Zoe Brigden: aquatic entertainer

Zoe Brigden
From a private collection
Zoe Brigden
From a private collection
Zoe Brigden Aquatic Entertainer
From a private collection

Zoe Brigden was my maternal grandmother’s cousin.  She was a well known figure in the area, especially in the early years of the 20th century.  According to local history sources she performed between 1915 and 1924, giving diving exhibitions. She would dive from a high board on the West Pier.  My aunt was told that Zoe would swim from the West Pier to the Palace Pier as well.  I believe she was on of several ‘Aquatic Entertainers’ and I am sure I found reference to a raft or display platform that was moored near the West Pier and used as part of the displays given.  Perhaps someone else knows more?

Where did all the Brighton Brigdens go?
I only found out about Zoe in the 1980s, when I had started to pursue my family history.  Regrettably she died in 1983 and I wish I had found her sooner.  Zoe’s cousin, my grandmother, was Mabel Brigden. Sadly she died in 1914, aged only 27 and there seems to have been little contact with her family after her death.  I have never found any close living Brigden relatives apart from a distant cousin in Birmingham.  I wonder where all the Brighton Brigdens went?

Brigden family in Cuckfield
The Brigden family mentioned spent many generations living in and around Cuckfield.  The Brighton branch came into being when George, son of Thomas and Ann, moved to the town.  Henry (also known as George) was one of at least 11 children born to Thomas and Ann, several of whom died young. Zoe is one of Henry’s grandchildren. My line is from his son, Lewis, but Zoe’s father was called William, who married Emma Levett (or Lovett). Most of the family were in the tailoring business but William branched out and combined this with undertaking. Eventually the undertakers took over. (No pun intended.) It was William who handled the funeral of my grandmother in 1914.

I have found a few references to Zoe in various publications:-

‘Particularly well known later aquatic performers were Walter Tong, Zoe Brigden and Gladys Powsey. Zoe Brigden, from a Brighton family, was famous for her “wooden soldier” dive where with arms at her sides she plunged head first into the sea.’[1]

‘After the landing stages were built in 1902, paddle steamers used to call to take people on trips along the coast. In between the landing stages and the main (West) Pier there was a lagoon which was the centre for many aquatic entertainments. There were diving exhibitions by Zoe Brigden and Gladys Powsey, and there was the famous Professor Reddish who used to dive off the West Pier on his bicycle.’[2]

I keep learning more about Zoe but they are just snippets and I live in hope of finding out a lot more about her and the rest of the family. Only today I learned that Zoe had a hairdressing shop in the Whitehawk area – this site is so amazing.

[1] Extract from: Pier’s skeleton is still magic.The Argus, 13 October, 2006 accessed on website: http://www.regencybrighton.com/pier/article.aspx?id=183#cooliris 11 Jan 2007

[2] extract from: Daphne Mitchell – Oh What a Lovely Pier on website: http://www.20thcenturysparks.org.uk/page_id__23.aspx#cooliris Accessed 11 Jan 2007

Comments about this page

  • Hi Helen. If you can track down a gentleman called “The Great Omani“, who also did an act on the end of the pier, he may have some information. Well into his 90’s but still around. Ask in the “Bedford Tavern” as he lives near there. Hope this helps.

    By Trevor Chepstow (05/02/2007)
  • Thanks so much Trevor. Once I can remember where the Bedford Tavern is, I will try and get there some time – I don’t get around all that easily a lot of the time as I have M.E. but will certainly try to make the effort.

    By Helen McDiarmid (16/02/2007)
  • Zoe Brigden was my great aunt, my mother Zoe Parks (another old Brighton family) was named after her. She lived in her later years in Roedale Rd with her sister Adelaide (known as Addy). We often used to visit as lived quite close. She had a son who now lives in Australia.

    By Pat Robinson (09/03/2007)
  • Hi Helen – Gladys Powsey was my great great grandmother and was married to high diving Professor Powsey. My auntie Margaret who lives in Manchester may still have some information for you. I live in Holland so you may contact me through my e-mail address. mariannepowsey@home.nl

    By Marianne Powsey (09/04/2007)
  • Zoe Brigden was my grandmother. Her son, John Brigden, is my father now aged 82 – the photos were from his collection. Addy was my great aunt and, unless I have a sister, I think Pat’s information was incorrect. In fact a lot of information may be incorrect. I was 16 when Zoe died. She was the real star of the Brighton West Pier. Unsurpassed in ability and charisma. Professor Reddish was after all replaced by Zoe and Gladys was there due to Zoe’s retirement to have my dad, John Brigden.

