Roy Grant: Local Historian

The Brighton coffee bar culture of those times is difficult to describe. You began to appreciate the opposite sex, without the confidence to actually talk to them. Instead you posed and preened, or fed the juke box, and drank tiny cups of froth with a smidgen of coffee beneath it. It seemed we were being rebellious, but in fact, nothing could have been more innocent

The Cottage Coffee Bar

Photo:Blind Lemon Alley, Middle Street, Brighton

Blind Lemon Alley, Middle Street, Brighton

Photo by Peter Groves

Memories of the 60s and 70s

By Peter Groves

In the 1960's and early 1970's there was a 'cool' coffee bar at the bottom of what is now Blind Lemon Alley (although it was not called so at that time).  The alleyway had no name when hippies frequented 'The Cottage' coffee bar forty years ago.

Blind Lemon Jefferson
I believe that its 'relatively new name' pertains to Texan blues musician 'Blind Lemon Jefferson' (1897-1929) whose life is shrouded in mystery; even his date of birth cannot be confirmed.  Although the name Lemon sounds strange, it was not unusual at that time in Texas.  He influenced many musicians, including Lead Belly, (Pick a Bale of Cotton) additionally, and more relative to The Cottage, Bob Dylan and Van Morrison.

A den of iniquity?
To parents The Cottage was a den of iniquity and drug taking. I don't believe that the phrase 'sex and drugs and rock'n-roll' had been invented, and by today's standards it was actually very tame.  I never witnessed any drug taking there, and probably the teenagers who frequented it, like sex, thought they were the only ones missing out, when in fact everyone was!  I probably spent 2 or 3 evenings a week in there over a two year period, (before I found alcohol and the King and Queen pub) and never witnessed a police raid, although according to parents it happened all the time!

A cool meeting place
Apart from thinking that everyone who went there was very cool, the lure of The Cottage jukebox was prevailing, and the music influential.  At the time most 16-year olds listened to chart music, with hits like Sugar Sugar, by The Archie's and All Kinds Of Everything by Dana firm favourites, but it was music I didn't care for.  My taste was 'progressive music' and this was in abundance in The Cottage!

A taste of the continent
Mainly the group I hung around with drank coffee, listened to the Juke Box and occasionally had something to eat. It was probably in The Cottage that I had my very first taste of continental food, spaghetti bolognaise, which was a speciality.  That was a huge contrast to cooking at home which was very plain English food, bangers and mash, shepherds pie etc.

Remembering the music
The Juke Box had a wonderful selection of progressive music, mostly never played on commercial radio, which was in its infancy.  The 7" vinyl records on the Juke Box at that time, would by now be collectors items, the whole selection probably worth quite a lot!  It would be good to be able to remember all the tracks; I'll start the ball rolling, who can add the rest?

White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane!

This page was added on 20/04/2008.
Comments about this page

I remember the juke box well Peter. They had Chestnut Mare on it if I remember correctly? I also went there on a regular basis for around 2 years in the very early '70s. I bought a second-hand afghan coat and felt the bees' knees going to The Cottage in it. It used to smell terribly of sheep, but I didn't care! Like you, I remember that the place was reknowned for drugs, etc., but I don't remember witnessing anyone taking part - although I probably would not have known if they were in those innocent days. My friends and I would devour huge fried meals there when we could afford to - think I put on a stone in two years! The tables and floor were never clean, so dread to think what the kitchen was like. I remember there was a private door leading to the upstairs where staff used to stay. I wonder The Cottage remained after much of the area had been demolished many years before? Does anyone know the history before it was a coffee bar?

By Jacqui Woollven (21/04/2008)

We used to go in The Cottage after we had been to the Half Moon (or was it the Full Moon?) for a few drinks, and we used to listen to the juke box and, yes, I do believe we used to have spaghetti bologniese too -but it wasn't as good as the cafe further down Middle Street!

By Sandie Waller (21/04/2008)

Hi Jacqui. Spot on with Chestnut Mare, The Byrds, definitely on the juke box. I've got another: Hi-Di-Ho - Blood Sweat & Tears, remember it?

By Peter Groves (23/04/2008)

The Half Moon, now wasn't that the scrumpy pub, my was that strong! I'm not sure what coffee bar I used to go to, it was around that area and up a narrow twitten, but it was upstairs.

By Josie Campbell (23/04/2008)

Josie - It sounds like The Cottage - it had an upstairs floor, up some very steep narrow stairs!

By Peter Groves (24/04/2008)

Hi Peter. I have thought of another - White Room by Cream.

By Jacqui Woollven (27/04/2008)

Yep, White Room was there no doubt at all. What about Memo To Turner, single released in 1970 by Mick Jaggar, some of the Stones were involved in the recording, along with others. I think there is some doubts over who wrote it, could be Mick and Keith, perhaps just Mick? By the way, tickets for the Stones concert at the near-by Big Apple were sold from an independent record store, it can be seen just on the left hand side of the photo, but I can't recall the name of the store. I queued all night in Middle Street to get tickets when they went on sale in the morning. Probably about 1971.

By Peter Groves (01/05/2008)

I remember the Cottage, I used to call on the little record shop on the left of the alley. I worked for RCA Records at the time and they sold progressive music Jefferson Airplane, David Bowie etc.

By John Desborough (01/05/2008)

I think the Cottage was formerly (1950's) called Billy's Cottage Cafe (reputed to be favoured by a gay clientele). Oh, and Blind Lemon Jefferson's life is now believed to be from 1893-1929.

By Ian Tracy (01/05/2008)

I remember the Cottage well from the period 1972-1974, when I hung out with a collection of charactors from my school (Westlain Grammar/Falmer High School), Patcham Fawcett and Dorothy Stringer. Most evenings we would meet up in the King & Queen, then make our way to the Lanes (Hennekys, the Posada, the Queen Anne), finishing at the Cottage for a meal. I recall they did an excellent Paella. One of the waitresses for a while was Sue Sharp, who was in the Sixth Form with me at Falmer. The jukebox at that time included King Crimson's "In The Court of the Crimson King" - Parts 1 and 2 (i.e. the song was split onto two sides of a single; Neil Young's Cinnamon Girl and The Doors' Riders on the Storm. Great memories.

By John Wilkin (07/05/2008)

I too spent most Saturdays in The Cottage circa 1970. Trust me there were drugs in there, albeit not too overtly. Mandrax.. say no more, what was I thinking!  Cinnamon Girl is a great one to remember from the Jukebox, well done. Anyone remember 'Song For Our Ancestors' by Steve Miller Band? It was the track that sounded like it had foghorns at the start of it and was on all the time. Trust you are all well.

By Adrian Faulkner (27/05/2008)

Great memories! I was also at Westlain Grammar, and frequented the Cottage between 1961 and 1967. Another favourite was the Zodiac in St James's Street. I remember the spaghetti bolognese very well. The owner was Ian Muzio. I've eaten in the restaurant that now occupies the site and apparently Ian still pops in there from time to time. Ian got a television from somewhere and we watched most of the 1966 World Cup there! By the way, does anyone remember the hot pie shop in St James's Street in those days?

By Peter Dunk (01/08/2008)

Johnie Winch - does anybody remember the singer Johnie Winch from the 60s? I heard he was involved in a blues and gospel club at The Heart & Hand in North St. Am I right?

By Sally (11/09/2008)

Ahh, The Cottage... Fond memories. Yes Ian Muzzio owned the place, Mick was the manager and chief cook for a while except when Jo was on cooking shift and a little while later Mad Pete took up residence as the bouncer, sorry doorman. Great guy with an Easy Rider style chopper. I spent so much time there as a customer I decided it was better to work for them and was a washer-up at weekend evenings for quite a while. Loved the place, wonderful atmosphere and although they have been mentioned already White Room and Riders on the Storm were a couple of my favourite tracks . Whiter Shade of Pale comes to mind as another but there were dozens.

By Pat Bates (03/10/2008)

Fond memories indeed, some quite emotional. I was a regular between 1960 -1964 when Mick and Ian were in charge. Met my 'first love' there, (Stella Webber). and then my wife, (Carol Greenland), not at the same time I hasten to add. Anyone out there who remembers any of us ?

By Geoff Collins (26/10/2008)

I frequented The Cottage back in the early to mid 1960s: with long hair, eye-liner, fishnet stockings and a duffle-coat or a red PVC mac. I don't remember anyone's names - apart from a boy I had a huge crush on and I'm not saying his name in case he reads this and gets a swelled head! I'm hopeless at remembering the names of records and/or groups (as my husband will confirm) but I think they had that one about "...the concrete and the clay beneath my feet/begin to crumble/ but love will never die/ because we'll see the mountains crumble/before we say goodbye..." etc. Did they also have "Go Now" by (I think) the Moody Blues? How long ago did The Cottage disappear? I went there last (in the daytime) for a nostalgic coffee on a visit to Brighton, possibly about 15 years ago? Chatted to a couple of gay men at the next table who were also old ex-frequenters of the place and confirmed the gay reputation someone else mentioned here - I gathered this was part of the mysterious "upstairs" region. I think they were quite amused by my innocent memories of coffee and spaghetti Bolognese downstairs!

