Chesham Place

Photo:Brighton Flea Market, formerly Mr Weeks Garage - the dropped kerb for cars to drive in is still evident todayi

Brighton Flea Market, formerly Mr Weeks Garage - the dropped kerb for cars to drive in is still evident todayi

Photo by Peter Groves

Photo:Les on his bike in Sudeley Place, C. 1935

Les on his bike in Sudeley Place, C. 1935

Photo courtesy of Les Roberts

The bombing on September 14th 1940: Part II

Les Roberts interview by Peter Groves

You can read Part I of this story here

I enjoyed school and worked hard, however in 1934 I reached the grand age of 14, it was time to leave!  The Headmaster Mr O'Hara (he was nick-named "King Kong" after the 1933 film of the same name) helped me get my first job working as a delivery boy for the Home and Colonial Store in St James's Street at 12 shillings (£0.62) per week.  10 shillings went to mum, leaving me the fantastic sum of 2 shillings, which was plenty for a 14-year old.  In those days Upper St James's Street was very busy with shops on both sides all the way up to Bedford Street.  The job entailed bicycle deliveries all around the Kemp Town, however it didn't last and I moved on.  I did a similar job at the Palmeira Stores in Western Road Hove, which was one of the biggest shops in the Brighton and Hove area, Tesco Express now occupies the building.

Mechanical Mind
I had always had an aptitude for mechanical things and a job offer came along that I could not turn down, an apprentice motor mechanic at Mr Weeks garage in Upper St James's Street.  The garage was opposite the junction of Bedford Street and is now a flea market!  It was at this time I saved up and purchased my first bicycle, which cost £3.  I already knew Kemp Town like the back of my hand, however with my added mobility, and with my pals, we explored much further afield.  Days out in Eastbourne or Arundel were easily achieved.

World War II and Number 11 Chesham Place
By the time war broke out on 3rd September 1939, I was nearly 19 years old.   My 2 elder sisters and brother had left home and were married.  My sister Eileen had married a solicitor, John Linsley-Thomas, and he owned the lease on number 11 Chesham Place, which in those days was called Chesham House. It was for this reason we were able to move into the 2-bedroom basement flat.  Chesham House was located on the northwest corner of Chesham Place adjacent to Chesham Road.  The large house was split into a number of small flats.  My brother-in-law John and my sister lived in the top floor flat.  So after much moving around in Kemp Town, we were settled again, however war brought other anxieties!

You can read Part III of this story here

This page was added on 12/10/2007.
Comments about this page

Dear Uncle Leslie. I have lost your telephone number. I am living in Hampshire now and would love to see you. Please get in contact.


By Denise Thomas (28/05/2008)

Dear Denise, please call me with your phone number and I will pass it on to Les! Peter Groves 07801 599494

By Peter Groves (03/06/2008)

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