My early memories working in Brighton

The Academy Cinema, West Street, which was remodelled in 1939, photographed on 22 October 1972.
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

When I was 16 I worked at Taylor’s developing and printing works, it was next door to the Academy cinema on West Street we used to print all the holiday snaps and pictures that people would take to their local chemist eg. Boots and Timothy Whites. The bank holidays were dreaded as everyone seemed to take photos then and the workload became manic after the weekends. We would work sometimes up to nine o’clock and were expected to stay till late with no overtime money as in the winter we would finish work at around 4 as there was so little work to do then. I left after 3 years and moved to London where I became a dancer.

My first tour

This was a tour of Oklahoma and one of the theatres we were to play at was the Hippodrome in Brighton, alas the tour ended before our company got to play there. I had grown up watching so many shows and pantos there. I saw Frankie Vaughn, Hetty King ( male impersonator) Max Wall, Max Miller, and Tommy Trinder. That was the first time I had ever seen UV and everyone thought it was magic when the costumes all appeared in bright colours in the dark.

Comments about this page

  • I used to see this view every working day from 1968 until 1971 when the firm I worked for moved from the Phoenix building to Hove.

    By John Stubbs (22/08/2023)
  • My Early Memories Working in Brighton

    In August 1965 I started my first job working for the Alliance Building Society (as it was known then) in Brighton. Most of the firm’s departments were in Princes House in North Street but people might not know or remember that the clerical/secretarial offices were actually above the dress shop Delia Day which was further up the road towards the Clock Tower. When I started this job I was really an office junior and I learned quite a lot of different clerical and secretarial tasks. At this time no photocopiers were in the workplace and so, if letters required a couple of copies, these needed to be done with carbon copies. If lots of copies of documents were required then these would need to be done with a duplicating machine. A courier would bring work from, and take work back to Princes House. If work was urgent and had missed the last courier then I needed to hurry down North Street and deliver it to the relevant person/department in Princes House after which I could go home. At lunchtimes I would often go with work colleagues to a coffee bar which I now can’t remember the name of but it was just up a bit from Delia Day about where Boots is now, it had a juke box which we all liked to play.

    In 1967 all the Alliance departments moved together to the new office building in Orchard Road, Hove right beside Hove Park. Here there were lovely and spacious open plan offices. There was a wonderful subsidised restaurant with a seating area behind where you could sit and chat with colleagues or just relax. Hove Park was just a few minutes away and it was always nice to just go there. There was also a very good sports and social club. We would have an annual dinner and dance at the Top Rank Suite where the men would wear evening suits and the women would wear cocktail or evening dresses. A photographer would take photos of everyone as they arrived and later as they sat at their tables. Copies of the photos were available to purchase a bit later on. I worked with many lovely people at both offices, rather too many to mention here and, certainly, I’ve forgotten the names of some. These were happy times for me and I enjoyed worked for the Alliance Building Society for around 7 years before deciding to move on to pastures new. Are there any ex Alliance employees that remember these times? It would be nice to hear from you and to share your memories.

    By Carolyn Jones (05/09/2023)
  • Ny dad, Ted Nelson worked at the Academy cinema from the early 1960’s to 1972 when we moved to Shropshire. My earilest memories are of going to the cinema to watch The Jungle Book, Mary Poppins and Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang!

    By Carol-Lynn Nelson-Rye (24/09/2023)
  • Places I worked in Hove and Brighton. Kaysor Bondars,Portslade, Stuart Norris Hove, I T Office Equipment Brighton. One company I worked for made tin plant holders. We had to cut out the shape then solder and paint it a rather nice dark green. For the life of me I can’t remember the name of the company in Hove.

    By Colin Philcox (20/11/2023)
  • To Colin Philcox – would it have been M&B Metals in Portslade ?

    By Stephen Luigi Smith (27/03/2024)
  • I was an apprentice at MB Metals Ltd., in Portslade (NB: not M&B Metals Ltd), from 1965 to 1970. They mostly made equipment for the MOD (bomb racks, predominantly) as well as various other electronics devices. To my knowledge, they never made tin plant holders, nor anything even remotely similar.

    By Alan Phillips (27/03/2024)

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