Hannington's

A prim and proper store

By Caroline Abbott

 
Photo:Hannington's East Street frontage

Hannington's East Street frontage

Royal Pavilion and Museums: Brighton and Hove

Started work at sixteen

I used to work at Hannington’s when I was just 16 or so till I was 19. I worked all over the place as a ‘floater’ with several other people. When someone was off sick then that is where a so called ‘floater’ went to work for the day. I used to work in the Father Christmas Grotto every year. I remember the work that went into making it just right for the opening; and the children, their faces were a sight to see. It was just like magic in their eyes.

An amazing old building

I was in the ‘China’ and ‘Children’s’ departments a lot too. The old staff room was pretty grotty, up some old stairs. It was the most amazing old building, of which a lot of it was unseen by the public. I remember the staff very well and have often what ever happened to them all. I remember Mike on the ‘Clock’ department and Stella in the ‘Pen’ department. I used to do staff training, teaching the new staff how to do credit cards on those old machines and how to write out an account for someone. I remember that Nancy Reynolds was buyer in the ladies ‘Lingerie’ department.

Prim and proper

It certainly was a fascinating place, a one off. It was all so prim and very proper when I was there. In those days we had to call people Sir and Madam unlike today in stores where attitudes are all very casual. I now live in Perth in Australia, and have been here for over thirty years now. But it only seems like yesterday I was there at Hannington’s and I remember my time with great affection.

Do you remember?

Did you shop at Hannington's? Maybe you had afternoon tea there? What about the Christmas grotto? If you can share your memories of Hannington's, please leave a comment below.

This page was added on 30/09/2013.
Comments about this page

I was there from 1966 until 1975. I had a good time there - it was hard to start with but I liked it. I was a porter and was out on the vans and helped out in the funeral dept. I now live in Scotland. So sad to see it is no more.

By Arthur Westgate (06/10/2013)

The lift was amazing to go down to the toy department and the grotto was so good it was on a train and our school took us each year - irreplaceable imaginary fun gone for ever.

By Shelly Regan (24/10/2013)

I had my first job there after leaving school as a window dresser. I remember the vaults under East Street where we kept our materials for dressing the windows. They went all along East street. We used to have fabulous window displays. Lovely department store and lovely staff. 

By Tessa Crane (nee Farncombe) (22/12/2016)

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