12 March 2022

Mile Oak, Portslade

Judy Middleton (2002 revised 2022)

copyright © J.Middleton
This view of Mile Oak looking east from Southwick Hill was photographed on 19 March 2009. 
 The windows of the Good Shepherd can be seen just right of centre. 

There are at least 150 place names in Sussex referring to trees and by far the most popular tree is the oak. There are Broad Oaks, Fair Oaks and Mile Oaks. Neither is the name Mile Oak exclusive to Sussex because other Mile Oaks are scattered around the country.

According to old-timer Captain Bately the Portslade Mile Oak was ‘derived from an old oak that stood on the roadway until about thirty years ago, when it gradually rotted away. Old inhabitants inform me that they often played inside the tree when children. It was on the west side of the road, and was a mile from the old George Inn in the High Street. On walking the length of the road I found trees of many kinds, but not one oak, so this must have been the only one’. (Sussex County Magazine (October 1935 Volume 9 page 667). Bately’s letter was accompanied by a photograph of the site in Mile Oak Road and showed part of an old flint wall and a large board advertising the Kennels Estate, which was developed in 1935/1936.

copyright © J.Middleton
Rural Mile Oak as it used to be. 

But there was another contender for the site of the venerable oak tree and this was to be found by the buildings of Mile Oak Farm. Apparently there was a notice affixed to a wall that proclaimed this was the site of the old Mile Oak. According to Mrs Joan Stanford, Mr Puttock, manager of the Waterworks, was responsible for placing it there. Bonny Cother remembers this oak tree, which was near the outside tap of the Waterworks. The tree was quite flat at the top and she and other youngsters used to enjoy climbing it and perching at the top to pretend they were in a ship. In the Argus (27 February 1999) there was a piece about Councillor Bob Carden who wanted to preserve a historic oak tree in the garden of a house in Mile Oak Road, once occupied by the foreman of the Waterworks. 

One of the earliest mentions of Mile Oak was in the Tithe Map of 1840 where it is placed in plot 155. This piece of land belonged to Harry Blaker, the well-known and fashionable surgeon; there is a wall plaque to his memory inside St Nicolas’s Church, Portslade. In the 1873 Ordnance Map the name is spelt as a single word rather than two; thus Mileoak Cottages were situated north of Portslade Paddocks, near where the end of Mils Oak Road is today. Mileoak Barn and a dewpond were opposite Whitelot Bottom. Presumably it was in these cottages that the 1881 census recorded two families living in Mile Oak; they were William Standen, agricultural labourer, his wife and son, and Henry Stringer, agricultural labourer, his wife and three sons. 

Until the 20th century was good farming land while the valley was home to productive market gardens. When the Waterworks were established the authorities regarded the preservation of the land for rural use of paramount importance in order to protect the purity of their water supply. Indeed, Brighton Council purchased swathes of farmland with this object in view. It is odd that this notion has fallen into disregard today while at the same time demand for water has shot up.

The development of much of Mile Oak was perhaps inevitable, given the proximity of Brighton and Hove. It was also accelerated by the break-up of large estates together with the land hunger of Portslade people squashed into a cramped area south of Old Shoreham Road with no possibility of expansion.

  copyright © G. Osborne
 Mile Oak was still a small development in the 1930s. 

Portslade Council started the ball rolling in the 1930s by the compulsory purchase of some of Farmer Broomfield’s land so that a girls’ school might be built, closely followed by the construction of council houses.

The first part of Mile Oak to be developed was land formerly occupied by the Paddocks Estate.

By 1938 the built-up area consisted of Beechers, Chrisdory, Foxhunter, Mile Oak, Sefton, and Stanley Roads. While some of the names have connotations with Mile Oak’s equine past, people often wonder about the origin of the name ‘Chrisdory’. It is pleasant to record that the builder involved in the project had the good fortune to name this road after his two children – Christopher and Dorothy.

The builder in question was Mr H. E. Painter. On 12 December 1935 Mr Painter wrote a letter to Portslade Council requesting permission to name the new road in the Kennels Estate, Chrisdory Road. However, the councillors did not approve, and asked Mr Painter to come up with a more suitable name. But it is obvious that Mr Painter’s wishes prevailed.

The inhabitants regarded themselves as a village and quite separate from the rest of Portslade.

copyright © J.Middleton
Mile Oak in the 1930s.

Pressure from developers was resisted for longer than might be expected. For example, in March 1968 the sixth Public Enquiry within ten years was held over the future of 33 acres owned by PB Properties (Portslade) and Stonery Properties (Portslade). The developers wished to build houses on four sites. East Sussex County Council objected because of the beauty of the landscape, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food objected to the potential loss of agricultural land and Brighton Council objected because of a perceived threat to their water supplies.


copyright © G. Osborne

In Victorian and Edwardian times the land north the Old Shoreham Road, including Portslade Old Village and Mile Oak were collectively known as Upper Portslade by local newspapers.

copyright © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Brighton Herald
The Paddocks, Upper Portslade, for sale on 13 June 1903
(See The Paddocks below)

In the 1930s-1950s the term Mile Oak was used exclusively for houses situated north of Chalky Road. But since that time there have been enormous changes in the valley area, which is now covered by housing rather than being agricultural land.

copyright © D.Sharp
A 1950s Upper Portslade Post Office sign in South Street (Portslade Old Village)

In 1969 the Church of the Good Shepherd, Mile Oak, was granted the status of a Conventional District. The boundary of the new district of Mile Oak moved south to include some of Foredown Hill, half of Southdown Road, along Crossway to Valley Road (dividing the shopping parade) and on to land once belonging to Mile Oak Approved School (LLC). The new parish boundaries were necessary because responsibility for people needed to be more equally divided between the Good Shepherd and St Nicolas’s Church.

By then the term Upper Portslade had fallen into disuse. Indeed in the 1960s local schoolchildren were advised not to say ‘Upper Portslade’ and ‘Lower Portslade’ in case children living south of Old Shoreham Road were made to feel inferior.

In the Brighton & Hove City Council’s Urban Survey published in 2009, the area north of Old Shoreham Road is identified simply as Portslade Village and Mile Oak.

In 1994 the Church of the Good Shepherd, Mile Oak, was granted full parish status. One outcome of this was that people in Mile Oak lost the automatic right to be married in St Nicolas’s Church.

