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Le Carbone: Portslade

South Street

This picture was taken in the 1950’s by Machinery, National House, West Street, Brighton inside Le Carbone  (Great Britain) Ltd, South Street, Portslade. The building was once the Southdown Brewery built in 1881 in South Street, Portslade.

French company

Second row second from the left is a lady named Dolly. Third row on the right, beside the pillar is Natalie Heryet. She also worked as a French translator for the company. The mangement team at that time spoke only English, the company was a French company, Natalie did the translations for the company at Portslade.

Le Carbone Portslade
From the private collection of Eileen Heryet

Comments about this page

  • I worked at Le Carbone as secretary to David Hicks, Manager of the Special Carbons Department from 1970 until 1973. The shop floor shown in the picture had been expanded somewhat to that shown in the photograph. I had no excuse for being late for work as I only lived in North Road and could see my office as soon as I walked out of the front door! My eldest brother, who is now 76, actually had the task of climbing the chimney when he was a mere apprentice teenager to execute repairs – rather him than me!

    By Barbara Etherton (24/11/2010)
  • I worked at Le Carbone from September to December 1970 as a general dogsbody while I decided what to do with my degree. De Gaulle died in November that year and we had a minute silence and the tricolour was flown at half-mast.

    By Terry Cooper (06/09/2016)
  • Elsie Denman worked at Le Carbone for many years. I used to play at her house Monday to Friday with her daughter Sylvia.  Was not allowed over on Saturday and of course Sunday was Sunday School at the Mile Oak “Tin Hut”.

    By Bonny Cother (07/09/2016)
  • My mum, Dorothy, worked there as a first aider in the late 50s, early 60s. I remember many tales of people being burned by pitch. H&S wouldn’t have been the same in those days! They used to put on a big Christmas party each year for the kids of employees, and I think they had quite a good social scene for employees as well.

    By Mick Wright (07/09/2016)
  • I left the Brighton and Hove Grammar School in late 1941 at the age of nearly 17 knowing that I was going to be called up in a few months time at 17 1/2. I got a temporary job with Le Carbone whose factory was on the South side of Shoreham Harbour about 50 yards from the lagoons. I was employed as a general dogsbody and looked after and recorded the testing of one of each batch of batteries produced. Also I had to record and keep rack of all the crates that were used for transporting the batteries. The main users at that time were the Railway Companies. Does the Company still exist? The Works Director was a Mr Long I believe.

    By Jack Galway (20/09/2016)
  • Was wondering whether Dolly in the photo was Dot Humphrey who married a Mr Grover who worked there. Dot was a near neighbour at Southdown Road.

    By Ken Broomfield (25/11/2019)
  • My Daddy Raymond Foot worked there for a long time, I remember the children’s Christmas parties they were always really good. Sometimes I would pop in with my dad when he got called out it was always a place of fascination.

    By Lin Hunter (17/07/2022)
  • I was the first apprentice Le Carbone took in 1977, maintenance department. Ray Foot was my manager and I remember his daughter Lin who worked in the office. Mr Pound was the MD then. The battery making part of the company was sold off then and they only produced specialized carbon products.

    By Dave Dicker (06/01/2023)
  • My late mum, then Dorothy Wright, worked there as a first aider in the late 50s/early 60s. Not sure just how much training she had as all she had was a St John’s Ambulance handbook to deal with the many burns that employees got from working with battery acid. They did have a very active social club and she left many photos of staff parties.

    By Mick Wright (10/01/2023)
  • I worked from 1973 to 1975 and I remember Ray Foot well. He was a perfect gentleman and also very helpful. I worked for Eric Davies who was also very good at his job and very helpful. I remember my two years there with affection and glad to be employed in the 1970’s which was a good time to work.

    By jamie hodge (11/01/2023)

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