Brighton in the 1950s

Photo:Co-operative Store in London Road

Co-operative Store in London Road

From a private collection

Shops from my childhood

By Vernon Page

My maternal grandmother's favourite shopping street was London Road, and most of it was a rich and inviting experience for a young boy. The Co-op Department Store was without doubt the best as it had a wonderful cash transit system. Each sales desk was connected to what would best be described as a mini cable-car system.

An interesting aerial display
The sales staff would fill a pod with the cash and the handwritten receipt and attach the pod to the aerial trackway by means of a connecting clip. A wooden handle on the end of a lever would then be pulled and the pod would whizz away at what seemed like lightning speed, crossing little junctions until it disappeared into the distance. After a few minutes the pod would come flying back and miraculously return to the same sales desk! The member of staff would then unclip the pod and inside was any change due along with the receipt which had been rubber stamped. My poor grandmother was even dragged into the Co-op when she didn't want to shop there, just so my brother and I could watch the aerial display with awe.

Broken biscuits from Woolworths
Woolworths was another interesting store as it had a wooden floor (very creaky) and the shop reeked of parafin wax and the sickly smell of sweets. I would beg my grandmother to buy me a shilling's worth (5p) of broken biscuits which I would invariably consume in Marks and Spencer's, a store that my brother and I hated as it sold only clothes in those days, which was boring to two lively lads.

Saturdays in St. James's Street
My paternal grandmother shopped in St. James's Street every Saturday. She had lived in that neighbourhood as a child, as had her father, grandfather and great-grandfather. The community spirit there was wonderful and I lingered many a long while in Cramphorn's pet shop looking at the exotic birds and furry hamsters and suchlike. We always visited Sainsbury's and it seems remarkable to think of Sainsbury's as we now know it to what it was like nearly 50 years ago. It was two rows of curved glass display cabinets with grey marble counters and their main stock-in-trade was bacon, which was usually sliced in front of you, cheese and cooked meats. A lot of people had no fridges at home so they had to shop often for perishable foods, such as cheese and meat.

Sainsbury's had two shops joined together and in the other shop they sold tinned and dry goods. The vast emporia of today are far removed from the small outlets of yesteryear. I think I preferred what we had then, I'm afraid.

This page was added on 19/10/2007.
Comments about this page

What a suprise to see the old Co-op on London Road in Brighton. It must have been a much slower moving city in the 1950s. I have been visiting Brighton for the past 20 years and I do like Brighton very much. I live in Rotherham, South Yorkshire but I always look forward to visiting East Sussex when I have the chance. I would love to see more old photos of Brighton.

By David Newey (20/10/2007)

I was also fascinated by the aerial money containers at the Co-op in Lewes Road, but next door was a great electrical shop called Tingley's. It was there I took my parents accumalators, from the giant wireless, to be recharged. I would get thrupence for this which I would spend on sweets in Schofield's, next door again.

By David Brigden (20/10/2007)

I, like David had to go to Tingley's with a accumalator. It was one of my Saturday morning jobs to run errands for the old chap next door. It was the same every week, take his empty Guiness bottles back, pick new ones from the off-licences at the bottom of Hartington Road, pop next door to the newsagent (can't remember the name). I'd get a Daily Sketch and then into Tingley's take old accumalator back and pick up new one. The money we earned for running errands and taking empty lemonade bottles back was our picture money for the afternoon we either went to the Gaiety or the Duke of York depending which one had the best film or, if it was a U if it was A and then we used to ask some one to take us in. Looking back things must have been a lot safer we never thought there was any danger and to think we must have only been about 8 or 9. Happy days.

By Keith (17/02/2008)

I would just like to say how much I remember my days at the Coop Lewes Road and London Road in the 1950s with my mum, and seeing your money whirring around the store. After all these years still remember our divi number 8801 its imprinted never to be forgotten. "Happy Days"

By Rodney Fowler (19/02/2008)

I can remember going into Woolworths in London Road with my Mum and two brothers. I recall clearly the wooden floors and a dusky smell. We used to run up and down the shop and I can just remember it being dark, not at all like the Woolworths we know today. My Mum also used to go into Sainsburys, St. James's Street, and I can still see the sawdust on the floor and the high glass counters where women wore white outfits and their hair up in nets. How we have progressed.

By Sue Weller (20/02/2008)

I used to work in Sainsbury's at 55 London Road, more or less opposite the Co-op. Our manager was a lovely genial man. I cannot remember his name, I used to work on the cheese counter, dairy and would help my friend Daphne Bish on the deli counter when she had an extra long queue. Was there a store in London Road called Roslings which had a similar cash system to the Co-op?

By Ann Allsop (02/03/2008)

Anyone remember Bellmans also in London Road?

By Derek Taylor (28/03/2008)

I remember the Bellman's store in George Street Hove. One day, I was waiting outside the store with my two young sisters who were still in the pram, while my Mother shopped. Along came a tramp, the first I had ever seen, and I was terrified. I can still see the grime on his toes which were poking through the sacking 'socks' he wore. He had a long wispy grey beard and had a piece of string to secure his coat. I now feel quite ashamed of myself being frightened of him and hope I didn't hurt his feelings.

By Lyn OK (03/04/2008)

I remember Sainsburys in St James' Street too. Every Saturday from the age of 10 I used to get the bus from Lower Bevendean and go and get the Sunday joint. Mr Wells always served me and I used to stand and watch him pat the butter into squares and the smell that came from the bacon flitches is unforgettable.

