L&H Cloake, Churchill Square

No photo of the premises for this one, given the obvious changes that have taken place in Churchill Square, but I do remember going here a few times in the mid to late 70s.

It was situated away from Western Road at the back and, for those who remember Churchill Square at the time, it shared the characteristics of most shops there: somewhat cold and down-at-heel.

Comments about this page

  • I remember that shop. I bought blank cassettes there.

    By Simon (28/11/2009)
  • Cloake’s must have been part of a chain – I used to go in their Redhill shop when I lived in Surrey. How many shops did they have?

    By Mike Atherton (29/01/2012)
  • I worked for RCA Records from 1969 – 1973 selling records to shops in Sussex Surrey & Hampshire, L & H Cloak at the time also had branches in The Boulevard Crawley & Redhill. It was a family business, I used to deal with Richard Cloake at Crawley, a really nice family concern.

    By John Desborough (22/02/2012)
  • Yes I worked at Crawley and what a great place to work and listen to some great sounds. From the Crawley shop you had Porl Thompson who found fame in the Cure. Kevin Cohen of Amulet, Vince Rees, Pete Smith, Chris Cullen of T30 Control and later The Red Planet Orchestra. Music changes your soul!

    By Vince (12/12/2012)
  • From September 1978 a gang of us Brighton Tec students used to religiously go around as many record shops in Brighton as possible, especially on a Monday as it was new releases day! We used to visit the old concrete jungle of Churchill Square with HMV and L & H Cloake. L & H Cloake was hidden right down the back down concrete ramps, but it was also bright and sunny in the shop as I can remember rows and rows of picture sleeves up on the walls. They used to stock picture discs, coloured vinyl and all manner of unusual goodies. God, I spent a bomb in there. I can particularly remember seeing the different coloured 7″ vinyls of “King Rocker” by Generation X on Chrysalis Records. I was aware there was a similar branch in Crawley, but I thought they may have been called H&R Cloake?

    By Nick Linazasoro (12/05/2013)
  • Nick, I think you’re right when we changed from the cheap old paper bags to yellow polythene industrial strength type record bags.

    By Vince (17/05/2013)
  • Dear Alida,
    Sorry but we have had to delete your post. We are no longer allowing the posting of requests to find third parties, as sharing information like this breaches their privacy. We recommend you try Friends Reunited website if you want to track old friends or neighbours.
    Comments Editor

    By Alida Whiteborough (03/02/2014)
  • L & H Cloake opened in Brighton in December 1975 – I was their “Saturday boy” from the start until going full time with them when I left school the following June. It was the sixth and last store to open in the chain, the others being in Crawley, East Grinstead, Streatham, Croydon and Redhill. The business had been set up by two brothers (l. & H.) in the fifties (I believe), but by the time I started was effectively being run by their respective sons, both called Richard. Eventually they split the chain between them, with Brighton and two others becoming ‘H & R Cloake’ and the rest ‘L Cloake & son’. After a brief flirtation with punk and all the coloured vinyl we could get our hands on, we started to specialize in US disco / funk imports, supplying the burgeoning DJ scene in the town. The now legendary Mick Fuller started working there in around ’78 and began organising club nights around the county, in particular the never to be forgotten Bognor Boogie Bus. The Brighton store was never a success, being tucked away round the back of the Square (they’d been promised a walkway from the seafront when they took the shop on – it never materialised) and it closed at the end of ’81. The manager, Trevor, went on to open Miles Ahead in Queen’s Road, taking me and Mick with him, but this only lasted for a year or so before going to the wall.

    By Cookster660 (26/09/2014)

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