collapsed. Meanwhile, Eustace’s brother, Horace Short, was watching the proceedings from a wooden balcony on the Menlo Laboratories building when the railing gave way, flinging the unfortunate Horace some 20 ft to the ground. He broke both arms and was taken to Hove Hospital. Although these accidents sound like something from a Laurel and Hardy film, the Short brothers went on to great things. There were three brothers Horace (1872-1917) Eustace (1875-1832) and Oswald (1883-1969) and today the brilliant brothers are celebrated as pioneering aeronautical engineers

Horace Short came into contact with a fascinating individual called Colonel George Edward Gouraud, who had French antecedents but was born at Niagara Falls in around 1842. He was described as ‘handsome, clever and genial … and splendidly built’ being 6 ft 1 in tall. Gouraud was associated with Thomas Edison, becoming his benefactor, promoter and publicist, and Gouraud came over to England as the London representative of the firm promoting Edison’s telegraph inventions. Gouraud gave a demonstration to the General Post Office – unfortunately, the first occasion was not a success, despite Edison travelling over to back him up. It must have been a depressing expedition for both of them; Gouraud fainted in a tavern at Greenwich near the docks and Edison had to revive him with generous amounts of gin. However, the situation improved, and Gouraud became a complete and ardent Anglophile. He was also involved in promoting electric street lighting and the phonograph, recording the voices of such luminaries as Lord Tennyson, Gladstone and Queen Alexandra.

It was Gouraud who gave financial backing to Horace Short to establish Menlo Laboratories at 2 Hove Park Villas, and it seems he envisaged a factory turning out clever inventions. (This site was later occupied by Dubarry’s Perfumery). At first the three Short brothers lived above the workshops, although Horace must have found it too much because he later moved out to rooms of his own nearby.

copyright © J.Middleton
The Dubarry structure is an elegant industrial building enhanced by the lovely mosaic work was built on the site of the former Menlo Laboratories

An example of Gouraud’s Anglophile enthusiasm can be seen in his promotion of ways to help the Boer War effort. He had the novel idea of copying a side drum, borrowed from the Coldstream Guards, and turning the ’drums’ into collecting boxes. Oscar Short then decorated and hand-painted the ‘drums’ at Menlo Laboratories. To add a suitable accolade to the ‘drums’ Gourard prevailed upon his friend Rudyard Kipling to write a patriotic verse to go on them. Charles S. Cox, an apprentice at Menlo at the time, recounted this fascinating anecdote.

Although Horace had reservations about his brothers’ enthusiasm for ballooning, and indeed he disapproved of it, he did allow Eustace and Oswald to build their own balloon at Menlo Laborartories, which was completed by April 1901, and was capable of holding 38,000 cubic feet of gas. By 1902 Eustace and Oswald felt confident enough to produce their first catalogue advertising their skills at building flying machines, kites etc. Oswald invented ‘an instrument for accurately measuring a motor car’s speed and also an instrument for ascertaining the drift and direction of a balloon in relation to the ground’. Incidentally, the brothers ignored the fact of living in Hove because their letters were headed by the legend ‘Factory and Laboratories, Brighton’.

While at Hove, Eustace worked on his project for a high altitude balloon and in 1904 he and Oswald gave a joint lecture on the subject to the Royal Aeronautical Society. It was stated that this balloon could attain an altitude of 15 miles, and from this splendid vantage point, scientific observations could be made. In fact, during the First World War both sides used hot-air balloons for observation purposes.

Meanwhile, Horace’s inventions at Hove in collaboration with Gouraud, resulted in four patents. The Short brothers’ residence at Hove lasted from 1900 to 1903, but then Gouraud abruptly shut down Menlo Laboratories in 1903. He was involved in a dispute about 2 Hove Park Villas, that resulted in a case Small v Gourard in Brighton County Court in 1900 and perhaps this was the reason. Gourard had a reputation for disagreements with tradesmen, and he would sometimes refuse payment if he were not satisfied with their work.

By 1906 the Short brothers were to be found hard at work at Battersea, in fact arches 75 and 81 of the railway arches, where a commemorative blue plaque to them was unveiled in 2013.

The Short Brothers became the first manufacturers of aircraft, and it is still a name to be conjured with to this day while Menlo Laboratories are well known in the United States.

Sport at Aldrington Rec

copyright © G.Osborne
With thanks to Mr G. Osborne for granting permission for the reproduction of the above photograph. 
The men of the St Leonard's Church Football Club played at Aldrington Recreation Park in the Brighton & Hove Football Association League from 1901 to 1914. At the outbreak of the Great War these men were enlisted in the Armed Forces

In the summer of 1900 it was decided that two lawn tennis courts should be provided, and the players were to be charged two pence an hour each. In 1908 two additional tennis courts were added, with two more in 1913.

