Milner Road shops of my childhood

The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection" alt="Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection" />
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

I and my family lived in Milner Road opposite Redfers Road where on the corner, Mr Snow and his wife owned and lived over the corner shop. It was very convenient for mum to send us across for small items of food. There was a macabre hope burning in my heart that Mr Snow might cut off one of his fingers with the vicious machine that he used to slice the two rashers of bacon I had been sent to purchase. I wasn’t a cruel or spiteful child and Mr Snow was a lovely man, so the old lady I am now, wonders why such hope was harboured.

Further up Milner Road were a row of three shops. Mr Robinson ran a greengrocers; they were scruffy old places those days with a choice of white or King Edward potatoes, 1d and 1 and a halfpenny per pound. There was very limited choice of seasonal vegetables. Some families supplemented this by growing some produce in their gardens. Unfortunately my own father was unable to do this until the Anderson shelter which almost filled our garden was dismantled. Next door to Mr Robinson’s shop was Ken Darling who sold papers, sweets and 1d ice lollies. Maybe he sold more but my memory only stretches to those I’ve mentioned; I wonder why.

Where were your local shops? Share your memories by posting a comment below

Mr Payne’s shop was next and he sold groceries, with more variety than Mr Snow if I remember correctly. Other than shopping in these local shops, mum went to the Open Market which had originally been at The Level but was by this time running through from Ditchling Road at the top, and London Road at the bottom. Of course most families wouldn’t be able to shop in bulk. That was to come later, but certainly most people liked to stroll along London Road window shopping. Happy memories, but mostly my memories feature the Spring or Summer. I like washing machines, indoor toilets and central heating. Nostalgia is wonderful but I like now too.

Comments about this page

  • Where you have a picture of Edward St and John St is actually William St and Henry St. John St is the next street up. You can see Kingswood Flats through Henry St. I lived in John St two doors away from Kent’s shop at the top end of John St until 1956.

    By Gordon Hewitt (26/12/2016)
  • Ken Darling (mentioned in Linda’s post) later moved the newsagent business to the corner of Beaconsfield Road and Ditchling Drive until he retired. One of his famous forebears was instrumental in the design of early cine cameras and put Brighton on the map of early British cinematography.

    By Martin Scrace (29/12/2016)

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