The cafe on the hill

Ear witness Brian Whiting identified the robber's distinctive tones

THIS WEEK IN 1996: Robber caught by his voice alone

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I recently showed then and now photographs looking up to The George pub on Portsdown Hill when there was a cafe opposite the hostelry.

I asked if anyone knew more about the cafe called Bellvue Tea Gardens.

Cliff Hillmoore tells me a 1939 register has a reference to the Cliff House and Cliff Cafe, Portsdown Hill, owned by George Taylor, a retired bank official, and his wife Minnie who was the cafe proprietress.

George was also listed as an air raid warden. Also listed was no 1 and No 2 Cliff Cottages and a bungalow at Collyers Pitt.

Cliff remembers many years ago being told the house demolished when engineers cut through on the eastern side of The George belonged to the owner of the Horndean Light Railway Company.

As a result his house had electricity, but in the evening when the trams struggled up Portsdown Hill the lights in the house would dim and he would check his watch to see if the trams were on time or not.

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bellevue = Bellevue Tea Gardens alongside The George on the top of Portsdown Hill