Past Events
by Fred Avery - May 2014

Diary of Past Events in Burgess Hill
Day
Month
Year
Details
       
 
 
1951
Festival of Britain celebrations ( the festival gardens opened in May at Battersea)
 
 
1953
Chanctonbury Housing Estate began in the autumn (750 houses costing about 1750 at start of sales in 1954)
 
 
1954
The Industrial Estate (on the former Victoria pleasure garden site) began construction and the first factory to be completed and occupied in 1956 was "Tylors of London"
 
 
1955
A new branch of "Woolworths" opened in Church Road in September. It closed on 15th September 1984
1956
The water tower off Keymer Road holding 250,000 gallons completed, to improve Chanctonbury Road estate water supply
 
 
1956
The first "Goose Fair" was held at the Sidney West Hall Leylands Road. It was last held in 1973.
 
 
1956
The "Sidney West Boxing Hall" opened as a memorial and financed by him, on 25th February 1956 He was the founder of the "Mid-Sussex Amateur Boxing Club" originally held at the "Cricketers" pub.
 
 
1957
Drusilla Duffill's School of Dance founded.
 
 
1957
John Charles Bee- Mason,MBE, Polar explorer and cinematographer with Shackelton, died 25th Aug.aged 82
 
 
1958
"Burgess Hill Farmhouse" was demolished after some protesters thought it should become a museum.
 
 
1958
The first block of flats "Park Court" were built at the eastern end of St. John's Park
 
 
1958
New flats at "Keymer Court" were started and completed in 1960
July
1959
Barons court (girls) school Oakwood Road closed
 
 
1959
"Oakmeeds School" A--Block was completed. (T--Block was completed in 1954 followed by C--Block)
 
 
1962
The "Weald " inn was opened in Royal George Road
 
 
1964
The "Gattons" primary school opened
 
 
1967
"St. Wilfrid's" primary school opened
 
 
1967
Burgess Hill Laundry closed (established in 1864 by the Chapman family)
 
 
1968
"Southway" primary school opened
 
 
1968
New Police Station opened on the Brow in November
 
 
1968
Southway School opened
 
 
1968
A new Police Station was opened in November, followed by the new ambulance and fire stations
 
 
1970
"Wolstonbury Court" flats west of the railway station completed.
 
 
1972
"Birchwood Grove" school opened
 
 
1972
"Tower House" flats on the corner of Junction Rd. and Silverdale Rd. built. The original was demolished 1967
 
 
1972
The "Congregational Church" became the U.R.C. (the exterior painted in1986, pews removed in 2001) now known since 2001 as "All Saints"
 
 
1973
Church Road was pedestrianised on 13th May
 
 
1974
"Norman & Burt" building contractor ceased trading on 31st.May
 
 
1974
Newick House school was opened in Birchwood Grove Road
 
 
1974
New indoor swimming pool opened in October (the outdoor pool was opened in 1935)
 
 
1979
"Wynnstay" flats completed in the autumn.
 
 
1980
The footbridge and railway crossing gates were removed and continental style gates installed
17
March
1980
Penelope Bellas aged 23 of Haywards Heath appointed first lady railway station manager of Burgess Hill & Hassocks. (In the national newspapers and on TV).
Mid
July
1980
Started demolition of Avonhurst, Inholmes Park Road. Olive Gambles shop in Junction Road modernised and on the market for sale
28
March
1981
Percy Adams died aged 70 (He started the first slide collection of Burgess Hill)
 
 
1982
Childrens Playground off Folders Lane was opened on 22nd May
 
 
1982
Folders Lane housing estate now substantially completed after six years
 
 
1982
Sheddingdean Sheltered Housing scheme completed
 
 
1982
On 3rd March, the Town Council announced the first Conservation Area (Keymer Rd.Silverdale & Ferndale Rds.)
 
 
1982
The "Burgess Hill Bomber's" B.M.X. (bicycle moto cross) started near Leylands Park on 2nd.September
18
June
1983
Penelope Bellas left as station manager
 