In 1913 a Miss Drummond wanted to know if she might use a portion of the ground for archery practice. Not surprisingly, Hove Council turned down her request, stating that it was not a suitable place for such an activity.

In 1904 it was stated that two bowling greens would be provided, and in the same year permission was given to the Kingston and Hove Ladies’ Hockey Club to play on the ground. In 1920 a stoolball pitch was provided.

copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Hove Police & Fire Brigade sports day at Wish Park (Marine Park) 9 September 1908


In 1907 Mr W. Taylor of the Boundary Restaurant, Boundary Road, Hove, ran the refreshments stall at Aldrington Rec; In 1915 Mrs Taylor requested a reduction in her rent of ten shillings a year because there had been no football matches due to the war – her request was granted. Mrs Taylor was still running the stall in the 1920s but by 1928 it was Mr J. Harris of 8 St Leonard’s Road who was in charge.

copyright © D.Sharp
The 1971 built Sports Pavilion and Cafe at the Wish Road end of the park.

copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums,
Brighton & Hove
Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt
Today, there is a popular café, open from 10 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.


In 1908 a sunshine recorder was installed in the enclosed space containing meteorological instruments on the east side.

Horse Show – 1908

On 29 June 1908 a horse show was held at Aldrington Rec. Captain A.B.S. Fraser, Mayor of Hove, promoted the event, together with his brother Major Campbell Fraser. Alfred.G.Vanderbilt, the handsome American millionaire with a keen appreciation of horses, provided a magnificent challenge cup, valued at 50 guineas. Tragically, on 7 May 1915, Mr Vanderbilt drowned when the Lusitania went down, and although he could not swim, he nobly insisted on giving his lifebelt to a young nurse, Alice Middleton, who survived the disaster.

Walter Lloyd, of Olympic fame, had promised a handsome silver cup to anyone who anyone who surpassed the record of 7 ft 2 in.

Motor Gymkhana – 1910

copyright © J.Middleton
Aldrington's Motor Gymkhana in 1910

On 29 June 1910 a motor gymkhana was held under the auspices of the Automobile Section of the Sussex Motor Yacht Club. The secretary had assured Hove Council that there would be no racing, and competitors would not be allowed to use steel studded tyres. The council was assured that the event would be a novel, amusing and entirely free from danger.

World’s First Air-freight - 1911

The world’s first air-freight took place on 4 July 1911 when a plane flew from Shoreham to Aldrington Rec carrying a light cargo of Osram lamps for delivery to Page & Miles of Western Road, Hove. The Sussex Daily News described it thus:

‘Brighton and Hove people had the distinction of witnessing what is believed to be the first time in the world’s history that aerial transport has been accomplished, the flight having been made yesterday evening from Shoreham to Hove. Notwithstanding that a large number of people were disappointed at the flight not taking place on Monday, which was due to the absence of a searchlight arranged to be placed in Marine Park (Aldrington Rec) to shew (sic) the aviator where he should land, hundreds of people assembled in the park yesterday evening to watch the flight and descent.’

copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums,
Brighton & Hove
Page & Miles, District Factors for Osram Lamps
Mr Barber of Hendon was the pilot, and the General Electric Company of London arranged the flight. Mr Barber flew a Valkyrie, type B, no. 5, monoplane. The Valkyrie, described as powerful, ‘came along at a terrific rate, and at high altitude, and when over the Park circled round beautifully, and swooped down like an eagle’.

Amongst the waiting throng at Aldrington to greet the hero was Mr H. Clifford Palmer of the General Electric Company, the directors of Page & Miles, Mr W. Cocks, Chief Constable of Hove, and Alderman Samuel Isger.

Mr Barber stated that when the plane landed, it was travelling at 70 miles per hour. When the aircraft stopped, there was a general rush of excited people waving autograph books, or taking photographs of the historic event. Mr Barber said he had presented the British government with four monoplanes, and his recompense (£100) for the journey from Shoreham to Hove would be put towards prizes to encourage aviation. The Osram lamps were loaded into a truck from Page & Miles, and Mr Barber took off to return to Shoreham, ‘disappearing in a blaze of sunset glory’.

At the end of July 1911, the same month in which he made the flight from Shoreham to Hove, Barber achieved another first – making the first passenger flight. The intrepid Violet Trehawk Davies engaged his services to fly her from Hendon to Brighton and back again. The journey was not without hazard, and there were stops for refuelling, including a surprise landing at Steyning.