    By Jacqui Brigden (29/04/2007)
  • After looking at what information I have there seems to me a lot of information about my family that I have incorrect. I actually thougt that I had no living relatives apart from my father John Brigden. Pat Robinson seems to be a second cousin and maybe my information is wrong as I have only information from people here in Australia. I have some interesting clips of Zoe Brigden from the local papers appearing with me, her only grandchild. It was not until I saw a TV programme of the West Pier last week that I was interested in searching for any information on my family. To be quite honest it was a huge shock. After my Great Aunt Addy died, Zoe lived with my parents until she died. I spent my childhood listening to stories of the West Pier. I met my Great Aunts Winnie and Addy and her friend, the romantic novelist Denise Robins, who lived close to Hailsham. I never saw her shop in Whitehawk but as a child growing up I visited Addy and Zoe every Saturday at 92 Roedale Road. We always ended up at the markets buying fresh fish and winkles. If it is possible to work out my family tree it would be great as I believe I am the last in the line of the Brighton Brigdens on my grandmother’s side.

    By Jacqui Brigden, Australia (30/04/2007)
  • My grandmother, Alice Brigden, was Zoe Brigden’s sister. I only became aware of Zoe’s fame in Brighton when I started collecting information on my family tree. When my mother died I found letters from Zoe to my mother concerning my father’s ill health. These letters were full of kindness and it is clear that Zoe was a very caring person. Unfortunately I never met Zoe. Reading about her and seeing photos of her on this site has been a great pleasure.

    By Jennifer Gale (05/05/2007)
  • I remember a Neil Brigden when I was at Falmer School in the 1980s – unfortunately not much more than that! Maybe some use to you?

    By Rob Moorhouse (03/06/2007)
  • This thread has convinced me to include Zoe Bridgen in my forthcoming book ‘Notable Women of Sussex’. I can add the following original research of my own to the information given above:

    Zoe Estelle F Brigden, born Brighton between July – September 1891.

    Adelaide Constance Brigden born Brighton Jan-Mar 1886.

    I’m cobbling together a short biography of her using the info on this page (other than the birthdates I can find no other references to Zoe anywhere. She in not mentioned in The Times, for example).

    By Helena Wojtczak, author of 'Notable Sussex Women' (17/06/2007)
  • PS I would love to have one of the photos of her to reproduce in my book. So can the owner please contact me at hastings.press@virgin.net   Thanks.

    By Helena Wojtczak (17/06/2007)
  • Wow!  I have just checked the site after being otherwise engaged for some weeks and what a lovely surprise to find so much has been added and some by my previously unknown relatives too!  If anyone wishes to contact me direct please do so on my email – natbrent@fastmail.fm. I will make contact myself where possible.  I have lots of genealogical information on the family for anyone who is interested.

    By Helen McDiarmid (now Shipley) (18/06/2007)
  • I feel I should have been a bit clearer in my last message. I wrote the piece about Zoe as I have been searching for information on this branch of the family for many years. I am related to Zoe through my grandmother – Mabel Brigden – who was one of Zoe’s cousins. Mabel married Charles Albert Banks in 1909 and they had three children. My mother, Florence Mabel, known as Mabs, was the eldest and I am her youngest daughter. My aunt, their middle child, is the only one still living.  I am, therefore, also related to the other Brigden descendants who mention Zoe, as we share descent from George, aka Henry, Brigden (mentioned in the article) born in Cuckfield about 1812 and living in Brighton by 1841 but quite possibly a bit earlier as he married his first wife there in 1834 but they seem to have been childless. These people who have kindly left messages are my closest Brigden relatives so far and I am very, very grateful that they have made themselves known. I hope to get in contact with all of them eventually – somehow. This site has provided more information than I have ever found before – it is wonderful.  The photos shown are from my own collection and those of another enthusiast who kindly lent me copies. They are all from postcards that were sold in Brighton over many years. I would love to have more if anyone knows of any.   Thanks again to the site administrators and to all the people who have left comments.

