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Hudson's, East St was an absolute delight. I well remember going shopping with my mum and we would go along East St just to look around the store. What I always recall is the smell of all that food! Big red bacon slicers, coffee roasters and (to us) very exotic looking foods. It was the Fortnum and Mason of Brighton. What a shock for the staff to go to Fine Fare, which at that time many would remember as Bellman's, very down market after Hudson's!

By Geoffrey Mead (30/03/2009)

Their homemade apple pies were truly delicious. I would stroll down from Gilletts on a Friday to get one for my lunch.

By Terry A (31/03/2009)

I loved looking in this shop, loved the smells. The assistants all looked so clean and smart. I recall three such wonderful shops in Brighton. One was in Bartholomews, just up from Hudsons. The other was in St James Street, Meads? Anyway, it was where Boots is now. Oh how I wish those shops were with us now.

By Jennifer Tonks nee Smith (31/03/2009)

The East Street Hudson's used to sell whole roasted chickens from the spit and the smell was absolutely delicious. I remember going to buy one once - we must have been flush as it was considered a fairly pricey place.

By Adrian Baron (06/08/2009)

I would visit this shop with my mother, I recall the aroma of its delights and Christmas was wonderful.Shame that shops like that closed to awful supermarkets.

By Gillian Drake (04/01/2012)

My great grandfather, James Hudson, on my grandmothers side of the family, had 11 children and together with one of his sons was instrumental in creating Hudson Bros a chain of high class provision merchants. They had about 30 shops mainly in London and Home Counties James Hudson built and lived at Capenor Nutfield Surrey. Direct descendants are welcome to contact me.

By Charles Lown (01/03/2012)

I worked opposite at Hanningtons from 1966. I loved the smells of the cooking of their fabulous pies and would buy a pie for my lunch - sometimes savoury, sometimes sweet - they were lovely. Really missed that shop.

By Jenny Caig (12/01/2013)

Fabulous shop, much missed. From 1961-69 I worked for The Automobile Association in Marine Parade and would often walk down in my lunch hour with 'orders' from other colleagues for a variety of their mouthwatering pies! East Street had some fine shops such as Cresta and Jaeger which were rather out of my price range as a teenager - but I could dream!

By Elaine Chamberlain (25/03/2013)

I currently own The Chambers in Folkestone which is on the site of the old Hudson Brothers store. I've been looking for years to track down some pictures of the site when it was trading as HB's but as of yet have been unsuccessful. Discovering this thread could be really useful especially the comments by Charles Lown. I'd be hugely grateful if someone would be able to start me on the right path to discovering the history of the Folkestone Hudson Brothers store on the corner of Sandgate road & Cheriton Place. Many thanks in advance to whomever can help.

By Chris Smith (20/06/2014)

Chris, the basic local history start to your quest is to visit a local archive or local history section of the library and work through the street directories(usually Kellys[red books]and Pikes [blue books]). These finish in 1974 so best to work back from there with a known address. Archives will have rate books which will give you more info and if really lucky they may have GOAD insurance maps,at a very large scale with extra info on the layout and use of different buildings. As Folkestone does not[I think...]have a site similar to'My B&H' a letter to the localpaper may yield some info.

By Geoffrey Mead (23/06/2014)

I have a photo of what was Hudson Brothers. It is now a coffee shop in Sandgate Road, corner of Cheriton Place.

By Hudson Brothers (27/08/2014)

Hudson Brothers was later owned by the Canadian millionaire Garfield Weston who is the founder of the company now called Associated British Foods, which has many companies such as Primark.

By John Leach (27/08/2014)

Frank Hudson had built up the business of Hudson Bros, cheesemongers and provision merchants, with his brother James, dubbed the ‘Butter King’ of the London market by the Pall Mall Gazette in 1886. From their base at 50-52 Ludgate Hill, London, they came to have 30 branches in London and the South. From 1874 and for the next 100 years, there was a branch of Hudson Bros. at 67 East Street, Brighton. Regarded as ‘High Class’ grocers, the firm survived until the mid-1970’s when they were bought out by Garfield Weston’s Associated British Foods. It is said that staff from the up-market Brighton store were then transferred to the down-market Fine Fare supermarket, which ABF also owned and the East Street store closed.

Frank and his brother James had become very rich from the grocery business. Frank had bought a country estate near Sevenoaks where he became prominent in Liberal party politics, the church and local causes. He was fond of Brighton & Hove and spent time here with his wife in the 1890’s, taking a house at Lewes Crescent in 1896 & 1897.

Upon his death in 1899, the Sevenoaks Chronicle of 27th October 1899 wrote ‘As a business man Mr Hudson was the architect of his own success. His father died in 1846 when he was only ten years old and nine years later he took over from his elder brother, James, his father’s business and from this they built up the enormous connection which the firm now enjoys. During the Franco- Prussian War of 1870 they introduced the dairy produce of France into this country, an event which has revolutionized the provision trade of the Metropolis. Mr Frank Hudson was the first civilian to enter Paris after the famous siege was raised. His firm had consigned many tons of hams and other provisions to the French capital, and [he] undertook the responsible and risky task of conducting the transit of the cargo. He triumphantly surmounted all obstacles and, by travelling  concealed in the luggage van, succeeded in conveying the greatly needed food to the starving inhabitants of the City” The obituary does not say whether this was an act of charity or commerce but there is no doubt that Frank had a social conscience.

By Andrew Doig (30/08/2015)

I am fascinated to read Andrew Doigs post. I am 72 now and worked for Hudson Brothers throughout the 60s starting in Folkestone and then working in Cheapside, Bishopsgate, Bedford Street, Highgate and South Kensington. A few years ago I contacted ABF to see what information and history they had of Hudson's but they said they had none so Andrews information was interesting . I seem to remember the head office by then was in Baker Street and the MD was a Dr Davies  .



By Malcolm Batchelor (21/12/2015)

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