Today the parish boundary has reverted to its historical roots; that is the whole of Portslade is one parish as it used to be before the 20th century. It was created in 2013 with the Church of England’s official title of Portslade: St Nicolas and St Andrew and Mile Oak The Good Shepherd unofficially the more simple title of The Parish of Portslade & Mile Oak is creeping into usage. 

As for the question of school catchment areas in regard to Mile Oak, a former school governor informs me that the rules are quite arbitrary and can be changed by the Local Education Authority when it is deemed necessary to regulate intake at the schools, contracting when schools are over subscribed and expanded to other areas of Portslade when school rolls are falling.

In Local Council Ward elections the Brighton & Hove City Council makes no distinction between Mile Oak and Portslade Old Village, the whole area north of the Old Shoreham Road is simply known as North Portslade.

Mile Oak Farm

copyright © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Mile Oak Farm House and Waterworks, c1930s,
photograph taken by Herbert Edward Sydney Simmons (1901-1973)

On 2 January 1890 Edward Blaker sold some land from Mile Oak Farm comprising some 294 acres to Brighton Corporation for £3,000. In the 1920s farmer John Broomfield sold more acres to Brighton Corporation Waterworks.

In 1904 farmer Mr Dudney asked Portslade Council for the loan of the Bexley Cart so that he could empty his cesspool. But the council refused to help because Mile Oak Farm was outside the urban district boundary. The farmhouse was originally one of a pair of cottages but was enlarged in 1927.

George Redman farmed Mile Oak Farm in the 1930s. He had ten milking cows and stayed for around ten years but he became very fed up with conditions during the Second World War because the Army occupied most of the land and it became almost impossible for him to carry on.
copyright © M. Smith
Mile Oak Farm House c1930s

During the Second World War a British Blenheim aircraft came down at Mile Oak and both the pilot and navigator were killed. It is claimed there was some sort of memorial to the unfortunate pilot but if there was, nobody seems to know of its whereabouts today. Official records place the site where the Blenheim Mark I bomber crashed on 24 March 1940 as near Dyke Hovel on the Downs. The aircraft was returning to Tangmere from France but crashed on top of some gorse bushes and caught fire. Three men soon arrived on the scene and one of them, Gerald Winter, pulled Gunner L.A.C. Oultram from the burning wreckage for which heroic deed he was awarded the George Cross. Squadron-Leader George Lapwood was also aboard the bomber but managed to free himself. In June 1986 Mr Lapwood appealed for information about the incident and retired nurse Sister Helen Tookey remembered nursing him for burns at the Royal Sussex County Hospital where he remained for four months,

In 1945 Alfred Clement Cross took over Mile Oak Farm; he had previously been farming at Hangleton Manor Farm where he arrived in 1924 after farming in Dorset. When the Hangleton Farm closed down, all the cows were moved to Mile Oak, which was a tuberculosis-free area.

In 1945 Alfred Cross’s son, Howard John Cross, was married at Holland Road Baptist Church and the young couple moved to Mile Oak Farm in 1947. Meanwhile Brighton Council had made some additions and alterations to the dairy and cowshed. Howard Cross was already knowledgeable about farming because he had helped his father at Hangleton.

The land at Mile Oak could hardly be called a farm because most of it was still utilised as a military training ground and the only usable part was a strip running from Mile Oak to Hangleton. It was not until the 1950s that the rest of the land was restored to agricultural use and even then ploughing could prove hazardous because bombs or spent bullets kept on being unearthed. The Army Disposal Unit was a frequent visitor to Mile Oak Farm.

The main crop was barley but there were also some cattle and a flock of around 500 sheep, which were penned every night. Once, when Mr Cross was spraying his crop, he looked up and saw two or three deer watching him. Deer are still to be seen sometimes on the Downs but usually only by early morning dog-walkers.
copyright © D.Sharp
Mile Oak Farmhouse in 2014

In July 1958 there was a proposal for new farm buildings such as covered yards, a bull service pen, bull yard, single-storey milking parlour and dairy pen. The plans included the conversion of existing open hovels into loose boxes and calf pens, the conversion of an existing stable into a tractor store and concrete paving to be laid on existing open yards and milking parlour. There was also a proposal for a new dairy building 38 feet x 6 inches in length and 35 feet x 9 inches in width to be covered with corrugated asbestos roofing on a site north of the Isolation Hospital with access from a farm track, the continuation of Foredown Road.

In 1984 Howard Cross’s son, David, married Julia Broomfield of the well-known Portslade farming family. There was plenty of space for the wedding reception, which was held in the grounds. David and Julia Cross celebrated their Silver Wedding in 2009. David Cross went to Benfield School and finally to college in Oxfordshire. He then worked for a spell at Penfolds in Arundel before returning to Portslade. David Cross is the third generation of his family to farm at Mile Oak, his parents having spent over 46 years there. His wife Julia was educated at Deepdene School, New Church Road, Hove, and later worked as a bi-lingual secretary.

Farm horses were still used at Mile Oak Farm. First there was Harvey who lived to the ripe old age of forty or more, then came Nathan who fulfilled his role for twenty-one years. They were both gentle giants.

The building of the Brighton bypass caused a great deal of disruption and noise to Mile Oak Farm, which found itself virtually isolated from the rest of Portslade with access restricted to an underpass. In March 1994 it was announced that the Department of Transport was to erect a two-metre fence between the bypass and the farm, following pressure from Councillor Leslie Hamilton, junior.
copyright © D.Sharp
Mile Oak Farm Shop and one of the rare breeds enclosures

In early 2001 there was a very serious outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the country as a whole. Nowhere seemed to be safe from the threat of infection and farms were place out-of-bounds to walkers. David Cross, 53, said ‘We are a dairy and arable farm with about 300 animals so it would be disastrous if we lost them. We have got straw with disinfectant on in the entrance to the farm, buckets for people to wash their feet in and have stopped visitors from other farms.’ Fortunately, foot and mouth disease did not invade Sussex.

In 2003 it was no longer possible to maintain a dairy herd at Mile Oak Farm because of new regulations regarding the environment. Instead a beef herd was instituted. Today Julia Cross enjoys her rare breeds of poultry and the couple have established a popular farm shop and café as well as a place where local children can enjoy seeing donkeys, horses, goats and ducks. The farm still covers some 1,100 acres.

Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland
New England Farm to the east of the Mile Oak Waterworks in 1938

New England Farm

In the old days this farm was tucked away in the Downs with open countryside all around. The 1851 census recorded that William Miles, agricultural labourer, lived there with his wife, three sons and two daughters; twenty years later William Standen was the occupant. He was aged 27 and lived with his wife and daughter.
The Ordnance Survey Map of 1873 showed a large dew-pond south of New England.

The 1881 census had an interesting entry because it recorded that Samuel Denman, agricultural labourer, was staying in New England barn; presumably, he was an itinerant worker.

In the 1930s New England was still so remote that Portslade Council did not collect house refuse from it. An Ordnance Survey map of the same era depicts a chalk pit situated a quarter of a mile south of New England; there was a second chalk pit one-third of a mile north east of the farm while a third one was just 700 yards to the north east.

New England cottages were still mentioned in the 1951 Directory but they did not appear in the 1960 Directory. In 1958 farmer A. Broomfield was granted planning permission to erect a Dutch barn at New England.

The Chalk Pit

 copyright © G. Osborne
The Chalk Pit in the 1950s

Nearly opposite Chalky Road there is an old chalk pit. In the 1930s it was used to store rubbish but in 1938 some thirty-six residents signed a petition protesting about the pit being used for this purpose. Penfold Public Works acquired the site in the 1970s and it was used as a scrap yard until 1990 when it served as a depot with garage, workshops and offices.

copyright © D. Sharp
Mills Removals now run their business from the 'Chalk Pit'

Mile Oak Rifle Range

It was Hugh Gorringe J.P. who first suggested that Mile Oak would make a fine rifle range for the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment. A move was necessary because the old rifle range at Sheepcote Valley had been condemned. Negotiations were carried out between the Volunteers, Brighton Corporation and Mr Bridger and his tenants. Although the new range was not quite as accessible as Sheepcote Valley, a reporter from the Brighton Gazette found that ‘Mile Oak is distinctly pleasant in fine weather’. In fact it was like being in open countryside and indeed the seclusion of the site was its chief recommendation. The firing points were so arranged that firing could take place simultaneously at any distance.

On 28 April 1900 the firing range was officially opened. A special train brought dignitaries from Brighton to Portslade Railway Station where conveyances were waiting to take them to Mile Oak. But for the 400 Volunteers, it was a case of marching. They made an impressive sight dressed in their scarlet jackets with the sun glinting off their steel helmet spikes. Their band was in attendance and a strong cycling section acted as a rearguard. Lieutenant Colonel Somers Clarke was the officer in command of the Volunteers.

The Mayor of Brighton, Alderman J.E. Stafford, opened the proceedings by taking up the prone position and firing a few shots until he scored a bull’s eye. A few other councillors also took a few pot shots, including Alderman Reeves. The Mayor and Alderman Reeves were veteran Volunteers and the former challenged the latter to a 5-shot match, which the Mayor won 18 to 17.

Then it was the turn of the Volunteers and Sergeant Crone won the competition with a score of 86. Hundreds of civilians watched the free show and refreshments were taken at the cottage and shed at Mile Oak.

 copyright © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Two newspaper cuttings from the Brighton Graphic mentioning the Army and the Portslade Rifle Club's use of the Mile Oak Rifle Range

  copyright © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
A photograph from the 1916 Brighton Graphic
 copyright © D.Sharp
The Brighton & Hove Ladies Rifle Club were one of the many rifle clubs in the Brighton & Hove area and would
have taken part in Brighton & Hove Shooting League competitions at the Mile Oak Rifle Range. 

The photograph is from the Brighton Season Magazine of 1908

The rifle range was situated west of the track and north of Mile Oak Farmhouse with the buts being at the foot of Thundersbarrow Hill. James Short was the range warden from at least 1903 while David Short took over in around 1927 and he was there during the 1930s. Short lived in a green-painted corrugated iron cottage sited north of the Waterworks cottage.

copyright © Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Brighton Herald 10 November 1917

On 13 May 1922 Captain P.S. Carden was team captain of the Sussex VIII who defeated the Royal Marine Artillery VIII. Captain Carden made the top score of 96 and shooting was at ranges of 200, 500 and 600 yards.

The Brighton & Hove Imperial Rifle Club used the Mile Oak range during the 1920s although they also had an indoor range at Brighton Aquarium. The Cadet Corps of the Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School were regular visitors to Mile Oak while on 24 September 1925 the Sussex County Rifle Association held a competition there.

In 1926 it was stated that shooting at Mile Oak was carried out under favourable weather conditions but in June 1927 proceedings were seriously hampered by bad weather. In 1928 around sixty non-commissioned officers from the Cadet Corps completed a musketry course at Mile Oak.

In October 1929 the Sussex County Rifle Association held its competition at Mile Oak. The event was supposed to last from 8 a.m. until dusk but as the day progressed, conditions grew worse. What had started as a light breeze turned into a near gale and dusk fell before the last of the competitions had taken place. In the individual competitions there were 131 competitors and altogether some 6,600 rounds were fired.

It was reported that the rifle range shut down on 29 September 1934 because the land was to be given over to the house builder. But it seems this did not happen. At any rate during the Second World War the rifle range was well used by the Army, as well as the Home Guard and the Canadians. It seems that the men of the Home Guard were not well versed in the handling of firearms and several casualties were reported in 1944.

Shooting still takes place at Mile Oak to this day although not for military use but rather to practise the skills of clay pigeon shooting.
In August 1991 members of the Piltdown Clay Pigeon Shooting Club enjoyed a Sunday morning’s sport at the club’s ground at Mile Oak Farm. It was stated there were around seventy members, all of whom were thoroughly vetted before being allowed to join. Ralph Walker was the club chairman.

Local people used to enjoy bagging wild rabbits for the pot on the Downs. A few practised hands might use a snare but others preferred firearms. On 3 October 1900 Anthony David Brazier, landlord of the Clifton Arms, Worthing, was hunting rabbits on the Downs at Portslade with his brother George and their father. The landlord made the fatal error of standing up suddenly when he had been lying down by a rabbit hole and at that precise moment his father fired his gun. The inquest was held at the Battle of Trafalgar pub. 

Mile Oak Inn

 copyright © G. Osborne
 1950s postcard of the Mile Oak Inn
With thanks to Mr G. Osborne for granting permission for the reproduction of the above photograph  from his private collection.

