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The Pie Shop, St James's Street

Yesterday, a walking companion mentioned how he remembered The Pie Shop in St. James’s Street. We both moved away from Brighton many years ago.

I immediately told him I actually had a photograph of the shop, with my then boyfriend standing in front of it, eating (most probably) a Beano pie, just before the shop closed for demolition. The shop closed down on the 25th April 1970.

Do you remember The Pie Shop? What sort of pies did you buy there?

The Pie Shop, St James's Street.
Photo by Diana Lambing

Comments about this page

  • Does anybody have a favourite Beano pie recipe? I’d love to make one to see what it tasts like. 

    By Eric Cook (23/05/2010)
  • I used to really like this shop, the pies were wonderful. I remember the queues around into Chaple Street from a very early age. This and other shops were replaced by a Green Shield Stamp shop.

    By Dave B (23/05/2010)
  • I remember the shop very well, my friends and I went there at least twice a week, en route to Whitehawk, where we lived. As well as the beano pie already mentioned, one of our favourites was the apple pie. We used to watch the bakers bake them right in front of your eyes. Meat and potato pie also. As I have stated in topics, and the lad (then) will verify, the beano pies were so hot and squelchy, that if you didn’t watch out, when you bit into them, the beans would come ousing out and drip down the front of your shirt. Happy days. Thanks for reminding me.

    By Harry Atkins (23/05/2010)
  • Do I remember the Pie Shop, who could forget it, I lived in High Street from 1940 to 1964, many the times after a long walk along the front or an evening at the one of those many many cinemas in the town, we four friends would gravitate to this shop. My favourite along with the beano was the cottage pie with the potato topping. They seemed to stay open very late and there was always a queue. Just think what the health and safety manics of today would have done to the shop.

    By Ken Ross (23/05/2010)
  • Came across this page by chance, what memories. My parents used to come into Brighton from Lewes where we lived and I always remember (I must have been only about seven), stopping and having a pie as a treat from this wonderful shop. I think it was a steak pie and came in a brown paper bag. Also recall the apple pies as lovely. I now live in Brighton and pass the site regularly.

    By Angie Onslow (25/05/2010)
  • I was born in 1922, and lived at 7 Firle Road, near the top of Freshfield, from 1928 to 1940. I used to go ice skating at SS Brighton on Friday and Saturday nights. My pals and I would walk home up St James Street and visit the Pie Shop (I thought it was called the Hot Pie Shop, at least, that’s what we called it). I always bought a meat and potato pie (if I had the fourpence needed), and would eat it out of the bag on the way home. You had to be careful not to burn your tongue and lips when you left the shop, but in a few minutes the pie was at just the right temperature for full enjoyment. Great days in Greater Brighton, Bob Green, now living in New Jersey, USA.

    By Robert Green (25/05/2010)
  • Mmmmmm. Beano, meat and potato, you couldn’t buy better in Brighton, loved this shop when I was a kid.

    By John Desborough (25/05/2010)
  • I remember the pie shop from the 40s buying their beano pies, and what was also delicious, was pease pudding and faggots.

    By Terry Shorter (26/05/2010)
  • I have fond memories of the pie shop and the pie most people remember ‘the beano pie’. The beano used to have a diamond piece of pastry on the top to differ it from a minced steak pie which was the same shape. The beano pie was filled with a mixture of minced steak and gravy, with baked beans and mashed potato. The shop always spotlessly clean with pastry cooks in white overalls busily rolling and pressing various shaped pies on their pie presses. I think I tried most of the pies they sold, but my favourites were the beano, cottage and the apple pies; that shop was sadly missed in St James’s Street when it was knocked down, it seems the one shop that everybody remembers.

    By Michael Brittain (26/05/2010)
  • I remember working in Conway Street, Hove and one of our drivers going over to Kemp Town especialy to visit the pie shop and bring us all back pies. They were fantastic, and yes, I too loved the beano pies.

    By John Hewitt (26/05/2010)
  • My wife and I lived in Upper Rock Gardens in the late 50s and 60s and loved any of their pies and well remember the queues out of the shop door and down the street.

    By Ken Burt (27/05/2010)
  • To Ken Ross, didn’t you live in two houses 26-27, almost next to Sharps toffees? Do you remember Bobby Featherbee, who lived in that little twitten between High Street and Chapel Street near the watch makers? Do you also remember going up to Jordan’s to get the accumulators filled for the radios, and Chris’ round the corner in Edward Street?

    By Harry Atkins (27/05/2010)
  • Beano pies were the best. Does anyone have the recipe for the beano pie?

