Station Road

There are plenty of roads around Brighton & Hove whose names change along their lengths but just one that I know of with a different name each side.

The names of Dyke Road, Church Road and Upper North Street all change as they become Dyke Road Avenue, New Church Road and Montpelier Terrace respectively. But, the case of Station Road in Portslade is entirely different for it is in fact only half of a road – widthways. The other half – the Hove side – is called Boundary Road. There are plenty of examples of sets of houses with different names to the roads on which they are situated. Indeed, Carlton Terrace on Station Road is one such case. However, I wouldn’t describe any set as a road by itself.

Station Road has been known variously as Aldrington Lane, Aldrington Drove and Red House Drove. The railway arrived in 1840 and the name "Station Road" was certainly in use by 1889. At that point, both sides of the road, as one would expect, were called Station Road. In 1903, Hove Council renamed its side of the road "Boundary Road" because people were expecting Hove Station to be at the top. Hove Station was actually a couple of miles away though – hence the confusion. Strangely, Portslade Station is technically on the Hove side anyway. The original station was in fact on the Portslade side but that’s another story entirely.

Hove Station is now, of course, at the top of Goldstone Villas but that was not always the case. The Hove Station of today opened in 1893 and is in fact the third station to be built in that part of Hove. Goldstone Villas was once known as Station Road and the station was then known as Cliftonville Station after the area that it served. The road later became Goldstone Villas Road and then simply Goldstone Villas.

Much of the above can be attributed to the relationships between place names and administrative boundaries. Just as Aldrington and Cliftonville were once seen as distinct areas, they are now either unknown or seen simply as "Hove". It is certainly the case that several areas – Hanover for example – have fought well to preserve their identities but others need more support.

I propose a radical rethink of administrative boundaries. The names "Cliftonville", "Aldrington" and even "Brunswick Town" should be properly revived – as distinct council wards of their own.