Shirley Street

Photo:Goldstone Junior School

Goldstone Junior School

From the private collection of Nick Lade

Memories of the 1950s

By Cliff Marlow

The early 1950s

I had three brothers and four sisters and we lived at 57 Shirley Street, from 1952 for many years, from when I was six years old,. My dad was Gerald and my lovely mum Joyce. When we were youngsters, the boys used to go to Juno’s like the scouts at Clarendon Church. All the local boys used to come to our house becomes my mum was the only one who could tie the correct knot in our neck scarves.

The Butt sisters sweet shop

I remember the Butt sisters and their sweet shop, I used to buy my penny chews there. Also there was Mr and Mrs Doughty’s where you could get ice buns made locally at Clarke’s Bakery near the Goldstone football ground. Across the road from us was a newsagents owned by Mr Wilds, he supported Manchester United but Mr Doughty supported Spurs. I used to deliver newspapers for Mr Wilds.

Milk deliveries in a hand cart

I remember Loadsmen’s Dairy, there was a stone floor and the milk was in metal crates. May and Olly used to push the hand cart around the streets; it was taller than they were, so they were bent double like a Lowery painting. Other families I remember were the Blackmans, all seven of them; the Neals and the Browns. There was the Robinsons, and Kenny Wakeham whose parents had the first TV in the street. I remember the Claire family who had one of the fish shops, and their daughters, Virginia, Susan and Lucy.

'Pop Sheckles' youth club

I went to Goldstone Juniors and Hove Manor Schools. Often in the evening we would go to a youth club called ‘Pop Scheckles’ run by a very kind old man where you could win three penny bits at snooker, table tennis and darts. I often went home with half a crown. He also used to make bread pudding which I hated. In the early fifties there were lots of old bomb sites still around after the second war, and you could buy cheap army surplus helmets. We used to go up to the back of Hove Park where the bombed cow sheds were, and play army games.

This page was added on 14/04/2013.
Comments about this page

Last weekend I was in Brighton and Hove to watch the Brighton Marathon, 10,000 runners, and I took the opportunity to visit Shirley Street. There are none of the original shops left unless you count the two fish and chip shops which are now Chinese takeaways. There is a fast food shop on the corner of Sackville Road and a second hand furniture shop on the opposite corner.
Initially we never had our own bath at No. 57 and, like many, used to go round to the public baths. Once you were in the bath in a big separate cubicle you could call out for more hot or cold water as the taps that looked like fire hydrants were on the outside, the attendant used to get very annoyed if you asked more than once. I used to take our weekly wash up to the laundry in Conway Street in a massive bag and collect it a couple of days later. We did not have our own phone and used to go round to the local red box in Livingstone Road which used to take 4 old pennies. We had coin operated gas and electric meters and often they would run out and we would be plunged into darkness, very annoying as the TV, which was Relay Vision, would go off half way through a programme. I would have to run round to the shop and get a shilling for the meter.
I used to chop wood for Mr and Mrs Barber at the grocers shop at No. 53. At 51 and 49 was a double fronted butchers shop. There was a Stan, Bert and Sid; probably all passed by now. The printing press is now flats and the school dentistry a children's nursery. The school dentist was Mr Spackman very religious and kind who lived with his aged mother. Does anyone else remember the 3 dogs that used to roam the streets - Rex a retired Alsation police dog, Turk a white bull terrior and Major a cross boxer? They never hurt anyone.
From humble beginnings it would be interesting to know how people have got on. I now live in Horsham, have a 5 bed detached house. Semi retired as an aircraft charter broker. My best wishes to everyone.

By Cliff Marlow (16/04/2013)

Hi Cliff, I don't know if you remember me, but we went to Hove Manor together. I remember Mr Spackman well. One Christmas he gave me a large model kit of a battleship to make, I think it was the USS Arizona. Yes as I remember he was a very religious person. I am still in contact with Derek Hammond, another Hove Manor graduate!! He now lives in Shoreham. Derek informed me that he believed that Robin Pyle moved to Australia. My cousin Peter Ferguson sadly passed away several months ago. I emigrated to Canada in 1969, and am now retired. I was working as a transportation enforcement officer for the Ontario Government.

By Charles Bodle (31/07/2014)

Hi again Cliff. I also remember going to Pop Scheckles to play snooker and darts and also going to the bombed out cow sheds. We would take our air pistols there - boy talk about abusing health and safety, we're lucky we are still in one piece, that is according to the current guidelines for having fun.

By Charles Bodle (10/08/2014)

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.