By Honor Wimlett (30/10/2008)

Ho Honor, Unit 4 + 2, Concrete and Clay, a 1965 release! Sorry, but I've got to say, by 1969 Cottage standards, that old one was considered very middle-of-the-road, Go Now was definitely more hip!

By Peter Groves (04/11/2008)

Wow! The old memories came flooding back. The coffee bar at the bottom of St James's Street was over a shoe shop run by a lady who I believe was French. Yes, I went to all places mentioned. Great days. Someone mentioned the pie shop in St James's Street, what a way to finish a great evening - beano pie!  Got the old taste buds going as well!  Keep those memories coming please.

By Jennifer Tonks (nee Smith) (10/11/2008)

Thanks Peter. I realised after I'd posted that my memories of 1960s records were probably not at all hip or collectable. My husband would be much better at naming them - except he grew up in Leicester, so never went to the Cottage. In fact, when I just sang a bit of Concrete and Clay he immediately said "Unit 4 + 2". He's always a bit contemptuous of my liking 'The Moody Blues' though, so I'm pleased you approve of them at least. I saw them at a gig on Worthing Pier at around that time.

By Honor (17/11/2008)

Just come across this site. Remember the 'Cottage' very well. I frequented it around 61/62. I remember that 'Chimes Blues' by Kenny Ball was popular on the jukebox at the time with all the jazz fans. The 'Cottage' was one of the four popular coffee bars in the area at the time, and we used to wander between the 'Cottage', the 'Zodiac', the 'Lounge' in North Street and the 'Whiskey a go-go in Queens Sq.

By Gordon Coleman (23/11/2008)

Nearly forgot. Does anybody else remember the Zodiac coffee bar, or perhaps as it was previously known  'The Groove'?

By Gordon Coleman (23/11/2008)

I frequented the Cottage for a couple of years from about 1970, often with friends Iain, Budge, Brian and Fiona. We'd always end the evening there as it stayed open late. There were drugs about, but I was drawn by the great juke box and the atmosphere. I recall 'Whole Lotta Love' being one of the records. My college friend Jenny, who'd hitch down with me at weekends, and I would leave around 2am and walk back to Portslade.

By Pip (23/11/2008)

Oh what memories! I too remember finishing the evening at the Cottage in the early seventies and yes there were definitely (what would probably by today's standards be soft) drugs about. A typical Saturday evening would start off in the Bath Arms in the Lanes, down to the King and Queen, a curry in the Taj Mahal in Ship Street and then a coffee and a wind down in the Cottage. I used to go there with my mates and my boyfriend Rob and I was about 15 or 16!

By Pauline Golds (25/11/2008)

Does anyone remember Tiffany's coffee bar in Kemp Town? It was way up St James's St (I have a feeling the road is called by another name further up?) fairly near an old cinema, but on the other side. You went down into a basement. We all thought ourselves very mod and cool. I would often get a lift home to Portslade on a scooter, behind some boy in a parka, with racoon tails whipping about around me, but I had to get off around the corner out of sight of my house as I was forbidden to ride on boys' scooters! Why did I travel all the way from Portslade on the bus to what must have been about the furthest away Brighton coffee bar? And does anyone rememeber The Caribbean in Queen's Road?

By Honor (10/12/2008)

I'd forgotten all about the Cottage. I was at Westlain with you Peter (Dunk). Remember playing pontoon for hours at the cottage with you and Pete Fisher among others. I remember the pie shop in St James's Street for beano's and the Zodiac coffee bar. Does anyone remember the wine bar in New Road where you could buy 1/2 pints of Merrydown apple wine to set you up for a night's drinking at the Seven Stars?

By Dave Whatman (17/01/2009)

So pleased to have read so many reminiscences, it all comes flooding back. With friends, we used the Cottage frequently between 1969/1972. Wonder where all the deeply gauged & graffiti'd tables ended up? I remember it was one of the few cafe/eateries where the food, ambience and above all the jukebox, allowed skinheads/suedeheads, hippies, greasers, to hang out together in the same location.  Experienced two raids by skinheads on Bank Holidays. Music fantastic, Weaver of Life- Family; Savoy Brown; Jefferson Airplane-White Rabbit; Who - Summertime Blues; Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love probably spring most readily to mind.  Malacca cafe in Duke Street, Full & Half Moon, Beanos in St James's St, Posada, the Lanes' bars, Henekys, it all becomes very vivid once again. Hello, to all those ex Cottagees.

By Keith 'Fred' Leggatt (01/02/2009)

Keith Leggatt - are you the Keith Leggatt who worked for Social Services in Brighton in the 1980s - or is that another Keith Leggatt?

By John Wilkin (11/02/2009)

To Geoff Collins - I don't remember you. I remember all the coffee bars and I also went out with Stella before she married Jack (the pipe) Levy. Lost touch with them.

By John Starr (16/02/2009)

Hello John. I'm sorry but I can't recall your name either, (must be our age ), not to worry, you may however recognise my face, (see 'Local Folk'), despite being at least a couple of decades older when it was taken in 1986. I'm told I hadn't changed much according to Stella when I bumped into her and her husband on Maderia Drive in the mid 80s, (they were involved in the London to Brighton vintage car run). That was the first and last time I saw her since 1963. I've also lost touch. As a matter of interest, although I frequented the Cottage between 1960 -1964, my regular visits, nearly every day, would have been during 1962-1963. 'Somewhere to go' in the evenings during the week. A coffee plus a plate of chips could last a good couple of hours, especially if it wasn't you that was feeding the juke box. I now know why Mick sold up and moved into the furniture trade, with customers like us he must have struggled to make a living. The only other coffee bar I used was the 'Continental Coffee Bar' along Western Road, where you could get a brilliant iced coffee for about two bob. Because we always missed the last bus, my mates, (all long gone and names forgotten ), and I often stopped there during our walk home after an exhausting Saturday night jive at the Regent.

By Geoff Collins (18/02/2009)

Dave Whatman - I think the wine bar in New Road that sold Merrydown is now Mrs Fitzherberts, and was Noble's bar before that, although I can't remember what it was called in the early 70s when I went there. I also used to go to the Cottage, mainly on Saturdays after spending time at Virgin Records by the Clock Tower (we used to drop acid there, sitting on the floor cushions listening to music through the headphones while waiting to come up). The King and Queen was another favourite haunt, with another great jukebox. I'm currently writing a novel that features Brighton in the early 1970s (72 - 74) so keep the memories coming everyone, it's all really useful stuff and my memory's not that great, to be honest.

By Lorna Thorpe (18/02/2009)

To John Wilkin, yes I am that KL and still with the SS! Are you the John Wilkin, also of 1980s vintage ESCC employ? Lorna, was the pub 'The Volunteer'? Your thoughts about the Virgin record shop at the Clock Tower brings back memories and smells. The usual incense and grass but also that of newly printed posters of mainly US and UK bands and gigs, many in the psychedelic style. Wasn't the original Virgin store in Queens Road about where the 'Albion' shop is now, before moving to the corner site?  Cushions, just further up Queens Road from Virgin, before its untimely demolition was the Regent Cinema and upstairs 'Ballroom'. Do you recall the many big name bands appearing there in the early 70s, when the ballroom morphed into the Big Apple? I recall Pink Floyd, Free, Family and after an all night vigil in middle street to get tickets, the Rolling Stones. Cushions on the floor! The Cottage usually before and after gigs.

By Keith 'Fred' Leggatt (04/03/2009)

Well remembered Keith 'Fred' Leggatt with Savoy Brown, I had forgotten all about them. I had one of their early records but can't recall the title, best check the net! No, the original (Brighton) Virgin Records was on the corner and later moved up the other side of Queen's Road. I also remember the all night vigil for Stones ticket. I remember some nights later back in the Cottage and could have been Mad Pete, who was a keen photographer had loads of photos, would be good to see them now! Well done again for Savoy Brown!

By Peter Groves (05/03/2009)

Keith - rather than clog up this site with messages that are of no interest to anyone else, send me an email at john.wilkin@devon.gov.uk. Be really good to hear from you.

By John Wilkin (10/03/2009)

Ah..those were the days..... I loved The Cottage. My music memory was The Pusher...Steppenwolf.  I never saw drugs inside. My future ex-husband and I were asked by some boys if we knew where they could score. We said "No" but were still thrown out!  Anyone remember the place in West Street halfway up on right? Might have been called Arches? A vegetarian type coffee bar that opened until 4 am. A fella called John made and sold candles.

By Tojo Melville (10/04/2009)

Great shout Tojo. The Pusher was on the jukebox and a fab number, what about, Hello, I love you? The Doors

By Peter Groves (12/04/2009)

Tiffany's was in Paston Place opposite the old Odeon. I used to visit every evening in my early teenage years. Do you rememder the likes of Bob Washbourne, Roger Morgan (brother of Terrance Morgan, film star), Terry ? and Marilyn ? Can't think of any more names at the moment! Had my first crushes and loves there! Many happy memories.