By Pamela Carpenter (17/04/2008)

Does anyone remember Bradshaws Cycle Shop in London Road (near Preston Circus)?  Or how about the Hot Pie Shop in St James's Street - lovely Beano pies!

By John Pope (26/05/2008)

I used to work at the Zylo factory. It was my first full time job. There was a lady there  called Minnie Strutton. She was so funny and we got on really well. One day she asked if I was going to St James's Street in the dinner hour. I wasn't but I said 'Yes' so she said 'My grandchildren are coming up tonight. Could you get me six Beanos?' 'I got back after a rush and she said 'Did you get them? I bet you were tempted to open them, weren't you? I thouight she meant comics, instead she meant the very special beano pies. I never lived that down. Once tasted never forgotten. Just as John Pope said,'Lovely pies'.

By Pamela (01/06/2008)

I can't remember Bradshaws cycle shop in London Road but there was a Bradshaws cycle shop in Western Road near the top of Waterloo Street. They also sold small motorbikes and their works were down the alleyway in Farman Street. I bought my first new bike from them when I was 15, to get me to work at Allen West.

By Dennis Fielder (18/06/2008)

Hi Dennis.  George Bradshaws, London Road, was near Preston circus and was very much a secondary outlet to the Western Road branch.

By John Wignall (23/06/2008)

I always looked at the bikes in Bradshaws, London Road as I passed it on the way home from school. I finally got to buy one - so much a week when I got a paper round.  It was a gleaming green Raliegh roadster with panier bags on the carrier. They also had a great range of Dinky model cars in a glass cabinet on the right of the entrance.

By John Desborough (23/06/2008)

Any one remember the old Central School in Church Street? It had entrences in Jubilee Street and Regent Street. Miss Warland was the headmistress (1948). The teachers were Mrs Sherman, Mr Bridle, Mr Edwards, Miss Glass, and a lady we knew as Teacher Audery.

By Reg Horne (03/07/2008)

Thanks for all the stories of fond memories long ago. I grew up in Brighton so also have strong memories of all areas of Brighton and Hove. Loved the old Woolworths and its' wood floor; the Co-op too, that's where I started my very first bank account. I have now rejoined the Co-op bank because of its ethical work. One memory has arisen now which no-one can confirm. Perhaps someone can help. I grew up understanding a Mrs Shilling (Schilling) started Woolworths and that Woolworths was therefore selling many items at only one shilling. Does my memory serve me well or I have I conjured this one up? (As we sometimes do when young).

By Sandra Bohtlingk (28/11/2008)

Does anyone remember the toffee apple shop called Pips in Oxford Street, all sizes of toffee apples and the smell was lovely? I remember getting the beano pies, the best ever. Pamela (who worked at the Zylos) my sister also worked at the Zylos factory, Pauline Gunn and then when she married her name was Shoesmith.

By Glynnis Hazlewood (nee Gunn) (18/1/2009 (18/01/2009)

Hi. I was born in Grand Parade, went to St Johns School. I used to walk down Riding School Lane to get my Beano and meat and potato pies. I remember Pips in Oxford St, smashing ice cream and toffee apples. Does anybody remember Sundays, seeing the fountain in Victoria Gardens changing colours?

By roger.hall (22/01/2009)

Re Woolworth's; Sandra, my (fallible) memory tells me that a long time ago, Woolworth's shopfront signs bore the words "the 3d and 6d store" ("nickel and dime" in the USA). A Mr F W Woolworth was the founder rather than Mrs Shilling/Schilling. Not that it matters now that Woolworth's has joined them in shuffling off our streets...

By Mike Baumann (26/02/2009)

I too remember the cash conveyance system in London Road Co-op. I seem to recall that the central cashier was in the basement with the overhead wire system on that floor only. The ground and upper floors used what appeared to be a network of pipes which sent the containers pneumatically to the basement. The sales assistant would place the cash container into a hole in the wall, then a few minutes later it would re-appear in the same hole with the change and receipt.
My mother and I used to queue up in the basement twice a year for the dividend payout. The boredom was relieved by watching the overhead activity. Our share number was 3388, originally my grandmother's. Was there a Bradshaw's in Lewes Road as well, just along from the bottom of Elm Grove? There was a bus stop nearby where the number 48 trolleybus stopped en route to the Barracks.

By John Goddard (20/04/2009)

The above has certainly brought back memories to me. I too remember going to the Coop with my grandmother and being in awe of the flying spectacle of those little pots wizing all over the place. I would hate to have been the maintenance person when things went wrong. I remember the Woolworth store with its wooden floor and that particular smell, that's where as a small kid I was first introduced to the Airfix packet of scale figures, the cafeteria that sold those famous American style Hamburger and Milkshakes? I also remember standing out the front of this store one very wet day and watching the US Air Force Band play whilst marching down the road, it seems a long time ago now but happy days.

By James Roncoli (17/05/2009)

I was born and grew up in Brighton. I remember those overhead trolleys containing cash and receipts. They were incredible to watch as a kid. We always wondered how on earth they worked. I thought the store that had them was Roslins opposite the Co-Op but a bit further toward St Peter's Church. I do remember very clearly the aromas of the old Sainsbury and International stores - a funny mix of processed ham and cheese. Woolworths too had a scented aroma which many years later when I moved to New York I recognized again when I walked into a Woolworths store on Broadway near Wall Street. It was an identical aroma to the Woolworths on London Road. Could have knocked me down with a feather. My mother worked at Stuarts - a small 'ladies outfitters' shop until they closed in the early 1970s and thereafter at Blundell's in Kensington Gardens.

