Residences, occupations and businesses

By referring to various Brighton directories from 1820-1920, a snapshot of Trangmar residences, occupations and businesses can be gained.  It seems that Trangmar business successes occurred not only in Brighton but also in Australia. They also appear to originate from the same family at Upper Beeding. William Trangmar and Susan Tanner were married there on the 15th October, 1776, and had five children: William (1778); Mary (1781); James (1783); John Tanner (1786); and Anthony (1789).

Baxter’s 1822 directory
In the Baxter’s directory of 1822, William is a milkman living at 7 West Street. He is also listed here in the 1824 and 1832 editions. In the Kelly’s of 1845, he is now listed as a dairyman at 37 Russell Street. Also in the Baxters directory of 1822, it gives Messrs J & J Trangmar being grocers at 8 Boyces Street. It is the same in the 1824 edition. Using the information from the directories, I believe this to be James and John Tanner. Although J.T. is not used in the initials, by the 1832 edition James and John (T?) have separate enterprises. John (T?) is still using the Boyces Street premises.

Oldest native resident of Brighton
Confirmation that it was John Tanner appears to come from the Sussex Express of the 29th April, 1884, titled “Death of the oldest native inhabitant of Brighton” in which it states, “The death of Mrs Trangmar (mother of Mr W.G. Trangmar of the Queens Road) who died at her residence in Russell Square on Tuesday at the great age of 92 is interesting as she being we believe the oldest native resident of Brighton.”

Widow of John Tanner Trangmar
Mrs Trangmar was the widow of Mr John Tanner Trangmar, grocer, who over 50 years since was in business in Boyces Street, (then a trading centre of the town) and subsequently in North Street. The deceased lady was born in Brighton Place in 1792 when the “Pretty Fisher Village” was in the full tide of its “Golden era” of early prosperity though it contained but 1200 houses and some 5,000 inhabitants (about one twentieth of the number now). Mrs Trangmars maiden name was Sawyer and she married John Tanner at St Nicholas Church Brighton on the 21st August 1822.  Although John Tanner is declared bankrupt in August 1840 he appears at 148, North Street as a grocer in 1845. By 1850, the same property is listed under his sons William George and John’s names, now a grocers and tea dealers.

Queens Road in 1865
By 1865, the business has moved to 96 Queens Road as William George and Co Grocers. In 1875, in what seems a change of direction but in the same premises, it is listed as Trangmar and Co Accountants, Auctioneers, Appraisers and House Agents. In the Pages, 1885, it is just listed as Trangmar and Co, with the last found reference coming from the Pages of 1900 as Trangmar and Wilshin Auctioneers, still at 96 Queens Road and now on the telephone (322).

James – 80 Western Road
James now appears as a grocer in the 1832 Baxters at 80, Western Road. By the Kellys of 1845, he has moved to number 70 of the same road. There is no further mention of him after that. Six of James’s children emigrated to Australia where another successful business was established by his eldest son, James, in Portland, Victoria. This again continued through further generations of Trangmars.

Anthony – Queens Street
Anthony appears as a grocer, firstly in Baxters 1824 at 27 Queens Street. By 1832, he is listed at 30 London Road, moving to 114 London Road in 1845 and is still there in 1850. His son, Tanner, appears as a signwriter and grainer of 51 London Road in the 1875 Pages directory and Windsor Street in the 1885 edition. In turn, Tanner’s two sons are shown in Pages for 1900. The eldest, Victor Edwin, follows in his fathers trade as a signwriter at 44, Cheapside.

In the 1910 through to the 1930 editions, he is recorded as a decorator at 52 Park Terrace Crescent. He is still there in 1938 but no occupation is given. By 1947, the occupant is given just as Mrs Trangmar. Victor Edwin, being born in 1861, had no doubt passed away. As well as his occupational skills with the decorating brush, he was also a well-known Brighton artist.

Herbert Edward – Church Road
Tanner’s other son, Herbert Edward, like his brother first appears in the Pages directory of 1900. He is a solicitor and Commissioner of Oaths at 132 Church Road, moving to number 73 of the same road by 1910, complete with Hove 8934 as his phone number. The Pikes edition of 1930 shows him still there in the same profession.

A picture from the Hove Gazette and Brighton and County Graphic of July 13th, 1907, shows Herbert Edward as a Councillor. It appears he represented Medina Ward in Brighton between 1904 and 1914.

Comments about this page

  • My grandfather, Albert, lived, as I did, in Pelham Square, Brighton, for many years and was a champion fisherman off the then Palace Pier for several years. My father Douglass was a sailor during the war on HMS Howe.

    By Steve Trangmar (17/07/2008)
  • All my life I have been a keen angler and directly the Palace Pier was opened after the war I started fishing the pier. Bert, as everyone knew him, was my hero and he was one of the best anglers I ever knew and I was in the angling trade in Brighton from 1949 until retiring in 1999. so I did meet one or two.

    By Ted Holgate (23/10/2008)
  • Beatrice Trangmar – born 1939/1940 in Brighton. I am trying to locate Beatrice Trangmar, who attended Pelham School for Girls from 1951 – 1955. Beatrice was in my class. So far, I have managed to locate some of the girls from this era – they are scattered around the world. We are all keen to meet up in Brighton in August / September 2010 – having done so on the Gold Coast, Australia in October 2008. Sheila Main, Linda Trussell, Yvonne Brown, and I were there. If anyone knows of Beatrice would they be so kind as to email me at  My maiden name was Bertha Byrne but now known as Elizabeth. With many thanks for any help.

    By Elizabeth Byrne-Fong (Bertha Byrne) (19/02/2010)
  • Hi Steve, your dad Doug, was he a painter at Brighton Polytecnic?