    By Helen Shipley (18/06/2007)
  • I used to deliver papers with a Sammy Brigden (Samantha) in 1986-7, so there must still be a few Brigdens around the area. That was in Hove, from Speary’s Newsagents on the Old Shoreham Road.

    By Gino (16/08/2007)
  • Zoe Brigden was my great aunt. I also visited her and Addy at Roedale Road along with my dad, Albert Brigden, in the 1950’s. I have two sons, Paul & Neil, (who both went to Falmer School). Neil has a son Jack.

    By David Brigden (16/09/2007)
  • The first part of this is a request to Jacqui, daughter of John Brigden, who left messages on this page earlier in the year. I would be so grateful if you would get in touch Jacqui. I have tried for so many years to find your grandmother’s family. I am sorry that the information you found here was in any way upsetting, that was very far from what I would wish. I only want to find this strand of my grandmother’s family. my email is natbrent@fastmail.fm.  Secondly I would like to thank all those who have left comments. I am now in touch with some members of the family and hoping to hear from others too. Special thanks to Jacqui Brigden, Jennifer Gale, Helena Wojtczak, Marianne Powsey, David and Neil Brigden. Apologies if I have missed anyone – I am very grateful to everyone who has responded. Lastly a special thank you to the lady who shared her special story about Zoe.

    By Helen Shipley (19/09/2007)
  • Have just found an entry for Zoe regarding her hairdressing business in 1932 which shows she started at the same address as her father’s undertaking business!  Kelly’s 1932 Directory:
    Brigden William, undertaker, 2 Mighell St
    Brigden Zoe (Miss), ladies’ hairdressr, 2 Mighell St

    By Helen Shipley (07/12/2007)
  • My maiden name is Brigden and as much as I am aware I am the only one in Scotland. I had a sister but she married and died in America, I am trying to trace my American relations at the moment. I am related to Zoe through my father, brother to Albert, father to David who is father to Neil, if you can follow me. I am really quite excited about finding this site as I have found out a lot. If the name Myra rings a bell with anyone I would like to hear from you. Thanks. My email address is: mcdonald1234@talktalk.net

    By Myra McDonald (20/01/2008)
  • My name is Eddie Brigden. I live in Australia, my father is Robert Brigden. I have three brothers and three children of my own. It’s wonderful to know we have relatives out there.

    By Eddie Brigden (28/04/2008)
  • I’m not sure if there is a line in our surname but the Bridgens had big families. My grandfather was John Thomas Bridgen and lived in London with his wife Ada I believe her name was. My father was Thomas William Bridgen and was one of a family of fifteen in number. I spent six years in Brighton attending Ovingdean Hall Deaf School and it would be great if there was some connection. If anyone can show me a connection I’ll be interested to follow it up as the Bridgen name has spread far and wide. Thanks for your time.

    By Alan Bridgen (12/05/2008)
  • Does James Leonhardt Brigden (1895) and Doris Jessie Brigden (1889) belong to this family? Parents: James (1856) and Elizabeth. I have a photograph of them in 1895 with James aged 2 months old. If anyone knows, please email me at: joychittenden@yahoo.co.uk

    By Joy Chittenden (19/05/2008)
  • Thanks to those who have placed recent comments on this page – I will look into the antecedents of Alan Brigden – I know of at least two family members who moved to London. I also have quite a bit relating to the line of James Leonhardt Brigden – I did find a possible link between the families some years ago courtesy of another researcher, but unfortunately I had a lot of upheaval for several years and have not been able to find the information again – as yet. I would love to see the photo and will email Joy.  I wonder if there is a link to Eddie’s family as well? The Brigdens certainly moved well beyond Kent and Sussex.  Anyone wanting to make contact or have their ancestors investigated, is welcome to email me and I will do my best to help. I am not always very quick as I have M.E., so if interested parties can bear with me, we may well expand the family history even further.  email: Natbrent@fastmail.fm

    By Helen Shipley (20/05/2008)
  • I am a postcard dealer from Southampton and have come across a postcard of Walter Tong and Zoe Brigden. There is no date but the card shows the two divers, their printed signatures and in each corner there is a thumbnail image of one of them diving into the water. I shall be listing the card on Ebay later today.

