Station Road, Portslade

Once the boundary between Hove and Portslade

By Martin Nimmo

Once forming the boundary (down the centre of the road) between Hove and Portslade, the road still has one name on the East (Hove) side and another on the West (Portslade) side.

When the Hove Corporation Act 1912 was passed by Parliament, it contained powers for the Corporation to pull up the lines of the 'Brighton and Shoreham Tramway', a horse tramway (to begin with, a steam tramway) that ran from Shoreham Station along the coast road to Portslade, up to New Church Road and along that road to the boundary between Aldrington and Hove (it never reached Brighton) at Westbourne Villas. Hove did indeed rip up the rails within its 1912 boundaries, and the trams were left with a "monorail" in Station Road, Portslade. The last tram was not long delayed!

Sent to the website by e-mail 12/09/2002
This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page

Hi, does any one out there remember Vine & Lees Garage at 19-22 Station Road, located where Tescos entrance now stands. I joined the company in 1966, my first job on leaving school.  Also there were Les Goatcher, Ray Way and later brother Phil, Chris Howard, Cecil Peters, George Greenfield, John Player, Greg Daws, Jim the workshop manager, Joan in the office, Stan in the wash bay, Susan Gander up in the office, Les Hastings in the body shop, and many more the names of which I cannot remember.  Can anybody else comment and has any one any photos?

By Ken Barrington (23/11/2009)

My uncle was Ken Lee (the Lee in Vine and Lee); somewhere in the family there are pictures of the garage and workshops. But as in all families, we have drifted all over the world, and it may be a long process to find out who has what.

By Neil Underhill (10/01/2010)

I started as an apprentice at Vine and Lees in August 1958 and at that time Vine and Lees also had another branch on the corner of South Road and Preston Road in Brighton, just along the road from a garage called Dreadnoughts. Attached to the Portslade Garage there was a Cycle Shop called AWL Cars, I believe it was the initials of A.W.Lee. The site of the first garage started by Ken Lee's father, Bellmans, was next door. Ken Lee was a keen collector of vintage motor cars. I remember there was a 1908 Renault, possibly a taxi, that was so complicated to start up that George Greenfield, then in his 60s, was the only person who could start it. There was a 1936 Aston Martin that was regularly entered for the Concourse de Elegance, and a very early Austin 7 with a fabric body. The various local companies that we dealt with, we supplied their reps' cars, was Ronuk Polishes based at Hove station and H.J. Greens Cake Mixes. Other fellow mechanics that I remember from that era: Melvin Hook (unfortunately no longer with us) and Johnny Wheeler who I still see from time to time, Jim Foster the workshop foreman, and Dennis the Menace the diesel expert.

By Raymond Way (23/01/2010)

I'm not sure if Ronuk Polishes had another factory or maybe offices at Hove Station, but I do recall the main factory being just off Victoria Road, Portslade. If you go through the cattle arch below the railway line, from Vale Road towards Victoria Road, the factory was in what is now a small business park on your left. I recall going past it every day from 1957 to 1960, on my way to Benfield school.

By Alan Phillips (25/01/2010)

Hi Ray nice to here from you, I also remember George Greenfield, when he retired he gave me his clip board! I still have it. He was also the only one that could get the water pump to pump that drained the underground tank after heavy rain. Do you remember a trip you and I took to a farm up in mid Sussex I think owned by Ken Lee to get an old tractor started? How is Phil? There was also a mk 7 Jag stored in the lockups which I seem to have always been polishing - grey in colour I think.

By Ken Barrington (17/02/2010)

Hi Neil, Ken here, it would be fantastic to have some photos of the old site as I have so many happy memories of my 5 years working at Vine and Lees, I believe that there was no Lee is that correct?  labrador2@btinternet.com

By Ken Barrington (17/02/2010)

Hi Ken, Phil is very well - still lives in Brighton, up at Hollingbury, works for the council in Stanmer Park, hopes to retire in the next year or so. Johnny Wheeler is still driving buses a couple of days a week. Ken Lee bought a farm up at Staplefield and we used to go up there and service that old Fordson Major, you had to start it on petrol then switch it over to Parafin T.V.O. I did a clutch on that thing one winter out in the open in the snow with only the sheep for company - it nearly killed me. Other members of staff you may remember in the lube bay was Eric Lilley and his brother in law Phil, they both had Bond Minicars but that might have been before your time, and in the Wash Bay was Alex who I think was Ken Lees Batman in the Army, and then there was Brian Share who ran the stores. He came over from Preston Road with a Mike and a chap who lived up Bear Road when they closed the branch. Remembering George Greenfield, do you remember that old chain drive lift in the Commercial shop where we did that horrible undersealing - filthy job, the chain always used to break when you got a car half way down. He was always the one who had to repair it. if anybody wants to get in touch my e-mail address is: raymond.way1@ntlworld.com

By Raymond Way (15/04/2010)

I bet lots of people who use this site will remember the Rothbury cinema in Franklin Road. Saturday morning pictures were always full to the brim. The site now is the offices of Southern Sound. Opposite in the early days of the 50s was Family Television offices. Of a night you could stand outside the cinema and see a reflection of the film on the wall of Family Television. Some locals used to call the Rothbury the flea pit, however I never got bitten by anything all the time I used the cinema.

