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Father Christmas at Wades Department Store

Father Christmas and Bonny in Wades Brighton
From the private collection of Bonny Cother

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  • This picture brings back memories of Father Christmas appearing in many parts of Brighton in the pre-war days. There was a big Department Store opposite the Palmeira Stores where he regularly appeared on the roof descending the chimney. A furniture store near to the Clock Tower arranged their window display to present a bedroom scene with Father Christmas filling the childrens’ stockings. Woolworths in London Road had wonderful set pieces. The one I remember best was a train carriage which moved, with the scenery rolling by, which to a child was an amazing thing. The presents were pretty predictable and there seemed to be a preponderance of little tin teasets for the girls. Another strong Christmas memory is of choosing the Christmas cards at Woolworths, where a long counter was heaped with individual cards, which had varied (long) verses and illustrations, all of which had to be read to fit the recipient. The counter was surrounded by customers all jostling and building up their choices for the whole family. It took a long time, but the reward for patience was a ham and tomato roll at the tea counter.

    By Rita Denman (29/05/2008)
  • I have a photo of my sister and I taken with the same Father Christmas holding his bells in his hands. I think it was taken between 1946/48

    By Maralyn (01/06/2008)
  • I have a photo of myself with my two brothers and Father Christmas in Wade’s in 1963. Strangely, we are all wearing our school caps and berets!

    By Renia Simmonds (nee Lambor) (04/03/2010)
  • If I remember correctly, Wades had a shoe department, I think, upstairs where I first had my feet X-rayed with a wonderful machine where you put your new shoes on, stepped up onto the machine then entered your feet into a large “slot”. Then you and the assistant could view the fit of your feet into the new shoe by looking into viewers on the top of the machine. All clever stuff.

    By John Snelling (12/11/2012)
  • Does anyone recall a Jane Pritchard who worked at Wades in the 50’s or 60’s?

    By Eric McErlain (30/01/2023)

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