One of my favourite haunts

The Hove Amber Cup is considered to be one of Britain's most important Bronze Age finds. It was discovered in 1856 when a burial mound was excavated to make way for the building of Palmeira Avenue. Inside the mound was an oak coffin carved from a single tree trunk. The coffin contained bone fragments, a dagger, a whetstone and an axe head as well as the precious Amber Cup. The grave goods are over 3,500 years old.
Royal Pavilion and Museums Image Store

Thrilled and fascinated

As a kid in the 1940s and 1950s, the museum and the library were haunts of mine. I spent hours and hours just looking around and being in awe of all the things on display. I would walk from my house in Bennett Road along Eastern Road, down Edward Street to Church Street for a day of enjoyment. Firstly I would check my books in at the library as I did not want to cart them all over the museum. I started at the ground floor and worked my way up. I was thrilled by the stagecoach and it’s history, and fascinated by the skeleton of the killer whale hanging from the ceiling.

The famous ‘Amber Cup’

Upstairs was a display of articles found at Whitehawk. I think I remember an amber cup and a rusty sword, a skeleton, and many other bits and pieces long forgotten in my memory. The paintings captured me for hours. The huge oil paintings going up the stairs were so realistic to me. I could never get my head around the idea that somebody had painted these beautiful pictures, so much talent, and dare I say it but as a kid I thought that the paintings were almost photographic they were so detailed.

Enjoyment without any money

There were so many things to look at, there was never enough time to take it all in at one go, but over the years I got to see lots of different enthralling things. After my visit to the museum I would go to the library and look for more books to replace the ones that I had taken in earlier. Then it was off home, but this time I would go via St. James’s Street or along the seafront to home. Later on I would roller skate to the museum which got me there and back somewhat quicker. Then after I got my first bike that was even more luxury. It was just an enjoyable non complicated life where we had to make our own enjoyment without any money..


Comments about this page

  • I used to like going to the museum. I remember they had a big golden coach in one of the rooms on the ground floo,r something to do with the Royal Family. Also upstairs there was a room that had stuffed animals and animal specimens in little jars. The museum was a good place to go because you didn’t need money.

    By Kathleen Catt (12/05/2012)
  • Back in the 50’s, this was my favourite place to be – especially school hols or if it rained! I loved walking around the various rooms & knew it all off by heart. Having done that it was downstairs to the Children’s Library to change my books – if I still had time, I’d get an Encyclopaedia to go thru, as these could not be loaned out. My Mum always knew where I’d be! Usually forgot the time & had to run back home (thru the back streets up to Queen’s Rd.) with legs & plaits flying – such a happy childhood! I know it’s a long time ago & things change, but I was very disappointed when I revisited it a couple of years back, just an Art Gallery; no Coach, no whale, no Library, as far as I could see – thank God for memories.

    By Pamela-Ann Nothoff (was Bryant) (11/08/2013)
  • Brighton’s main museum is a shadow of what it once was. I was going to leave some nice bits ‘n bobs to the town’s collection, but not now. I bet most of the old exhibits are all boxed up in a cellar somewhere.

    By Martin Phillips (24/01/2016)
  • Please DO leave them to the city museum! All museums only have about 10% of their artefacts on display, these displays do change and emphasis is given to particular collections or themes for particular events. Your items may form part of an important display in the future.

    By Geoffrey Mead (25/01/2016)
  • Martin, there is never enough room for museums to have everything out on show unfortunately. Even the great museums of London and museums all over the world rarely have enough room to have everything out for the people to see and have to change displays now and again. It would be a sad shame if you did not leave your bits and bobs to the town.

    By Mick Peirson (26/01/2016)
  • Hi, I dont know how old you guys are, but Brighton’s museum was a wonderland of many exhibits. I spent hours wondering around the place as a young man, but over the years its been whittled down to the bare minimum, the gift shop seems to be the main focus now, and that’s very poor too. Successive councils have cut it to the bone, such a shame, Brighton Museum was part of my boyhood memories, I dont even bother with the place now.

    By Martin.Phillips (26/01/2016)
  • Hello Martin: I am almost 73 and do remember how you could spend a day in the museum and not get bored, that is why I wrote the article in the first place. I loved the place in the late 40s and the 50s as a kid growing up. I haven’t been there in many a year but after how it was in earlier years I probably would also be a bit sad to how it has declined.

    By Mick Peirson (28/01/2016)

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