Messrs Denman & Son of 27 Queen’s Road, Brighton drew up plans on behalf of Kemp Town Brewery for a new pub and they were dated 27 January 1951. Margery Batchelor worked in the pub in the 1950s and stated that except for weekends it was very quiet during its first year. Then Bobby Lee took over and everything changed. Bobby Lee was the erstwhile captain of the popular Brighton Tigers ice hockey team and naturally enough many former colleagues used to turn up besides many a loyal fan. At that stage there was no pavement outside the pub, the bus service was frequent, running every 20 minutes, even so, many customers arrived by car.

 copyright © M. Smith
The Number 9 bus that served Portslade Station and Mile Oak c1940

Two tragedies were connected with the pub. One Sunday morning Margery served a customer with his usual drink and when he left he carried with him a quart bottle, which he always had filled with beer at the pub. On the way home, he slipped on a patch of oil, the bottle smashed and severed an artery and he died.

copyright © D.Sharp
Mile Oak Inn in 2014
In 1990 publican’s wife Edna Lane was locking up one night when she accidentally fell down the cellar steps, fracturing her skull. She did not realize she was badly hurt and did not go to hospital at once. She died the next day. At the inquest it was revealed that there were three identical doors close together. One led upstairs, one led to the toilet and the other led to the cellar. It was supposed she meant to lock the toilet door but fell down the cellar steps instead. Stanley Lane said he would leave the pub and take early retirement. He died on 27 July 1999 aged 73.

The pub has also suffered from flooding from time to time due to run-off from the Downs. In January 1994 firemen had to pump out the cellar after a heavy rainfall. In November 2000 landlady Louise Carpenter, 25, found she had water to a depth of 4 feet in her cellar. She managed to keep open for business despite losing all heating and hot water. A farmer helped to shift some of the water and by 10 November there were six pumps hard at work drawing 1,500 litres of water a minute out of the cellar.

copyright © G. Osborne

The Handy Shop

Bonnie Gladwin ran this shop in Mile Oak Road for many years, and she had worked as a cashier at the King Alfred in Hove. Bonnie was the daughter of Portslade-born Peter Gladwin who was very well known in Portslade, and in 1981 he celebrated 30 years of service in local government. When he became Mayor of Hove 1981-82, Bonnie acted as the Mayoress because Mrs Gladwin was in poor health. Bonnie was also a governor of Portslade Infants School. In the 1980s the Gladwins sold their house on the west side of Portslade and moved to Somerset. Peter Gladwin died at the age of 89 on 30 January 2005, and Bonnie died aged 61; both their funerals were held at Taunton Crematorium.

Oakdene Estate

copyright © G. Osborne
Oakdene Avenue in the early 1960s

The land was situated north of The Paddocks, and west of Mile Oak Road. It had the unromantic name of the 17 Acre Field, and measured 600-ft by 1,000-ft. In 1899 William Baldcock, who was born in Huntingdon, purchased it. At the time he was earning his living as a florist at 18/19 Prince Albert Street, Brighton.

In the Argus (6/6/06) it stated that in 1903 a businessman purchased 17 acres for £1,000, and in 1910 he had a house built; he also established the Mile Oak Nurseries. He died in 1931 and much of the land was sold off, but his widow and daughter continued to live in the family home. More land was sold off in 1957, while in 1963 there was a further sale that meant part of the garden went, being the last piece of what had been the Nurseries. In June 2006 the three-bedroom property was on sale for £299,950.

The North Portslade Community News (June/July 2018) reported that in 1903 William Baldock sold 2 acres to Mr and Mrs Collett and consequently house numbers 479 and 481 Mile Oak Road were built. In 1905 Baldock sold 2 acres to Mrs Rosa Foster. In around 1906 Baldock built a bungalow numbered 403 Mile Oak Road, and lived there with his wife Eva, and children Ernest, Lilian and Jessie. Jessie later lived with her husband Ernest Gravett at number 407, and they also built number 405. William Baldock died in 1931, while his widow remained at number 403. William Baldock left most of his property to his eldest daughter.

In the 1920s Harry Barnett ran a piggery on some of the land, and lived in a house called The Beehive. Originally, the structure had been a hut on Slonk Hill and during the First World War served as an officers’ mess. After the war, Mr Barnett purchased it and moved it to Mile Oak. Behind the piggeries, chickens were kept, and Mr Barnett’s daughter-in-law sold them to customers. On this land some 36 bungalows were later built.

In 1958 Portslade gave planning approval for four bungalows to be built in Oakdene Crescent, and in 1959 for eight detached bungalows in Oakdene Crescent and Oakdene Gardens.

Originally, there were three ‘Oakdenes’ – Avenue, Crescent, and Gardens. On 3 February 1978 a fourth was added to their number. This was Oakdene Rise. Apparently, the former name of Whitelot Close was changed because it was often confused with a road in Southwick with the same name. But perhaps four ‘Oakdenes’ can also cause difficulties.

In 2000 the area was flooded with water running off the Downs, and on 9 November East Sussex Fire Brigade spent most of the day pumping out houses in Oakdene Avenue, Crescent and Gardens 

The Paddocks

 copyright © G. Osborne
Edwardian postcard of the Paddocks Tea Garden and Model Farm
With thanks to Mr G. Osborne for granting permission for the reproduction of the above photograph  from his private collection.

The Paddocks was the name of some celebrated racing stables at Mile Oak. Originally the land had been part of Great Cow Down, marked as 167 on the 1840 Tithe Map and consisted of 12 acres, 2 rods and 15 perches. The name Cowdowne goes back at least as far as the reign of Edward VI (1547-1553) when it was common land where tenants could pasture their cattle while one herdsman looked after all of them.
In the 1871 census the establishment was identified as the Racing Stables, Portslade. People living there were John Aldridge, aged 36, his wife Emma, two jockeys, three stablemen and a stable lad. John Aldridge was head trainer and he is known to have ridden at two meetings at Lewes in 1871.