    By Joyce Blackman (27/05/2010)
  • To Harry Atkins. Yes we had 26 and 27, 26 was a garage with a big room above it and connected to 27 at both levels. We had the sailors billeted on us who were training to he telegraphists at the Tech., and the woman who lived in 30 moved out and we took that on and the sailors lived there but had their meals in what was the garage of 26 as a carpet was put over the floor and the big garage door and rear door to the yard were curtained off. They ate at a big dinning table and we used to use the table for table tennis. Yes good old Jordans that sold everything and of course Chiris’s fish an chips, do you remember Stringers the newsagent in Edward Street and his elderly sister who came in very early every day form Portslaid on the milk train to help in the shop? They were open from about 6 in th morining to 8 at night every day. My father also was the landlord of The Little Globe at the top of what was Cavendish Street them, have a look at the picture of me and Father and sister on the corner by the pub in the Little Globe site you many need to look for the pages showing Brighton Pubs in this web site. After the war in 1960, 26 returned to being a garage where I had a car, all the houses are renumbered now and what was 27 is now 26 and all turned into flats. Where did you live at the time? are you still in Brighton if so it certainly now not the town I remember. I moved away in the middle 60s but so miss the sea to this day. Opposite to us was Gill’s and Son a small engineering factory and the church that is now also flats.

    By Ken Ross (28/05/2010)
  • Hi Ken. I ived in Mighell Street almost next door to Freemans, the wastepaper and rag merchants. We actually got paid for taking scrap paper, rags and woolens in those days! Yes I remember the Stingers. You wont believe this but in the early 60s, I lived in White Street and used to frequent the Little Globe quite a bit. Were your parents still there then? Since you say you were still in High Street in the 60s, do you remember Flynn’s, the cleaners in St James Street almost opposite your road? In the late 50s I was going up St James Street on my motor bike and a car came out of High Street, hitting me side on, and I landed in Flynn’s window! Luckily, just a minor leg injury and cuts and bruises. I still live local in Lower Bevendean.

    By Harry Atkins (29/05/2010)
  • To Harry Atkins, yes I do remember the cleaners, do you remember Gizzie’s the ice cream place just down the road from there and Gunn’s the fish shop opposite Woolworths? And then at the bottom of St James’s Street another ice cream place opposite the post office and of course Lyons Corner house, then across the Steine Electricity House – a popular place to arrange to meet up with your date? My father gave up the pub and retired in 1945 so was not there in the 60s. I got married in 1961 and left High Street but my mother and sister were there until about 1972. How did you come to recoginse my name? Did you know any of the others in and around the area of White Street and Blaker Street? Before they widened Edward Street do you recall all the pubs starting with the Dog Tray at the bottom and up to Rock Gardens there were something like 7 or so just in the short length of the road from the bottom to the top? If I recall they were the Thurlough Arms, the Royal Standard, the Great Globe, the Little Globe, then another a bit further up on the right and then one on the corner at the top of Rock Gardens. I now live in Buckinghamshire near a field would you believe that is the furthest field from coastal waters in England because it is at the fattest part of the country. That is why I miss the sea so very much.

    By Ken Ross (31/05/2010)
  • Sorry to butt in. I lived in White Street in early 60s to 80s. I may be a little younger than you guys but I remember Stringers at the end of Dorset Gardens and used to visit there after Church. The Little Globe was a regular place for my parents (run by the Davis family) and I used to sit on the stairs by the snug. I worked in Gizzi’s around 1974 and have fond memories of all the pubs you mention. There was also a fantastic hardware shop in Edward Street which could be White’s? It had a great smell to it with buckets and sawdust.

    By Dave Borley (31/05/2010)
  • Oh the memories of bunking off school and spending my dinner money on a beano pie.

    By Terry Anderson (31/05/2010)
  • To Dave Borley - the hardware shop was Vergo’s.

    By Ken Ross (03/06/2010)
  • To Dave: Do you know what happened to the Fulgonis: Anne and Jo? They lived a little up the road on the right – a few doors up up from the gent who drove the Tidys lorry from the power station to Wilson Avenue all day every day. Cheers

    By Harry Atkins (04/06/2010)
  • Harry: the name Fulgonis does not ring any bells with me. I would guess they may have lived at No.12 as I could put names to most at the time. The gent who drove the Tidy’s lorries may well have been my father, Jim. His brother Percy lived at No.16. Ken: I remember Virgos but I am not sure we are thinking of the same place. The shop I am thinking of was along the lines of the ‘four candles’ sketch and was nearer the end of Mighell Street.