 
1983
The signal box in Junction Rd. was demolished on 25th June (steps were demolished in autumn 1978)
 
 
1983
Hoadleys Departmental Store closed on 22nd October (established in 1857)
 
 
1983
Wendovers (formerly Hoadleys) opened on 29th October, but closed on 31st January 1985
7
July
1984
"Reflections" held at the Martlets Hall by the Burgess Hill Local History Society
13
October
1984
The Henry Burt "coat of arms" was removed from Parkside -- now the logo for B/H Local History Society
 
 
1984
The Royal George pub was re-named "Georgies" from November until July 1989
25
June
1985
Valentine Dyall (the man in black) actor died aged 77 -- cremation at the Downs Crematorium Brighton
w/e 30
September
1985
Neil Wates owner of the Keymer Tile Works died of cancer aged 53. He left a 7 million pound estate
29
November
1985
Princess Diana visited and opened the Disabled Housing Trust at Oakenfield
 
 
1985
Courts Furnishers opened on 15th March, but closed on 31st December 2004
 
 
1985
The "West End" housing estate development commenced
 
 
1985
The Congregational Chapel in Leylands Road was sold to the I.B.T.I. for 60,000
 
 
1985
Valentine Dyall of "clermont" No. 34 Station Road (demolished spring 1989) died on 25thJune aged 77
25
June
1986
First Town Festival held over 3 days
26
July
1986
Jill windmill ground the first corn since 1906. It was clearly visible from Burgess Hill
4
December
1986
Princess Anne opened "Charles of the Ritz" on the industrial estate, our second royal visitor.
 
 
1986
The Signalman's house and nearby cottages were demolished by British Rail in the Keymer Junction area.
 
 
1986
The new Sheddingdean Industrial Estate was established to the south of the waste disposal site
 
 
1986
The first "Town Festival" was held in June
 
Autumn
1987
"Pattenden" in Gloucester Road re-named Hazeldene
9
February
1987
Burgess Hill Stage 2 town centre proposed new development on display (five developers involved)
16
July
1987
Ev. Argus item on proposed road naming on the west end farm development (cricketers names mainly)
12
September
1987
Mid - Sussex Camera Clubs 40th. Anniversary
10
October
1987
Michael Aspell (T.V. personality) opened Oakmeeds school autumn fair (his niece is in her 4th.year there)
16
October
1987
The Great Gale (overnight hurricane force winds) leaving a trail of destruction in Burgess Hill & South-East
 
 
1987
St. Johns Parish Hall Cyprus Road was bought by the Town Council for 92,000 for community use.
 
 
1987
The former "Red-Cross Hall" in Station Road was offered for sale by tender by owners Y.M.C.A.
 
 
1987
"London Meed" and "Sheddingdean" schools opened
 
 
1987
"The Cinema" was bought by the Mid Sussex District Council
 
 
1987
Sheddingdean School opened on 3rd March
 
 
1987
London Meed school opened in April
 
 
1987
Manor Field school major alterations began in May to join both of the original buildings(completed Spring 1988)
 
 
1987
Marten House on the brow commenced in the autumn (completed in the summer of 1988)
22
March
1988
Cyprus Hall committee formed also a building sub - committee
22
May
1988
New climbing frame and paths in St Johns Park (paddling/boating pool filled in)
15
June
1988
The "Woolpack" public house opened (formerly "West End" farmhouse)
22
September
1988
New Distributor Road and 1500 new houses on the western side of Burgess Hill announced Mid.Sx.Times
 
 
1988
The Cyprus Hall community association was founded in February (Cyprus Hall is owned by the Town Council)
 
 
1988
The "paddling pool" in St. Johns Park was filled in to provide a climbing frame
 
 
1988
"Payless" D.I.Y. store opened on 28th January. In 1991 it became "Focus Do-It-All"
 
 
1988
"Manor Field " school extensive alterations & additions completed in the spring.
 