By 1891 William Roser, described as a trainer of horses, was in charge. Roser, aged 37, was born at Tonbridge, Kent. Also living at the stables was a male servant, Emily Rogers servant, William Nye an 18-year old jockey, William A. McRee a 24-year old jockey groom and one other jockey groom. In the rooms above the stables lived Elijah Hill, 51-year old coachman, his 46-year old wife Fanny, their daughter Emily aged 24 and their son Joseph aged 20. In addition there were twelve men employed as stablemen /grooms. They were George Moon 25, Frank Dawson 15, Henry Brassier 18, Joseph Broughton 26, J. Abis 24, E. Sargeant 21, E. White 19, Harry Wheeler 15, Henry Daley 20, Alfred Patching 29, William Sargeant 27 and George Croft 16.

A long, illustrated article on the stables was published in Racing Illustrated (11 March 1896). It stated that Portslade Paddocks presented a very pretty picture ‘the place wears a particularly neat and trim appearance and is very compact and charmingly situated … Additions and improvements have been made of late and the establishment presents quite a model look, evidence of sound sense shown in the arrangement and conduct of the establishment being everywhere perceptible. No purer air could be breathed by horse or man than that of the Portslade Downs.’

For many years William Roser trained horses privately for Sir James Miller, Lord George Nevill, Lord Henry Nevill and Viscount Cantalupe. By 1896 he was training horses for Mr M. Widger, Major Brinckman, Mr F.E. Irving, Mr W.F. Felton and Mr C.P. Cunliffe. Roser possessed a silver cigarette box that commemorated a number of victories gained by horses he trained.

 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
A report from the Brighton Herald of an auction held at the
Old Ship Hotel, for the sale of The Paddocks in Upper Portslade
on 16 July 1898
In 1896 the jockeys Joe Widger and T.J. Widger were much in evidence at the Paddocks. The reporter was pleased to see Joe Widger riding the mare Alice H because the mare was a well-known winner in Ireland. Joe Widger first came to prominence in the 1895 Grand National when he rode Wild Man From Borneo and won by a length and a half. The horse had to cope with the cream of cross-country competitors as well as a jockey weighing 10 stone 11 lbs. The reporter was particularly impressed by the bay horse Waterford who was ‘in the very brightest bloom of health – no horse could possibly look better’.

For twelve years the head lad at the Paddocks was H. Nye who apparently lost his jockey’s licence in unfortunate circumstances. The reporter wrote ‘horses are curious animals and this is not the first occasion on which one has upset his rider’s reputation.’ In conclusion the reporter stated that the Paddocks was one of the best stables ever to feature within the pages of Racing Illustrated.

copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Brighton Herald 13 June 1903

There is a local tradition that the bay filly Signorinetta who won the Derby in 1908 was trained at the Paddocks. But this does not accord with official records. According to the National Horse Racing Museum, Cavaliere Odoardo Ginistrelli bred, owned and trained the horse at Newmarket. Fred Bullock was the jockey who rode Signorinetta to victory at the Derby by two lengths at 100-1, closely followed by the Duke of Portland’s Primer ridden by William Bullock. Fred Bullock lived in a cottage south of The Hall at Southwick Green. Two days after the Derby, Signorinetta won the Oaks but she never won another race. Lord Roseberry purchased her but she did not make a lasting mark as a brood mare.

An amusing anecdote about Signorinetta appeared in The Sun in the Morning, the first part of M.M. Kaye’s autobiography published in 1990. Apparently her father Sir Cecil Kaye was serving in Simla when he dreamed of the Derby winner. Unfortunately, just as he was about to read the number going up on the board, his wife turned over in bed and the movement woke him up. All he could remember was that the name began with a ‘c’ sound and that there were at least five syllables. However, the Derby attracted a great number of entrants and India’s three English language newspapers did not bother to print the names of those horses they considered ‘also rans’. Although half the Army Headquarters at Simla plus members of the United Services Club scanned the newspapers with enthusiasm, they were none the wiser because the filly was not mentioned.

The following description comes from the Hove Year Book 1907. ‘Delightfully situated at the foot of the South Downs … stands an old racing establishment the Paddocks at Mile Oak converted in 1906 into a pleasure resort conducted by Mr Robert Price, a genial host, assisted by his wife and daughter. A tour of inspection of the Paddocks is a task of time, and as additional attractions are contemplated we can prophecy a popularity for the Mile Oak grounds that rival places will incline to envy.’

 copyright © G. Osborne
With thanks to Mr G. Osborne for granting permission for the reproduction of the above photograph  from his private collection.

There were 40 acres of grounds laid out for all kinds of games including cricket, football, tennis, croquet, bowls and quoits; there was a quiet, shady orchard for small parties plus a farmyard, aviary and stables; there was also a steep bank much used by children tobogganing down the glassy slope. Finally, there was enough accommodation to serve teas to 500 visitors.

 copyright © G. Osborne
With thanks to Mr G. Osborne for granting permission for the reproduction of the above photograph  from his private collection.

The training stables were still in operation; Joe Widger ran it from 1898 to 1904 and John Williams was in charge by 1912. In 1917 Mrs Boswall-Preston purchased the property.
By the early 1930s the Boswall-Prestons were prepared to develop the land into housing. In May 1932 Mr G.H. Boswall-Preston offered the land to Portslade Council for the sum of £9,000. He stipulated that this was his lowest price but Portslade Council must have considered the price was too much for their modest means and nothing came of the offer. 

By 1934 Mr Boswall-Preston had decided to start developing some of the land himself by building houses in Mile Oak Road. There was some correspondence with the council on the subject and in May 1934 the council refused him permission to construct temporary cesspools in front of the houses. Instead he was invited to submit drainage plans. Meanwhile, the sewers from the houses could be discharged temporarily into special tanks until the main sewer was available.

copyright © J.Middleton
An old postcard of the Mile Oak area where the Paddocks were.

Portslade Council passed plans for road building on the Paddocks estate including Sefton Road, Beechers Road and Stanley Avenue (all in 1933) and Foxhunter Road in 1934. Although the plans were passed, house building started later on. In April 1948 Mrs Daisy Boswall-Preston sold some land to Portslade Council.

The entrance to the Paddocks was opposite to where the Spar Stores stood on the Mile Oak Road while on the east side a row of trees marked the spot for some years.

See the Paddocks Estate page

Municipal Golf Links for Mile Oak turned down by Brighton Corporation

 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Brighton Herald 6 July 1907
Hollingbury Parkites victory over Mile Oakites by one vote

Mile Oak Waterworks

 copyright © G. Osborne
Mile Oak Waterworks in the early 1930s
With thanks to Mr G. Osborne for granting permission for the reproduction of the above photograph  from his private collection.