By Phil Allsopp (24/05/2009)

I do remember Pips on Oxford Street. Great ice cream and armour-piercing toffee apples that I'm sure contributed to the wealth of many a dentist in the Brighton area. There was also, I think, a very good bicycle shop on the same side of the street as Pips. Fabulous frames, wheels and gears - all far beyond the reach of my paper round wages!

By Phil Allsopp (24/05/2009)

Hi John, I well remember Bradshaw's Cycle Shop in London Road and The Pie Shop at the top of St James' Street. As a lad I used to go to Brighton Boys' Club (with my three boxing brothers) in Devonshire Place and on cold winter nights afterwards we used to run down the street to the latter in order to buy a Beano Pie, and then while still steaming hot consume it on the No 46 to Patcham trolley-bus home. Happy days. p.s. anyone remember Gizzie's Ice Cream Parlour at the bottom of St James' Street? Regards to all my old muckers should they read this. Robin

By Robin (07/08/2009)

Ahhh, Beano pies, Saturday lunchtime treat. Piping hot from the oven. Beats a Big Mac any day. The simple things that pleased us then.....

By Dave Gillam (08/08/2009)

Does anyone remember cash carriers in any other Brighton/Hove shops? I have a website at www.cashrailway.co.uk and I'm recording any systems that I find in books, on the internet, or that people remember.

By Andrew Buxton (13/08/2009)

Yes I remember the little lady in her headscarf who would serve me lovely toffee apples and ice cream at Pips in London road.

By Jackie Gladwell (29/09/2009)

The cycle shop Phil mentioned near Pip's Ices, was Strudwicks. I also used to windowshop there, but my older Brother bought all the bits there for a racing bike, which he built himself and it cost him £26, in the mid fifties.

By Jeremy Homeward (01/10/2009)

Mmmm, it's now a serious traffic nightmare along the London Road. Happy memories of going to visit Father Christmas though, as a lad.

By Paul Edwards (21/10/2009)

I would like to mention Burnards stores on the corner of London Road and Baker Street, good value, also Kays (grocer) opposite.

By Ken Hancock (01/11/2009)

I can also remember the cake shop called Calderwoods on the corner of Baker Street at the "level end" and at the top of Baker St was a lovely fish and chip shop just up from a pet shop. I used to buy some rolls and some chips and stuff the rolls with the chips often, when it was dinner break at Fawcett School.

By Mike Holt (03/11/2009)

Anybody remember when Lyons Cornerhouse used to be on the corner at the bottom of St. James's Street? 1954 I think. I used to go there for lunch most days when I worked for Penfold and Champ Accountants of Marlborough Place. Wonderful tomato soup and a roll, followed on special occasions by apricot pie!

By Pat Summers (nee Wells) (10/11/2009)

Gizzis was further up St James St Opposite Cavendish St. The one Robin is thinking of was Bert and Seenies - not sure of Spelling- but was opposite the Post Office. I believe the building is now a Bank. I was a Brighton Boys Club Boy. I lived on the corner of High St for many years. Robin must remember Skipper. I have many memories of that area. Have any questions of the area please ask.

By Maurice White. (13/02/2010)

My Grandfather Charles Capon of Ringmer Road, was a grocer at the London Road Co-op in the 50s. He was on the cheese and bacon counter, which was just on the right as you entered the store. I remember him in immaculate, white starched aprons. There was a huge bacon slicer and the cheeses were cut with great precision with a wire, the butter formed with butter paddles and individuallly wrapped for each customer. I seem to recall that the other grocer on that counter was called 'Spanish John' The aroma from the bacon and cheese as you first entered the store was unforgettable... I've also never forgotten our 'divi' number 4097 after all these years!! What lovely times they were!!

By susan kent (25/02/2010)

Lyons Corner shop!! I can still smell the coffee. No coffee since has ever tasted like that. I'd quite forgotten how much I miss it.

By Kevin (27/02/2010)

How about Fullers in East Street where on very special occasions my brothers and I would be taken for waitress served afternoon tea by a maiden aunt. I can still envisage their famous coffee & walnut cake and have never tasted better since!

By RobinTulley (23/03/2010)

Wow, I don't know where to start. My Dad was on the managing committee at the Coop so I knew everything about it. Anyone remember heads of department: Growcock, Conway, Harvey, Pascal? They were nice people. The overhead cash system was indeed amazing. I remember Mr Capon quite well, Susan. When Bellmans store was built down the road, it was considered an ultramodern innovation and just a bit scary (not least because of the hideous green sign). Bellman himself was an important supermarket pioneer. Spanish John had an interesting background: The manager of the Coop Hall up the road was one Dick Polling who in his youth as active in the Spanish Republican cause. His contribution was to bring over orphans from Spain - my understanding is that 'Spanish' John was one of these. I remember him as a very excitable guy! Mr Bradshaw used to sit at his counter in the back of his Lewes Rd shop and sell train sets at exorbitant prices - but he could be arm-twisted !

