The first point is that to separate Hove from Brighton is indeed impossible as they are ‘joined at the hip.’
Geographically they are deemed as one, people talk about ‘Brighton and Hove’ and not so much as a single item. Hove, in 1934 boasted 55,000 inhabitants. These inhabitants constantly refuse to accept as ‘being near Brighton and even worst to be included as ‘Brighton and Hove.’ which is fair as it is a town by rights, a separate eternity. However, the Postmaster does, however, unite both towns with all letters being stamped ‘Brighton and Hove.’
The Hove seafront which starts at the Peace Statute in the east is very dignified, it is unique; for in no other seaside town could be found such a broad expanse of promenade, which is interspaced by flower-beds and beautiful lawns laid out is such a way to make them very easy on the eye and enhance just how loving they are tended. Another wonderful feature is the wide roads and paths for people to walk upon. Since the ‘Father of Hove;’ Mr. J. W. Howlett JP passed away even more facilities have been built.
A new lagoon has been constructed where model yachts, as well as children with their own little boats can play. Then a number of bathing huts have been put in an orderly line. These huts have their own water and electricity supplies. Along the Parade and backed by new tennis courts, there has been a new bandstand built. There are also wonderful bowling greens for the bowlers to enjoy. Quite often large crowds gather to watch these bowlers in action. All these, together with baths, and beach bathing stations all add to the growing Town’s amenities.
Hove now ranks as a modern town, although she is of ancient – some might say prehistoric – origins; for, in 1856, beneath a tumulus (in close proximity to the Palmeria Stores) was dug up, with some other relics, a red amber cup, possibly madder in Britain about 3,000 years ago. Since its discovery it has reposed in Brighton Museum, but thanks to the generosity of Dr. Eliot Curwen, MA.FSA; a replica of the cup can now be seen in Hove Museum.
The name of the town – Hove is said to be derived from the word ‘Hufe;’
Which became, in Middle English became ‘Houve; meaning a hood or any type of covering and indicating perhaps, an ecclesiastical connexion with the ‘sea of Chichester’ in some way. Be this as it may, Hove has sprung from a very small beginning, virtually a short village street (Today it is called Hove Street.), with farm buildings, a manor house dating from 1785, an old Inn (now rebuilt) and then at its most southerly limit a ‘school for the ‘Sons of Gentlemen only.’. Then, at the furthest point to the north-east were situated stocks and a whipping post both used for wrong-doers.’ These have now long gone.
About 1800 the little town consisted of just a few cottages for those working as fishermen of agricultural labourers. There was also a sprinkling of cottages for gentle people. Prior to this, in about 1720 when there were even less numbers of very small cottages, virtually of just two rooms, one to live and another to sleep. Sometimes the sleeping room would be shared by their animals.
In 1720 a savage storm ravaged the shoreline and virtually wiped out these small cottages, which included loss of life. This led to John Warburton to write the following words: –
‘I passed through a ruinous small village called Hove, which the sea is daily eating up. It is in a fair way of being deserted; but the church, being large and a good distance from the sea, may escape.’
The old 13th century church certainly did escape the ravages of the sea at that time – but not the neglect. The church was dedicated to Saint Andrew, and though greatly restored; it stands in Church Road, west of the Town Hall. Within its graveyard (abutting which is the Church of England School.) are buried Charlotte Elliott (she was the hymn writer.) Also Copley Fielding (The artist.) and Sir George Westphal (an Admiral at the Battle of Trafalgar.) There are also a number of other eminent personages, besides those who once peopled the ‘Village’ of Hove.
Many other well known people have lived or are still living in Hove include Richard Jeffries, Hablot R. Browne, Sir Michael Costa, Sir William Gomm (one of the Waterloo veterans.) John Gadsby, he wrote hymns and about his various travels.)
There are many more, too many to list now.
Hove Town Hall (the old one) has a wonderful façade. Within this wonderful building is accommodation for an Assembly Hall which can seat 1,200 people, there is also a large Council Chamber for 40 members. There are the mayor’s apartments as well as rooms for the Town Clerk and the Borough departments. Then there are the Police Courts and their officers and finally the Hove Borough Police Station.
Hove has been laid out very well, this adds to its attractiveness. The early Victorian Squares and terraces are followed by a series of Avenues running from south to North which have wide roads which adds to there dignity. There are a number of these roads but probably the best is Grand Avenue This Avenue has been extended by The Drive and then Shirley Drive. It leads up to the wooded area of the district known as ‘Northern Hove.’
At the southern end of Grand Avenue is the bronze figure of Queen Victoria and the war Memorial. This was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens respectively.
It is generally excepted that Hove’s chief feature of natural beauty is the small but very charming park, which is known as St. Anne’s Well Gardens, through which, once flowed a chalybeate spring, whose waters were used for medicinally. A good band performs frequently within a Sylvain enclosure. There are also a number of tennis courts, a bowling green and a croquet lawn too.
Hove boasts of a very good Public Library, although it is small it does have a very good selection of books. There is also a very good Reference Library, while the staff has been trained up to a very good level of knowledge and can usually answer the vast majority of questions posed to them.
A few hundred yards west of the Library in New Church Road on the opposite side, (North side) is Hove Museum and Art Gallery. This is still in its infancy. The purpose of the Museum being educational and also to bring together a unique collection of arts and crafts from a bygone era. The Victorian room is of particular interest and houses a wonderful collection of ‘Old English Farm-house kitchen ware.’ This is a truly fascinating collection of yesterday’s tools and objects. Another room houses a large collection of furniture which is mainly from the 16th, the 17th and early 18th centuries, every piece so fascinating to examine.
From time to time The Art Gallery has displays from local artists, many being of a very high standard of work.
The Parish Church of Hove was designed by the late J. L. Pearson RA. and dedicated to All Saints. This church is truly Truroesque and very beautiful and is a favoured sanctuary. The Vicar of Hove, Canon F. J. Meyrick MA. Rd. is an ardent educationist, though a non-militant man. He always shows a reasonable attitude towards other denominations. There is in fact, a good and wholesome feeling in the religious life of the town.
In addition to the Church of England, other denominations include Congregational, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Roman Catholic, Salvation Army and the Jewish Faith.
In connection with the Churches are flourishing organisations. These include the Boys Brigade, whose president is Sir Alfred Read Sargeant BA JP. There are The Scouts, The Girls Guidry, the Girl Guides and the Girls Life Brigade.
Hove also has the home of the local football team, Brighton and Hove Albion, whose ground is called the Goldstone Ground. There is also a dog racing track at the Brighton and Hove Stadium.
Hove has a very good train service which serves passengers travelling both east and west. The best service is the electrified line running up to London.
Written and researched by Mr. David Rowland (OCPM.) with the assistance of The NUT Conference Souvenir book of 1934 by T.W.Gardner.