 
1988
"Marten House" flats for the elderly completed in the summer.
 
 
1988
The "Woolpack" pub (formerly West End Farm) was opened on 15th.June
 
 
1988
Sheltered housing on the corner of West Street and Fairfield Road was completed at the end of the year
5
November
1988
Town Twinning Association reception at the council offices for guests from Schmallenburg
12
March
1989
Demolition of the properties in Clifton Road area commenced
2
May
1989
Contract commenced to extend Cyprus Hall at the rear
6
July
1989
"Burgess Hill" published today by local historian and author Hugh Matthews
29
October
1989
"Reflections 2" held at the Martlets Hall by the Burgess Hill Local History Society
26
November
1989
Ray Pepper, past chairman of the Burgess Hill U.D.C. and Town Council died aged 71
 
 
1989
The old "London Road" school was demolished in May (the last summer fete was held in 1986)
 
 
1989
Clifton Road was closed on 27th February for redevelopment (a new Clifton Road was later established)
 
 
1989
Clifton Road / Station Road houses were demolished in the spring.
 
 
1989
"Gravett Court " flats were completed (building work began in spring 1988)
 
 
1989
"Lawnswood" in Upper St. Johns Avenue was demolished for redevelopment in April
 
 
1989
The "London Road " school off Station Road was demolished in May
22
March
1990
Agreed by committee that the B/H Local History Society could establish a new Heritage Centre (Cyprus Hall)
19
May
1990
Cyprus Hall grand opening and barn dance
14
June
1990
Ernest Hole & Son moved to Paynes Place Cuckfield Road
1991
Lower Church Road was established c.1991
2
July
1991
Waitrose super store opened today in the Market Place shopping centre
3
November
1991
The Veteran Car Run came through London Road, Burgess Hill for the first time
4
November
1991
The "Market Place" shopping centre officially opened today (cost of centre around 12 /13 million)
 
 
1991
The "Market Place" Shopping Precinct opened. (An extension of the "Martlets" opened in 1972)
 
 
1991
The housing development at "Satchel's (formerly London Road school site) was completed in December
24
January
1992
The new bandstand copper roof was completed today
31
January
1992
Chapel Land Farmhouse Fairplace Hill (the oldest house in B/Hill) established as a Grade 2 listed building
22
February
1992
The Bandstand in Church Walk was officially opened
29
August
1992
Jane Murray (clerk of the B/Hill Town Council) died of cancer aged 51(now remembered by Jane Murray Way)
21
September
1992
New "Western Distributor Road " (now Jane Murray Way) opened
19
October
1992
Main Post Office opened in the Co-Op in Church Walk
4
December
1992
New indoor market opened in the Market Place
5
December
1992
Thora Hird (aged 81) and her daughter Janette Scott came to the bandstand to raise charity funds
23
December
1992
St. John's Park pavilion being demolished after a fire destroyed the premises last spring
31
December
1992
The "Gas Board showroom " closed (later to become the Help Point and Town Council premises)
 
March
1993
Tesco New Superstore opened
12
June
1993
A new "Heritage Centre" opened at the rear of Cyprus Hall
19
June
1993
Tesco new petrol filling station opened
 
 
1993
The "Heritage Centre" was opened by Cllr. Heather Ross on 12th June (Curator Frederic M. Avery)
 
 
1993
Janes Lane sports pavilion (costing 150,000) was opened on 19th June
 
 
1993
The Womens Institute hall was bought by the Theatre Club for 90,000 in October (renovation cost 20,000)
21
July
1993
Ernest Hole & Son went into voluntary liquidation
2
April
1994
"Gloucester Motorcycles" business closed
25
May
1994
John Major, Prime Minister visited "Halo Printers" Burgess Hill
27
October
1994
Y.M.C.A. hostel for young homeless people opened in Fairfield Road
7
November
1994
Dr. Barnardo came to Burgess Hill 100 years ago (St.Johns Institute) and raised 30 for his homes
13
November
1994
Bungee Jumping held outside the Junction Inn
29
November
1994
Dr.De Lacey (founder of the Goose Fair held 1956--1973) died in Hilgay nursing home aged 83
 
