R H Corbett & Co, an engineering company, were the first to move into the Pleasure Gardens after it closed. The photograph above, taken in about 1956, shows some of the men at work on a Hydrum attachment for a fork lift truck – read more.
My late father-in-law, Len Pedley, is on the left of the photograph.
This photograph of children, on an All Saints Sunday School visit to the Pleasure Gardens in 1911, shows a real mixture of expressions! The building in the background was where lunches were served, and dances held. (Read more about All Saints Church)
The photograph was taken by Thomas Wiles of Hove, a well-known producer of Brighton and Hove postcards. Wiles eventually moved to live in Burgess Hill, and later Hassocks. He produced many Burgess Hill postcards in the 1930s.
The large hall eventually became Corbetts Engineering Works, the first factory building on the industrial estate:
Late 1954 when the western side of Burgess Hill was considered suitable for industrial development, building work began and extended southwards on land formerly occupied by the “Victoria Pleasure Gardens”, from 1897 to 1940.
The first factory established about 1950 was “Corbetts Engineering works” housed in an old wooden building (which was formerly part of the pleasure gardens) and the access road was extended from Victoria Road (now Victoria Close) westwards terminating in a cul-de-sac. The 30 acre site to the south of the extended Victoria Road eventually accommodated about 30 factories, all completed before 1960. At about that time the estate road was again extended via Victoria Avenue into Royal George Road.
During the next 20 years gradual development was extended to Victoria Way, Victoria Gardens, Consort Way and Albert Drive (including a 3-acre site which was formerly a boating lake filled in during 1977) and more industrial units were erected.