    By Mavis McHugh (07/08/2008)
  • I am Kate Brigden: I live in Brighton and so does my brother, Jonathan. We are not originally from here, we grew up near London but have both moved here in the last 5 years. I don’t think we are from the line of Brigdens you speak of. My father is Wallace David Brigden and his father was Wallace Brigden too. Unfortunately i know very little about that side of my family but might find out! It’s nice to see that there is such a link to Brighton through my name, I have always felt drawn to Brighton and I have noticed there is a ‘Brigden street’ in Brighton and above the entrance to Queen’s Park, along with some other names, there is the name ‘Brigden’.

    By Kate Brigden (29/12/2008)
  • Dear Kate – I hope you may check back here sometime as I think you may be related to my Brigden line. My great grandfather, Lewis Brigden had a brother called Wallace, who I think – if I remember correctly, moved to London – I know at least one of his brothers did. If you want to get in touhc, do please email me at Natbrent@fastmail.fm  Brigden Street is named after another possible relative, who was Mayor of Brighton and an alderman too.

    By Helen Shipley (28/01/2009)
  • My Great Aunt was Louie Leonard, who worked with Professor Reddish. I have one flyer with Brills Baths, 1893 if anyone is interested in a copy.

    By Terence Evershed (03/04/2009)
  • My daughter Kate introduced me to this conversation about our ancestors. My full name is Wallace David Brigden and I was born in London in 1942. My father is Wallace William Brigden. He was born in 1916 and died last year. His birth was registered as Wallis instead of Wallace though he denies changing it (I suspect he changed it during the Wallis Simpson affair!). I knew his father, my grandfather by a familial name but my grandmother called him Wally. I have been trying to trace his birth and census records. I think he was born Joseph Wallis Brigden in Brighton in 1885 but moved to London in his teens. I cannot find him under that name in the 1901 census but there is a Wallace Brigden aged 16 (the right age for my grandfather) living in London with his aunt. There is a record of Joseph Wallis’ marriage in 1914 to Louise Ann Clark and my grandmother was always referred to as Lou by my grandfather so I am reasonably confident that they are the ones and it is possible that the Wallace Brigden of the 1901 census may be the same person but misspelt. I am endeavouring to find out more but if anyone has any information, I would be grateful if you could either leave it on this site or send it to me at davidbrigden@btinternet.com. Many thanks.

    By David Brigden (29/04/2009)
  • I am so glad you have made contact David and bless Kate for appraising you of this article. I have replied by email too but want to acknowledge your comment. I am 99% sure we are related through common ancestors and I will check my research and any information I have on this part of the Brigden family. Thank you.

    By Helen Shipley (05/05/2009)
  • I have been turning out old postcards etc from my late aunt’s belongings, and have come across two postcards of Zoe, one of which has been personally signed “Yours sincerely Zoe Brigden” and the other is of her with Walter Tong, the postcard described by the Southampton lady. My aunt, Katie Pressey, used to holiday in Brighton and, according to her, she used to dive off the pier as well, although only in a strictly amateur capacity, and she told me she was allowed to dive with “a lady who gave diving demonstrations off the Pier”. She never mentioned a name, but having come across the postcards I now know it must have been Zoe. I don’t know whether the name “Katie Pressey” means anything, I doubt it in fact, but I thought it might be interesting that I have come across these two photograph postcards, one signed personally by Zoe herself.

    By Joan Pressey (11/09/2009)
  • Thanks to Joan for the latest comment and how wonderful to have the postcards you mention – I envy you. Your Aunt must have been quite intrepid and accomplished – I wouldn’t fancy diving off one of the piers – not that anyone can really do so from the West Pier anymore – so sad to see it in its present state. If you ever get access to a scanner and can copy the postcards, I would be very grateful for copies of them, and pay expenses of course. Thank you again.

    By Helen Shipley (20/11/2009)
  • I think Mabel Brigden was the sister of my grandmother Florence While (nee Brigden). My mother (Daphne While now Davidson) who is still alive, remembers talking about Mabel although she was already deceased when she was born.