 
1994
The first play by the Theatre Club at the newly renovated hall was "Candida" held in March
1
February
1995
New car park being constructed after Oathall Switches was demolished in Station Road
14
February
1995
"Archer Court" completed on the site of the former "Kaye -Jones" building contractors
13
April
1995
Macdonalds restaurant opened after only 15 days of rapid construction
13
May
1995
Lord Goodman died (he opened The Martlets Hall in 1972)
31
May
1995
Plaques set into the pavement at several locations to indicate the route of the Roman road
2
June
1995
the cinema (formerly The Scala,The Orion,Robins,Robins Take Two) was again re-named The Orion
13
August
1995
Two 1939-1945 Memorial Plaques were added each side of the main memorial erected in 1923
2
December
1995
The first civil marriage was held at Marle Place
23
April
1996
Trevor Fox (head of Oakmeeds School) died aged 60 after a short retirement
28
April
1996
The contract to replace the steps to both platforms started, and lasted until 19th May
16
May
1996
Barclays Bank (London Road branch) put on the market for 150,000
 
May
1996
"Stone Garden" sculptures and walls being built
3
June
1996
"Link Road" to the A 23 started today (the A 2300) nine months of construction to follow
12
June
1996
W.I. Hall being enlarged / converted by the Theatre Club (cost about 90,000 )
15
June
1996
"Last night of the proms" staged outside the Market Place late evening with laser beams
24
June
1996
The Jaeger Factory in London Road closed today after 51 years having started in 1945
1
July
1996
Malthouse Lane access altered to allow emerging traffic to turn left into Jane Murray Way
7
July
1996
MacDonald's restaurant caught fire after rubbish bin started the blaze (It was rebuilt on 14/15 July-250,000)
12
August
1996
Ronald Leslie Rowland died aged 93 years ( greengrocer & florist in Church Road for over 60 years)
13
September
1996
The Job Centre in Church Road closed after much protest
1
November
1996
The "Help Point" unofficially opened by Burgess Hill Town Council
3
November
1996
The 100th. Veteran Car Rally came through London Road Burgess Hill for the first time
11
November
1996
The "Help Point" was officially opened by the Liberal - Democrat Leader -- Paddy Ashdown
 
November
1996
A cctv camera was mounted on a tall pole outside Barclays Bank during the last week of November
 
 
1996
The "Stone Garden" was completed in August at a cost of about 12,000
24
February
1997
"Link Road to the A 23 was officially opened (known as the A2300)
23
March
1997
Hubert (Hugh) Matthews died age 82. He was a local historian who wrote the book "Burgess Hill"
1
April
1997
Gatehouse Lane was closed to traffic to become a Cul de sac, later to be renamed Gatehouse Lane West
15
April
1997
The Western Distributor Road (later to be known as Jane Murray Way) opened. Cost 4,500,000.
17
April
1997
Five cctv cameras now in use around the town costing 119,000
1
May
1997
Permission granted to convert Hampton's Furnishings shop (closed 19/7/97) into Hogshead Cask Ale House
9
May
1997
The "Triangle Leisure Centre" (costing 13,400,000) opened today unofficially (see 26/3/1999)
22
July
1997
The Jaeger Factory in London Road has now been demolished
30
October
1997
Tesco Home and Wear in the Martlets closed (later to become Lidl's)
31
October
1997
Wilkinson's general stores opened in the Market Place
12
November
1997
The "Hogshead" ale house opened
7
March
1998
Halfords new store (on the former Jaeger site) opened today in London Road
22
October
1998
"Prescott" home for the elderly closed in Upper St. Johns Road
2
December
1998
K.F.C. (Kentucky Fried Chicken) opened in the Market Place (113 seat restaurant)
31
December
1998
"Damons Garage" closed (was opened in 1946 and situated behind the old B.H.U.D.C offices in Church Rd)
19
January
1999
The toilets in St. Johns Park at the south eastern corner were demolished
21
March
1999
The "Sidney West Hall" in Leylands Road was closed
 