By John Barber (31/03/2010)

My daughter has moved to Brighton so I love to visit her as I went there often as a child. Does any one know what happened to the large sand pit and paddling pool that used to be along the front by the beach? I spent many a lovely sunny day there.
[Editor: Look here for some information on a paddling pool on the seafront. Is this the one you mean?]

By Jill Phillips (09/05/2010)

I remember walking from Port Hall Place to the Co-op in London Road with my mother in the early 50s, she had a three figure Co-op number but can't remember what it was. We always got the bus home with a load of shopping bags, then walked from Dyke Road to home.

By gordon white (14/05/2010)

I was having music lessons near the Dials between 1947 and used to spend a lot of my pocket money on sheet music. Some came from Lyon and Hall in Western Road or directly opposite was Murdoch's (next door to where coffee beans were roasted giving out delicious smells). Some of my music came from Tofts in London Rd., and some from Wickham, Kimber and Oakley in George Street, Hove. I often went to Haslett and Barrs in Duke Street, where Peter Barrs would sit at the piano and play the latest pop tunes. Besides new music I bought a lot of my classical pieces second hand at Holleyman and Treacher's bookshop, also in Duke Street.

By Tony Hill (30/05/2010)

Glynis - What year would that have been that your sister worked there and could you ask her if it was around 1956 /58? And does she remember Joyce Hazelgrove, Queeny, and Peter Simmonds, and Minnie? I've only just looked on the page. Hope to hear from you.

By Pam (07/06/2010)

I also remember the Maypole & Lyons Corner House in St. James's Street. Does anyone remember Jean Bennet who lived in Elder Street off New England Street?

By Doug Newland (25/08/2010)

I also remember the old Arcadia Cinema in Lewes Road, also prefabs in Viaduct Road.

By Doug Newland (28/08/2010)

Yes, I remember most of these shops. Pips was the best ice cream, I was told they were gypsies. How about Gibbs the jewellers where my Mum worked just past Bellmans or De Marco Bros where I worked for three weeks? He used to make different flavours every day. It was an ice cream parlour a couple of doors from Margaret Hardy where I went to school. We lived on Campbell Rd, with Woods ironmongers on the corner which was taken over by Nortons. I live in Nottingham now but coming for a visit next week, not been for seven years!

By Anne Ball was Newman (29/09/2010)

Hi Anne Ball, do you remember Janet and Margaret Simmons who lived on Campbeell Road, also a Jean Bennet who lived on Elder Street? Thank you.

By Doug Newland (13/10/2010)

MAurice White, did you once teach in Cambridgeshire?

By Steve Fitzpatrick (28/10/2010)

Hi Doug Newland, yes I remember the Simmons but am not sure about Jean Bennet. I do remember Elder Street though, we used to have our bonfires over there when they knocked the houses down.

By Anne Ball was Newman (09/12/2010)

Does anyone remember a Nina Hensen who served in the Sainsbury's shop?

By Barrie Searle (13/01/2011)

Does anybody remember the butchers shop almost opposite Truform shoes, sort of set into the old Co-op building on the corner of Baker St?

By Patricia Downer (23/01/2011)

My school, the Brighton and Hove Stage School performed our school show The Wizard of Oz at the Coop building, London Road in the early 1960s. Some of my class mates were Ken Hancock as the Tin Man, Maureen Parker, Roger Doidge, Judy Campbell....the good old days.

By Wanda Bailey (17/02/2011)

Hello Derek Taylor: You posted a question. Does anyone remember Bellmans. I do! I believe there was another Bellmans along Western Road in Brighton. I used to go there when I was a kid. John Hutchings.

By John Hutchings (04/08/2011)

Like most, I too loved watching the overhead cash containers wooshing across the store, the vacuum tubes which also followed, Saturday morning pictures at the Astoria, (mostly Marx Bros films and Pathe News), bean pies, broken biscuits, 'Penny Drinks' near my school at Coombe Rd (at the time dear King George died), something called 'Sterio Custard' that nobody seems to remember - was a slab of custard, which was eventually broken up to mix with liquid. Oh glorious days, running around The Lanes as well, then seeing cartoons at the Duke of Yorks, which am amazed was still there on my last visit to Brighton. Does anyone also remember Needham's music shop in Ann St, Margaret Trussler, Barbara Redgrave, or the Bakers at the end of Buller Rd?

By Tony Stevens (13/08/2011)

Does anyone remember the name of the School House opposite the end of Campbell Road New England end ? My mum lived in Argyle Road and remembers going off to this two roomed school house when she was very small. They used slates to write on. She has been racking her brain and can't remember its name It would have been late 1940s early 50s .

By Julie Webber (17/09/2011)

There was a Bellmans in London Road. I am sure I stood in a long line for stockings, must have been about 1950. The stockings were for my sister. There was also a Bellmans in Western Road at some point. Think they mainly sold Wool.

By Iris Gilman (18/09/2011)

These are wonderful memories of London Road, it's a shame to see what it has now become. I used to get dragged down there regularly as a child in the late 50s. I loved the pink ice cream from Pips and looking at the comics which were held up with pegs on the newspaper stand outside the original Woolworths on the corner. I remember the man that ran that stand, he wore glasses, he seemed to be there in all weathers throughout my childhood. I was a big fan of the Co-Op too, especially at Christmas when they had a toy fair and all the trees on display along the exterior of the building. They were indeed happy days.

