North Road

Then and now photos

19th century view
These beautiful Regency houses were demolished to make way for Telephone House.  There are tram lines and a single trolley wire above the street.

20th century view
Telephone House stood on this site from 1938 to the early 1980s. It was used by Post Office workers, until it was declared unsafe.  Notice the two overhead wires for the trolley-buses.

21st century view
This shot shows Trustcard House at the bottom of North Road. It was built in 1985. In the foreground, notice the selection of lovely traffic-lights.

Photo:19th century view

19th century view

Image reproduced with permission from Brighton History Centre

Photo:20th century view

20th century view

From the private collection of Bert Clayton

Photo:21st century view

21st century view

Photograph by Tricia Leonard

This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page

I am sure the first picture, the 19th century view is not North Road. It looks like the corner of St Peter's Place and Ditchling Road.  As I remember, there was a bus stop there in the 1960s.   My friend Lorraine and I went to Margaret Hardy school, and we got the bus from there to go home, which was the 26 or 26b to Hollingbury.

By Shirley (25/09/2006)

I think the first view is probably correctly named; the tramlines would be for route S (Station) going off to the left, and also just visible are those going straight on, which would have been for routes B, D and L coming from London and Lewes Roads towards the Victoria Gardens and Old Steine. The trams opened from 1901 onwards, and this would place the photograph at 1904-ish.

By Martin Nimmo (12/10/2006)

I'm afraid I agree with Shirley, no way is it North Road, it's the junction opposite St Peters Church, north end, and the start of Ditchling Road. I'll get a "now" photograph soon to confirm. Well done Shirley, it's a beautiful photo of the bottom of Ditchling Road, but I will confirm with a photo later!

By Peter Groves (17/11/2006)

I agree that in the 19th Century view it seems as though this is the building on the corner of St Peter's Place (left) and Ditchling Road (right) but then the tram lines crossing from left to right seem out of place. And isn't St Peter's Place narrower than seen here? Come on Peter, let's see your picture!

By Adrian Baron (03/02/2007)

I also agree with Shirley. It's at the bottom of Ditchling Rd. The story goes that it was used to house Canadian troops during WW2.

By David Maynard (03/02/2007)

I apologise absolutely! It is not St Peter's Place and must be North Road as described. However it's easy to see how me (and others) have made the mistake. If you look at St Peter's Place now and the 19th century view of North Road, they are very alike. Anyone who wants the view of St Peter's Place V's North Road let me have your email address. Once again apologies!

By Peter Groves (11/02/2007)

There was an orphanage at North Road in the year 1823 to 1853 when it moved to a building east of the Sussex County Hospital, the building was purchased by the hospital in 1936 the orphanage moved to Rosaz House. Does anyone have any info on the orphanage when it was at North Road?

By Dawn Wolfe (06/02/2008)

I have a question and would appreciate help from some locals. My Great Uncle was sent from London to 54 Jubilee Road, Brighton in 1904. He had been suffering from hepatitis for two years and I wonder if there was a hospital or convalescence home there at that time? Can anyone help please? I'm in Australia so I can't hop on a train to find out.

By margaret (25/03/2008)

My first job after leaving school in 1972 was as a cartographic draughtswoman in the drawing office of Telephone House. The drawing office occupied the whole of the 5th floor. The Astoria cinema next door to Telephone House was showing the film 'Earthquake' in 1974, complete with realistic 'Sensurround' which could clearly be heard and felt sitting at my drawing board! The daily rumblings continued for weeks if not months! It is little wonder the foundations of Telephone House became unstable and was unfortunately demolished.

By Gill Bradshaw (Bowdidge) (05/04/2008)

(1) I think the top picture is St Peters place. I worked accross the road from there in my teens ('64-'66) and would wait at the bottom of Ditchling Road, (on the right side of picture), for my 26 bus to Hollingbury. Roads were wider in those days. Not so many traffic lights etc., not so much traffic.
(2) I belive the bottom two pictures are the right hand corner of North Road. Swinging up to the left there was the lovely old Library and higher up were the swimming baths I refused to go to when the school decided to organise a bus trip once a week. Not for me Thank you !!!
Just where the old Morris is parked in the picture is where the Astoria Cinema was, (remember seeing 'Paint Your Wagon' there amongst others), and one of the Ballroom Dance studios I attended a few of times.

By Sandra (23/12/2008)

Like Gill, my first job on leaving school in 1968, was with Post Office Telephones. I didn't know what I wanted to do as a career when one day, my Headmaster (Knoll School for Boys, Hove) - Mr J.K.Turner, approached me and said "Ah Stevens, you're leaving school this year, here's a list of jobs, go and get one". I applied to the CVA (in Portland Road, Hove) Allen West (Moulscombe) MB Metals (Portslade) and Post Office Telephones based at Telephone House as above. As soon as I entered the door at the front of Telephone House, I knew that that was what I wanted to do. Something about the building was warm and welcoming and I started work as an Apprentice Telephone Engineer on 5th August 1968 here at Telephone House. I worked 32 great years with the Post Office and later British Telecom and saw the going of this building and the building of the new Telecom House in Preston Road in the late 70s as I then lived opposite in Preston Park Avenue. Good memories.

By Geoff Stevens (31/01/2011)

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