from The Round Hill Reporter March 2002
Andrew Partington reports on plans to publish the first book to chart the history of the Round Hill area.
See the book about Round Hill
which came out of this project, available from Brighton Town Press Books
An untold story...
It seems strange that the story of this part of Brighton, with its landmark windmill and laundry industry, has never been written.
...But not for long
Now, that's all about to change, with plans well advanced to publish the first ever history of Round Hill. The Society's History Group has teamed up with local publishers BrightonBooks and the pace of research is speeding up. And we need your help to make it a really good read - more details at the end of this article.
Memories of bygone days
There is so much to tell about Round Hill. Those of you who have read earlier articles in the Reporter
will know that we have collected documents charting the very first buildings here, and that we have started to interview older people with memories of living in these streets.
Milk carts and trams
We are collecting details about what it was like to grow up here, to play in these streets, where people went to school, local shops (and pubs), and where they went to work. We have heard about milk carts and lamp lighters, chicken feed and Sunday School outings, railways and trams, pills, rifles, coals and golf balls.
Brighton Books to the rescue!
But as we went on we realised that we simply didn't have the time, experience or skills necessary to
convert our material into a 'proper' book. That is why we have linked up with Brighton Books, who specialise in just this kind of project.
They will guide us in further research, add material they have already collected, and take on the job of designing and printing the final book. Without them we could not complete the task to a decent standard.
A huge project
This is a huge project (as those of us already involved know only too well). It will take time, but we are
fortunate in having, in the History Group, people interested in research and interviewing. Others came forward at the Society AGM and we are grateful for their offers of help and for their interest. But we
still need more - if this book is to tell the full story of Round Hill, we need the help of as many Society members as possible.
Which is where you come in
So now it's your turn - do you have a story about this area? What can you tell us about living or growing
up here? Are there stories you were told by older relatives or friends?
Any useful contacts?
Even if you haven't been in Round Hill long yourself, perhaps you know somebody who's moved out of the
area but who might be able to help?
Or old pictures we could use?
Do you have old photos, or pictures, that you would be prepared to lend us which we could use in the book (and which have not been printed before)?
Completing the jigsaw
Even if it seems small or insignificant to you, it might be the missing piece of the jigsaw for us. We can-
not promise to use everything, but we will follow up any leads you can suggest (although perhaps not all at once, so please bear with us while we get to them all!).
And what then? Once we have collected everything, we will write it up in draft, telling the history of Round
Hill from its days as a grassy hillside through to the present day. When they are happy that the book is
good enough to at least cover its costs, Brighton Books will take the draft, and pictures, put it into its final format, set it in type and send it for printing.
How long is a piece of string?
How long all this will take we do not know and can't predict at this stage. We are about to move into the second and more intensive phase of collecting material. We have not planned any publication dates yet, and nor will we until our research is done.
More news as and when
Having said that, we will keep you up to date with what's happening through the Roundhill Reporter and, when the time comes, we will let you know how to place your orders for the finished book.
Wish us luck! And please do get in touch with your stories and pictures as soon as you can.
The finished book is still available from Brighton Town Press Books