By Terry Allen (02/04/2012)

I remember Smith and Brown clothes shop half way up Trafalgar Street on the left - they had the cash carrier system as well.

By Greg Grant (05/04/2012)

Does anyone remember a very expensive toy shop in East St? They used to have marionettes in the window. I can remember my mum showing them to us after we had come off the beach. I can't find a single person who remembers, maybe I dreamed it.

By Christine Millar (14/08/2012)

There are some great memories of London Road in the comments. Every week I used to walk through London Road and North Laine from The Level to North Street with my parents. I was bought my first proper bicycle in Strudwicks on Oxford Street in the 60s. I remember most of the shops mentioned in the comments, but one shop not mentioned was Scott’s Radio; we rented our television from there in the 60s, I remember the repair man turning up at our house with a suitcase full of valves. Another shop I remember is Peter Brown clothes shop, it was towards St Peters Church. I used to buy Ben Sherman shirts, Levi jeans and Sta-Prest in there; I also bought my first Levi jacket there for £4.19/11 in 1970. When I attended Richmond Place Technical College in the 70s, I often had a lunch time drink in the Elephant and Castle pub by the Open Market.

By Michael Brittain (15/08/2012)

Ah. Bradshaws in London Rd. Dinky toys. Did we not have to place an order for the latest dinky toy in the late 1940s? Living in White St at the time, I remember Gizzi's for ice cream. 

By David Wickham (17/08/2012)

More reminiscing! In the late 50s I worked as a trainee salesman at Maples furniture store situated on the seafront near to the Metropole hotel; it is, of course, long gone. Does anyone remember this upmarket store or, indeed, was employed there?

By Dick Gunn (08/11/2012)

Bellman's was my first job when I left school in 1956. It really made us feel like an adult, working and paying your way at home, Pips ice cream ( I think they were maybe the grandparents of the Pirolli family that lived in Hanover Terrace that was opposite Newhaven St, in Southover St). I was at school with Josie. 

By Mary Smith Nee Gillespie (09/11/2012)

Anyone remember the old Central School. I lived in Queens Gardens and Central was my first school and Miss Glass was my teacher. The thing that I remember is being sat in a row at break and given a spoon of castor oil. Yuk! I remember all of the shops mentioned on this page, loved Woolworths, shopped at Bellmans with Mum who brought her knitting wool there. Always went into Pips who also sold glasses of lemonade. Gizzies coffee ice cream was the best. The paddling pool that was mentioned was along by the West Pier spent many a happy summer day down there both when i was small and later on with my own children. I also remember going to the Gaiety or Duke of York's cinema depending what was on, they were the days when you got two (yes two!) films and we would stay and watch them through again if they were good; that's something you could do in those days.

By Glenda Walker (01/12/2012)

I worked for a very short time for Scott's Radio in the shop, and delivering goods. This would have been about 1962. I clearly remember people renting TVs back then. Unfortunately I left under a cloud as I wrapped up one on the company mini vans and they sacked me. Oh dear!

By Rod Tempest (20/01/2013)

I've lived in Brighton all my life. I was born in 1952. I went to school at Clifton College, in Clifton Road, which was attached to the church with the huge spire which you could see all around the town. The head teacher was Mrs Cronin and our first teacher was Mrs Tewkesbury. I loved going to Woolworth, which had a fantastic toy counter and I would buy the ho/oo scale toy soldiers that Airfix regularly released. I bought my first record from Murdochs for six and eight. My father would often walk me and my brother to Kemp Town, where we bought fantastic bread from Fogels. We also used to buy lovely cream cheese from Taub's in Preston Street, one of the only shops open on a Sunday. I also enjoyed going to a brilliant cake shop at the bottom of Waterloo Street. I started my comic book collection by buying from my local newsagents, Everleigh in Dyke Road, and augmented it by going to EGB in North Road, then two doors down to The Creel, for a banana fritter.

By Simon Heath (16/02/2013)

Josie Pirolli is my aunt and we were all born and raised in Hanover Terrace. Pips ices was owned by my grandad's brother Antonio. My poor old mum would leave me outside Strudwicks bike shop opposite Pips every Saturday morning on my own for at least two hours and I used to dream of owning a Claude Butler or Raleigh racing bike which we could not afford in those days. The first thing I did when I started work was buy a new racing bike. I remember Bellmans round the corner and going to see Father Xmas every year and used to love the smells and atmosphere of characters at the Open Market where my mum would shop and carry four bags of shopping and two little kids home to Hanover Terrace in all weathers -  no four wheel drives and gym memberships in those days. I can remember buying Levi stay pressed , Ben Sherman shirts and " Harry Jackets " from Peter Browns as I got older, and my school uniforms from another shop down that way in London Road. Poor Mum and Dad, they had such a hard life in those days compared to today. I always sensed they were hard up but we never went without, it was survival then and no such thing as a holiday in those days. I remember the pie shop in St James Street, apple pies and Beanos. There was a sandwich bar in the twitten in East street, the sex scene in Quadraphenia  where I had my first ever take away sandwich after coming off the beach . I remember there was a great American comic book shop in North Road where you could get brilliant 2nd hand comics from and opposite a fantastic Army surplus shop where I bought brilliant second hand original US Parkas with huge fur collars and cool pilot jackets. I wish I still had them.

