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When Bates was given up as an orchard for housing development all the residents of North Moulsecoomb were told that if they could get their own transport they could dig up 2 apple trees and move them to their own gardens free of charge. It was in 1936 and I was only 5 years old but I can remember me and my dad and sister with forks and spades going down with my old pram to get two trees. It was a mass exodus of the whole estate! People had old wheelbarrows, bikes, sacks anything they could find to carry them. Those two old trees were there right till we moved out.

I used to work for the University of Brighton as an engineer and help look after their buildings. One of those was Moulsecoomb Place, which became Moulsecoomb Library for a while. People used to tell me that one wing of the house was haunted by one of the Prince Regent's mistresses."


In her book Moulsecoomb Memories, Sheila Winter wrote:

"The policeman was called Mr.Hyams and he did a wonderful job in keeping law and order, at the same time being a good friend to everyone. Now I was quite convinced that Mr.Hyams was gifted with eyes at the back of his head, as well as both sides. He knew absolutely everything that went on. He seemed to be everywhere at the same time. Once when I decided to scrump a few apples from Woolards orchard at the bottom of Coldean Lane, I squeezed through the iron railings. Being the thinnest of my friends, I was able to get through easily. I had not thought about getting out again with my jumper stuffed with green apples.

As I backed out through the railings my shoulders got stuck and a pair of strong hands tried to pull me through. I realised with horror that it was Mr.Hyams. Even now I can recall the sheer panic, like electric shocks going all over my body. Now a clip around the ear would have been in order had I been a boy, but I did not escape punishment, although I did not realise until the next day just what my punishment would be.

Mr.Hyams made me stand and eat a good many of the very green apples. They were horribly sour but I chomped my way through them, thinking that I had got away with it nicely. It was my mum that had to call out Dr.Rutherford the next day, for my very bad tummy ache. I never scrumped again!"

   

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