Gardens & wildlife

Round Hill Walk a festival event

by Chris Tullett from The Round Hill Reporter June 2004

This year the Round Hill walk, undertaken by members of the Round Hill History Group, became one of the Brighton Festival’s many Fringe events.

The walks took place on four Saturdays in May, the first on 1st May, attracting some 22 people for a tour which took place in glorious sunshine. The second tour was of only 8 people and on this occasion the weather remained dry but cool and windy, which was a problem when trying to impart information on some of the more exposed sites. However, the third tour exceeded all expectations, when some 30 people participated and the weather was once more warm and sunny. The final weekend attracted 10 people.

Regardless of numbers involved, all participants found the tour interesting and all remarked that they had not realised how diverse a history the area had. Particular points of interest were:

the Tower Mill,

the development of Sylvan Hall,

the hidden house of Fern Villa in Wakefield Road (Lucy O’Shea kindly allowing access),

Lewes Road Station,

Cox’s Pill Factory and

Fisher’s Golf Ball Factory.

Participants on the walk were not just locals, or even Brightonians; some had travelled from Southampton, Portsmouth, Lewes and parts of Surrey. These ‘foreigners’ were either people who had been born in the area, had families originating from the area (one group were distant relatives of Arthur H Cox and wanted to find out more about the location of his entrepreneurial activity), or were people interested in the development of a Victorian suburb.

The tours have definitely been a success, the only slight disappointment was the fact that a few residents felt the need to display their disdain for the tour by making cynical remarks to the participants whilst en route.
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