By Peter Paolella (10/03/2013)

Hello to everyone who grew up in Brighton and Hove, it was great reading all your comments. I was born in 1951 and also attended Clifton College on Clifton Hill Road. I remember Mrs Cronin changed the girls' berets to straw boaters - ugh! I was also head girl. Do you remember me? My late mum used to take us to Woolworths for a mug of Horlicks. I think back to the days of mods and rockers who would amass around the clock tower. So much to say, could be here all day writing about my childhood days growing up there! Would love to hear from anyone who went to Clifton College when I was there.

By Susan Hardy (16/03/2013)

Does anyone know Alexandra School in Preston Park? I attended the school in the '60s. Our head mistress Mrs Cronin moved the school from Clifton Road and changed the name to Alexandra College. Would love to hear from you. 

By Susan Hardy (16/03/2013)

Replying to Simon Heath who attended Clifton College. I was born 1951 and was there same time as you! I do remember a Simon in my class but age creeps up when trying to place a face from so many years ago! I have left previous messages this week on this page but no response as yet! Do you remember the Andrew and Randal Griffiths brothers/ Sue Syer/ Amanda Cross/ Lawrence the head boy? I was head girl. Would love to hear from you.

By Susan Hardy (19/03/2013)

Hi Susan do you remember me? I was Marilyn de Lacy many years ago. I was friends with Felicity Benson, Nadine Hall, Cheryl Lewis and Marilyn Sinclair. Did you live in Valance Road in Hove? What good times we had at that school, not sure we learned much! You can contact me at marilyn-jim@hotmail.co.uk

By Marilyn Jones (22/03/2013)

Hi Marilyn, had problems trying to email you on the email address you sent, so replying on this page to you. It was so nice to receive a response! I only found this web site recently. I certainly remember Nadine, Cheryl, Marilyn and Felicity. I recall your name but its such a long time ago and memory fails at my grand old age of 62 this year! How time flies. Do you remember the Griffith brothers, Randal and Andrew? I had a big time crush on Andrew and Sue Syer went out with Randal. Were you in the same year as me? Mrs Cronin always seemed to pick on me to read a passage from the bible in school assembly. I was also Head Girl and Lawrence was Head Boy. I remember the French teacher and history teacher and was chosen to write in that special school book thing as I had the best hand writing apparently! Nadine would never share her sweets. I remember I went to Marilyn's one school dinner time and her vicious poodle attacked me and I had to go to hospital to have 5 stiches - I still have the scar! Do you remember the foreign teacher who taught embroidery? She was always chewing gum. She would go off in her foreign language if we got in a mess with our sewing! I was also in the school choir! I recall a Catherine Saunders who had an amazing voice and our school was one that was entered into a competition in the Brighton dome for best school choir along with solo and duet performances. I did a duet with Catherine and she did a solo. She was seriously ill at some point and I never knew what happened to her as I left at 15 and started work. I recall some of us going to see her in hospital while I was still at school. What about those boater hats that we had to wear, mine never stayed on! Were you still there when the school moved to Preston Park and was renamed as Alexandra College? Would love to hear from you again and go down memory road with your memories and your response to my comments. Will leave you with my email address for your reply. If not please reply via this page. I look forward to hearing from you. From Susan Hardy (Barlow) sh127260@gmail.com

By Susan Hardy (23/03/2013)

Trying to touch base with Sonia Williams, we have the same grandparent, please email me rgtllc@comcast .net  re your letter on Geoffrey Thompson 6/01/08. Hoping for your reply.

By Richard Thompson (25/03/2013)

I certainly remember the very expensive toy shop in East Street in the late 40s and 50s. It was a treat to look in the windows as there always seemed to be Pelham puppets on display. Every Christmas I wished for a puppet but sadly never had one.

By Maureen Sweet (01/04/2013)

I used to go to Clifton College and was friends with Randal and Andrew, Robert Lever, Sue Syer, Simon Heath, Sinclar's etc, seems a long time ago.

By Paul Piper (27/04/2013)

Hi Paul Piper, I do remember you! Do you remember me? I was Head Girl at Clifton College and Sue Syer was my best mate. We used to hang around with the Griffith brothers as Sue and I were their girlfriends. I have touched base with red-haired Marilyn and just today Simon Heath emailed me. I knew all the people you mentioned and would love to hear from you again and anyone else who knew me. My email address is sh127260@gmail.com if you want to contact me again.

By Susan Barlow (nee Hardy) (01/05/2013)

I attended Central School in Brighton and remember Miss Warland, Miss Glass, Mrs Sherman, Mr Bridle, Teacher Audrey, Teacher Kathleen and Mr Brown who was the music teacher. When I was there in the 50s there was Peter and John Marsh who came from Dr Barnados home up Dyke Road. Does anyone know where these twins went to as I would very much like to know how they got on in life? I can remember the cod liver oil and spoon of orange juice. We had no playground so breaks were in the hall. I still have a couple of old school class photos.

By June Gray (19/05/2013)

Does anyone know anything about the Jacomeli family (my great grandmother) who had emigrated from Florence, Italy. The family owned retail businesses in London. Starting in a small way in London they gradually progressed to owning a departmental store in Brighton. The Brighton business was the first store of its kind in the town and was situated in the London Road, north of St. Peter's church near to the open market. It was eventually sold in the 1920s and then became known as Belmans Department Store.