    By Gavin (02/01/2010)
  • Greetings fellow Brigdens! I am Robert Brigden, born 1983, Cheshire. My father and grandfather were born in Liverpool. My great grandfather, Hector Brigden, was born in Sri Lanka but grew up in Liverpool. Hector Brigden, was born in 1902. His father, John Brigden, was born in 1866 in Westport, Ireland. Brigden is a very unusual name around Merseyside and the North West, and my guess is that one of the south east (Brighton / Kent / Sussex / London) Brigdens branched off at some point. Does anybody know of a Brigden who might have spent time in Ireland and fathered John Brigden (c.1866)? Any help would be much appreciated!

    By Robert Brigden (10/04/2010)
  • Robert, contact John Kennedy for more information.

    By Chris Kennedy (23/04/2010)
  • I would love to make contact with Gavin as I am almost certain he is right about his grandmother being the sister of my grandmother, Mabel BRIGDEN – I knew there was a Florence but couldn’t track her – my mother was named after her – Florence Mabel BANKS but known as Mabel or ‘Mabs’ later, perhaps because of her mother’s death. If you ever look on here again Gavin, I would be very grateful if you would email me at Natbrent@fastmail.fm. This is the first time I have heard of someone who actually spoke about my grandmother. This site is wonderful and I have made contact with so many people through it and gradually filled in some of the blanks in my family’s history. Thank you to those who make this site so good.

    By Helen Shipley (11/06/2010)
  • I have seen Helen Shipley’s comments following my original message, and have sent her an email to say I would be happy to send her copies of the postcards I have. I can either scan and send hard copies, or scan and email them. I haven’t had a reply from Helen so I imagine my email must have gone astray. If you like to email me, Helen, I can send you the copies. My email is branksome@penncommon.fsnet.co.uk

    By Joan Pressey (07/09/2010)
  • I am not a Brigden, but have been researching the company “Brigden of Brighton” which was started by John Brigden in the mid 1800s. They were originally a coachbuilder and later sold automobiles (my MG included). I did quite a bit of research at the Brighton Local History Library and found John Brigden was mayor of Brighton four different times and was the recipient of a royal award. The Brighton Local History Library has an extensive collection of 19th and 20th century newspapers and is very familiar with the Brigden family. Lew Palmer lpalmer@roundaboutmanor.com

    By Lew Palmer (29/09/2010)
  • If Terence Evershed has information about Professor Reddish I’d be very interested as I am researching people who appeared in early silent films. I can be contacted at david@brightonfilm.com

    By David Fisher (08/11/2010)
  • my name is Christine Faith Brigden. my father is Wally John Brigden. He was born in London, then went to Bicester where he lived till he died in the sixties when I was ten. I think he had a sister called Rose but know no more about his family that I think came from London. My mother died when I was 4. My brothers are Tim, my twin and Ray and John Brigden. If you have the gap in my life that I don’t know about please help us. Kind regards

    By Miss Christine Faith Brigden (18/01/2011)
  • My name is Christine Faith Brigden. My father is Wallis John Brigden. He was born in London, then went to Bicester where he lived till he died in the sixties when I was ten. I think he had a sister called Rose but know no more about his family that I think came from London. My mother died when I was four. My brothers are Tim, my twin and Ray and John Brigden. If you have the gap in my life that I don’t know about please help us by contacting me on my email: ccc24@live.co.uk and my mobile: 07789692084. Kind regards.

    By Christina Faith Brigden (04/02/2011)
  • Hi, my name is Zoe Brigden and my father and I came across this page when we were searching for Zoe Brigden who dived off Brighton Pier as it was a story we had heard about. My great grandparents were from Hassocks, Brighton so I wonder if we are related?

    By Zoe (20/02/2011)
  • I have emailed Christina regarding her post – very interesting – and I am hoping that ‘Zoe’ will check here again soon as I am 99% certain we ARE related. I apologize for the delay in responding to both Christina and Zoe but my health has been particularly bad recently. I do hope to hear from both of you soon – unlike my own tardiness.

    By Helen Shipley (11/04/2011)
  • I was wondering if any family members who might be part of my Brigden side, Wallice John Brigden, my father, would email me. Kind regards.