By Les Knight (30/04/2009)

I used to attend The Cottage late at night, first thing in the morning, and lunchtimes. I remember Ian and Jo and Pete Jarvis, Dave Wellard, Janine Sharp, Sue Sharp, Tim Read, Adrian Stevens, Bob Hawkins, Maizie Amanda Titus Watts, Graham Edwards (?), Grom and his brother Phil, Wack Clive Wickham and numerous others. I remember that Juke Box and made a couple of compilation CD's some time back. I'll put the full list up when I locate the CDs. I also frequented The Reform Club run I think, by Pete Jarvis; The K & Q; Jimmies in Manchester St off St James's Street where I saw Free, Van der Graff Generator, Jeffro Tull and others. Feel free to contact me at dfulker@bu.edu. Derek Fulker, Dez Fulker, Del Fulker, call me what you want.

By Derek Fulker (27/06/2009)

I remember many hours spent in the Cottage, with my friends Graham Croft and Sue Turner, circa `69/ `70. The song I most associate with the juke box is Mama Told Me Not To Come, by Three Dog Night!

By Howard Berman (29/06/2009)
Wonderful memories ... spent my first year (1967) at Sussex Uni living at the Hotel Victoria at the bottom of West Street so the Cottage was only a few minutes walk away. The first thing I remember about the Cottage was learning how to eat spaghetti bollognaise, and the second was how tolerant the owners were of young people who would sit for hours over a milky coffee, albeit feeding the juke box at regular intervals. On some occasions when the waitress hadn't turned up a couple of hours of table cleaning got you a free meal. We were in there most evenings, often our way back to the Victoria after an evening drinking in the King and Queen. Upstairs was open during my time at Sussex (67-70) and the Cottage became even more popular when the Combination opened (any pictures of that, I have fond memories of the Combination). Out of respect for the management no drug dealing took place in the Cottage though I do remember dropping acid one evening; juke box was even better than usual that night. Remember a lot of the tracks mentioned above though the one I remember most of all is because we'd never heard it anywhere before, soundtrack to the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Think it must have been brought back from the states before its UK release. One Hotel Victoria memory, amongst many, was meeting Monica Vitti when she was filing in the Vic. Fed her with cigarettes but didn't strike lucky ... c'est la vie.
By John Byford (03/07/2009)
Great memories. I recall wearing a ridiculous outfit - purple afghan coat, hair blitzed into what I thought resembled Hendrix. The juke box was amazing as were all those friends that frequented The Cottage. Remember living in a very lonely bedsit ... The Cottage was my home. Drugs.. I never witnessed! Nuff said. The atmosphere and people were just great. Sadly missed.
By Glyn (20/07/2009)

No body has mentioned the Istanbul...it was accessed up an iron fire escape at the back of the Western Road shops from Grenville Place, now long gone under Churchill Square. It was the haunt of Turkish Cypriots and lots of very young English girls in white knee socks! I was a young 15 and more interested in the 'demi-monde' atmosphere rather than the schoolgirls...this was not true of the Cypriots! The owner, Mustapha, sold wonderful chocolate cup cakes with very thick choc icing, much better than anything from a cake shop or Sainsburys.

By Geoffrey Mead (11/09/2009)

The Cottage, Jimmies etc etc - wow, its all coming back. The record shop next to The Cottage was called Expansion and was eventually bought (forced) out by Virgin - the owner, Mike, moved down to Pompey I recall and opened up again there. Jimmies was fantastic with bands like Free, Blodwyn Pig and Eclection. I saw Mississippi Fred McDowell play there too - what a night. They had to turn off the electicity to stop him playing at the end - so he carried on acoustic! And, does anyone remember the Scandanavis Coffee Bar in the Hove End of Western Road - that was an infamous place and, like most, I was banned from going there, not that it stopped us. And the Starlight Rooms in Montpelier. Great times.

By Michael Wade (05/10/2009)

Mmm. The memories come flooding back. I remember seeing local band Bobby Sansom and the Giants plus others at the Starlight rooms. Don't recall the Scandavanis coffee bar, but recall the Instanbul which was situated above Macfisheries wet fish shop, though the entrance was at the rear. Also The White Pigeons coffee bar in Waterloo St and Margos in Cross St. I'm a bit surprised that there's been no memories of The Groove, later to be The Zodiac which was above Hilton's shoe shop near the bottom of St James St and run by Eric and Pam.

By Gordon Coleman (07/10/2009)

The record store was at one time Tiger Moth Records. When the Stones came to Big Apple, I queued for 2-3 hours only for the tickets to run out when there were only 4 people in front of me! We used to frequent the Montpelier and Starlight rooms. 5/- to get in and then try and get it back on the roulette table; not always successful. Both these two always had live groups on and were like rabbit warrens downstairs, and very dark.

By Rufus G (24/10/2009)

Many hours, many evenings (and skipped school days) spent upstairs in that tiny cozy room at the Cottage, nursing coffees with great friends between 1970 and 71. I was a longhaired 17 year old Canadian kid in love with the culture and the music (and a Brighton girl). My favorite tracks on that amazing Jukebox were Family - "Weaver's Answer", and Curved Air - "It Happened Today". Loved em and saw em a few times at the Big Apple. Love and best to all my friends from those days.

By Michael McNamara (03/12/2009)

Happy days spent in the Cottage during the school holidays, my parents would have been horrified! Clubbing together with my friends to buy 20 No.6 so that we could afford even more coffee and listen to the great music: Pink Floyd, Genesis, Jethro Tull. I also remember being smuggled into the Big Apple and drinking in the Full Moon. Fond memories 1971-1976.

By Glynis Eaton (nee Jackson) (08/12/2009)

Weaver's answer: nice one Michael, I remember it well, from either Family Entertainment or Music From A Dolls House. I don't remember which! I also remember Curved Air, and that amazing electronic "brightly coloured" violin at The Big Apple. Tull and Floyd were also on the jukebox, but I think Genesis were later, mid 70's probably, and "sorry Glynis" middle-of-the-road as well!

By Peter Groves (10/12/2009)

I remember the cigarette machine at the bottom of the stairs in the Cottage. We all smoked 'Number 10's' and called them 'Numbies'! I worked at the Big Apple and remember seeing the Stones, The Animals and T Rex - my sister worked at Gamut just round the corner from The Cottage and we used to eat chips with cheese at the Lorelei Cafe. My sister married Dave Wellard and I went out with Chris Jenkinson and then Iain Dunnett - fond mad memories - wonder where everyone went?!

By Linda Brown (22/01/2010)

Hi Linda, yes I remember the fag machine. As you came in the front door the stairs were on the right, and the fag machine just a tad further on - but surely you must remember a fave record from the jukebox???

By Peter Groves (28/01/2010)

The thing I remember most about the cottage in 1964/66 was the outside toilets, they were the pits. Mick and Ian, spagetti bolognaise, frothy coffee and telstar on the juke box, great memories. Nobby, Dave, Mick and Alan just a few of the crowd in them days,the Florida Rooms, the Penny Farthing and Malacca coffee bar, and who can forget the Regent on a Thursday night.

By babs (13/02/2010)

With regard to the Cottage, no-one has mentioned the chip rolls for those of us who couldn't afford anything else. The Rainbow on the seafront, hanging out at the bottom of West Street and Mrs. Smith, Hamish, Mary, Pete and Geordie. All who also frequented the King and Queen. Also who remembers the Cider Bar on the Kingsway, around 1967 - 1969?

By Elaine Edwards (17/02/2010)

Hi Peter (Groves), are you Theresa's brother? If so I'm Alan who married Pippa who worked in the cottage with Jo. Lots of people - too many - Judy, Mel, Terry, Des, Geoff, Jim, Tim, Paul, Colin, Rob, Rob, Melissa, Debbie, Elaine  - endless... anyone know where Sylvia Hedley is? By the way I've loads of those juke box singles complete (or is it incomplete) with holes...Savoy Brown - 'Train to Nowhere'.

By alan taylor (24/02/2010)

Hi Alan, yes that's me, Theresa's brother, and yes I remember Pippa, great days.............! I'll get Theresa to log onto this page and leave you a note, oh 'Train to Nowhere', a fab track, well remembered.

By Peter Groves (27/02/2010)

Well memories abound circa 1969, I was told by many of my "hippie" mates that Brighton was the place to be, so on the Sunday after The Stones Concert in Hyde Park (who could forget that) I headed off to Brighton. I was told to make for the beach by West Street subway where I could get food in the evening. Mrs Smith, what a lady, unflinching faith in her wait for Jesus to rise up from the sea and whilst we were greatful for the chip butties, thought she was barking but would defend her to the end. The Cottage was a unique venue, I used to either collect coke bottles off the beach and exchange them for pennies from the grumpiest Cafe owner on the beach, it was the one next to the ladies toilets, or I'd beg. Then sit in The Cottage for hours listening to what was recognised as the finest juke box in Brigton or at least till Ian chucked us out. It was at this time that I met Mick and then Annie and her friend (?) before meeting Jo Groves and Terry Groves (not related). We then spent our time going from the beach to The Cottage to the K and Q and back to The Cottage. Why do we rarely hear Canned Heat "On the Road Again"? And perhaps it is time to re-read Jack Kerouac.

By John Edwards (nee Eddie Stone) (03/03/2010)

If I think of "The Cottage", I think of the record shop in Church Street, which was a favourite haunt from 1969 onwards. I feel deprived, for I never knew The Cottage coffee bar and went there but once, in 1973. As to The Zodiac, this was run by my best friend's parents. I've emailed her to let her know The Zodiac is still remembered. The Continental was in Castle Square, which I thought was really sophisticated, unless there was another one nearer Hove.