By Caroline Pinnell (08/06/2013)

When I left school aged 14 I went to work at Bradshaw's Western Road. We were making wooden toys in a workshop at the rear of the shop. This was in 1942.

By John Booker (21/06/2013)

Memories...1947 my father had a bit part in 'Brighton Rock'. My sister who was born that year was in her pram and I was (at the age of 8) looking after her. During a break in the filming Richard Attenborough came along and picked her up. In the 50s I used to go to the Gaiety (nearby a little cafe by the viaduct which used to sell the most delicious bread pudding at 1d a slice), the Arcadia (near where I went to Sea Cadets), Astoria (near the Telephone Exchange), Paris, Essoldo. At one time there were 32 cinemas in Brighton and Hove. In 1950 I went to the new school Stanmer Secondary. Headmaster was Mr Hobart, teachers included Miss Cauderoy, Mr White, Mr Lovell. I left there in 1954. Some pupils I remember were Maurice Glanville, David Richie and Pauline Nye. I remember going to a music store near the Clock Tower - not sure of the name now but to listen to music we used to pick out the latest record and go into a booth to listen to it. I bought Elvis 'Heartbreak Hotel', put it on my Dansette and Dad came in from work and said "Who's that ?", "Elvis Presley, Dad", "HHhump! He won't last five minutes!". Oh Ye of little faith! Many many memories of the Teddy Boys and the cafes in Queens Road. Rock'n'Roll was here and the world was changing fast.

By Roy Scarborough (02/08/2013)

Memories! Hills of Hove for school uniform and then afternoon tea with mannequins on parade: Fullers walnut layer cake: Forfars sticky buns. Combridges - oh the joy of browsing among the books with my five shilling book token! Boots lending library above Boots the Chemist in Church Road, Hove; Vokins and Hanningtons in Brighton; Lyon and Hall in Church Road, next door to Plummers - it had booths for listening to records before buying them and if you were clever you could listen to half a dozen before being turfed out!

By Rosie Rushton (06/09/2013)

I remember Llyons corner shop on James St. My mum worked there and the news agent with the postcards outside.

By Jean Martyn (12/06/2014)

Lovely memories of Brighton in mid to late 50s.  Granddad used to take me in a motor boat? possibly near the aquarium.  I remember the boating pool being circular. I think it was great fun but wish I could remember more about it.  I also loved the animals along the beach for photos I think.  My favourite was Noah's Ark ride,  I would have stayed on it all day.  That must have gone now.  Would love to visit again 

By Pauline Dixon (16/05/2015)

So many memories, when St James Street was a proper shopping street, with Sainsburys, Woolworths, corner of Dorset Gardens, The Pie Shop at the corner of Chapel Street, and Rodmans clothing shop to  which I had to go with my mother to get new trousers, also Clarks bakery, and the ruins of the bombed St James church. Happy memories

By John Sims (17/05/2015)

Hi Everyone. I'm looking for information about a jewellers in Brighton as I have the original shopfront in the Museum here in Ironbridge. I'm looking for W. Wright Jewellers, either at 3-6 East Street or at 38-39 Western Road. I know it was located in Western Road well into the 70s, but I guess, due to the age of the shopfront that what we have is East Street. The jewellers shop here didn't survive the Second World War, last record of it was 1939. I'm looking for information and if possible photos of each of these locations. Did you know someone who used to work there? Did you ever visit? If you think you could help, please drop me an email, it would be lovely to learn more about this great shopfront in our collection.  Thank you. emily.ireson@ironbridge.org.uk

By Emily Ireson (29/09/2015)

Hi Emily. If you go onto the message board and enter Wrights in the search box, you will see that I have provided quite a lot of information about the Jewellers [see here]. To recap, Charles Bryan, who was a part of the "Whitby Jet Ornament Manufactory" set up in Brighton as a "Jet Ornament Manufacturer" at 6 East Street during the 1870s. He also already had premises in Hatton Garden, London; Birmingham; Scarborough; Leeds; Harrogate and Whitby. By around 1878 William Wright was shown as a "Jet Ornament Manufacturer" at the same address. The company existed as a jewellers in Brighton for around 100 years with shops in East Street and Western Road and their head office at Stone Street until fairly recent times.  The shop in East Street was the original one, expanding from number 6 to 5 & 6 by 1890 and 3,4,5 & 6 by the turn of the century. Business continued there until WW2, with the premises being a cafe after the war. The Western Road shop opened around the time of WW1 and continued until at least the 1980s, but there were also shops in Worthing at 54 South Street and Eastbourne at 114 Terminus Road. You could try looking in the James Gray collection on the Regency Society website for photos. Regards Andy

By Andy Grant (30/09/2015)

I wonder if anyone remembers a shop where violins were repaired in the 1940s early '50s? I'm trying to find out anything about the shop and the owner. Many thanks Sue.

By Sue Horne (23/03/2016)

For Sue Home.
Could you possibly be thinking of Needhams? It was in Ann Street off the London Road, more or less opposite St Bartholomews Church. He used to repair and restring violins and also sold other musical instruments. By typing "Needham" in the search box at top of this page you can find various articles about this shop.

By Bob from Brighton (24/03/2016)

Thanks Bob for the information about Needhams. The family story is that my mother-in-law, who played in the local orchestra, took her violin in for repair to a small shop. The owner, a refugee from either Germany or Austria, gave her a violin to use while hers was repaired. The replacement had a particularly beautiful tone. Five weeks later she returned to find the shop closed because of the death of the owner. She couldn't retrieve her violin and kept the replacement. 

