Comments about this page
My grandad, Charles Gravett, was a partner in a firm of wholesale greengrocers in this street up until his death in 1926. The firm was called Gravett, Roberts & Levett. Their horses and drays were stabled up by the 'creech' between Edward St and (I think) Sussex St up the hill from John St.
By Patrick Collins (10/02/2000)
My great grandfather, Samuel Gravett Phillips, was born in 11 Market St. His father was John Gravett Phillips. I am currently researching my family history and would appreciate any further info on this area
By Patricia Phillips (05/04/2005)
My GGGgrandfather and his son, both named George Lower, were bakers and in the 1860s were bakers at 48/49 Market Street.
By Vic Phillips (23/04/2005)
I lived at 41a Market Street, the four storey building with bows, in the late 1950s. My parents had a 'beauty shop/hairdresser' business there - my father, Louis C. Barry, proprietor. We were told that during WWII the building was used to house Canadian soldiers.
By Ashlea Simpson (22/09/2005)

I grew up in Nile Street, leading into Market Street, in the 1950s and 1960s. The southern end of Market Street always had a bombed-out appearance with the remains of the market used as a car park and some small crumbling WW2 concrete buildings in a weed-strewn wasteland, until the whole area between Black Lion Street and Market Street south of the Town Hall was swept away in the disasterous 1984 redevelopment.

Roughly where Nile Street joined Market Street, on the opposite side of the road from Nile Street (eastern side of Market Street) was a cheap cider bar that in the early 60s often had the odd late evening punch up. Next door to the south was the Nanking Chinese Restaurant, a towering building that has now been gutted and turned into an up-market shopping arcade but in 1947 or 1948 was apparently the first Chinese restaurant in Brighton. I remember three generations of Chinese working (and possibly living) there and private Chinese New Year parties (regular patrons invited) where your drink would be topped up with whatever bottle was to hand.

Incongruously, next to the Nanking, on the corner, was the SPCK Christian Bookshop. Since the Teds, Mods and Rockers often drank or fought in the cider bar and ate afterwards at the Nanking (sometimes running up Nile Street to avoid paying but pursued by cleaver-waving Chinese cooks). I wonder if either of these places ever exchanged customers with the SPCK?

By Adrian Baron (24/01/2007)

My great-grandfather is listed in Kelly's as being a jewellery manufacturer at 23 Market Street. His name was Spyridion Marketis born 1842 in Zante, Greece.

By Mary McDermott (07/02/2007)

My Great Grandfather lived at 33 Market Street in the middle 1800s and was employed as a servant.

By Kaz (03/05/2009)

My g g grandfather and his son, both named George Lower were bakers at 48/49 Market Street in the 1860s.

By Carol Sowerbutts (05/12/2009)

I am researching my wife's family tree (Nicola Morton-Smith) and was delighted to find this page, even more so when I read the comment by Vic Phillips (23/04/2005) about his GGGgrandfather having the bakery at 49 in 1860. The census for 1841 and 1851 shows that my wife's GGGgrandfather, Harry Slaughter, was the baker before Vic's. Perhaps someone could let him know just out of interest. Is number 49 still standing by the way? Thanks, and again, extremely good site.

By Stuart Brown (23/01/2010)

My grandfather and grandmother ran the Pump House till the early fifties. Fishermen walked up from the beach after landing their catch and into the pub-seaboots,oilskins and fish scales included. I was aquainted with the pub from pram time till early fifties when my grandfather died and my gran gave the pub up to Forfars. When the Nanking Chinese restaurant opened, the first manager [Mr Mann] lodged in the pub with them. The oak panels in the bar were upstairs painted dark green till Forfars cleaned them up and moved them downstairs. When the panels were dismantled from the walls, the fireplace which is also downstairs was found behind them. My grandparents names were Sidney and May Ramsey. Regards

By Eric Northeast (09/02/2010)

I've added a photo under the title 'G W Lower' to the site which shows my nana outside. I am also a descendant of the Lower's.

By B Webb (16/01/2011)

I'm doing some research into the Titcomb family, and I believe that no. 48 Market Street was an antique shop run by E.M. and L.M. Titcomb, which specialised in toys and dolls houses in the 1950s.

By Jennifer Le Masurier (20/03/2012)

Hi Jennifer, it was not until around 1958 that Titcomb's took over the premises at 48, Market Street, probably moving there after previously having a shop at 42, King's Road. The business was only there for a short time, closing its doors around 1963. Regards, Andy

By Andy Grant (21/03/2012)

Does anyone remember around 1971, a film showing Gilbert O' Sullivan riding a bike down Market Street to the soundtrack of 'Matrimony?' It was when it was a proper road and he rode down towards East Street. I can't seem to find it on Youtube and I'm sure it was in black & white.

By Paul Clarkson (23/03/2012)

Thank you for the details. As a young child I visited Brighton and was taken to the Chinese restaurant by a lady who had been a missionary in China. Knowing name and location of restaurant adds to memories - visit was around 1950.

By Christine Mackie (03/09/2012)

Hi, The Nanking resturant, 21-22 Market Street, was opened by my Grandfather, Mr. Chong Kai Yan. He came to England in 1925 by simply deciding to walk off the ship he was on, he was a Chinese merchant seaman, when the ship was at the docks in Liverpool. During the Second World War he ran a Chinese restaurant in London. He survived a bomb blast by being late one day, and missing his usual bus which was hit by a bomb. He remembered all the American GIs that were over in England back then, they were great tippers. After the war was over he went back to China to find my Grandma and my Dad. He was also a brain cancer survivor. The surgeon back in the 50s remarked that he was "a lucky devil". Had he been in China, he would probably have not survived. Back then England had the best medical care in the world. Eventually he settled in Brighton and opened the Nanking, and Chungking Chinese restaurants. Back then Chinese restaurants were priced at the cheap end of the market, the "McDonalds" of the day. The restaurant was also run by my Dad, with Mum helping out on Fridays and Saturday nights, the busiest days of the week. Eventually the American fast food restaurant invasion took over and the restaurant was sold. The ground floor was cleared and paved as an open entry way to the shopping arcade although the upper floors remained. Our family is still in the hospitality business. My brother owns and runs a hotel in Umbria, Italy, near the town of Montone. The hotel's name is Moravola.

By Mike (07/12/2012)

I've just discovered my ancestors lived at 21, Market Street. Robert Hughes and his family lived there for quite a while. Robert was a poulter by trade with his wife, Francis, nee Gibbs. Robert died at his residence 1871, aged 78 years. His Father, Robert, was a butcher. I'm still doing a lot of research on the area, but my location makes it hard since I'm in Australia. 

By Faye Kennedy (26/07/2016)