By Renia Simmonds (04/03/2010)

Thanks for the link Pete - so many memories - where to start? Me and my best friend Jo (she of the long blonde hair and freckles) spent hours listening to that Juke box and somewhere in the attic I've got one or two actual records from it! What's more I'm still in possession of some of the ashtrays - not nicked I hasten to add, Jo gave them to me when she was managing (for Ian Muzio) the Cottage in the early 70s and they were having a bit of a clear out. As I was reading thro' I wondered if anyone else remembered the Combination as I've not talked to anyone else who does - but there was the reference from John Byford - Jo and I saw some great plays there and the coffee was so cheap! John Edwards (now my husband) remembers Annie and her friend Jill or Jilly as she was usually called. Before the Cottage became Blind Lemon Alley it was called Annie's and yes it was owned by the self same Annie. The Cottage has a long history, I have a friend, now in her seventies, who frequented it in the 50s when she remembers it as Billie's Cafe - a hang out for 'beatniks'. And Keith Leggatt - you were clearly at the Cottage at the same time as me and I've missed an opportunity for some good reminiscing at those SSD Christmas and Leaving do's by not recognising you. Alan give my love to Pippa and let me have your e-mail by contacting me at theresa.edwards@mileoakcomputers.co.uk

By Theresa Edwards (nee Groves) (04/03/2010)

By the way, in those days I was Linda Hedley and my two sisters were Rosemary and Sylvia. I had a baby boy (Darren) and he is 37 years old now (thought I'd make you all feel old)! Sylvia married Dave Wellard and they moved to Australia over 20 years ago. They run a mango farm of all things! They are very happy though. Bet they'd love to hear from some of their old friends.

By Linda Brown (04/03/2010)

Spent lot of time at Cottage in early 70s as one of the few places open after pubs/Hungry Years and, dare I say Sherry's shut. I remember really the large fry ups and I seem to remember Neil Young 'Only love can break your heart' on jukebox which was always poignant if no girlfriend and lots of beer drunk. Remember being upstairs one evening and we disappeared down the fire escape which was outside the window. Also went to Annies which specialised in lovely pies. Then it was up the station to get the 1.30 last train back to Portslade and walk up to Hangleton. If missed, a two hour walk home.

By John Webster (07/03/2010)

Hi John (Webster) sounds like you went to the Cottage around the same time as me 1969-1971, I don't remember you, but I also remember the last train to Portslade, or the alternative two hour walk to Hangleton. Neil Young, deffo on the jukebox, well done.

By Peter Groves (09/03/2010)

Hi. Urgent message for Linda Brown nee Hedley. I did know you a little years ago but was really a friend of Sylvia's and have been trying to work out how I could trace her for a couple of years now. The last time I heard from her she and Dave were not together. We also knew Marie and she came to stay with us at Islingword Street. Would really love it if you could put me in touch with Sylvia, does she have an e-mail address. I can't believe Darren is 37, how old does that make Peter? Looking forward to hearing more.

By Pippa Taylor (10/03/2010)

Great to hear so many memories about the "Cottage". When I worked there I remember the people who climbed out of the window to avoid paying. I'd love to hear from Pippa, just put your email address with the comments and I'll get in touch.

By Sylvia Wellard (13/03/2010)

Pippa - contact me on linda-brown1@hotmail.co.uk - it would be lovely to hear from you.

By Linda Brown (13/03/2010)

Hi Sylvia and Linda, my email is pippithemother@hotmail.co.uk - speak soon.

By Pippa Taylor (19/03/2010)

Peter, thanks for a great site to remember the days of the Cottage. I first started going there in 1970 and only during the day as I was still at school. Mick and Jo were running the place and Ian Musio seemed to be there quite a lot as was the lovely Carla. In the beginning it seemed to be a place where everyone met before going off to free concerts in Cornwall or London. The music on the juke box was very different to what I had heard before (Tamla Motown!). Nearly every other person there seemed to be a muso or an artist so it was very interesting. Later we would go from there to the King and Queen and Prinny's on the seafront. The Reform Club was popular too. When I started working there it was with Jo and later Pete. In the end it was Jo, Pippa and me and after I left I think Pippa and Alan ran the place. The jukebox was really good though I'm not sure who decided what went on it. White Rabbit, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles and some Elton John. Do you remember when Apple came to town? Saw some great bands then. Ian was a great boss and mostly ran the place from a distance. Is he still around? I'd love to know what happend to some of the people - Clive Wickham, Graham Andrews, Janine, Sue and Carla. Even though there were drugs around, the Cottage never got raided by the police while I was there. The food was good too, do you remember Sloppy Joes and chips covered with cheese? The coffee was ahead of its time too. A fantastic old machine. There was no phone there either so we would use the Indian's that backed on to the cottage. There was a really old bakelite phone on the shelf in the kitchen that didn't work but the phone company would come and service it every few months. Thanks again.

By Sylvia Wellard (21/03/2010)

I think the hot pie shop in St James' Street was Beanos

By Graham Robinson (23/03/2010)

Hi Sylvia, you must have been at The Cottage around the same time as me, I had just left school, out into the big wide world (well Brighton)! I also remember White Rabbit, well done! Another 2 from the Stones "Dandlion/We Love You" I think it was a double A side single from about 1967 when they got done at Lewes, a thank you to the fans! I dont remember the chips with cheese, however how about fried mushroom rolls, "fab" as John Lennon would say!

By Peter Groves (30/03/2010)

Okay, lets test your memories. What was the song on the juke box that began with a rousing "we're all going down to Statesboro Georgia whoa" and then went into a loud table-banging, twelve-bar beat that everyone enjoyed except the staff who had endured it too many times? No, it wasn't Statesboro Blues by Taj Mahal. I seem to remember it being a B-side to something. Any answers gratefully received. Thanks.

By Alan Taylor (30/03/2010)

Allman Brothers!

By Peter Groves (31/03/2010)

S'me, back again! Just checked it on the net, I was right Allman Brothers in 1971. Originally Blind Willie McTell about 1959, then covered by Taj Mahal in '69, Allman Bros in '71.

By Peter Groves (31/03/2010)

I used to go there in 1970-71 when I lived in Brighton - great memories - I can picture the narrow staircase vividly. We all used to sit huddled round wooden tables eating spaghetti bolognaise (definitely ahead of its time there) and listening to the great music. I remember a sweet couple who were always in there together - they seemed terribly close but they never said a word to each other. I did a trial shift there as a waitress one night but forgot everybody's orders (was hopelessly 'spaced out' back then) so wasn't asked to work again. Anybody remember Prof and Ranjit? Ah, those days... and I remember Mrs Smith on the beach too, doling out chip butties and prophesying that Jesus was going to come walking out of the water there and that all of us were going to be his first disciples!

By Nina Trott (05/04/2010)

Sorry Pete but it definitely wasn't Statesboro Blues by Taj or anyone else - just a song that shouts about that town. By the way Pete, did I thank you for this site? Great stuff and I have re-established a much cherished old relationship thanks to you. Hope to see Theresa next week when we are in the old town.

By Alan Taylor (08/04/2010)

Hi Alan, great that you are back in touch and re-visiting Brighton, perhaps I'll see you when you meet Tre and John? I must know you from old? Nice note from Nina about the very narrow staircase, bolognaise, etc. Did meet Prof in early 1990's, but a lot could have happened since then!

By Peter Groves (10/04/2010)

Spent loads of time there in the early seventies, even worked there for a short while; I got fired for putting a rubber snake into the spag bol - thought it was great fun at the time. I also seem to remember egg fights?

By Jill Stean (28/04/2010)

Tiffany's (or Tiff's as we used to call it) was in St George's Road, not Paston Place - I remember the long line of Lambrettas and Vespas all parked outside every night in '65 and '66 - Quadrophenia OR WHAT !!

By David Deacon (13/06/2010)

I'm so pleased to read people's memories - thank you all for your custom!

By Ian Muzio (05/07/2010)

How great to read your message Ian. You were very kind to me back in the 70s: a real life line. Hope you are well and happy, and if I didn't say it back then, thank you. With love, Sylvie.

By Sylvia Wellard (08/07/2010)

Hi Ian, who chose the jukebox selection, was it you? Any tracks you remember that have not already been mentioned?

By pedrogroves@googlemail.com (15/07/2010)

I used to spend a lot of time at the Cottage, mostly in the upstairs room, staying until late from 1966 into the 70s. Some of those I hung out with there were Ian Healey (Little Ian), Ian Stevenson (Big Ian) Andy Anderson, Rose Hill and Eddie Poole. Does anyone remember the Cottage trademark mushroom sandwiches (on white bread of course)? And the fact that they had LPs on the juke box, including one of a Blues Festival with Memphis Slim, T-Bone Walker (which is in my own CD collection). I remember the nasty campaign by Tory councillor Cathy Vale to try to close down the den of iniquity.

By Nick Heath (19/07/2010)

Hi Ian - I was so pleased to see your comments on this site. You probably don't remember me (I was a regular with some mates from school from about 1962-67) but I wonder if you do remember getting a TV set from somewhere and setting it up - either upstairs or in the attic - so that regulars could watch the 1966 World Cup? Happy days - I still remember the spag bol!