    By Andy (22/05/2011)
  • I lived at number 5 Pelham Square with the Trangmar family. It was only for a short time around Christmas 1958 as my mum and dad had split up. I went to school with Vanessa at St. Bartholomews juniors- I lived with her and her brother and mum and dad. She now lives in France, I found her on Friends Reunited.

    By Anne Newman (23/05/2011)
  • Hi Andy, I’m Steve’s sister and yes, our dad Doug did work as a painter at the Brighton Polytechnic.

    By Vanessa Crouch (nee Trangmar) (25/01/2012)
  • Hi Vanessa, I worked beside your dad, I was the resident caretaker at the seafront halls of residence in Eastern Terrace seafront. Doug was the painter – great guy, very pleasant. Me and the carpenter Les and Doug would have our tea-break together. How is Doug? Hope he’s ok. He done some decorating in my flat for me in 1986. Take care, Andy. Brighton Polytechnic.

    By Andy (22/04/2012)
  • Hi Vanessa, I doubt if you remember me but when I was 16/17 we used to meet up in Brighton at the weekends went to a couple of what was then called clubs. I had a old black car that broke down near the bowling alley, your mum I think was a hairdresser you lived in the corner house in Pelham Square. You wont believe this, but I still remember your telephone number, simply because you told me that should I forget it, it comes to 999 it was 63963. Hope you remember me Dave.

    By Dave Tregunno (25/04/2012)
  • Hi Andy, We had a family party for my father in July 2006 to celebrate his 80th birthday but unfortunately he had a fall at home 2 months later and broke his neck. The part of the spine that was damaged also affected his breathing and he sadly passed away 5 days later. Dad loved it when he was painting and decorating and taught me his skills so I now do all our decorating. He was a lovely man and we all still miss him very much. Thank you for your reply.

    By Vanessa Crouch (nee Trangmar) (04/05/2012)
  • Hi Dave, Thank you for your comments. As far as I can remember, I used to go to the Florida rooms near the Palace Pier and the Starlight rooms in Montpelier Road with a group of friends, one of which was probably you but I’m afraid my memory isn’t as good as it used to be! My mum wasn’t a hairdresser but I did live in Pelham Square, although not the corner house. You certainly have a great memory if you can remember my old telephone number. I had completely forgotten it but you have now jogged my memory and I’m sure you’re correct. Well done!

    By Vanessa Crouch (nee Trangmar) (04/05/2012)
  • Hi Vanessa. Here I was thinking that you were still looking for me lol, but no I wasn’t one of your gang, I used to come down and meet you by train from London and I used to walk you back down the hill to the square where you lived in the corner. Well I thought it was the corner, but then you used to come back to the station with me to get my train back to London. It was the Starlight Rooms that we went to – a very dingey place but good at the time. I even remember first meeting you near the Palace Pier- we met every Saturday or Sunday depending if I had the money to get down to you. It was 1963 or 64 not sure, the last time we met was when we went to see the old banger I drove down there in which broke down near the bowling alley – it was freezing. I’ve always remembered your number by what you said how not to forget it. I still love Brighton but it’s not the same without you LOL. your broken hearted Dave

    By Dave Tregunno (07/05/2012)
  • Hi Vanessa. I am sorry to hear about your dad – that is so sad – what a great guy he was. I was just remembering me and your dad bought a watch each from Les the carpenter and we were trying to decide which watch he wanted and which one I wanted. I think Doug ended up buying the silver one and I bought the black pulsar one. I also found out Les the carpenter passed away 4 years ago – also sad to hear that. RIP Doug – will always remember you as a great guy.

    By Andy Law (24/07/2012)
  • As a child, I often visited my grandparents at 5 Pelham Square, this was min the late 1950s to mid 1960s.

    By Trevor Trangmar (05/10/2013)
  • Hi Vanessa, I believe my grandmother knew some of your relatives because she arrived from Switzerland in 1932 to become governess to the Stanmer family at Preston Manor. She then, after World War II, purchased an entire row of houses in Brunswick Square, Hove and the ones adjoining at Brunswick Street West.  Anyway, I believe that there was something that your family had business-wise that my grandmother may have invested in or had involvement in, but I may have to concur with my aunt and uncle.

    By Raymond Francis (26/04/2015)
  • My name is Joanna Trangmar. I have only just seen this page and very interesting it is all the comments. I am the sister of Trever Trangmar and my dad sadly no longer with us was James Edward Trangmar. I would love to hear from other Trangmars. All the best.

    By Joanna Trangmar (12/01/2020)
  • Was he Jim Trangmar who worked at CAV?

    By Peter Groves (12/01/2020)
  • I’m not sure but he was a decorator and also painted the railway carriages too. My mum was Eleanor and we lived in the Avenue in Moulsecoomb.I’m the youngest and Roger and Trever are my brothers, and Shelley and Vanessa are my sisters.

    By Joanna Trangmar (14/01/2020)
  • I am not sure I know that he did painting and decorating and he painted the railway carriages.

    By Joanna Trangmar (15/01/2020)
  • Hi Joanna, I’ve only just seen your comments. Trevor Trangmar, who visited his/my grandparents had a sister but her name is Heather and their father’s name was Percy. What a coincidence that there are two Trevor Trangmars.

    By Vanessa Crouch (16/07/2020)
  • Hi – My Great, Great Uncle was Albert (Bert) the champion fisherman. He was married to a Swiss Lady ( we are unsure of her name) or their children. Bert was the Brother of David Trangmar (Printer) There was around 12 Brothers we understand.

    By Kia Trangmar (27/01/2023)

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