Captain Horatio Claude Barber (1875-1964) was a remarkable man who designed and built the Valkyrie, and the biplane ASL Viking. Perhaps he should be known as the man with four ‘Firsts’ because he was also the proud possessor of an aeronautical degree, the first man in Britain to earn one. Another Barber ‘first’ was his venture into insurance policies as regarding passengers in his aircraft. To the venerable firm of Lloyd’s this was indeed virgin territory – in fact they had no expertise in such a new field, and so they invited Barber to compose his own insurance policy. He later became something of an expert in the subject. He must have been motivated by a tragic accident in June 1911 when Walter Benson, a pupil of his, was killed in a flying accident at Hendon.

It is also sad to relate that Barber had to dissolve his own company – Aeronautical Syndicate – because he was unable to find commercial success. However, nobody could take away his years of experience in aeronautical matters and he came into his own during the First World War. He served in the fledgling Royal Flying Corps, which later became the RAF, and he ended up being in charge of all the flying training conducted in England. He was busy in Sussex too, and became an instructor at Shoreham, one of the first to do so. Today, Barber is venerated as an Early Bird of Aviation (cut-off point 17 December 1916).
(Additional research by D. Sharp)

copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Although Horatio Barber made the World’s first recorded freight flight landing in Aldrington, his aircraft was not the first to land in Hove, this was achieved by Graham Gilmore two months earlier in May 1911, when he flew from Shoreham Airport and landed his aircraft on Brunswick Lawns.
See also Graham Gilmore's flight to Hove

War Allotments

Aldrington Rec did not fare too well during two world wars. Apart from being used for drill purposes in the First World War, by January 1918 it was decided to use 2½ acres on the north side to create allotments in order to combat food shortages. These allotments were not vacated until 20 December 1920.

During the Second World War, most of the ground was utilised for allotments under the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign.


copyright © D.Sharp
The sub-station and the north west corner of  'Wish Hills' (wild flower slopes)

In 1925 it was decided to build a new sub-station because of the increased consumption of electricity by people living in Aldrington. The sub-station was to be built on the north west corner, close to the fence, on a small piece of land measuring 17 ft by 40 ft.

Plane Crash – 1917

The following extract from the Brighton & Hove Gazette (23 May 1917) describes what happened on 22 May 1917:

‘A distressing tragedy of the air was witnessed at Hove, yesterday evening, resulting in the death of two young officers of the Royal Flying Corps. Shortly after 6 o’clock four aeroplanes were seen high up near the western border of Hove, nearly to Portslade. The evening was beautifully calm, with practically ideal conditions for air tactics. Suddenly, two of the planes collided. One fell a shapeless mass in Marine Park, the exact spot being at the western end and towards the south west of the enclosure, where the engine partially embedded itself in the fresh green turf; while the other came down on the sands opposite Hove Seaside Villas, a residential terrace of houses, which stands right on the foreshore. Each machine had one occupant. The officer who was piloting that which descended on the park was terribly injured and dead, but his hands still grasped the steering wheel. Amongst the broken parts of the other machine, its pilot also lay dead, having been instantaneously killed. The dead officers were 2nd Lieutenant William John Douglas Vince R.F.C. Special Reserve who joined the Air Service in June 1916, and Temporary Lieutenant G.F. Crapp R.F.C. whose service dated from July last year. For a little while after the collision portions of the machines descended to earth at various parts, a portion of the tail being found in the churchyard of St Leonard’s Church … Pieces were also picked up in Worcester Villas and other places near.’

copyright © J.Middleton
The grave of 2nd Lieutenant Cyril Frederick Crapp in St Leonard's churchyard Aldrington

The gates of Aldrington Rec, were closed at once to deter sightseers, and a policeman kept watch over the wreckage on the beach. Lt Crapp was buried at St Leonard’s Churchyard, near the south west wall, and his name appears on the church’s beautifully decorated parchment war memorial

Coronation Horse Show -1953

As part of the local celebrations for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on 2 June 1953, a horse show was held at Aldrington Rec on 6 June 1953.

There was some excitement when a frisky, dark brown pony called Broompark Minerva broke away and dashed towards Saxon Road, scattering spectators on the way. The horse vaulted over a parked car belonging to Alderman V. R. Hudson, shattering a head-lamp, and headed along New Church Road. The horse was finally brought back to Aldrington Rec and went on to win 3rd prize in the hackney class.


In 1971 a new sports pavilion was built on the east side.

In October 1982 Hove councillors agreed to expend some £160,000 on updating the sports pavilion on the Saxon Road side. There would be four changing rooms with mobile walls that would enable the space to become a large community room for weekday use. There would also be more showers and lavatories.

The children’s play area was renovated and re-opened on 21 July 1992.

A Quagmire

In the Argus (23 January 1999) a letter-writer complained about the dreadful state of the football pitches that had become quagmires after so much rain. It was claimed that in the days when Hove Council was in charge, football would have been suspended long before the ground reached such a dreadful state.

