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The Lath Cleaver's Arms

The Lath Cleaver’s Arms: Regent Row

My first local

I have many good memories of the Lath Cleaver’s Arms. It was my first ever local and in the late 1950’s, and I spent many times in there playing darts and quoits. The pub was situated in Regent Row, a small road behind Marks & Spencer, Western Road. Its entrance was directly opposite the upstairs rear exit from Marks & Spencer. Because of the hidden location, not too many people knew about it, but it had plenty of regulars. There were two bars, one a public bar with the games and a comfortable lounge which was always busy. The pub was run by long term residents Bunny & Freda. They were very popular and for me it was second to none.

Dangerous darts

A very unusual feature was where the dart board was positioned in a corner, to the left of the board was a phone box. It was very scary coming out of the phone box into the flight path. Darts was very competitive and we could give a good account of ourselves, especially against the quoits players, but at quoits we were well and truly thrashed. One of the regulars was an elderly lady called Ida. She had her own seat at the bar and was always there. One winter there was much snow and we cleared a path across the road from her door to the pub. Great fun!

Demolished in 1963

In the early 60’s there were rumours about the possible closure of the pub, and in 1962 Bunny & Freda moved out to the Greyhound at Keymer. Their replacements were Alan & Eileen and they were brilliant. I was there on the last night, and everyone went home very saddened. In December 1963, the pub and all of the adjoining terraced houses were ruthlessly demolished to make way for a large extension to Marks & Spencer. The picture shows that it was well looked after and should never have gone. Greed was a factor, and all of those responsible should have hung their collective heads in shame, but they probably didn’t. Regent Row no longer exists and Brighton lost a pub which today would be a gem.

A very ordinary little street with no claim to fame, it had one brief spell when it was exposed to the view of the thousands who thronged Western Road, many of whom probably were unaware that it existed. In 1932, when this photograph was taken several old buildings in Western Road had been removed to provide a site for the new Marks and Spencer’s store. Four houses in Regent Row were demolished at the same time.

Comments about this page

  • My grandmother was the land lady here back in the 1920’s, her name at the time was Phoebe Hosgood and when she remarried became Smith, I remember a photo of her standing outside holding ,my Uncle Bob.



    By valerie noble (20/12/2017)
  • Two bits of Regent Row do still exist! At the east end where it meets Dyke Road there is a section of the road which turns sharply and then disappears under M&S. The west end needs some exploring, it is to the south of M&S loading bay and customer collection yard. There is a section referred to as ‘The Sunken Road’ that runs behind the Western Rd shops with a bridge across it into GAP store. When I worked at M&S until 2004 the bridge was a shelter for a homeless man whose ‘larder’ was the M&S waste food bins!. There are several images of Regent Row in the James Gray Collection of photographs. If you go into Regent Hill and drop down below M&S yard there is a gated alleyway on the west side which is directly opposite what would have been Regent Row; large scale period maps show the two.

    By Geoffrey Mead (21/12/2017)
  • Having posted this way back in 2012 I am very pleased to see new additions. Regent Row was very prominent in my young life as I did a paper round which took me along there and up to Upper North Street. In the picture and just behind the pub sign there was an alley which came out near the top of Regent Hill. Halfway up the alley was an art studio where the occupant painted all of the posters for the Princes News Theatre in North St. I spent a lot of time in there watching him produce many images of Tom & Jerry, Donald Duck, Goofy, Tweetie Pie etc. Every time I walked past the Princes I looked at them knowing where they came from. Incidently this was before I was old enough to go in the pub, but I did deliver their paper.


    By Peter Guy (21/12/2017)
  • I worked at M&S Western Rd from 1986[when they closed the London Rd branch] until I retired in 2004. Recently I have been doing some research into that area as it is on my route for the Brighton Festival Fringe tours that I do each year. The alley Peter mentions was Regent Court; all of this block behind M&S was known in the 18th/19th century as Chalk Pit Furlong. All of the housing and other developments were located in this large chalk pit from very early on, and it was the only bit of 18th century Brighton that was built up outside the limits of the Old Town basically as an industrial suburb, elements of which survived until the 1960s.

    By Geoffrey Mead (22/12/2017)

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