On 2 January 1890 Brighton Corporation purchased 294 acres from Mile Oak Farm. James Johnson, waterworks engineer, produced plans for Mile Oak Pumping Station dated 21 September 1899.
copyright © Brighton Libraries
Brighton Herald 19 August 1905
Revd Vicars Boyle was the Vicar of St Nicolas Church, Portslade

He also designed cottages for waterworks staff (479 and 481 Mile Oak Road). They were semi-detached with a projecting bay and the plans were dated 24 July 1900.

A plan dated 8 May 1900 showed the wells and headings as they existed at that date; the winding shaft had 9-inch brickwork in cement and it was 161 feet to the top of the well while the east and west wells were 50 feet apart.

Later on there were two triple-expansion Fleming and Ferguson steam engines operating lift pumps through helical gearing.

In 1921 there was an abnormal drought that on 9 October necessitated the water being cut off between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. In response to this crisis Johnson drew up plans dated 8 February 1922 for a new winding shaft as well as new headings, and to sink bore holes in connection with existing adits.

copyright © D.Sharp
Brighton Corporation waterworks boundary
marker, between Foredown Close and Anvil Close
on the Foredown Road near the East Hill estate.
Samuel Turner was the resident engineer from around 1900 until his death in 1917. His daughter Mabel Gertrude was born in the Waterworks house and she attended St Nicolas’s School, which involved a two-mile walk every weekday. She became a friend of Amy Broomfield who lived nearby, was around the same age and also attended St Nicolas’s School. When Mabel grew up, she married Maurice Broomfield, Amy’s brother and old John Broomfield’s youngest son.

A well-known later occupant of the superintendent’s house was Tom Puttock.

According to the 1947 Directory there was a reservoir at Cock Roost Hill with a capacity of 1,640,000 gallons and a reservoir at East Hill capable of holding 80,000 gallons. In 1948 the Waterworks Company sought a loan of  £165, 875 for an extension to Mile Oak Pumping Station although there was the small matter of still owing £10,000 from the previous round of works.

In December 1961 the new Mile Oak Pumping Station was opened. It was a groundbreaking venture and merited mentions in the The Times (14 December 1961) and Brighton Herald (16 December 1961). This was because it was operated by remote control and was the first of its kind because this type of management was a relatively new concept.

  copyright © G. Osborne
 1920s Mile Oak and Waterworks in the distance
With thanks to Mr G. Osborne for granting permission for the reproduction of the above photograph  from his private collection.

The Times wrote ‘The Mile Oak Pumping Station can draw up to 4 million gallons a day and uses cheap electricity for night pumping… The water purification plant maintains a chlorine tolerance level within limits of one part in 50 million. It claims to be the first fully automatic unmanned plant and interested parties from all over the world are expected to visit. The automatic equipment cost £4,500.’
The Brighton Herald stated ‘Brighton’s world-beating robot Pumping Station at Mile Oak, which, once set, controls all the complicated operations necessary and can be set to work for a week without attention, was officially opened yesterday by Earl Jellicoe, Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Housing and Local Government.’

Dignitaries who were there to greet him included Councillor G.B. Baldwin (Mayor of Brighton) Councillor F. Mansfield Baker (Chairman of the waterworks committee) and Mr. F. Needham Green (waterworks’ engineer). Earl Jellicoe said ‘I have been deeply impressed … that you do not take your water for granted and have planned and looked ahead.’

Meanwhile, the old works and the tall landmark chimney were demolished.

copyright © D.Sharp
Mile Oak Pumping Station in 2014

In 1998 it was stated that Mile Oak Pumping Station provided 7.42 mega litres of water daily.    

Church of the Good Shepherd, Mile Oak

The land on which the church was later built was purchased from the Paddocks Estate (plots 37 and 38). Plans for a temporary building were agreed by the Mile Oak Estates Ltd. The Revd E.P.W. Holmes, vicar of St Nicolas’s Church, Portslade, obtained planning permission from Portslade Council in March 1936. 

copyright © Parish of Portslade & Mile Oak
This wonderful photograph of the Good Shepherd was taken in 1959 and the view is certainly enhanced by the car.

The original building was donated by the vicar of the Good Shepherd, Brighton, and Mrs Gerald Moor, a local benefactor. The cost of the site, erecting the structure and equipping it was put at £450. The project got off to a disastrous start when a gale ripped through the area when the building was only partially erected and the ground was littered with twisted and torn debris.

But this setback caused more people to rally round and the Bishop of Lewes dedicated the church on 8th November 1936. In 1940 the church hall was used for four mornings a week by a girls’ school evacuated from London. It was called St Saviour’s and St Cleves’s Grammar School for Girls. The church was nicknamed the tin hut but this was a term of affection because the congregation valued its church. The church hall provided the focus for the social life of people living in Mile Oak and events staged there ranged from jumble sales to parties, and from beetle drives to concerts.

In June 1966 it was announced that a new church would be built instead of the temporary building as part of the Sussex Church Campaign. The Sussex Church Campaign made a grant of £23,000 (to which All Saints, Hove, had contributed £7,500) and St Nicolas’s Church, Portslade, provided the remaining £2,000. The architects were Clayton, Black & Daviel with Mr M.G. Alford, partner in charge. Natural daylight falling on the centrally placed altar, was achieved by designing two roof slopes at different angles, and placing windows in the spaces between. Kenneth Budd designed the two modern-style stained glass windows and the bright colours are lovely. Ian Potts of the Brighton College of Art designed the wrought-iron and beaten-copper work. An inscribed ship’s bell replaced the larger bell that had been used in the temporary church.

On 28 October 1967 the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Roger Wilson, dedicated the church and the church was not consecrated until 6 November 1994 when the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Eric Kemp, performed the ceremony.