    By Dave Borley (05/06/2010)
  • Dave, You are right, I now remember the shop you mean, and agree it really was a ‘four candles’ place. I can even see in my mind’s eye the counter and the, what appeared to me at the time, the old boy who ran the shop. Didn’t he always have a brown overall on all the time? I seem to think his wife also helped in the shop. Harry, how did you recognise my name and remember I lived at 26-27? Have a look at High Street on Google Maps and go to the street view – it is so changed and the church that was opposite 27 is now flats.

    By Ken Ross (06/06/2010)
  • I used to visit the pie shop every summer in the ’60s when on holiday in Brighton with my parents (Mum was a Brightonian but we lived in the Midlands). We used to stay in a little bedsit in Camelford Street run by Grace and Donald Duncan and we’d pop into the pie shop several times during the holiday for steak pies, cottage pies and apple pies-all so hot they burnt your mouth. It was a sad holiday in July 1970 when we arrived to find the Pie Shop closed.

    By Stella Hughes nee Tomkins (13/07/2010)
  • My husband had a sister who worked in the pie shop in St James’s Street, in fact she finished up marrying the owner in later life. I think most of us that lived in that area practically lived on those pies. I also remember Virgo’s, Mum used to buy her vineger there from a barrel, you had to take your own jug. There was Masons too, he sold tobacco and snuff – he was either a barber or hairdresser, Frances the sweetshop, and the Bakers on the corner of Mighel Street. Like you all say - Happy Days. My mouth still waters at the thought of those pies. During the war the Thurlow used to be packed out with Canadians and Yanks. It was great near Christmas because we lived just across the road from there, Mum would let us go sing Christmas carols outside. The Americans and Canadians were very generous with their money, and chewing gum also, they used to give us a roll of lifesavers.

    By Ann Roberts (nee Wickham) (31/07/2010)
  • I remember Anne Fulgoni and her cousin Catherine, they went to School at St. John the Baptist with me. So did Kathleen Buggy, who lived in Blaker Street, which someone has mentioned on this site. I am having a reunion with some schoolfriends in Brighton in a couple of weeks. I now live in Perth, Western Australia. I too remember Beano Pies and Lyons Corner House. I worked just up the road at Pigalle Modes in St. James Street and I used to meet my future husband at Electricity House. Lots of memories of about fifty years ago.

    By Jackie soutar (nee gladwell). (05/08/2010)
  • Just the mention of a ‘Beano’ gets my taste buds going . As a lad we used to rush out of the Brighton Boys Club in Devonshire Place on cold and dark winters evenings and into the warmth of the ‘Pie Shop. The aroma of freshlly baked pies was tantilising. We would walk down St James Street hot pie in hand savouring every mouth full. As regards  the recipe it was a rich savoury mince with baked beans added but I defy anyone to replicate them. As Michael Winner would say-they were historic.

    By Robin Tulley (12/08/2010)
  • Every time I look on this site brings good memories. That pie shop smelt good -those pies, the beano pie mmmmm

    By Peter Bridger (15/08/2010)
  • My father was the landlord of the Royal Oak (next to the pie shop) so I often snacked there. I have memories of my father receiving a hot pie in the eye from one of his disgruntled customers! I moved on in 1957. I went to Kings Cliff School near the hospital (which now seems to be a dyslexia centre). When I first lived in St James’s Street the trolley buses were running and Kemp Town was not a smart place to live. I went to “Hove Actually” and school at Hove College. I seem to remember there was a Pie Man in the window.

    By Don Cooper (03/05/2011)
  • I was just talking about these pies and thought I’d have a look and see if I could find something about the shop. My mum and sisters used to live in Brighton, but moved to Kent. I remember visiting Brighton in the ’60s quite a few times with my mum and always went to the pie shop. Mmmmmm, lovely!! The other things I remember a bit of is a red painted cafe up a hill and seem to think it was near a church hall but not too sure – roast dinner. And having a black silhouette cut out of myself by a man on the pier, sitting on a pink elephant along the seafront and a man with a monkey. Yes, lots of happy memories of Brighton, the place my late mum always loved.

    By V.Wood (12/05/2011)
  • Our parents sometimes brought us to Brighton in the 1960s for a holiday, and we loved the pie shop. We looked forward to it on every visit. The fruit pies were yummy, and the meat ones too. Ah, such fond memories. Where on earth could one find such a shop in this day and age? Does anyone know?

    By Roger Keynes (07/07/2011)
  • Does anyone remember the shop adjoined to the pie shop that repaired ladies stockings on a funny little machine, sort of darning the ladders in the nylons as the girls called them? I can still see in my mind’s eye the little blobs of nail varnish that girls dabbed on to try and stop the run up the leg! Some used to draw a line up the back of their legs if they couldn’t afford to buy nylons. My young aunt would sometimes even stain her legs with strong cold tea to make them look tanned. Sounds silly now but hey that was a long time back.

