Mystery photos of Brighton and Hove

Blast from the past

By Jennifer Drury

Another gem from the museum photographs!

Cannot give a date except to say that it was taken pre-1930.

It may be an easy one for many of you - but knowing this area very well it is interesting to me.

Click on the image to open a larger version in a new window. 

Photo:Mystery photo

Mystery photo

Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton

This page was added on 23/02/2018.
Comments about this page

Thank you for this fine photo, Jennifer.  I'm pretty certain of where it was taken, but would like others to continue having the fun of guessing !

By Sam Flowers (24/02/2018)

After spending hours looking through directories for the Queen Victoria Inn to no avail, I finally cheated and found this photograph online. I must say I was surprised at the location, but I won't spoil it for others.

By Janet Beal (25/02/2018)

Working on the basis that Rottingdean has a Queen Victoria in 2018 I went to my trusty Kelly's 1914 and found Rottingdean but no listings for streets just a commercial list, but no QV! However the name LEE is below the sign and a Henry Lee is listed as 'beer retailer' High Street. There has been much change obviously in Rottingdean since this photo!

By Geoffrey Mead (26/02/2018)

Come on, someone! Put us out of our agony!  This is a fascinating photo and - as always - it contains so many details that are worth reflecting on. The white window looks very modern and the bottom of it seems to be open. Was this a business of some sort? Note, too, the Player's Please sign, which survived, at least, into the 70s or 80s. The dormer window seems to be an addition to the house with the 'modern' window. Was this a form of DIY?

The 'Inspection Invited' sign at the furniture shop seems a superfluous one. What is a shop for if it doesn't attract 'inspection'?

I love these old photos. I always ponder on the fact that people have lived their lives out in these locations. What were they like, what did they think about, what did they do?

So, come on someone, tell us where it was!

By Philip Burnard (26/02/2018)

Great pic and think it may be George Street, Brighton between Edward St and St James St?

By Roger Ivermee (27/02/2018)

Hello, All.  I think the current Mock Tudor Queen Victoria pub at Rottingdean dates from the early 1930s, replacing the one seen here, which was on the other (western) side of the High Street and a little further south.  This area saw much clearance to provide for the widening of the crossroads and the rebuilding of its north-eastern side.

The most recent reference to the Inn I've found is in the B'ton & Sussex Trades' Directory (Town & Counties Directories, Ltd.) for 1926/7, where it's stated as being at 5, High Street.  The Queen Victoria Inn is listed in Towner's for 1903, again at No.5, but with the additional information that "Avis, G., sen." [senior?] resided there and/or owned it.  Next door, at No.4, is listed "Avis, G. Ed." [Edward?].  Colonel Seaburne Moens in his "Story of a Village" (1953 Coronation Edition, p.63) said the pub was known to the village as the "hole-in-the-wall".  With that expression in mind and looking at the photograph, I'm tempted to wonder whether the pub's lowly or humble status possibly accounted for its exclusion from Kelly's ?!  Such a thought surprises me, however, and the 1914 reference to Henry Lee and "beer retailer" is interesting.  I can imagine the demolition of the nearby Royal Oak (within the car park site) being of a far greater loss to Rottingdean.

I'm guessing the sign "Rock Ale" refers to the Rock & College Breweries sometime in St. James's Street and Eastern Road, Brighton, and Conway Street, Hove ?  (I stand to be corrected.)

Perhaps the "Inspection Invited" on the furniture shop wall equates to today's "Browsers Welcome" ?

By Sam Flowers (27/02/2018)

That's what threw me, Sam. I didn't realize that the Mock Tudor Queen Victoria pub was so modern, so didn't continue to look through the Rottingdean directories for an earlier incarnation.

By Janet Beal (27/02/2018)

Roger, I really can see how you thought the photo might have been taken in George Street, Kemp Town.

By Sam Flowers (27/02/2018)

Sam, I saw the alleyway next to the newish bay window and remembered that George Street had an alley originally leading to St James Street, I may be well off track though, great pic though.

By Roger Ivermee (02/03/2018)

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