The Good Shepherd remained a conventional district with a priest-in-charge until July 1994 when the Good Shepherd acquired the status of parish. This was short-lived because in 2013 it was re-united with St Nicolas; in fact the whole of Portslade became a single parish under the title of  Portslade: St Nicolas and St Andrew and Mile Oak The Good Shepherd

copyright © D.Sharp
The Church of the Good Shepherd in 2014

The Revd John Eifion Lloyd-James was the first priest-in-charge of the Good Shepherd and he was instituted on 7 December 1968 by the Bishop Morrell of Lewes. Father Lloyd-James was born in 1939 and was described as the rugby-playing son of a Welsh Baptist Minister. He was curate at St Andrew’s Church, Burgess Hill from 1965 to 1968. Father Lloyd-James was a popular priest at Mile Oak with his warm, friendly manner. In 1974 he left Portslade to become vicar of St Michael’s Church, Lancing, where he remained until 1988. After that he became vicar of Billinghurst, which he left in 1993 to take the post of vicar of St Mary’s Church, Kemp Town, Brighton and stayed until 1999. While he was there he became something of a TV star when he featured in the six-part Meridian TV series The Parish. The series also showed the emotional occasion when his son Duncan was ordained to the priesthood. By 2000 Father Lloyd-James had served as a parish priest in Sussex for 33 years and had recently moved to St Andrew’s Church, Bishopstone. In 2000 it was announced that he was to be made a Canon. He died on 1 May 2009 and his Requiem Mass was held at St Mary’s Church, Brighton, on 14 May 2009. The church was packed.

Portslade Secondary Modern School for Girls in Chalky Road.

On 8 March 1937 the managers of St Andrew’s Church of England School, Wellington Road, Portslade, gave notice to East Sussex County Council that they intended to close the school in eighteen months’ time. The building of a new school was considered an urgent matter because Hove Education Authority had informed the managers that they could no longer provide places for senior girls.

In those far-off days, the authorities did not seem to waste much time in implementing matters because in July 1937 the County Council purchased a 12-acre plot of land in Mile Oak for £4,800; this land was south of what was later called Chalky Road, and was part of plot 34 in the old Ordnance Survey Map.  The estimated cost of building the new school was put at a substantial £19,800.

copyright © G. Osborne
The Girls School in Chalky Road behind the bungalows in Valley Road in the 1950s
The white nissen hut in the top corner of the playing field was used as a sports changing room, The football pitch which was on a steep slope was used by the boys of Portslade Secondary School for sport's lessons and inter-house football matches.

The new school was still in the process of being decorated in 1940 when the girls moved from Wellington Road to Mile Oak. By that time of course, the old school, as well as being below standard, was in a perilous position with bombs being dropped on the canal area. Miss J. West was the first headmistress.

It was only for a period of 31 years that the school remained exclusively for girls. In 1972 it became Portslade Community College, a comprehensive, mixed school. At first the Chalky Road site became the upper school, while the lower school occupied a site in High Street, formerly home to a private school, Windlesham House.

A famous old girl was the actress Bella Emberg.

A Re-union

In March 1988 more than 50 Old Girls held a re-union, inviting along Mrs Margaret Rhode-Knight, who had been their teacher in 1972.

Mrs Bronwyn Kellaway

Mrs Kellaway was headmistress of the school for a long stint – from 1948 to 1963. She then became Principal Lecturer at Seaford College of Education, followed by a stint as a personal tutor at the University of Sussex until 1990. She managed to combine her professional career with being a mother since she and her husband had two daughters and, later on, three grand-children. Although it is quite standard today, in her times it was unusual. Mrs Kellaway died on 7 September 1999.

Southwick Hill

 copyright © G. Osborne  
This 1930s postcard has been incorrectly entitled ‘The Downs above Southwick’. The photograph was taken close to Southwick Hill, and should have been entitled ‘The Downs above Mile Oak’. The houses in Mile Oak Road and the ‘grey coloured’ bungalows in Stanley Avenue can be seen.
In the top right corner near the Old Village are both Southdown Road and Downsview Road, which can be seen bordering the blue/grey field.

On the west boundary of Portslade there runs a footpath from the south that will take you over the railway and all the way onto Southwick Hill. To west of the path lies Southwick in West Sussex and to the east is Portslade in East Sussex but now Portslade is part of the city of Brighton & Hove.

Southwick Hill is mentioned here because it provides a green lung on the west side of Portslade. Southwick Hill was given to the National Trust in 1945/1946 and consisted of 596 acres of farm and Downland, including Bushy Bottom and The Warren that were subject to long leases. Southwick Hill and Whitelot Bottom are open to the public and the area is very popular with walkers, dog-walkers and horse riders. One only has to look across the valley to the sprawl of housing covering Foredown Hill to be grateful for such a gift. This National Trust land is also rich in reminders of the ancient past such as extensive remains of an Iron Age / Romano British field system. (see below for more information on Mile Oak's ancient past)

In 1991 the National Trust had to fight its corner when the developers of the Brighton bypass wanted to cut right through Southwick Hill to take their road to Southwick and Shoreham. The National Trust stated that its land was inalienable; if the Government were allowed to appropriate pieces when it felt the need, it would create a dangerous precedent.

The result of the battle was that the Southwick tunnel was made much longer than originally planned because it was extended by 100 metres to become 500 metres in length. The projected cost of the Brighton bypass was put at £33.6 million of which half of that amount was expended on the construction of the tunnel, the longest in Sussex.

copyright © D.Sharp
The Mile Oak side of the Southwick Hill tunnels in 2013

Work began in 1992 and on 6 July 1993 workmen engaged on digging the tunnel met up in the middle for the first time. On 18 March 1996 Southwick Hill tunnel was officially opened, nearly eighteen months later than expected. One aspect of the tunnel that cannot be remedied unless the road surface is altered is the noise of traffic, which travels a surprising distance and effectively destroys the peaceful ambience of Southwick Hill.  


The first positively identified henge monument in the south-east was discovered at Mile Oak in August 1990. This came about because before the A27 Brighton by-pass was built, a Field Archaeology Group with Miles Russell as Project Director scoured the proposed route to ensure no valuable clues to the distant past went unrecorded. This work along the whole route was said to have cost English Heritage some £200,000.
copyright © D.Sharp
Site of Portslade Henge in the valley, looking east, now bisected with the embankment of the A27 

The discovery of a henge was big news in the world of archaeology because previously henges had only been found in a strip running from the south-west to Norfolk, and also in Scotland and North Wales. The Portslade henge was excavated entirely by hand and the henge was believed to date back to around 2,000BC. It was a ditched enclosure some 35m in diameter and it is thought there was once an external bank. Its north-west entrance was aligned to the opposing hill on which there was probably once a large Neolithic structure. Both the hill and the henge were close to a recently identified Neolithic causewayed enclosure.

The henge was situated in a dry valley running south from Cockroost Hill, east of Mile Oak Pumping Station and south-east of Mile Oak Farm. (Is it a coincidence that a pumping station is to be found in close proximity to an ancient monument both at Mile Oak and Goldstone Bottom?)  Today the Mile Oak site is covered by the by-pass but if you venture through the tunnel under the by-pass near the allotments, you will find on the other side a clump of trees and an old barn – the henge was nearby.

copyright © D.Sharp
Site of Portslade Henge in the valley, looking west, now bisected with the embankment of the A27

Just inside the north-west entrance of the henge a human skeleton was discovered, crouched in a foetal position near a faced sandstone block. It seems likely the burial had a ritual significance.
copyright © D.Sharp
Mile Oak Sarsen Stone 
This stone was a part of  the henge, it probably
 acted as a focusing device just outside the 
circle, it may have helped pinpoint movements
 of the sun or moon throughout the year.

In the Evening Argus (18th October 1990) it was stated ‘experts will now examine it for clues as to whether its owner was a human sacrifice’. The article was accompanied by a photograph of Miles Russell holding up the skull, which boasted a full set of teeth. The small sandstone block was deposited at Foredown Tower. It is flattened on one side and it may have been used as a sighting device.

There was an interesting article in the Daily Mail (10th June 2000). It stated that four complete skeletons were unearthed at Stonehenge but two had since been lost. One was thought to be a victim of the London blitz but recently came to light again. The skeleton came from the foot of the circle of great stones and it was excavated in 1923 with clear indications the victim had been beheaded. In 1978 the other skeleton was rediscovered and he must have been a fine specimen in his prime. He was still wearing his bowstring wrist-guard indicating his status as an archer. The young man had been shot in the back and the flint arrowhead had gone through his heart and embedded itself in the back of the breastbone: there were other flint arrowheads inside his ribcage.

The Roman writer Strabo recorded that Druids shot arrows into the backs of their victims and they were able to predict the future by close observation of the victim’s death throes. At Stonehenge another burial pit revealed the remains of a small child whose head had been split by a stone axe. At Sarn-y-bryn-caled, the timber circle also yielded a burial with four flint arrowheads, two of them with tips broken off due to impact.

copyright © Royal Pavilion & Museums,
Brighton & Hove
Flint arrow-head found in north Portslade
There was another important discovery at Mile Oak, Portslade too during this preliminary search before the building of the by-pass. It was a Bronze Age metal working site with the evidence being finds of charcoal, ash, fire-cracked flints, fired clay lead droplets, scrap copper alloy, grinding stones and whetstones. It is estimated that metal-working took place here from around 1,000 to 800BC.

During previous years other finds have turned up at Mile Oak from this period. A palstave (a Bronze Age axe) was found at Scabe’s Castle and from Whitelot Bottom there came a looped palstave, a looped and socketed celt (an axe-like instrument) a piece of large, socketed spearhead, two rings, and pins of the ‘swan neck’ variety.  

New Development

Although most people hate the idea of green-field development, the government has stipulated that although re-purposing a brown-field site is more desirable, if such cannot be found then new houses will have to be built in the countryside because of the desperate need for new homes. When building plans were first mooted for the east side of Mile Oak there was much unease, for environmental, as well as social reasons. For, example the fields in question, referred to as an urban fringe, were a well-known hibernating place for adders, and grass snakes, common lizards and slow worms lived there too. While the three latter species might be safely moved to Whitehawk Hill, adders were not so accommodating – they liked their traditional hibernating spot and would always return to it, if possible. The social reasons included the impact on infrastructure such as doctor’s and dentist’s surgeries, schools, increased noise and road congestion, and the possibility of flooding.

copyright © G. Middleton
A view from Southwick Hill of the ground work in progress for the new housing development.

In September 2017 Brighton & Hove City Council granted planning permission to build 125 homes to developers Crest Nicholson, despite no less than 353 objections having been lodged. The firm intended 40% of the scheme to be social housing. However, the council did impose some conditions, including the firm having to undertake a full wild-life survey of the area before work could start. Therefore, when bulldozers moved onto the site in January 2018, there was uproar, and police were summoned to stop the work. Builders were supposed to wait until the hibernating season had passed.

Whether or not Crest Nicholson grew fed up with the opposition is not known, but later the same year the site was sold to Clarion Housing Group, a recognised social landlord with 125,000 houses nation-wide. It was at least some consolation to know that all units would be social housing, for which there was the most pressing need. They would build the following:

8 one-bed flats
16 two-bed flats
80 two-bed houses
54 three-bed houses
7 four-bed houses

The new estate was described as being worth £35 million. (Argus 14/9/17 / 30/1/18 / 14/6/19 /Brighton & Hove Independent 1/12/19)

copyright © D.Sharp
The new 'Clarion houses' dominating the northern skyline over the bungalows.

When Graham Avenue was built in the early 1950’s, Mile Oak residents were promised by Portslade Urban District Council that nothing would ever be built behind them because it was the water table for the nearby reservoir, which is still there today.
Portslade Council rules for new builds were that nothing should be built above the existing bugalows roof line, which is why there are mostly bungalows and the houses are chalet bungalows to blend in with the landscape. The properties on the east side of Thornhill Rise are height restricted, therefore built as bungalows and the rest of the road are chalet bungalows rather than houses as not to block out Foredown Hill and Mount Zion.

Unfortunately, when Portslade was put under the control of the far off Brighton & Hove City Council, all historic local planning traditions set up by Portslade Council were completely ignored and the new houses on the Clarion estate now dominate the sky line above the bugalows in front of Cockroost Hill. (D.S.)

See also the Mile Oak Paddocks Estate and the Mile Oak Road pages


Census returns
J.Middleton Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade
National Library of Scotland
North Portslade Newsletter August / September 2009
Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Mrs M Smith
Various newspapers and magazines (identified in the text)
Worthing Pub History (The Clifton Arms)
Information from Ken Broomfield and the late John Broomfield.

Thanks are due to Mr G. Osborne for allowing me to reproduce ten of his wonderful photographs.

It is illegal to download any image for your own website or for publication without the permission of the copyright owner.

Copyright © J.Middleton 2015
page layout by D.Sharp