    By Miss C F Brigden (28/08/2011)
  • I’m not sure if I am connected to any of your Brigden lines, but I don’t have any family to get information. My dad was Robert Brigden born 1937, his Father was also Robert Brigden, he married my Nan Mabel Emily. My father had two brothers, Michael and Peter, and one sister, Elizabeth. My great-grandad was William Brigden and he has fourteen or so siblings. They all came from the Cuckfield, Sussex area. I hope someone can give me some information. Thanks, Vicki 

    By Vicki Trimmer (was Brigden) (20/02/2012)
  • I haven’t been able to keep a check on this page for a long time but if Vicky Trimmer would like to email me at helenmcd20@hotmail.com – I will gladly help with family information where I can.

    By Helen Shipley (10/03/2012)
  • Vicki – if you email me I will give you anything I know. I live in Windsor. Yours Christina  ccc24@live.co.uk

    By Christine Brigden (11/03/2012)
  • My name is Zoe Bigden and I was born in Brighton, but have recently moved. My mother’s name was Anita Brigden and she was born in Cuckfield. My Grandfather’s name was Richardson, however.

    By Zoe Brigden (04/09/2012)
  • This month’s Preston Pages, (a community magazine for the areas around Preston Park, Brighton), has an article Brighton Pier’s aquatic entertainers, including Zoe. It says that she was the town’s swimming champion, turning professional in 1913 and retiring in 1925 to open her hairdressers in Whitehawk. The article also includes a photo of Zoe not features on these pages (courtesy of Fred Gray of the Brighton West Pier Trust).

    By H Mitchell (09/09/2012)
  • Lovely to see comments still being added and I’m sorry I haven’t been able to check back for a while again and missed the one about ‘Preston Pages’. I would love to get a copy if it’s not too late. I do have quite a few more images of Zoe now, from postcards, as I bought them when I could find them for sale, or was given scans by some kind people. They aren’t on here but I will see if there is anyway to add some of them. There are several more of her younger days. I’m going to try and contact Zoe Brigden too, as she has emailed me. I welcome contact from others but just ask for patience as I have health problems which make it hard to do much at times. I probably need to update information about the Brigdens anyway but it might take me a while yet and I need to see how best to do it, so it is accessable to others. email address: helenmcd20@hotmail.com this is the one I get to see the most often.

    By Helen Shipley (26/10/2012)
  • I have only just found this site. My grandmother was a Brigden and Zoe is an ancestral relative. Zoe was a friend of the author Monica Dickens. My mother researched the Brigden family tree and collected postcards of Zoe. One of the Brighton postcard dealers told me that another woman was buying all the postcards of Zoe and no more were available!  My mother believed that John Leonhardt Brigden was a relative. We never found the link. Wallace Brigden was her first cousin. The Brigden family came from Cuckfield. By the nineteenth century a branch was based in Brighton and London. The family trades included coach making and hairdressing. The Kent Brigdens are probably related to the East Sussex Brigdens. I can be contacted at kay@kaylacey.com

    By K Lacey (22/02/2014)
  • My name is Christine Faith Brigden, my brothers are my twin Tim, Ray and John, our dad was Wally John Brigden and I think there was a sister called Rose. I think they came from London – sorry but my dad passed away when I was 9 years old. My email address is ccc24@live.co.uk  looking forward to hearing back.

    By Christine Faith Brigden (09/03/2014)
  • It’s a while since I did any family tree. Need to get back into it. My father was Derek Roy Brigden, born 20/12/38.  His father was Jack Charles Brigden, born 26/06/04. Brothers and sisters were, Sid, Cicely, Maude, Len, Bob, Bert and Frederick.  Their father was William Henry Brigden, married Emma Marie Alce. William was born 2/3/1875, lived in Cuckfield. His father William Stephen Brigden, christened 22/9/1844 married Harriet Hyde on 1/7/1872. Their other children were Leonora, Charles, Frederick and Daisy. Their father was again, William Brigden, born 6/4/1817.  Married Jane Pig on 15/5/1841. His father was John Brigden, married Caroline Leonhardt on 10/5/1812. She was apparently born in Heildberg in 1789.  Family seems to move between Brighton and Cuckfield. They all seem to have had large families and it seems that all the Brigdens both far and wide are somehow related.

    By Gary Brigden (17/07/2014)
  • Hi Gary, William Stephen Brigden married Harriet Hyde, they were our great grandparents. And Frederick Heath Brigden was our grandfather who married Eunice Gulley.

