Memories of East Slope

In August 2016, Brighton & Hove City Council approved plans to redevelop the East Slope accommodation. The flats previously housing 600 students have been demolished and the new development will accommodate 2,100 bedrooms, as well as a new Students’ Union building and social hub.

Inside of East Slope BarEast Slope Alumni Farewell Party

Sharing memories of East Slope

We invited alumni to come and say a last goodbye to the flats at a farewell bash at East Slope Bar. Here are just a few of the memories that they shared with us about their time living in the ‘rabbit hutches’ of East Slope.


"We were among the first to occupy the ‘Kier Houses’ in 1969. These were the first houses for families to be built on the Sussex campus."


"I was in the very first cohort of students moving into East Slope. Life was far from perfect. The sound proofing was non-existent, sleep very hard to come by, and the showers unbelievably leaky. It was quite an eye-opener. Whilst some of us (I’m afraid there was a gender bias here) had some concept of tidiness, others refused to do any washing-up and spent time hurling porridge at the walls (literally!). But it was lovely hearing crows and rooks in the morning, and watching clouds through the then excitingly novel dormer windows." 

"I spent my first and third years and part of one summer in the rabbit hutches of East Slope. I had started life at Sussex at the tender age of 19 in October 1975 with a single suitcase and a box of LPs. When I returned two years later, I had gained a wife and a baby! I only partially blame East Slope. I spent a lot of my first year in Flat 5 with my then girlfriend. However, Flat 4 felt like my spiritual home. As far as shared self-catering student accommodation goes, Flat 5 was pretty well organised. Most of us gravitated there for anything vaguely civilised, like cooking and eating. On the other hand, Flat 4 was every man or woman for themselves. It seemed like the University had hand-picked the 12 most impractical, lazy, untidy, and hedonistic undergraduates they could find as part of some experiment. It was party central. As a family, we remained drawn to East Slope as our elder daughter lived at Flat 3 in her first year at Sussex in 2001." 

"I loved our six-person flat: after a gap year living in low-cost accommodation in London, it was home and verging on luxury. It was the most radical university housing I had seen – not a hall with long corridors, with bathrooms shared by scores of people, and a big plus was that it was self-catering, so all very non-institutional."

East Slope Roofs April 1975East Slope Roofs 1975


"With the help of others, I cooked my first Christmas dinner on East Slope for about 15 people. We used the cookers in two flats as there was so much food to cook. It turned out well and was greatly enjoyed – but the leftovers ended up being used for a food fight!" 

East Slope Bar 1985East Slope Bar. Image: Alison Neads née Churchill (MAPS 1985)

"I got involved working at East Slope Bar as a trainee licensee, learning to pull pints. We were paid in cider, which was great! One night I wandered back with my couple of bottles of cider and came face-to-face with a badger who was rummaging through somebody’s dustbin. We just looked at each other for a while and then decided to make our own ways home. An experience I’ll never forget!" 

East Slope Bar 1985East Slope Bar. Image: Alison Neads née Churchill (MAPS 1985)

East Slope Bar 1985Ironing boards on East Slope roof. Alison Neads née Churchill (MAPS 1985)


"When I arrived as one of the early ERASMUS students, I was delighted to hear that I would be accommodated at East Slope (Flat 34C – even 26 years later, I don’t have to think twice to remember this number), the name itself evoked memories of my birthplace: The Alps! Now, East Slope conjures up memories of roaming up and down, going to and fro, in the evenings to visit friends living in what was like a village in my eyes. A village where the whole world seemed to be living: during this year, I shared my flat with a Palestinian student, two Americans, a British boy, a Japanese girl, not to mention their Danish boyfriends, Italian girlfriends, Spanish and German mates…I hope that the future students who are going to live where East Slope used to stand will be as happy as I was living there." 

Students at an East Slope flat dining table 1997Inside East Slope 1997, by Gemma Shardlow (Psychology 1999)

"Everybody drank in the same bar, and we all lived in close proximity in the grottiest accommodation on campus, but that all gave us a sense of camaraderie – that we were all suffering East Slope together and loved it for it." 


"East Slope Bar had a kinda cool edginess to it. A dive bar. That was the feeling you got from it. It was just a cool place to hang out." 

East Slope Bar interior tables and chairsEast Slope bar


"Myself, and two friends started the Sussex Bass Society when we arrived at the University in 2010 as a way of bringing people together who had a passion for this music. This night (below) was actually my first time DJing to a crowd! Since then, I've gone on to DJ at club nights in Brighton, and continue to do so now. I've supported some of my musical idols, and some of my best friends here I met either through the Society or the opportunities that it opened up for me. I wouldn't be where I am without Sussex Bass Society, and East Slope Bar was a defining aspect of it. Amazingly, the Society still exists five years after I graduated, and I am lucky enough to still be involved in an advisory role to the current students who are running it." 

Sussex Bass Society inaugural event, East Slope, 2011, Kris Sheach (Biology 2010)Sussex Bass Society's first event at East Slope bar in 2011. (Sam Cassman (Media Practice & Theory 2010) - far left; Danny Din (Economics 2010) - second from left; Kris Sheach - third from left)

Packed kitchen party at East SlopePacked parties in tiny kitchens, by Natalia Ames Ramello (Film Studies 2013)

Send your photos and memories to

You might also be interested in: