The second issue of Hove Park Living had an articles submitted by the Friends of Hove Park, and a pictorial record of the effects of the Great Gale of October 1987 in the park. Both are given here. Additionally, the front cover was supplied by us; the photograph is show below.




During its eventful history many changes have helped shape the much loved Hove Park of today.


Following Hove Corporation's purchase in 1899 of 40 acres in Goldstone Bottom to create a public park, over 7,000 trees and shrubs were planted and sports facilities, such as tennis courts and bowling greens, constructed. The southern section was opened on 24th May 1906 and the northern part a few years later. The park was originally more enclosed with the imposing brick gate posts on the Old Shoreham Road containing iron gates and flanked by iron railings, and the Goldstone Crescent boundary marked by a wooden fence.


The First World War saw the park used for military drills and some of the land ploughed up and planted with crops.


In 1987 the park landscape was devastated during the night of 16/17 October when around two-thirds of the trees, including many mature elms, were toppled in the ferocious Great Storm. This desolation however afforded a unique opportunity for restructuring with a greater variety of trees planted, vistas improved, and the playground moved to a sunnier more open location.


Hove Park has now received the national Green Flag Award for 10 successive years in recognition of its beautifully maintained state and excellent facilities.


Perhaps surprisingly it lacked a friends group and so 'The Friends of Hove Park' was formed last year. We aim to assist in the preservation, protection and improvement of the park for the community, working with other bodies involved with the park. We also want to encourage park users to become involved through the organisation of a programme of communal events. Membership is open to all those interested in the park, with a nominal £3 yearly subscription per household.


Our first public event was an Easter egg trail which proved very popular. To support wildlife a wildflower mound has been planted with local species and a butterfly shaped flower bed with colourful, pollinator friendly plants. A gardening group has also been formed with twice monthly sessions helping the park gardeners. We would welcome more volunteers to further develop our work.


Information about activities and events can be found on the group's web site which provides links to other sites for further information about the park and its history. You can see many photographs of the park and its events on the website and on our Facebook page



As well as the article above, there was also a pictorial feature on the Great Gale, which took place in 1987 in October. Nine photographs appeared, shown below. Some had captions, which are supplied under them.




Many trees were brought down not by the wind alone, but by other trees falling against them - like a row of dominoes.




This shows how close the trees came to damaging houses in Goldstone Crescent.



The telephone box at the junction of The Droveway and Goldstone Crescent now has very little in the way of vegetation near it. Before the storm, it was nestled amongst trees and bushes. On the day after, even more so.



The large hole formed by an uprooted rootball makes a novel play area!



This shows the junction of Goldstone Crescent and Woodland Drive and shows that Goldstone Crescent was impassable on the morning after the storm.



A new park bench?



JCB operating in Goldstone Crescent. Very little pavement can be seen on the park side of the road.



With the sawdust on the road making it look like a dirt track, Goldstone Crescent looks more like a 19th century village street than a 1930s suburb.



One photograph that didn't make the pages due to lack of space is shown below. It's worth including to show what happened shortly afterwards, and shows the north eastern end of the park, with the pavement being in Goldstone Crescent, and houses being in the part of Woodland Drive that runs up to Nevill Road.


Sawdust is evident on the mud, as are the sawn tree trunks by the path. The new replanting has now started, and some of the first new trees can be seen staked in.


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Copyright S Batey/Friends of Hove Park