By Dave Broad (14/07/2010)

I would love to make contact with anybody that worked at Vine and Lee.

By les goacher (06/09/2010)

Hi Les (Toto), I should like to hear from you, email me labrador2@btinternet.com.

By Ken Barrington (27/09/2010)

Hi Les. Nice to hear that you haven't left this mortal coil. My email address is raymond.way1@ntlworld.com  Get in touch.

By Raymond Way (05/11/2010)

The Rothbury was a more upper class establishment, it was the Pavilion Cinema that was in North Street, Portslade that we used to call the Bug Hutch or flea pi-, it had a balcony with the projection room below, so we used lower gloves tied on to string which would then appear on the screen, best to do it when there was a smoochy moment for the best results. Another good trick was if there was no one in the row of seats in front of you, you could push the seat in front with your foot, and the whole row of empty seats fell forward, those were the days.

By Peter Abbott (10/11/2010)

Hi Peter, you have just bought back some memories of the pavilion. I remember going upstairs. There was a group of us and we used to do what you, we got thrown out off there more times than I can think of. The women who gave you your tickets (her name was Quick) also showed you to your seats and sold the ice creams and used to spray the flit. Her son was called Bing, they were good times. I used to live just up the road in East Street.

By Beryl Thompson nee morley (14/11/2010)

I remember Saurday morning pictures at the Rothbury; the organ rising up in front of the stage and us kids singing along to "the red, red robin keeps bobbin' along", also visiting the ice cream parlour afterwards.

By Sylvia Crowe nee Denman (01/02/2011)

Hi Sylvia, yes I remember the Saturday morning pictures at the Rothbury and singing along to red red robin, also I remember them asking if it was anybody's birthday and all the kids running up on stage. Shame those days don't happen now. I also remember the ice cream parlour. Nice to hear from you.

By Beryl Thompson (nee Morley) (05/02/2011)

Hi, I am the engineer at Heart, formally Southern FM. Does anyone have any photos of the building either inside or out of the old Rothbury cinema please? If you do I would love to see them. There are still parts of the old cinema that can be seen in the radio station. My e-mail address is Gary.hornbuckle@heart.co.uk  Many thanks.

By Gary Hornbuckle (05/12/2011)

I remember the Rothbury where we used to get someone to pay 6d to get in and let the rest of us in through the fire exit in the mens toilet. Sometimes we were caught by the manager; we called him Remus. The owners of the Rothbury had a Rover 90 and lived in Portland Villas.

By John Baker (05/04/2012)

I remember Station Road very well, me and my mate were sent down from Tyneside to work on a fairly big job in Southwick, we were two 18 year old apprentice fitters. The foreman dropped us off in Station Rd. said there you are lads find yourself digs, 8 o'clock sharp on the job, Monday morning; it was Friday about 3oclock. Across the road was a store called Bellmans - in we went bought a few things went to pay for them. The women on the till had heard us talking and said where you two from? South Shields on Tyneside, we said, I'm from Washington which is only 10 miles from us. We told we were looking for digs she said straight away that she would put us up. We could not believe our luck; she was Gertie Glenister, her husband Doug, brother Robert, daughter Carol, sister Alice, I think. All lived at 32 St Aubyns road in Portslade. The job we were working on was a big substation and contol room on the Old Shoreham road just past the Kaysor Bondor factory. We worked there for a couple of years, it was a great place to be. Then the army called; Ken was posted to Gibraltar, me to Aden, Omam and Malaya and who wrote to me and Ken for two years, young Carol. I am coming to Brighton end of August for the first time in 50 years, if she is still around I would to meet up again. My e-mail addres is jimkirkley@hotmail.co.uk.

By Jim Kirkley (11/07/2013)

Hi, this company belonged to  my great great grandfather, we have many pictures of the company, employees and the cars themselves and company historical parts, branded ash trays, etc. I have always been fascinated by it all.

By Adam Dryer (01/09/2013)

I would like to thank the editors who printed my note and the info I got from various people. We met up with Carol and had a good chat and laugh about the 50s when we all young kids. Carol lives with her husband Brian in Southwick. We had coffee in the little snack bar next to Tescos on Station road. Thanks alot. Jim Kirkley.

By Jim Kirkley (18/10/2013)

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