By Peter Dunk (30/07/2010)

Howard, I recognise your name - I remember catching the same bus as you to school and I remember Sue Turner and coffee in the Cottage (and The Combination, and also a cafe run by someone called Miles). I also remember the record shop in Brighton Square run by Stuart (?). Howard, did you go into the music industry as was your ambition as a teenager?

By Jill T (30/08/2010)

Hi Jill, Yes, I somehow ended up running 2 labels, A & M and then Mercury.

By Howard Berman (06/09/2010)

Howard, That's impressive - I guess it counts as realising your ambition - I hope you've had a good life in all other respects as well. I guess the music scene in Brighton always was at the centre (of the world?). I didnt realise how much was going on in Brighton until I left to go to uni in London and found much less going on there. Live music in Brighton in the sixties was about as good as it could have been. (Maybe this contribution should be under a general 1960s heading - not under the Cottage). I remember going almost every week to see bands at the Dome, the Art College and at the University and later at the Big Apple(?). I remember seeing the Beachboys at the Dome. We knew that trainers were the american fashion so we all dressed up with jeans (if we had them) and school plimsolls - I dont believe that trainers existed in Britain at the time. I also remember going to see Pink Floyd as a support band for someone and they had an impressive lightshow - a light shining through oil bubbles. Lots of other memories......(The last post I made on this site was my first ever contribution to a social networking site - this is my second).

By Jill T (25/09/2010)

Wow - the Cottage! Hi to Howard Berman - pity that band we tried to put together never happened - with that amazing American girl called Wanda with long hair and granny specs (and a drummer called Eric, I think). Did she get anywhere? I was playing blues in Brighton and Worthing area in the late 1960s with a band called Bread (not the famous one - the one which supported Deep Purple at Brighton Poly). Went on to form Beggars Death (managed by Mike who had the record shop next door to the Cottage), then Rusty Butler, and Krakatoa. Still playing guitar. Spent many happy times banging along with the juke box on the Cottage's legendary tables, stuffing chip rolls down our necks after the King and Queen closed - trying to locate a party to crash! The bands we saw at Jimmy's, just off the Old Steine, were like a who's who of rock music!!!

By Roger A (24/10/2010)

Great to read everyone's comments about The Cottage. I remember many happy memories there. My friend Lynda and I went there all the time in 1970/71. We also spent a lot of evenings in the King and Queen. Remember Beggars Death really well - remember you Roger and Dave and Neil. We went with them when they played The Marquee in November 1971. Happy memories.

By Jane O (07/11/2010)

I have just remembered another one that was on the juke box, Leonard Cohen, Suzanne, bit of a poet type musician. I had forgotten all about him.

By Peter Groves (14/11/2010)

I was at Westlain from 1962 till 1967. I also went to The Cottage, we used to go for the wonderful chip rolls they did. It was quite a walk from the Starlight in Montpelier Road down to Middle Street but worth it for the atmosphere and the food, did I mention the chip butties?

By Jeannette (was Mitchell) (22/11/2010)

Can't believe I found this thread, memories come flooding back. I too was at Westlain '59-64 and frequented The Cottage. The TV was put in the attic for us to watch the '66 World Cup. You guys around at that time must remember the Mods who took over the upstairs. Pete Fisher, Rich Godden, Tony Rhodes etc. and our girls. All our scooters parked outside. We would ride from the Cottage to Tiffanys roaring up St. James Street into Kemp Town.

By Michael Small (Bunny) (21/12/2010)

Well, how nice it is to hear that you all remember the Cottage! It got me started with music and other recreational activities that helped me through the very late 60s and early 70s, and I will always remember the Spag Bols, Mick, Ian, Joe, and a whole load of great punters - Alan T, Wack, The Hedley Medly, Janine, Pippa, Max, Dallas, Tim Reid, and loads more! Ada

By Ada (23/12/2010)

Interesting site. All you guys and girls that remember the live bands in the Brighton area during the 60s may be interested to read the book 'The South Coast BEAT SCENE of the 1960s' by Mike Read. I played with several local groups during that period including the 'Dolphins' 1963, 'Gene Coben and the Chimes' 1964, and remember most of the places named - and if my memory serves me right Anne Nightingale used to frequent 'Margos' where quite a few group members would meet up after a gig. A favourite for most groups was the Monster Stomps at the Regent Ballroom where everyone tried to synchronise their dance steps to get the suspended floor moving. Thankfully it was well made! Who can forget 'Uncle Maurice' at the Starlight rooms and no one seems to have mentioned the Florida Rooms at the Aquarium. Hi to Elaine Edwards (17/02/2010) a class mate from Stanmer/Westlain.

By Bob. (25/01/2011)

Bob, sorry wrong Elaine, I didn't go to Stanmer / Westlain.

By Elaine Edwards (11/02/2011)

Apologies to the wrong Elaine. To Ada (23/12/2010). Did you ever have a spag bol at Prompt Corner? They were the best in town, unfortunately they became too popular and the portions 'shrivelled' somewhat with time. Fortunately Al Forno's came to the rescue and also did the superb oven rolled pizzas followed up with an enormous platter of profiteroles.

By Bob (18/02/2011)

Somewhere up this thread the “Zodiac” coffee bar was mentioned, it was above “Hiltons" shoe shop at the bottom of St James St. I can remember the “Kings and Queens pin ball machine and the Wurlitzer Lyric jukebox, (push the buttons C 3 for what becomes of a broken heart). The toilets were non existent and you had to use the coach station across the road in Manchester St. I spent so many hours in there, I think coke or a coffee was a shilling.

By Richard Pearce (20/02/2011)

Skating until 5pm then onto The Cottage or another coffe bar until either The King and Queen opened or we went skating again. I had several different groups of friends at that time - school (I went to school with Howard Berman), skaters, friends from Cardinal Newman school and my sister Linda's friends - none of whom mixed with each other. The music was the thing though, listening to pop music at The Suite on a Saturday morning, hearing "Gimme Some Loving" in the dive across the road from The Suite or first hearing Laura Nyro singing "Eli's comin" and Steve Miller playing "Living in the USA" in the Cottage. Today I get together with a few friends each month to listen to music http://thursdaynightmusicclub.blog.co.uk/ and although now listening to music my children have told me about (Foals, Fleet Foxes etc), I still feel most comfortable with the songs I first heard in my youth.

By Lawrence Pattison (10/03/2011)

i worked in the cottage in about 1969/70 doing the washing up and making the chips. i started work about 10 pm so would go into the Full Moon pub for a few before work. They served mainly cider and they were in big red barrels on the bar and you could have sweet, cloudy or a med cider and it was 12p a pint. They also served Merrydown from the wood at 22p for half pin . After having 3 or 4 pints of cloudy I am not sure how I did my job in the cottage. I think I nearly cut my finger off during one shift after a session in the Full Moon. Favourite jukebox sounds were Thin Lizzy's Whiskey in the Jar and Genesis' Alehouse. Great great times

By Howard Wade (26/04/2011)

I used to frequent the Cottage a lot between '67 and '74 and knew Mick and Jo (I think she was nicknamed Pooh Bear) and I am sure that they had a flat in the same house as Ranjit at some stage. I last saw Ranjit in Lincoln in the early eighties but have since lost touch with him again. I remember Nina Trott very well, first met her in Keswick where she turned up with Sue from Hove. I was with Secundus, Doc and Maurice spending the summer in the Lake District. It was a good year. Later came back to Brighton when Nina was there also. I knew Prof, I think he was also called Mike, and usually most of us would spend the evening in The King and Queen and what was then called The Norfolk before calling in to the Cottage for a late coffee after the pubs shut at 11pm. It was reputed to have the best juke box in Brighton - there was nearly always a Cream Record playing, and many other good bands also. These were great days, unique in a way, and there was a strong sense of 'family' amongst the beats and other waifs and strays. If anyone remembers me, I was called Yorkie in those days, they can contact me on my gmail address: yorkiethelast@gmail.com. I would be delighted to hear from anyone who knew me and shall continue to follow this site now that I have found my way here. Happy reminiscences!

By Yorkie Thelast (16/06/2011)

It's good to read the comments about The Cottage and the 'spin off' memories. To Roger A (Adams ? ) I was at The Lyceum Gig you did with Beggars Death and two other bands that Mike Clayton managed but cannot remember their names. Any Help? Also saw Krakatoa support 'Rufus' with Chaka Khan at the Corn Exchange in 74. Brilliant Night.

By |Paul Johnston (25/06/2011)

Hi, Check out this link, courtesy North Stand Chat's posting by Southy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/2011/07/ The Span's manager, Mike Clayton, I believe, ran the Cottage.

By Howard Berman (14/07/2011)

The Cottage was run by Ian Muzio. Mike Clayton ran EXSPANTION Records next door!

By Paul Johnston (24/07/2011)

Great memories. So what about the Starlight Rooms, the Scandanavia and the Continental?

By John Trickey (17/08/2011)

1962-64 were my times at the cottage and what a place it was. We'd sit and nurse a coffee and waste most of a day or evening. I did enjoy the spaghetti. I haven't lived in Brighton since 1965 but used to spend a lot of time at The Cottage. We also went to one upstairs on East Street, opposite the movie theater. Anyone remember its name?