 
2000
The only remaining "Pugmill" was demolished in April/May by Burgess Appliances having bought it for 3,000.
 
November
2002
"Royal George" soon to be demolished for new flats
 
 
2006
"Fabric Warehouse" (formerly Courts, Wendovers and Hoadleys) opened 23rd March, closed on 4th May 2008
11
May
2010
The "Junction Inn" was destroyed by fire
 
 
2010
Flats above the Fabric Warehouse were being converted in 2009/2010
 
 
2011
Planning permission being sought to develop five new flats to replace the derelict shop front (Hoadleys Corner)
31 
Jan 
2011
Demolition of the empty Schering Health Care (formerly Schering Chemicals) commenced for McCarthy & Stone's 1,000th project
14
March
2011
"Meeds House" (Brooklyn) 70,Station Road - Demolition started
17
May
2011
Norman Thody (founder of the Disabled Housing Trust ) died in Cyprus aged 76
July
2011
Cllr. Mr.Chris Thomas-Atkin elected first Town Mayor
10
Sept
2011
"Wickes" opened today in premises formerly occupied by "Focus Do-It-All", London Road
7/8
January
2012
"Ote Park" homes for sale (site of Late Bronze Age occupation circa 1000 B.C.found in 2011)
3
April
2012
"Kings Head" oldest (coaching) inn, closed today (It was demolished Sept 2013 )
3
August
2012
Fred Avery's Terra-Cotta collection (now owned by B/H LHS) on display Hassocks Garden Centre
1
October
2012
"Woodlands Meed" school for children with learning difficulties opened today at Oakmeeds
16
November
2012
The "Weald " inn celebrates its 50th.Anniversary. Dame Anna Neagle visited on opening day .
January
2013
The "Woolpack" excavated and drained its pond (once a clay pit) for new wildlife
6
February
2013
First meeting of B/H Horticultural Society after a name change (B/H Gdns & Allotments Assn)
18
February
2013
The "Burgess Hill Inn" (Top House) is being totally refurbished
27
February
2013

The last house on Folders Meadow estate (built by Wates& Linden Homes) for sale £325,000

June
2013
"Dairy Crest" premises in Mill Road being demolished for (flats) redevelopment
20
June
2013
McCarthy & Stone care/retirement homes opened by Nicholas Parsons of T.V. fame.
1
August
2013
Peter Andre (pop star singer) attended redecorations project at Cherry Tree Activity Centre
23
August
2013
The "Railway" inn now owned by Greene King reopened today after extensive refurbishment
6
September
2013
"Worlds End" sign unveiled by Carola Godman Irvine at the entrance to the recreation ground
13
September
2013
Demolition of the"Kings Head" coaching inn started today for housing development scheme
20
September
2013
New B&Q store opened today on the Victoria Industrial Estate
26
September
2013
25th Anniversary of twin town (Schmallenberg) - concert held at St. John's Church
3
October
2013
150th Anniversary of St. John's Church - Bishop of Horsham switched on flood lighting
22
November
2013
"Waitrose" new extension opened today
end
November
2013
"Wivelsfield" railway station steps replaced on both sides of the bridge
19
December
2013
"Keymer Tile Works" announces its closure next August 2014 for building 475 houses
20
February
2014
"Screwfix" opens its 320th store on the Victoria industrial estate
12
April
2014
Burgess Hill's Museum & Heritage Centre reopened by Heather Ross (21st anniversary)
29
April
2014
"The Six Gold Martlets" (J.D. Wetherspoon) opened today. Cost approx. £1.4 million.
6
May
2014
Cllr. Anne Jones M.B.E. elected 2nd Mayor of Burgess Hill, but first lady.


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2004-13 Burgess Hill Museum
Designed by:- David Avery