PORTSLADE Just as Hove has had something of a complex about Brighton, so Portslade has one about Hove. It might not look particularly impressive as you drive through, but if you turn off the main road you will find some 16th-century flint cottages and a church dating back to 1150. Portslade’s recent history is not very distinguished. Two decades ago it was known locally as ‘nappy valley’, because it offered a mass of housing cheap enough for young couples to buy and breed. Housing is still relatively inexpensive. Two-bedroom terraced houses sell for over £175,000, three-bedroom terraces for £185,000 and three-bedroom Thirties’ semis for £195,000 to £225,000.
An old field in the centre makes a green of sorts for people to walk on. Money has been spent on restoring and repaving Portslade’s main streets, installing Victorian-style streetlamps and renovating the Victorian redbrick water tower that used to supply an isolation hospital. American Express sponsored the installation of a camera obscura, which gives a wonderful panoramic view of the South Downs.