By Sue Horne (25/03/2016)

Re Susan Hardy, Alexandra College: It's Nadine here and I really don't remember not sharing my sweets!

By Nadine (16/05/2016)

I liked Margaret Trussler's comments re Needhams Music Shop, indeed an echo from our past that made a great difference to the lives and success of aspiring musicians! I know Margaret either from my Junior School - Coombe Road or Stanmer Secondary, but wondered if she remembers my sister Diana or me, Tony?  If so may I wish her great health and happiness still.

By Tony Stevens (19/05/2016)

Hi June (Gray), I went to the old Central School,  this was in the very late '40s, early '50s. The memory plays tricks, but I seem to remember we wrote on slates. I can't remember exactly where it was.  I do remember, we didn't have a playground as such, and we used to walk down to the Pavilion and play on the grass at the back (roaming about at such a young age, it wouldn't be allowed now would it?). We also tried to look taller and older so we could go into the museum, there was always a guard on the door, and he would never let us in.  What fun we had trying though. Cod liver and malt was horrible, we used to have to line up, the spoonful of thick orange juice took the taste away though. I bet the same spoon was used for everyone.  Do you remember two girls, Diane Fashome and Anita Moonlight. I also had a friend whose parents ran the Basket Makers Arms. It's so nice to find someone else who remembers it.

By Sandra Waite (16/06/2016)

Does anybody remember the blacksmiths by the open market?

By Tony Cheal (19/07/2016)

I used to watch in awe the blacksmith at the entrance to the open market when he put new shoes on horses. He never, when I was watching, hurt an animal and it never flinched as he applied the shoes but the smell of the burning hoof as he applied the hot shoe I can still smell.

By John Blunden (20/07/2016)

Every so often, my Mum used to shop at the Co-op in London Road and we always had a visit to the Open Market.  I too remember the blacksmith - I was fascinated by the fire and anvil and was mesmerised as the smithy used to hammer out the horseshoes.  Like John, I can still remember the smell as he shoed the horses.  

By Barbara Etherton (21/07/2016)

Re. Roger HALL - I went to school with a Roger Hall at St Johns in the late 1940s. Is this Roger Hall the one who moved, I believe to Stoke on Trent I wonder.

By David Wickham (22/07/2016)

We went to Clifton College many years ago and we remember many of the names above. We all still live locally and have many memories of the school and teachers in the '50s and '60s.

By Linda Saxby (01/09/2016)

Hello! Does anyone remember the name of a jewellers towards the bottom of North Street, and nearly opposite East Street? I had the most fabulous fob watch given to me by my parents for my 21st Birthday, which I lost a couple of years later. I am now 71 but would love to try and find a similar watch. It was a tiny squirrel holding an acorn (a ruby) with the watch hanging from that, it was beautiful.

By Susan Wheeler (25/11/2016)

Hi Susan, the jewellers was the Sussex Gold & Silver Smiths which was where my wedding ring was purchased.  Such a super shop.

By Barbara Etherton (27/11/2016)

Susan Wheeler: Most recently, the jewellers G. H. Pressley & Sons was close to the location you mention, but the shop closed and became Jaeger women's wear outlet. There is still a Pressley's jewellery shop in Worthing, however.

By Alan Phillips (27/11/2016)

Dear Alan Phillips, thank you so much for this information about the jewellers and of course now I remember, it was G.H. Presley & Sons. Also I will try the shop in Worthing. If I'm lucky I will certainly let you know.

By Susn Wheeler (nee Banfield) (30/12/2016)

Susan Wheeler, as an update to my previous message, Pressley's are in the throes of opening a new shop in Brighton. It is in East Street, on the corner of the small square where the Sussex pub is located.

By Alan Phillips (01/01/2017)

Thanks for the update Alan, very handy and much appreciated. Just after Christmas I did send a message to Pressleys  in Worthing, but to date haven't had a response but I will watch out for the new Brighton store.

By Susan Wheeler (nee Banfield) (05/01/2017)

Hi Sandra Waite. I went to Central School in the 50s. I remember the cod liver oil. I knew Anita Moonlight. I worked up St James's Street in the hairdressers next to the hot pie shop, it was called Anitas. The thing I remember about Central is the smell - don't know why. I was in Miss Glass's class. I lived in New England Street then stayed with my aunt in Queens Gardens, her name was Dot Waller. I loved Brighton then. When I lived in New England Street my mum had triplets and she was the talk of the town. I do remember Pips. Used to go to the Level.

By Pat Cowley (27/01/2017)

Hi Susan Hardy. I remember Cheryl Lewis and her brother David Lewis. We went to the same synagogue in Holland Rd, Hove but not at the same school. My maiden surname is Stone.

By Angela Borochov (14/02/2017)

I am looking for pictures of Addison Road, particularly of no 33 and the grocers shop run by the Bishops Family.

By David Simmonds (14/02/2017)

I went to Clifton College along with my two sisters in the 50s and 60s. We were Susan, Linda and Jane Macdonald and we lived in a pub in New England Road. I remember many of the names mentioned earlier who also attended the school. I was friendly with Cheryl Lewis.

Dear linda
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By Linda Boswell (07/05/2017)

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