    By Duffy Watkins (09/07/2011)
  • Hello Duffy, I am responding to your piece about the ‘nylons’. I well remember nylon repairers, although not so conscious of the one you recall in St James’s Street. I remember the silk tights worn by the ‘older generation’, grandma and co, and then the thicker nylons, probably winter time mode. They would have all cost a little more and were worth repairing. Stockings were also handy as, when one laddered, it could be worn with another odd one. When tights came on the scene they were another story. When they laddered then the process of finding a natural coloured nail varnish certainly became a need. You can’t mix and match with tights! What a relief, though, not to have to wear suspender belts all day through. I do realise from after war times all these things were maybe difficult to get for our parents and probably not a priority on the shopping list. It was only later we were able to ‘buy and throw’ when pocket money grew a bit more. Blobs of coloured varnish on a ladder and hand drawn seams on the back of legs seem quite modest and a whole world away from the body painting and tatoos we see nowadays. Sorry fellas, not much to do with pies. We could pop in next door and buy a Beano to eat while we waited for the ladders to be repaired!

    By Sandra (10/07/2011)
  • Hi Don, my grandmother may have worked in the Royal Oak when your father was the landlord. Her name was Ivy Tully and she lived round the corner in Devonshire Place.

    By Nick Phillips (16/06/2012)
  • My father drove for Tidys in the 60’s

    By Richard Wynn (07/10/2013)
  • Does anyone know where I can find the tins (or even the names of them) that they’d cook the pies in?  My mother lived in the area and remembers these pies fondly and I’d love to try to find something similar to at least try to recreate the shape if not the exact item :)  Thanks 

    By Tracy Williams (02/11/2013)
  • I remember the name Ivy Tully from my youth (Nick Phillips’ post above). I was in the Royal Oak at the weekend – what a change!

    By Don Cooper (19/05/2014)
  • Hi Ken, I worked at Gill & Sons from ’56-70. I have a photo taken in High Street looking north towards Edward Street, one with Stringers shop in the background and one after it was demolished for road widening! I can remember collecting spray paint from Horace & Williams paint factory in Riding School Lane.  Those were the days!

    By David Dela Nougerede (15/10/2015)
  • Theres a wonderful Pie Shop in Baker Street near The Level. It’s been there for several years and I think it’s just as good as the one in St James St.

    By Vi Lankstead (02/07/2016)
  • I remember going to the pie shop back in 1966. I would take a trip to Brighton from Portslade and 9 times out 10 I would have enough money left for bus fare or a beano pie. Needless to say the pie always won out – at least I would have something to eat on the way home.

    By Tina Compton (nee Hickey) (09/07/2016)
  • For Diana Lambing, who posted the photo – I believe this is Brian Farr, who I married in 1973.  We had one child together, he remarried and now has quadruplet boys.  I recognized that jacket, green suede, was it yours? Please let me know, I would love to send this picture to Brian. His lovely mother and father of course passed away years ago. Brian has lived in the United States since 1976.

    By Maggie (21/10/2016)
  • Well sure as hell looks like me Maggie. But I neither remember the jacket, the shoes, or the pies… but since I like pies … its probably is me LOL.

    By Brian Farr (24/01/2017)
  • I used to buy lunchtime pies in this shop when I worked in an office near the bottom of Church Street in the late 1960s. I have no recollection of it being so far up St James’s Street, but it obviously was, as that is definitely Chapel Street in the photo.  A small part of the Co-operative food store now stands on the site of the old Pie Shop.

    By Alan Hobden (25/01/2017)
  • Yes, I do remember the pie shop in St James’s St, Brighton. I generally bought only pies with sweet fillings there though – they made a pineapple pie, I recall … very scrummy! I actually bought a couple of pies there around Easter time 1970, so that must have been shortly before they closed down. The whole block was being demolished to make way for the Green Shield Stamp premises.

    By Anna Borsey (27/03/2017)
  • i now live in NZ but I saw the photo and I immediately tasted a beano pie! Still the best pie I ever tasted from my youth in the mid sixties. Sooooo good! A memory for ever!