    By Terry Brigden (25/02/2015)
  • Oh my – I’ve been missing things again. Bad patches of health and very bad memory failure at times too. Great to see all the information from everyone and I’m going to try and contact all I can and see if we can update each other. I don’t know if it was a connection of Gary’s or Terry’s who first gave me the link between the Brigden family I’d found and John Leonhardt Brigden but thank you both -as you can tell I hadn’t managed to find it again, having been given the information many years ago now and moved several times since. Just a reminder that I can be contacted on helenmcd20@hotmail.com – which is the email address I use the most. 

    By Helen Shipley (21/03/2015)
  • If anyone finds this in time, there is a poll by Brighton Bus Company, for people to vote for names of Brighton people to go on some of their Coastliner Route Buses and Zoe is one of those nominated. It’s only open until the 25th of March through:


    By Helen Shipley (21/03/2015)
  • Hi Terry. Sorry it took me so long to see this. So your grandfather would have been my great uncle and my grandfather, your great uncle.

    By Gary Brigden (24/03/2015)
  • Good to see yet another Brigden posting on this page.
    Good news too – largely due to my cousin Terry Fielding’s nomination and our joint efforts and help from many online friends and relatives – one of the new Coastliner buses, route 12, will be named Zoe Brigden. A bit of ‘people power’ in action. Thanks go out to all who helped.

    By Helen Shipley (29/03/2015)
  • I have read comments regarding the Brigden family history. My grandfather, Charles William Greenaway Brigden, was born in Brighton 18.07.1869, his father was Charles William Brigden who married Harriet Elms. Greenaway is a name that appears throughout the family ancestry, first appears when Sarah Greenaway married Thomas Brigden  in 22.04.1777. Can anybody help me further with this link?

    By Maureen Heffernan (31/05/2016)
  • Hi, I lived in Roedale Road as a child from approx 1959, three doors away from Zoe Brigden. She lived at 92 until Mrs Mac, as we new her, died. When Ms Brigden went to live with her son approx 1977, I bought her house. It had never been updated since she bought it; outside toilet, bath in the kitchen etc.

    By Carol Lee (20/08/2016)
  • William and Emma Brigden, my great great grandparents and Zoe Brigden’s father and mother.   

    By Amanda Czerwonka (Brigden) (25/08/2016)
  • Hi Gary Brigden, I have just been reading your comments. Your fathers brother Bob, was my Grandfather. His father and mother as you have said were William and Emma. Bob had 3 sons and a daughter. My father (Michael Brigden) and his siblings grew up in Cuckfield.

    By Amanda Czerwonka (Brigden) (25/08/2016)
  • To whom it may concern,

    I am Michael Brigden with a brother Christopher. I am 65 and my brother 68. I have two daughters Zoe and Amberly.

    My grand parents were Anthony and Louis Brigden and they lived until their death in Hassocks just outside Brighton. Their three children were Pat, Wallace and Anthony. My grandfather moved to london before returning to the Brighton area. In London he rose to be the head of the London School of Barbering after stsrting as a young boy in Burtens Barber in the strand.

    If i can be of any help to anyone please do not hesitate to e-mail me.


    By mike brigden (15/09/2016)
  • Hi Mike, I am your cousin David (Wallace David) Brigden. Kate, my daughter, has just drawn my attention to your post from back in 2016. I am sorry it has been so long since then. Our grandfather, who we always referred to as Pop, was not Anthony but Joseph Wallis Brigden, called Wally by our grandmother Louisa Ann Clark who he married on the 30th August 1914. Your father, Anthony, was my uncle Tony. I remember you, Christopher and your parents, uncle Tony and Aunty Cynthia, very well. Such a pity we lost contact after childhood. If you look back on this site I previously commented in April 2009 with a bit more information about our family. Our great grandfather also a Wallis was the brother of William, who was the father of the Zoe Brigden the Aquatic entertainer, and the son of George (Henry) and Marie (nee Staples) Brigden. I have more information including pictures of our great great grandfather’s business in Brighton. My email is davidbrigden@btinternet.com please get in touch if you read this contribution. All the best and to the other contributors.

    By David Brigden (10/10/2022)

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