By Barry (17/08/2011)

Well, it's good to read that Ian Muzio is alive and well. I'll never forget how much better his Thames van sounded after I fitted a Servais straight through silencer to it. That was in 1967 or 1968.

By Jonathan (27/08/2011)

The coffee bar in East St was called The Penny Farthing! It had a real one in the window - or you could be thinking of The Chateau which was upstairs at bottom of West St opposite the cinema...

By babs (07/09/2011)

Who says nostalgia ain't what it used to be? The Cottage! My favourite place in Brighton in the late 60's/early 70's - good food (the club sandwiches were a particular favourite) and a terrific juke box (I fondly remember Dear Jill by Blodwyn Pig, Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf, and for some strange reason Intro & Outro by the Bonzos). One night somebody a little the worse for wear tripped over the mains cable for the jukebox, tearing the flex from the plug and plunging the place into silence. I vividly recall watching the culprit painstakingly sticking the ends of the wires back into the socket with matches, with the entire clientele watching to see if (a) he electrocuted himself or (b) he got the jukebox going again. There was no third option! Happily he succeeded and life went on for us all. I also remember leaving from the upstairs room by the fire escape - not to avoid paying the bill, but just for the fun of it.... All this and Tiger Moth records next door too. Good to see Jimmy's mentioned by a couple of people - a splendid place to see live many of the great bands that were around at that time. Somebody mentioned Mad Pete - I remember him well - I was a bit of rocker myself then - which brings to mind a great biker's caff called the Little Chef (no, not one of those) almost next door to the King & Queen - which sadly closed in 69 or 70. Great jukebox there too.

By Roger Richards (15/10/2011)

Does anyone remember the name of the coffee bar that was at he top end of West Street on the right hand side? You had to go along a passage way and a flight of stairs. I can remember the two people who ran it. The lady's name was Renee but can't remember the man's name. They moved from there to Bedford St to open another cafe- i think it was about 1958-59.

By Kathleen Catt [neecornford] (19/10/2011)

My partner ran away as a young teeager and ended up at The Cottage. I love his story about that day. He was taken under the wings of the lovely people there, given coffees, played the juke box and went upstairs for a nap before finding his way back home. It was the coolest place he'd ever seen. I'd love to find a photo of it to give to him from that time, it would probably have been about 1966/67. can anyone help? 

By Gaynor (19/11/2011)

Roger Richards: I used to work in the Little Chef for a while...I can still see in my minds eye all the motorbikes parked outside. At the time I worked there the owner was an Irish gentleman.

By Carrie (25/01/2012)

It is really great to read the memories of those who frequented the Cottage during my tenure there in the early ‘70s. I was pleased to see comments by Eddie Stone, Theresa Groves and Pat Bates, who I lost contact with so many years ago, but with whom I wish I could reconnect, but who didn’t leave their contact info. And with Jo Groves (who would probably be the best-recognized face of the Cottage of that era), and with anyone else that might recognize my name. I am Mick Drake (nee Sambor, from up Leicestershire way) who used to be the chief-cook-and-bottle-washer for a couple of years up through ‘73. I never lost contact with Gilly (Humphrys), who preceded my time at the Cottage, and I recently connected with Derek Fulker because of his posting on this website, and with Ian Muzio, the owner of the place. ‘Tis good to reconnect with people from almost 40 years ago. The early-70s-commenting guys, as with earlier and later Cottage aficionados, remember a very special place. And I thank Ian Muzio that he had the vision for the music and the menu, and that he then left the place alone except to show up every week or so on a Saturday night to demonstrate how (re-train staff) to handle putting-out the orders: he was the best and fastest cook, and put everyone else to shame. If anyone should want to contact me, my email address is mdrake_ny@hotmail.com

By Michael Drake (03/04/2012)

Mick (Drake), unfortunately Jo died many years ago, I am sad to report.

By Peter Groves (22/06/2012)

The vegetarian cafe / theatre / disco in West Street was called The Combination. I used to work there.

By Izzy (02/07/2012)

Just love the record of the times in the 1960s; the names and memories. It makes me realise that 'my time' was actually a small window on that period at the Cottage and the Brighton & Hove coffee bar scene. I married and emigrated to New Zealand by 1967, at the tender age of 20, but returned again based here from 1971. Would so love to hear from Geoff Collins, I remember your name well.

By Simone Walton (13/07/2012)

Hello Simone, talk about a blast from the past, I remember you from around 1962, and it would be nice to hear from you again, even if we are both now a couple of OAP's. (do you have an e-mail address?). If you stay in this site but go first to 'People' then select 'Local Folk', scroll down to about half way, not only will you see a face to the name, but why I can't leave contact details on this page.

Editor's note: You can leave your email address Geoff - but it has to be in the body of your message. But do remember that this is a public site and your email can be seen by anyone who opens the page.

By Geoff Collins (14/07/2012)

Hi, Simone Walton. I wonder if you remember me from the Zodiac coffee bar? You and your friends used to wait at the top of the stairs and inspect the boys as they arrived. I also frequented the Cottage, which is where I met my wife. Our first date was to a party at your house, somewhere near the Seven Dials. I remember you having a boyfriend called Charlie. Tom Paul

By Thomas Paul (15/07/2012)

Both Debbie and I spent many a day and night in the cottage. It had the best juke box in Brighton. Debbie's sister Elaine work with Ian Muzzio and Debbie worked with Jo and Pippa on a Saturday night, staying at Pippa and Alan's sleeping on the bath.

By Simon Massey and Debbie Massey nee Cox (18/08/2012)

My goodness! The memories are flooding back! I used to work there as a waitress in the early days with Ian Muzio. Carla used to work there as a waitress as well and then moved across the road to Domus. I used to do some shifts with Mel and Judy (she of the infectious laugh). On Sunday afternoons, as well as waitressing, I was also the cashier/cook/bouncer. Terry the surfer was manager for a while and kept his bed in the cupboard by the front door. Claude (great cook) took over for a while but didn't last long. Mick came in later and lived upstairs in the loft. I remember when Ian used to change some the records on the juke box - I kept some of them and still have them today. Anyone remember that infamous Sunday when the "skinheads" broke into the dairy two doors down and started throwing empty bottles up the alley against the front door. I recall very casually locking the front door and getting all the punters out through the kitchen and into the Indian restaurant next door. Some of you may remember me as the tall waitress with the long dark hair.

By Elaine Plummer (20/08/2012)

Just remembered - Carla worked in Gamut, not Domus. Domus was the lovely silver jewellery shop in the Lanes. There was a gorgeous gay guy in there who used to ply me with gin at the Curtain Club.

By Elaine Plummer (20/08/2012)

Remember those days well. Only went to Cottage coffee bar a few times. Mainly for the jukebox. Also remember the Cottage record shop. Still have vinyl I bought there in the late sixties early seventies. Went to the Possada a lot. Use to have live music, usually guy playing acoustic guitar and singing. Anyone remember bands playing on the level, late sixties? I think one was Edgar Broughton off the back of a lorry, and then got moved on by the police. Also anyone remember live music at the Art College? They had a gig with Hawkwind called the South Sea Bubble. Happy days, I feel lucky to have lived through all the changes and of course the music!

By Terry H (21/08/2012)

Does my memory serve me right, before the Cottage Coffee Bar was this place called the Avant Garde? I think before it became a popular haunt of the mods.

By Joe (24/08/2012)

I have heard it said that if you can remember 'The Cottage', you weren't there! This is probably in reference to perhaps a prior visit to the King & Queen or a chance meeting with some dodgy geezer on the street outside. White Rabbit and Riders On The Storm still conjure up memories of a late night bolognese and rambling conversations.

By Tim Read (07/09/2012)

Tim Read - are you the same Tim Read who was the photographer?

By Debbie Massey (nee Cox) (05/10/2012)

Yes I am that Tim Read - are you that Debbie Massey who married that mad bloke Simon and buggered off to the land down under? Just had lunch with Alan & Pippa Taylor in Nottingham. This is the first time I had seen them in over 30 years.

By Tim Read (07/10/2012)

After the Art College gig and, for want of a better description, wasn't there a "shop front" called "South Sea Bubble" just down from the King and Queen on the corner of North Street? It was only there for a very short time and always seemed full of very colourful characters - what actually "happened" in there?

By Elaine Plummer (15/10/2012)

Great to be back in contact with Tim Read and Alan & Pippa Taylor.

By Debbie Massey (nee Cox) (19/10/2012)

Whew - I've been rummaging through the Brighton site with my mum, who's 85 this year, to try and capture as much as I can of her memories (I've got the photo collection to work on, thank goodness). But this is my home stuff - I was a regular at The Cottage from 1968-73 and grew up on strong coffee and mushroom baguettes (yep - your memories are faulty, it was wondrously posh 1/2 baguettes, not 'sandwiches'). Anyway, I've identified nearly 200 songs on the jukebox so far from my diaries and the OCD entries on what I bought from the wondrous expansion next door. For the moment I'll settle the Statesboro Blues problem that keeps us awake at night (and let's face it, at our age now we can't afford it unless we need a wee) - it was the b side of Velvet Opera's whomping ' Black Jack Davy' and it was 'Statesboro' Blues' You can get it on Spotify etc etc, but if you want to hang on for a couple of weeks, I'll be putting 3-4 mixes of what was on The Cottage jukebox online, which will cover what I noted down in those good old Woolie's exercise books all those years ago. And I'll get involved in more of what I remember In the meantime - Roger A - I still have some Rusty Butler ads, which Dave G laughed about last time I saw him, then threatened death if I ever published them. I think he was joking - we completed the Times crossword afterwards. The Internet - a dangerous place. Anyone else from 1969-72 - I'll check in later.