    By Yvonne Tullett (09/05/2017)
  • Who could possibly forget the Pie Shop and their incredible pies?  One could stand at the counter whilst being served, watching the baker in his “whites” continuously loading/unloading trays of the most beautiful, delicious hot pies you would ever taste!  In addition to the favourite Beano, the Meat & Potato must have come a close second. I rarely had a fruit pie because one was likely to end up with a scalded tongue in the haste to gobble it down!  I’m a non-meat eater now, but still marvel at how tender and tasty was the meat. The potato content was out of this world, no lumps yet nothing like “Pom”, all encased in a perfectly baked pastry shell, crisp on top with no sign of a soggy bottom.  All that for a “tanner” each (old silver 6d), when I was buying in the 60’s.

    By Brian Hatley (10/05/2017)
  • Always called into the Pie Shop when I came home on leave in the 60s. Meat and Potato and a Beano were the best. Even converted a Geordie friend when he came to stay over a weekend. Even when the hot beans burnt his mouth and went down the front of his uniform, he was hooked! Great times.

    By Gerald Jellicoe (10/05/2017)
  • I remember the Pie Shop in St James’s Street very well, but I remember the sister Pie Shop in Blatchington Road in Hove better, as I was an electrical apprentice in Haddington Street for Armature Services Company, the road being right opposite The Pie Shop. My morning job was to buy Beano pies, meat and potato pies and sausage rolls for the staff in that small company. My favourite was the Beano pie as well, I have never seen those since I went off to do National Service in 1958, I reckon they will be a winner if Pukka Pies started to bake them.

    By Vic Bath (12/05/2017)
  • The Pie Shop,
    What wonderful memories they were as a teenager. You could not pass the pie shop without entering and purchasing your favourite pie, whatever.
    My goodness some were so hot when you started eating them.
    A branch of the co-Op now stands on the site. (I would sooner have the pie shop.
    Going way back to the 1840’s, there was a carpet shop on the site. A man stole a carpet from the shop and ran away up Chapel Street. He was caught and taken to the Town Hall police station. During his interview with the Chief Constable he struck the Chief Constable on the head which killed him.

    By David Rowland (historian) (11/08/2020)
  • You will never find another pie shop in the world like the pie shop in St James Street. I was always in there in the 60’s, my favourite was the beano pie.I have travelled the world and never found a pie shop that came close.I miss that shop I always have.

    By John henry (24/08/2020)
  • The Pie Shops were owned by a cousin of my mother’s, Charles Robinson and later, until the one in St James’s Street closed, by his son Jack. We lived in Horsham and when we came down to Brighton we used to get steak & kidney pies from The Pie Shop (probably free!) for our picnic lunch on the beach and they were delicious. I can still just remember the shop in Blatchington Road as well or, at least, the flat above so that must have been post 1951 when I was born. I’ve got a letter dated 1940 on headed note paper from The Pie Shops and there are three others listed on there as well so they must have had a small chain of them at that time.

    By Janice Blackwell (05/08/2023)
  • How could anyone who had so much as one beano pie, ever forget that wonderful flavour. Sadly, I have not lived in Brighton for many years, but I never forget that shop and its tantalising aroma’s.
    l used to shop in Jimmy street with my grandmother, she was on first name terms with most of the shopkeepers.
    Gunns fish shop used to be my go to place for fish scraps, which I used for bait.
    Going off the subject a bit, does anyone else remember the working mens cafe at the bottom of Edward street? An excellent meat, potato’s and two veg lunch was served Every day for very little money.
    Happy days. B-)

    By Barry Page (07/08/2023)
  • My brother used to work on the bumper cars, next to the Palace Pier, every Friday (payday) we used to go to get his money and go to the pie shop in St James Street, we all loved the Beano pies, plus the apple pie for afters, our mother always had the meat and potato, Happy days.

    By Patricia Fish (22/09/2023)
  • We loved the pie shop. Going there was a treat. We used to have week’s family holiday in Brighton, from about 1957 to 1962. For memories. The pies were delicious. I can picture mine now.

    By Roger (21/12/2023)
  • The Pie shop is well remembered in our childhood during the summer holidays in the 1960s.
    We were send off to Black Rock beach (rain or shine).
    Mum went shopping in St James’s Street for nan and grandad and called in to shop for 2 beanos and 2 meat and potato pies. She then brought the pies down to us, still warm. Delicious!

    By Marilyn (22/12/2023)
  • Wonderful pie shop, my mum used the pie shop and so did I in the 1960 and right through to the 1970. I used to work in Boots 1960 in St James Street always went every day for lovely meat & beano pies, all the pies were delicious. My mum was a Stanbridge and I was Sylvia Kettley till I married, my husband also used the pie shop when he worked for Lelliots . All good first class ingredients. Such happy days, always busy. 24/01/2024.

    By Sylvia Jenkins (24/01/2024)

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