Community Garden

copyright © D.Sharp
The community garden and the Saxon Road Pavilion in the background

Perhaps a memory of wartime use of the allotments never went away entirely because in 2012 a community garden was set up on the Saxon Road side. People grew organic fruit and vegetables there. To the great delight of local children, a pond was also created, and little ramp was installed for the special use of frogs. Initially, there was only one frog, but now the pond is well established with frogspawn laid in the spring.

Wish Hills

copyright © D.Sharp
'Wish Hills' at the Saxon Road end of the park

This charming name has been given to two ‘little’ hills created in the spring of 2013. The idea was to replicate the sort of soil conditions found in Downland grasslands, and relevant wild flowers were planted with the hope butterflies would be attracted. The scheme was funded by the National Lottery, Southern Land Services, and the Friends of Wish Park.

The Elephant in the Room

 copyright © Robert Jeeves of 'Step Back in Time'
Elephants were once an integral part of any self-respecting Grand Parade (Hove 1915)

There is a persistent story that an elephant from a travelling circus died, and was buried in Aldrington Recreation Ground. The story grows more popular with every passing year. But is it a folk memory, an urban myth or a hard fact? So far no documentary evidence has come to light, which is not to say that the event did not happen.
copyright © D.Sharp
A cicus elephant sculpture in the 
children's play area of the park

There were indeed travelling circuses that regularly set up their big top at Hove. These were not small affairs either, but world-famous outfits such as Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show in 1891, while Barnum & Bailey’s visited in 1898 and 1899. The 1898 circus had no less than 20 elephants, while the one in 1899 boasted of a majestic elephant that towered above the others.

There was also an unhappy event concerning Barnum & Bailey’s circus in August 1898. The huge outfit travelled by train from place to place, but there was a horrific snarl-up at Hove Station when someone gave the wrong signal and two of Barnum & Bailey’s trains collided, with three rail cars being so badly damaged they had to be left behind for repairs. The newspapers reported that there was no loss of life because the carriages were not sleeping cars, but there was no mention of animals.

If an elephant were buried in Aldrington Rec, it surely would have been some time between 1895 and 1899 and there was certainly a large hollow in the south east corner, which could possibly be big enough to dispose of an elephant. It is unlikely that such a burial would be allowed once the grounds were open to the public, especially remembering the trouble taken in creating a smooth sward from a former brick-field.

This story has such resonance it inspired a new piece of sculpture that was formally opened on 29 October 2016. It cleverly depicts the arching ribs of an elephant – it is made of glulam, which actually means pieces of glued and laminated timber and it is valuable for such a project because it is light and can be shaped. There were many people involved in this project ranging from Threshold and Brighton firm Chalk Architects, to the Friends of Wish Park and other local people. Children also played their part by writing haiku-style poems about elephants and these were laser-etched onto the wood of the shelter, some of which was re-claimed pier decking.

copyright © D.Sharp
The 'elephant's rib' sculpture was design by Brighton architects Chalk Architecture.  The City's Mayor, Pete West, officially opened the sculpture on Saturday 29 October 2016 which is now known as 'Dino the Elephant' following a naming competition.
See also the Circus comes to Hove

Some Events at Aldrington Recreation Ground

16 July 1900 – Hove Fire Brigade Competition and Sports Day

1901 – On Summer Sundays the Christian Workers’ Brass Band played sacred music between 7.15 p.m. and 8 15 p.m. But no collection was taken

31 August 1905 – Annual Sports Day of the Hove Cabmen

29 June1908 – Horse Show

9 September 1908 – Hove Police and Hove Fire Brigade Sports Day

29 June 1910 – Motor Gymkhana

4 July 1911 – World-wide first air freight

21 February 1912 – Football match in aid of the Hove Dispensary between Hove bakers and Hove chimney sweeps

26 February 1913 – same as above

4 March 1913 – same as above

3 September 1913 – Baden Powell Scouts Display and Torchlight Tattoo in aid of Hove Dispensary and the Queen’s Nurses

November 1914 – Ground used for drill by the 24th Divisional Artillery

December 1914 – Ground used by the 2nd Sussex Cyclist Battalion every day except for Sundays

May 1915 – Sussex 1st (Hove) Volunteer Corps drilled between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

copyright © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Lord John Sanger's August 1915 advert for his circus and menagerie at both Kingsway and Aldrington Recreation Park

22 May 1917 – Plane crash


Brighton & Hove Gazette
Brighton Herald (8 July 1911)
Bruce G, 'The Life and Times of Colonel George Gouraud' from the Hillandale News 95 (April 1977)
Middleton J, Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade
Hove Council Minute Books
Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Sussex Daily News

Copyright © J.Middleton 2018
page layout by D. Sharp.