Mystery photos of Brighton and Hove

Works outing circa 1920

By Nick Pattenden

This looks like a works outing in about 1920. My grandfather Arthur Pattenden is in the middle row, second from the right. The sign the man in the front row is holding reads 'Ben Parker Wine and Spirit Merchant Cliftonville Hotel Hove'. I have no idea who these men are, other than my grandfather. He was a bus driver - perhaps they are all bus personnel going on a works outing? Any clues anyone?

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Mystery photos of Brighton and Hove' page

From the private collection of Nick Pattenden

This page was added on 20/12/2008.
Comments about this page

Whilst I cannot comment on the 'whys' and 'wherefores'' of this picture, I never cease to be amazed by the clarity and detail of many of these old pictures. I wonder what camera might have been used.

By John Wall VK2GQK (21/12/2008)

Further to the above, my memory was jogged, and I remembered a film many many years ago where the late Jack Warner - " Evenin' all " played the part of a railway engine driver. I don't remember the plot but I do remember that in the end he was promoted to Inspector or some such title and the scene faded out where he was proudly wearing his new badge of office. A bowler hat. In the photograph there are four types of hat. The cloth cap. The boater or straw hat. The bowler hat and one gentleman wearing a black Homburg. I wonder whether the particular hats were a badge of the persons' strata in society.

By John Wall (23/12/2008)

Add to the above. The film referred to was "Train of Events" made in 1949.

By John Wall (25/12/2008)

Just a suggestion: could the outing have been for customers of Ben Parker, Wine and Spirit Merchants, rather than an actual works outing? (The phrase "couldn't organise a p*ss-up in a brewery" comes unbidden to my mind, although this outing looks undeniably well-organised...)

By Honor (01/01/2009)

My great great grandmother's sister was married to Ben Parker. I wonder if that is him holding the sign. He was proprietor of the Cliftonville Hotel from at least 1906 to 1911.

By Bev Morris (14/04/2013)

It could well be a bus company outing, the "Blood Hole" (so called because of the fights that took place; it was rumoured someone once fought a bear there) was the lower part of the Cliftonville Hotel and was at the end of Conway Street just along from the Bus Depot by the steps leading to Goldstone Villas and Hove Station. 

By John Cording (21/11/2013)

Every single man wearing a hat and nearly all of them sporting a moustache.

By Alan Phillips (03/06/2016)

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.