Editor's note: Sorry Dave but your very large postings about the juke box are not appropriate here - this is a local history and not a music site - so they will not be published. Thanks anyway.

By Dirigible Dave (05/11/2012)

It seems that The Cottage page has move from its original 1960's section, it is now hard to find.

Editor's note: The Cottage Coffee Bar has been elevated to its own section now Peter. As it covered 60s and 70s, being placed in the 1960s section was not actually appropriate. Now it is a section, people can add pages not just comments so it gives more scope. It is easily found by anyone looking for it by using the search facility The section is here

By Peter Groves (08/11/2012)

Thanks, got it now!!

By Peter Groves (09/11/2012)

Hi Dirigible Dave - I must know you or have known you, how did you have the foresight to catalogue the best juke box ever? It was me with the Blackjack Davey / Statesboro Blues problem, thought it would never be answered, many many thanks. I have about 20 singles off that juke box but would love to see your list feel free to contact me on alantaylor54@hotmail.co.uk  anytime. All Brighton memories are welcome.

By Alan Taylor (19/11/2012)

Dear Mike,
Sorry but we have had to edit your post. We are no longer allowing the posting of requests to find third parties, as sharing information like this breaches their privacy. We recommend you try social media if you want to track old friends or neighbours.
Comments Editor

By Mike Harris (22/11/2012)

Alan - glad to be of service after all this time. I probably owe you that. I remember you very fondly - we were good friends in '70-2ish. However, I can't pin one thing down in the rusty old brain. Was it you that was dumb enough to learn every note of Led Zepp 1 when you broke a leg or something? Whatever - fire any length e-mail at me and I'll respond. Generally, people - I'm happy to throw loads of stuff about that everyone else seems to have forgotten - although lists appear to be outside of the sites remit (editorially). If anyone wants to correspond, touch at dirigibledave@gmail.com. I get down to hometown 4-5 times a year and a small beer at any number of pubs is always a good night (I'll pay). Perhaps we could complete the history We never realised - but it was history.

By dirigibledave (29/11/2012)

For a list of well over 300 records that were on the jukebox, with comments and memories, please check https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B2XvYnQMv09eS2FMeUVEWEN6elU. It's a Google Drivespace Word based document as a temporary measure until I can get a full website up and running. Please feel free to contribute by e-mailing me. I'd love it! dirigibledave@gmail.com

By dirigibledave (03/12/2012)

What a great list of music from the Cottage juke box dirigibledave- some memorable songs with many that have stood the test of time. I was not a regular at the Cottage but popped in every now and then, I wonder how many regulars went on to be regulars at the Hungry Years.

By Michael Brittain (05/12/2012)

Great memories in this thread. The first time I heard about The Cottage was on the last 5b home to Patcham one night. Heard some of the cool guys talking about it and ended up going there to check it out. I guess the heydays were over by 1973, but it still served a good coffee and had the best jukebox in town. Many, many hours sitting, nursing a coffee with my girlfriend Barbie whilst endlessly playing Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" and "Satellite of Love" and Bowie's "Life On Mars". I also frequented the place in 1978-79 with my wife, Lynn, and friends - great value food, and you could take your own bottle of wine to drink.

By Marc Turner (19/01/2013)

How glad I am I found this page. It brought back lots of good memories - sitting squashed in a smoke filled fug, nursing a cup of coffee for hours, listening to the great music. I had long blonde hair past my waste, and black pleated trousers (groan!), and hung about from 69 - 71 with Irish Mick, Chad and Yorkshire Mick. I heard 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' there for the first time, and think I got pregnant the same night! Hey ho!

By Sue from Hove (16/02/2013)

I just remembered. After about 1979, the place re-invented itself as a groovy little restaurant. Except it wasn't "The Cottage" any more, it was "Plates".

By Marc Turner (02/03/2013)

Whilst rummaging through my basement, found some of the '45s from The Cottage juke box that Ian Muzio "threw out" during my waitressing days in the late '60s and I have kept all this time! They include "Only You Know and I Know/Sad and Deep as You" by Dave Mason, "Statesboro Blues/Black Jack Davy" by Velvet Opera, "The Chase" Parts 1 & 2 by Lionel Hampton (Terry aka "Tez" - the surfer manager's favourite), "Where Do We Go From Here/25 or 6 or 4" by Chicago, "Little Woman/Just For You" by Dave Mason (this one actually has Ian's name on it), Living in the USA/Quicksilver Girl" by Steve Miller Band**, "Queen of Torture/Blind Eye" by Wishbone Ash, "Walk on By/Any Old Time of Day" by Dionne Warwick, "Blowin' in the Wind/Flora" by Peter, Paul and Mary, and finally .... "You Always Stand in My Way" by Aphrodite's Child. This last one is a really strange one and I couldn't remember it so I "googled" it and it came up as a Greek progressive rock band in the '60s with vocals by Demis Roussos of all people! ** Saw Steve Miller live just the other day - he's well over 60 now and played to a packed the stadium - he was great!

By Elaine (03/04/2013)

Anybody on here know what the original building was built for? It's such a strange and funny shape. It would be interesting to know.

By Ann Janes (11/06/2013)

Hi Ann, Although a bit difficult to determine precisely, I believe it was probably built at the end of the 18th century as a lodgings for the Schoolmaster at the nearby school. By 1822 it was apparently a Timber Merchants, which it remained for most of the rest of the 19th century. Regards, Andy.

By Andy Grant (12/06/2013)

Hi Tim, do you remember taking some of your first photos in sepia of our horse and dog in around 1977? You also bought my wife's Mini car from us. We worked for Rediffusion together. Hope you are well.

By Paul Tennant (13/06/2013)

I used to go there in the early 70s wearing my cheesecloth maxi dress, and eat lentils. I still look at it now and remember hanging around there being a hippy.

By Jenny Knight (14/06/2013)

Amazing memories on here. I am 57 now, grew up in Brighton, the Posada club rings a bell, but where was it? We used to go to the Friday Night Club (art college basement) opposite the King & Queen, dance the night away to Janis Joplin, Led Zep, Hendrix, Sly & the Family Stone etc., I saw Hawkwind at the Suite, a naked woman blew bubbles on stage throughout the show. Who remembers eating at Leadbelly's next to the Theatre Royal? Amazing burgers served on planks of wood! Ate there after my engagement party which was held upstairs at the Prince George in Trafalgar Street when Bernie and Mary owned it. Remember Saturday mornings spent there till closing time and then we went round the corner to the Bar J to play the jukebox and drink coffee with the would-be greasers (not a bike between most of them!). Brighton Rocked in those days!!

By Anne Webb (28/06/2013)

Hi Anne. We must be contemporaries, as I am also 57 and grew up in Brighton. Everything you mentioned is familiar to me ... Leadbellys was great wasn't it? I spent a few months working there and it was the most amount of fun one could have. Part of my job was to scrub the wooden platters - had to be done in near boiling water. Pink hands! One of the advantages of working there was taking home food that was due to expire. My housemates would be sitting around waiting for me to turn up with a cheesecake .. at 3am. A few years later, it became a favourite place for my wife and I to eat - we probably went there at least once a month from 1978 to 1982.

By Marc Turner (24/08/2013)

I have just found this site and read that Ian Muzio used to be the owner of "Billy's Cottage". As a boy l used to work at the same engineering works as his brother Doug, he was a nice man. The Lounge Coffee Bar was in the old Prudential offices in North St where the traffic lights are now opposite Ship St. This was the in place for the smart set in Brighton - you had to have your suits made by Eric Graves or Bernie Luper and everyone in the Lounge used to suck breath fresheners called Cachous which could be bought from Maynards in North St. Under the offices was a snooker hall called Tom Plums and a few shifty individuals used to frequent it. After a night out in town we all used to have a late supper in a restaurant in West St. called the "Palm Court" and we played the record called "All in the game" not by Cliff but a black American called Tommy Edwards who died a young man. In the basement of this building was another coffee bar called the "Oriential" and most people knew it by its nickname "The Ole". Happy Days - where did that 50 years go?

By Gerry Millard (22/10/2013)

I also worked with Doug and John Muzio at CVA K&T, but I didn't realise they were related to Ian Muzio of the Cottage!

By Peter Groves (24/10/2013)

Never remembered lentils on the menu  ..  and I worked in the kitchen!  Must have been after my time.

By Elaine (11/11/2013)

I  remember The Cottage very well especially the Chip Butties and the writing in the loo "beware of crabs, you are only 400 years from the beach". Then there was the great jukebox where we would listen out for they American imports, which we would purchase from the nearby record shop, to play on our very only pirate radio station Swinging Radio England.

