City Insights

Hollingbury Library: Fabulous 50s Reminiscence

By Jennifer Drury

'Never had it so good'

The war was over and we were promised that austerity was over too. Harold Macmillan the Prime Minister told us we had 'Never had it so good'. It was a era of great optimism but times could still be hard; early on rationing was still in place. But at least we saw the end of sweet rations!

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'City Insights' page

What about these prices?

Remember the time when the average house price was £1,790? What about a gallon petrol for 4/6d - that's 22.5p in new money. How about 5d for a loaf of bread? Do you remember Teddy Boys and winkle picker shoes? How about going down to the pub to sit and sip a Babycham?

Why not join us?

Come along to Hollingbury Library on Thursday 12th November at 10am-12pm and join in our reminiscence session. We have lots of 1950s memorabilia and photos and film of Brighton at that time. For any further information - phone 01273 296908

We hope to see you there for a trip down memory lane.

This page was added on 03/11/2011.
Comments about this page

The mention of the 'notorious' Teddy Boys reminded me of the time when I was the assistant Manager of a large South London cinema. Sunday was the worst day of the week and more often than not we had to call the Police to turf out the offenders. However there were moments of humour when a policeman remarked to one Ted, "Do your feet go to the end of those winkle pickers?", which resulted in the immediate reply "Does your 'ed go ter the top of your 'elmet?"

By John Wall (04/11/2011)

I have lived in the USA for 45 years, 35 of them in New Jersey (or, as they say here "noo joisey"), but my first 45 years were spent in England, mainly in Brighton. Mention of the "large cinema in South London," reminded me of the Arcadia, or what we called "The Scratch," in Lewes Road, on the west side, just past the bottom of Elm Grove. Here we could enter for tuppence, on Saturday afternoons to see such actors as Laurel and Hardy, and William Boyd (Hop-along Somebody). The seats had no arm-rests, which allowed the manager to come along with a torch (called a flashlight in the USA), and tell us kids to move along (three or four small bottoms on two seats), to allow more kids to come in and be seated. We often sat through the interval between films to see the program round again. The name Scratch referred to the possibility of being flea-bitten, though that never happened to me. I believe the cinema building is now gone, though I don't know what took its place. What a wonderful place Brighton was/is.

By Robert E. (Bob) Green (30/04/2013)

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