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Ore Valley History


The original Broomgrove house and grounds (from which the area got its name) was demolished in the 1930's to make way for the area nicknamed Tin Town.

Parker Road was originally a rough track with an area at the top used to tether donkeys. It remained there until they built the estate in 1964 when they did away with it and built the road through.

During World War 2, two planes crashed in Ore Valley, one in Pine Avenue and one near Quantock Gardens. Bombs fell all around the pub in Priory Road aptly named the "Fortune of War".

Tin Town

From the 1930's to 1960's the areas of Upper Broomgrove, Clements Hill and Fellows Road contained houses made from steel and the area became known as Tin Town for this reason. Due to their build, the steel houses where very cold in the winter and exceptionally hot in the summer months. They were replaced in the early 1960s by the more conventional council houses that stand there today.

Workhouses / St Helens Hospital

Originally situated at 42 George Street, the Old Town Workhouses served 3 parishes. Having become too small a replacement was built in 1836 in Cackle Street (now Frederick Road). Cackle Street originally named because of chicken farms situated in and around. Further wards were added in 1868 to cater for long stay and geriatrics.

Tramps frequented the workhouse as a place to stay for the night, wore grey twill suits and peak caps so as to be different from "ordinary" people and carried buckets of tea known as "kettles". Some people (especially tramps) where regularly ill over Christmas in order to get into the wards. Some of the residents where travellers and the workhouse was often treated more as a hostel by them.

People who committed minor offences where often admitted to the workhouse and treated as mental patients.

A tunnel ran beneath the road and led straight to the gatehouse and pharmacy. Food and transfers where taken from one hospital to the other via the tunnel which often flooded during wet weather. Almost in the centre of the tunnel were the cells, right under the administrative block.

Catherine Cookson used to work in the laundry of this workhouse.

There was said to be a grey lady who walked the corridors to the childrens ward who had a child that died.

St Helens Hospital

Ore Valley Estates

The Ore Valley estates of Malvern Way and Farley Bank where built on farmland originally owned by a livestock farmer called Mr Stapley.

Building was staretd in 1964 but the construction companies found it very difficult because of the hillside terrain, this is why lots of the buildings are positioned on top of man made slopes.

By 1967 many residents had already moved in to the unfinished estate which still resembled a building site.

Broomgrove Power Stations

The first power station built at Broomgrove in Ore Valley was specifically built to power the Hastings tram system. The second was a much larger coal fired plant that supplied electricity into the national grid. The most recent power station was built in 1966 and was powered by gas turbine generators. At the time there were only two similar power stations in the country, situated in Norwich and Glasgow.

Read more about the Broomgrove Power Stations

Broomgrove Power Stations

Broomgrove Community Centre

The community centre was built using money from what was known as an Urban Grant amounting to £30,000. Because the grant money was not enough to have a community centre built, a selection of residents decided to build it themselves. The shell and roof was purchased from Marley and the locals erected everything else themselves in order to keep within the budget. Hastings council also invested £10,000 into the project which was spent on trees and shrubs for the surrounding area.

Ridge Eagles Cycle Speedway

The "Ridge Eagles" started to race at "Oratavia" in 1949, which is now Sandown School on the Ridge. The track was made by the team and their many supporters using pick and shovels and marking the track boundaries with using white lime and fencing.

Apart from the team shown in the photo there were other team members, John Pepper, Frank Kent and Cyril Collins. The team was Managed by Uwart Barton, and he was helped by Mr (Tich) Cornelus. The team was greatly supported by Mr Ken Apps who was always ready to repair the cycles before the next league match.

In 1950 Holland had a team touring England and had an International Match against England. As part of that tour they came to Hastings and raced against the "Ridge Eagles" - the Eagles won!

Sadly, with members of the team being called away for National Service, the "Ridge Eagles" faded into history but the memories linger on.

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