Photos and articles about Brighton and Hove in the time of coronavirus. See our collection and add your own!

Signed postcard c1940s

Postcard of The Ship Hotel, Lewes Road
From the private collection of Roy Grant

Click on the photograph to open a large version in a new window.

Jolly old pals

The Ship Inn was opposite Preston Barracks in Lewes Road; it shows some of the staff dressed in naval kit. But the pub was obviously frequented by soldiers, as a few of them have signed the back of this postcard, with their numbers, names and nicknames. I think these soldiers were members of what I believe to be the Dorsetshire Regiment. As far as I can make out, these are the details:-

5620643 Hodges of Barnstable

5622290 Frankie of Ilfracombe

5625648 Bondy of Oxford

5627364 Eric of Paignton

14242440 Swipey of Reading


R Cuthbertson of Leith

Jack the Haggis Basher

DSG Normath

EDW Clifford

A Pring

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find out what happened to any of these guys?

Comments about this page

  • It would appear that one of the men was a Commander and the others were were Petty Officers. Also at the back were two Seamen. Didn’t seem to be any members of the Army. Looks like a strictly Naval affair.

    By John Wall VK2 (07/11/2011)
  • I am surprised there have been no further comments about this great pub which used to have a great jazz scene in the mid fifties with visiting legends like Tubby Hayes, Joe Harriott, Bill LeSage to name but a few. I would enjoy any contributions made by any musicians that remember those wonderful times.

    By Tony Stevens (29/11/2011)
  • Re The Ship Jazz Club, would also like to mention Jeff Rigby who invested a lot of time and dedication, running and making the club one of the most entertaining and inspiring jazz venues ever seen in Brighton around the mid 50’s and early 60’s.

    By Tony Stevens (15/01/2012)
  • I remember the Ship in the 70s. They had a disco and topless dancers. I work in the Royal Sussex County Hospital now and I bumped into one of the bar maids from that era. We had a pleasant chat remembering those times.

    By Richard J. Szypulski (07/04/2012)
  • When I was on leave from the military in the late 1960s the Ship Inn was a favourite haunt of mine along with another mate. Every Saturday night there was a blues band playing. I just stood near to one of the big speakers and listened to the music. I loved this music so much that I learned to play all kinds of blues on my guitar. My eldest son Tony is a brilliant player as well.

    By Mick Peirson (08/04/2012)
  • Hey, Tony Stevens, please check the 7th Brighton scouts page. Or email me at Your old friend

    By Keith Brown (13/04/2012)
  • Interesting reading regarding the Ship Jazz Club – Tony and others have mentioned JEFF RIGBY who ran the club for many years. Jeff is alive and well (although not as well as he would like) and living in Brighton. Jeff still has kept his enormous passion for jazz and music and I am sure he would love to hear from anyone who remembers the numerous wonderful jazz names he brought to Brighton. Jeff doesn’t have an email address but if anyone would like to write to me on I will be delighted to pass them onto Jeff. Thanks.

    By Peter Brightman (11/07/2012)
  • Hi Jeff, A note of thanks to you for giving us the incredible chance to play alongside many of the greats in British Jazz. Always admired the dedicated and professional way you ran The Ship Jazz Club – I had the wonderful experience of being there in the resident trio on bass, alongside John Greenwood Gtr, John Rolfe Drs, Peter Martin Pno etc. I am still working in Portsmouth area – Trust and hope you keeping well! All the best – Tony Stevens.

    By Tony Stevens (13/12/2012)
  • My grandfather was a draughtsman at Allan West & Co (next door). He built a model of a liner which was mounted in the bar. As an apprentice of AW I went into the bar each lunhctime and drank weak pints of mild.

    By Bob Munro (04/07/2013)
  • Does anyone know of, or remember John Greenwood (Gtr) who played many times at the Ship on Jeff Rigby’s Jazz nights. I would so like to hear if he is still in Brighton and where he is playing – He had a world class ability and helped my musical development and interest to a great degree enabling me to still enjoy a good life in music. Many thanks

    By Tony Stevens (03/08/2013)
  • My name was June Allen. Music was introduced at the Ship in 1938 by my father Aubrey Allen. If you want more info get back to me. I am 85, so don’t leave it too long. I would love to hear from you. Good wishes

    By June Miranda (16/12/2014)
  • Hi June, well thanks to your father, many a great British jazz musician played at the Ship, I could name many who are now greatly revered amongst the Jazz fraternity.  I was a support bass player in the days of Jeff Rigby’s hosting and that was one of the most influencial and enjoyable times of my life – so thankyou June for your fathers insight!

    By Tony Stevens (07/01/2015)
  • Sadly, Joyce Nealgrove, has died. She was a very nice person who was a barmaid at the Ship in the seventies. She also worked at the Counting House, the former Allen Arms and Hub. 

    By Richard J. Szypulski (13/01/2015)
  • The Allen Arms (Counting House, The Hub etc) is no more. It was completely bulldozed last year. 

    By Helen (14/01/2015)
  • Re: Jazz at The Ship, Does anyone remember Group Five? with John Rolf on Drums, Gerry Cohen & Phil Chapman Saxes, John Greenwood Guitar and myself Tony Stevens Bass. We played there on many occasions also supporting some great international Jazz players back in the late 50’s/early 60’s.


    By Tony Stevens (30/12/2017)
  • My uncle Wally’s Edwards was a member of Royal Australian Airforce (RAF).
    I have just gone through photos of his and found one of your postcards signed by a no of people. The date is 29/3/44 & the signatures are:-
    Marjorie “the boss”,
    “with best wishes & good luck” Betty,
    “look out” Ginger,
    “semper fidelis” Bill Freeston,
    “looking after the women” Lionel Mort,
    “always fit for a game with the kids” V (or N) E L Thompson(Doc)
    Like you said it would be nice to find out something about these people who shared a little of his life. Unfortunately he has passed I could not ask him as he suffered from dementia and his last years were in the country in the north east Victoria, Aust.
    Hoping someone is interested in my info.
    Yours sincerely,
    Wilma King.

    By Wilma King (24/11/2020)
  • Just been chatting to my daughter’s, boyfriends father who informed me that Gary Newman played an early gig here. And I have no cause to doubt his word!

    By Mark Kelsall (14/06/2021)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.