My memories of the 1960's

By David Beale

  I grew up in Newhaven as a boy in the early sixties, some things stay with you all your life, and these are some I can still remember sixty years on.

                                                 My Top Ten Smells of the Town

10. Starting with a personnel one, mums bacon pudding, I’m sure the suet in the pudding gave it something extra. Served with Peas Pudding Yum!      She’s still making it 60 years later

9. Sorrels Pig farm in Denton. Indeed several pig farms in Denton. I wonder if many youngsters today have ever had the privilege.  Swill fed, smelt like a good stew, pig slurry not so good.

8. Coal. Does anyone have a coal fire anymore, its own special smell just after its lit, the coalman carrying sacks down the path shooting the contents into a bunker, always tall lean fellows, unrecognizable covered in coal dust.

7. Bacon and sausages cooking on a wood fire. While on holiday contemplating a barbecue, I remembered cooking Breakfast on a camping trip with the Cubs, it must have been the first time I had ever had food cooked outside, as barbeques were not popular then. Fred Cole MBE was the Scout master and lived next door, a loud but kindly and Christian man.

6. The pony that lived in Dr A Brooks field in Western Road. It was a small Dark Bay pony about 12/2 always a shiny coat that smelled of; well pony!  I never did know its name.

5. The Fire Station in Meeching Road. The large sliding doors were always left slightly open so you could have a look inside, where two large red Dennis fire engines stood , always gleaming , the smell a mix of polish and diesel. Now and then you might be lucky enough to be outside when they were called out, bells ringing frantically.

4. Gorse, as a boy I would play on the Union, covered in gorse on the side of the Downs. If you ran through it, it would give off a perfumed smell and scratch your legs to bits.

3. Winkles. We lived in Northdown Road, a couple of chaps would come around weekly during the season selling pints of winkles I have never been a fish lover, but love winkles and with their own distinct aroma. Extracted with a pin and eat them with a little vinegar and salt.

2. Bowles farm, Court Farm Road. The smell of cows fed entirely on grass. It’s something I have got used to over the last 50 years. Sadly not so my wife!

1.  Granddads garage, (Dick Lower boat builder) a heady mix of Oak logs Linseed Oil and Tobacco leaves (he made his own cigars, fond memories of sugar sandwiches and Gooseberries with granny.

David Beale

Editors note:-

My personal one is of fried fish & chips which reminds me of the smell emanating from Collington's, my maternal grand parents fried fish and chip shop in South Road as we left the Boys Club after an evening playing snooker or table tennis, but that was a little earlier in the 1950's.

Have you got any smell that triggers a memory of times gone by?

John Hills

This page was added by David Beale on 31/03/2022.
Comments about this page

I'll say so John, we lived in Acacia road right behind Sam Sorrell's pig farm. When the wind was in the right direction, which it usually was, you couldn't get away from the smell. I also remember the winkle seller from when we lived in Northdown road.

Thought this page would trigger a few memories, Terry.

Regards  John - editor

By Terry Howard
On 01/04/2022

I'd have to say it would be the smells of the harbour. A wonderful mix of salt air, seaweed, fish and marine diesel. All the better when sniffed while on board a ship or boat on the river. For me it was Meeching, of course. For others, maybe on a fishing boat or one of the Sea Cadets' boats.

By Andy Gilbert
On 03/04/2022

Was just wondering, my Grandmother's maiden name was Lower and her father was Joseph Lower also a boat builder l was told, he also took blue flints to Piddinghoe? Love all your smells and wonderful memories of 60's  Newhaven,  Funnells bakers bread.......

By Teresa Mackintosh
On 04/04/2022

I loved those top ten smells David! I’m with you on winkles and the smell of coal fires. I would add bluebells at Bullens Bush, the smell of cut grass or dried out grass on the school field at Tideway, and the powerful perfume of night scented stock my dad Edgar Vinall grew in our back garden in Western Road - I have to grow them every year for the reminder of a great childhood.

By Val Lidster (Vinall)
On 12/04/2022

May be odd but the smell of petrol walking past Amys garage at the top of the High Street…

By Diana Foord
On 13/05/2022

 Sorry for the long ramble. This is a message for Teresa who says her Great Grandfather was a Lower, I have yet to find a link but will keep trying, because two interesting things have arisen from you comments, the first, my maternal Grandmother was a Lower, her maternal Grandfather was a Henty who lived in Piddinghoe, he was in a court case with a Henry Lower over the sale of stones. Somehow I suspect we are distant relatives. The other interesting thing is what are blue stones doing going to Piddinghoe, I am intrigued, there is a rare bottle kiln there next to the river. Apparently these stones were also used in road construction. My father can remember stones being hauled up the cliffs on a winch from the beach, he’s 98 Can anybody shed any light on this?

By David Beale
On 05/06/2022

My last comment about what were Blue Flints doing going to Piddinghoe was solved for me by an article in the Newhaven Times, "The Boulderers". They were ground up to dust and added to clay for strength. Kilns still exist there. I would suggest Theresa MacIntosh reads this as it mentions someone who is probably a relation of both of us, Joseph Lower who lost his life at sea taking Blue Flints to Piddinghoe. If she is interested I have Lower history going back to 1590. 

By David Beale
On 15/09/2022

Hello David, apologises just seen June comments. I will certainly read on this. The Piddinghoe connection, around 1962 my parents they were going to buy an old white cottage on a corner but decided too much to do! I am sure l remember them things relative's in the past, great, great grandmothers? I expect we could be goodness knows how many cousins removed. My grandparents had the shoe repairers top of High Street. Hanaghan by name. So many memories of old Newhaven and then Tuesday school. Thank you David. 

By Teresa Mackintosh
On 20/12/2022

Another ex Northdown Roader here

Up until 1977, I know that by remembering FA Cup Finals!

By Phil W
On 23/12/2022

The smell of seaweed around the wooden struts on the harbour.

Also the smell from the sea in the morning.

By Mel Allen
On 04/01/2023

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