By sogofbrighton (27/05/2014)

Muzio, are you still out there? Phil Galpin (ex Phil and Tanya)

By Phil Galpin (04/06/2014)

Can anybody help me with the name of a coffee bar that used to be on North St right at the bottom near Hanningtons? It was on the same side as Hanningtons and I remember we used to love going there after the cinema. They used to serve lovely Russian tea with lemon in those glasses with the metal holders; we thought it quite sophisticated. But I can't remember the name.

By Sandi Marchant (06/09/2014)

In reply to Elaine Plummer (15/10/12) the premises she remembers on North Road was called Bennett's Shops but, for the long Whitsun weekend in May 1970, was given over to a series of multi-media events under the banner of "South Sea Bubble", run by Sara Yeomans, Jenny Harris (of The Combination) and various Arts Lab people from all over the south-east.  The Arts Council of Great Britain had responded to badgering from the arts labs (of Brighton, Dorking, Guildford, Aldershot and others) by refusing ongoing financial support, but had made a one-off donation as a gesture.  It was agreed by all and sundry that a festival should be organised with the cash and so the South Sea Bubble weekend happened: a big street parade, lots of music, films, poetry, drama, children's entertainment, etc, and a big party to finish. A memorable few days for all who were there! 

By Graham Clarke (13/11/2014)

Could it be "The Continental" although this was actually in the Old Steine. Jen.

 

By Jen (14/11/2014)

Hi everyone, I can happily say Doug and Ian are still fighting fit! Any CVA K&T people around to get in touch with Doug please let me know. Many thanks, his son, Tim.

By Tim Muzio (28/11/2014)

Please tell Doug that the CVA/KTM Christmas get together is Wednesday 3rd December at the Cricketer's Pub, Eaton Road 7.30 onwards, he would be most welcome!

By Peter Groves (29/11/2014)

My great uncle Maurice Joseph a man of many talents, opened the Penny Farthing and if I am correct it was the first cafe with a juke box. As a musician myself, what a great era to have lived in.

By Simon Joseph (10/02/2015)

Many happy memories of The Cottage. I spent a fortune playing The velvet Opera single on the Juke Box. I remember Jo who looked a bit like Johnny Winter. I do remember Howard Wade. I was always going to gigs at The Big Apple and The Dome (still am) & I remember queuing for 80p ticket for the stones 10 March 1971 from Tiger Moth records (formerly Expansion) part of The Sticky Fingers tour. I had a friend called Alan Taylor, who I met at The Cottage. His life ambition was to see Zappa in concert. I managed to get him a ticket to see Zappa at The Rainbow in Finsbury park, but a disgruntled fan threw Zappa into an orchestra pit, injuring Zappa and causing the concert to be cancelled. I wonder if Alan ever did see Zappa in concert? I did circa 1979 at The Brighton Centre. I was never a fan, but he was brilliant in concert.  

By Brian Kulaway (05/03/2015)

Hi Brian, I don't remember you, but I knew Alan Taylor from the Cottage; I remember he was a keen photographer and took photos of the Stones at the Big Apple, would love to see them now! (Alan if you are still around how about putting them on this website?) 

By Peter Groves (06/03/2015)

Hi Brian, memory is a wonderful thing and don't we wish it could be better. I'm sorry but the only Brian I can remember was a mad Beefheart fan and you say you weren't keen on Zappa -how can this be? Oh yes thanks for the tickets by the way - no never did see him but he lives on, on my ipod. Now then visual memory this is poor I know but did you have long straight dark hair and a thin 'tache and used to wear a white/light jacket? That's bad I know and could be anyone ... so you still live in Brighton. I moved away 30 years ago. I still visit a lot of family and friends. Perhaps we could get together.  Peter, if you are reading this it was Tim Read who was the photographer - he is further up this website. I am Theresa's friend - we saw her and John last year.

By Alan Taylor (19/04/2015)

As I was born and bred in Brighton I remember the Cottage well. Fav things on it's juke box: Like a Rolling Stone by Dylan and All along the Watchtower by Hendrix. The Combination if I remember was open all night, and does anyone remember Infinity Foods and the Open Cafe? Lots of good times had in the Cottage/ Full Moon pub/ King and Queen/ Hungry Years/ The Norfolk/ The Western/ Basketmakers etc. Drop me a line at rogergb1@live.com if there is anyone out there who remembers the good times.

By Roger Graham-Bown (22/06/2015)

The first place I went to as a new student in Brighton, with the Doors' 'Light My Fire' blasting out.  Great memories!

By Carol Warnett (07/09/2015)

Irony or fate, after all these years I'm finally going to see CSN and the only place I could get tickets for was Brighton so we are coming south for the weekend. Pippa and I hope to see some familiar faces at the concert on the 19th - the task is to recognise each other.

By Alan Taylor (11/09/2015)

Message for Brian Kulaway:  I was a waitress / cook / bouncer before Jo.  I have the actual Velvet Opera single "Statesboro Blues / Black Jack Davy" that came out of the juke box at The Cottage.  Whenever Ian "updated" the juke box I always made sure I was within distance - I have some real classics.  Happy days for sure.

By Elaine (09/02/2016)

There are loads of names here that I remember. If you were late teens 60 years ago it was the place to be. The juke box was excellent, the music is still a great part of my current playlist. Tiger Records and the Big Apple. What a musical education.

By Steve Green (12/04/2016)

Living in the Lanes (yes, inhabited in those days) so no walk home to Portslade for me. I remember, or think I do, from the early to mid seventies the fried mushroom burgers and I am pretty sure they were burgers and not baguettes. Everyone else has mentioned the fantastic jukebox that I am sure had some Van Morrison. As to people, my lifelong friend Vince Kelly and his mates from Neville Secondary including Paul Hendon and Keith Albun ( who I think had a lovely girlfriend usually in a light raincoat). Rarely there was Steve Winter, who looked like Cat Stevens and wore an ex - army greatcoat " the same as the one Jimmy Page has".

By Adrian P Baron (14/04/2016)

The Lanes are more 'inhabited' than appears at first, the fact that there is a primary school in Middle Street would indicate a number of young families within walking distance. During a period of 'economic stringency' I did a  job delivering Thomson's directories in The Lanes and quickly realised that there are many people living above the shops and restaurants. Unlike many UK urban areas which have dead hearts, often referred to as 'the doughnut effect' where everyone leaves for the suburbs in the evening, Brighton has an untypically large inner city population.

By Geoffrey Mead (15/04/2016)

As a tribute to the Jukebox I have started a Facebook group: The Cottage Jukebox, Brighton.  It's a closed group, you need to ask to join, or be invited, mostly to avoid spammers.  There are a couple of old Cottage Jukebox lovers as Admin, so if you want to join please ask.  The goal is to share and enjoy the music that we heard there and that influenced our lives, it's not to replace this blog, it's all about the music.

By Steve Green (03/10/2016)

It's great to have come across this - felt I practically lived at The Cottage 1969/71, remember so many names and certainly Dave and Sylvie. Noticed Ada mentioned Dallas, I know he went to South Africa in 1973/74 and would love to contact him if anyone knows how?! Great to revive so many memories and hear Ian is still around, anyone remember mushrooms on toast? Amazing!

By Marilyn Bartholomew (20/11/2016)

I liked the way John Upton painted the place. I used to put on 'Bobo's Party' by Melanie Safka - she recorded it before she dropped her surname.

By Andrew Seear (01/12/2016)

Hi all. I didn't frequent the Cottage that much but do remember a mate called Neville nearly blowing himself and the Cottage up playing with home-brewed fireworks. He escaped, but was scarred for life. Great memories come flooding back of gigs at the Dome and of course the Big Apple. I also worked as a waiter at Leadbellys. The kitchen could be a bit violent. Feeling a bit ill one night, I had some Kaolin and morphine medicine with me. You are supposed to shake the stuff up before you take it as is separates out .When I wasn't looking one of the chefs took a straw and drank the morphine part of the bottle! I remember being stopped by the police as I rode back to Portslade on my motorbike at about 2am. They were concerned as one of the bungees holding the 5 litre icecream container full of lager strapped on the back of the bike had come loose! They didn't breathalyse me; I must have looked so innocent! I also saw Rufus at the Corn Exchange with Krakatoa. Roger Adams, I think we knew each other, but maybe not very well. I was a drummer and we may have played together. It must have been memorable! Going a bit further back, my first ever gig was Hendrix at the Dome, not bad, eh ! Spoilt a bit for me as, being only 14, my mum said I could only go if I wore a tie! Nick Poole

By Nick Poole (07/01/2017)

Hi Nick, your entries on this page and the Big Apple have been submitted. No need to send again. Best wishes, Editing team

By Nick Poole (09/01/2017)

When I was at Newhaven Tideway School up till 1971, I remember some girls in my year talking about "the Cottage" in Brighton. They suggested that it was the place to get the 'gear' that they were using, and I was given instructions on how to get there, after asking about it. One or two of them used to go there in the school lunch break and come back a bit high. Anyone remember Sarah Gregson, the school secretary's daughter? And there was a girl in the year above, with a brother in our year, who was into it all. I might remember her name in a bit.

By Dawn Hamilton (30/01/2017)

I remember her name now - Mary Harper. For some reason she seemed to be held in regard by those using influential chemicals, in my year. What a shame none of them mentioned the Stable Bar, also in Brighton. And does anyone know what happened to Mary, Sarah, or others?

By Dawn Hamilton (13/02/2017)

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