townhall burnt
The old Hove Town Hall in 1966 on the morning after the fire that destroyed it

A U3A group for people who would like to find out more together about the history of Hove: how the tiny hamlet (population 101 in 1801) that stood in open farmland around St Andrew’s Church and Hove Street and grew into the Greater Hove we know today, absorbing the parishes of Aldrington,  Hangleton, Portslade, West Blatchington and parts of Preston and Patcham.

In 1723 the antiquary John Warburton wrote:  ‘I passed through a ruinous village called Hove which the sea is daily eating up and is in a fair way of being quite deserted; but the church being quite large and a good distance from the shore may perhaps escape’.

This is a participatory group rather than one led by an expert on the subject. Together we will find out what is known about the history – and pre-history – of Hove and what sources there are to allow us pursue and share our  own particular interests – whether it be in the history of your house or street, the interesting people who made Hove what it is today, or the development of what was once called West Brighton into Brunswick, Cliftonville and  the grand avenues of Hove.

It will be a practical course drawing on the resources of the Local Studies room at Hove Library and Hove Museum, sharing our findings in various ways and getting out together to walk the streets and places whose history we will trace (and whose tea and cake establishments we may feel the need to sample from time to time).

Group convenors: Clive Bolton and Gabrielle Conroy