The sweet shop across the road

Downs Junior School; formerly Ditchling Road Council School
Wikipedia Commons: Photographer - Hassocks5489

Shop across the road

Just over the road from the Downs School there used to be a sweet shop/newsagents where in the mid 1950s, most of the kids from the school used to congregate in the afternoon. The lady who owned it had so much patience with us all, even dividing two shoe boxes into sweets that cost 1 penny, and another box containing sweets for a halfpenny.

Fun spending a penny

The choice was amazing really, and even contained chews for a farthing each, sometimes it took just ages to spend one penny. On Fridays we were given three pence I think it was because Friday was pay day for my Dad. With that kingly sum I could actually buy 2oz of sweets from a jar. 

My first fizzy drink

I remember trying my first fizzy drink from that shop, warm orangeade poured into a little glass for 1 penny; I thought it was just so delicious. I remember some more of the wonderful things on offer. There were gobstoppers, sherbet dips, chews, flying saucers, blackjacks, bubble gum, and too many more to mention. It is a wonder that after all that sweet eating, I still have all my own teeth at sixty-six years old.

Do you remember?

Do you remember this shop? What was the lady’s name? What were your favourite sweets? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • I remember the little shop, although I was at Downs in the early 60s, not the 50s. We used to get glasses of Corona and Tizer, though I can’t remember the price. Best sweets were (of course) Fruit Salads and Blackjacks, because you got so many for your money (4 a penny). There were chocolate tools, flying saucers, jelly snakes and all sorts of penny treats. If you were feeling a bit flush, you could get a quarter of something from the glass jars that lined the back wall – filled with a rainbow assortment of delights – milk bottle chews, squirrel nuts, sherbert bonbons, cola cubes, aniseed balls and lemon drops were amongst my favourites.  Sometimes, she also sold the collecting cards – Mars Attacks and Civil War I distinctly remember, along with the horrible piece of chewing gum that was included. And of course, speaking of gum, who can forget Bazooka Joe, with the almost illegible comic inside…


    By Marc Turner (19/03/2014)
  • I joined the Downs CP School in March 1959, after moving to Brighton from Edgware. I went into Mr Hinton’s 2A Class in the Annexe, which was on the same (eastern) side of Ditchling Road as the sweet shop. I think the sweet shop was right next door to the Jolly Brewer pub.

    I remember all the sweets that Sandie mentions, plus fruit salad (one of my favourites) and refreshers.

    I couldn’t tell you the name of the lady who ran the shop. To tell the truth, I was only interested in the sweets!

    Amazingly I still have nearly all my own teeth too but, at 64, a lot of my hair has gone missing.

    By Alan Hobden (20/03/2014)
  • I went to the Downs from mid to late 1960’s, I remember the sweet shop well. I don’t remember the lady’s name, but the the shop was called Pearsons.

    By Lorraine Weller (21/03/2014)
  • You are quite right Lorraine, the name of the shop came back to me when I saw it written, it was indeed called Pearsons.  It was directly across the road from the Infants entrance, where the lollipop lady stood to see us all safely across Ditchling Road.  I think people are confusing it with the “Tuck Shop”, that was on the same side as the annexe, just along the road a bit.  I hardly ever went there, as it was not the  direct route for me to walk home, but thankfully Pearsons was.

    By Sandie Miller (23/03/2014)
  • Sandie, are you referring to the sweet shop that was a short way down Upper Hollingdean Road from Ditchling Road? I think it’s a news and booze shop now.

    By Alan Hobden (27/03/2014)
  • I think that is right Alan. I left Brighton many years ago, and do get a bit mixed up with road names. Ditchling Road went up to the Five Ways, so it must be Upper Hollingdean Rd, that went past Davey Drive up to the school. This was my route to school from the Hollingdean estate in the 1950s.


    By Sandie (30/03/2014)

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