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Photograph undated

This photograph shows Ann Street which is just off London Road.

Can you suggest a date? Do you remember any of the shops in the photograph?

If you can share information or memories, please leave a comment below.

Click on the photograph to open a large version in a new window.

Ann Street
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove

Comments about this page

  • It was obviously winter and a very cold day.

    By John VK2 (12/05/2011)
  • I would hazard a guess on the date being around 1966. The pushchair in the photo is a Maclaren Stroller and these were first produced in 1966. This date would also tie in with the style of clothing being worn by the man, especially his hat which was made popular by The Beatles around the time of their film and album ‘Help’ which was made in 1965.

    By Leigh Sturgeon (12/05/2011)
  • Next to St Bartholomew’s Church, Blatchington’s Carpet Dealers was the adjacent tall building. The Speedway Motor & Cycle Co. appeared around 1961, so the picture is later than that. The Greengrocer’s was actually in London Road, the flank walll along Ann Street is what is seen in the picture. Although this passed through a number of hands during the 1960s, I believe the picture shows it as ‘The Hole in the Wall’ Fruiterers. This would date the picture to the latter half of the decade, my guess is around 1968.

    By Andy Grant (12/05/2011)
  • I went to St.Bartholomews school on Providence Place from 1954-1960. I remember the greengrocers and the carpet shop, although not the names but it does say Blatchingtons, which rings a bell. I lived in Brighton until 1965 and this is how I remember it, if that’s any help. I used to cross London Road at the bottom of Ann Street to go over to The Level.

    By Anne Newman (12/05/2011)
  • The pushchair gives a clue, not that I’m an expert on pushchairs, but I don’t think this “buggy” type was out in the 1960s, so my guess is early 1970s.

    By Peter Groves (12/05/2011)
  • As a parka-wearing “Mod”, I well remember the Speedways scooter shop being in Ann Street in the late 1960s! New and used scooters lined the ground floor, while the parts and counter were upstairs. Their main competitors in the town were Blabers, in Dyke Road, Brighton, just above Imperial Arcade.

    By Alan Hobden (12/05/2011)
  • I purchased a second hand Lambretta SX 200 in Speedway motors in 1973; they had a workshop across the road on the corner of Providence Place. I paid £92.00 for the motor scooter, my weekly wage then as an apprentice was £10.20. I think Speedway Motors moved to the east side of Lewes Road sometime in the late 70s and Ransoms sell everything shop moved in the premises.

    By Michael Brittain (12/05/2011)
  • Early seventies, going by shoes, prices and buggy.

    By John Cording (12/05/2011)
  • It looks late 60s or early 70s and I think the greengrocers was either Ray or Harry Barton?

    By Martin Hedgecock (12/05/2011)
  • I remember the shop called Speedway – this is where all us Mods bought our scooters, lambrettas and Vespas. I think they moved to Lewes Road

    By Ken Chick (12/05/2011)
  • I remember the shops and the greengrocers on the corner which was called “The Hole in the Wall”. The date is around the late 1960s, as the buildings above St. Bartholomews Church were demolished about that time.

    By F. Hards (12/05/2011)
  • Looking at the greengrocer’s prices I think that they’re all marked up in decimal currency. The top left one appears to read 16p. and even after opening the image in Photoshop, I can’t entirely confirm that but neither can I see any indication of a “shilling stroke”. Everything seem to be priced just using figures, so if that is the case, this must have been taken no earlier than 1971.

    By Jester the Clown (12/05/2011)
  • If they are still available, a useful way of dating a photograph is from the negatives. From the late 60s coding backs were available and fitted to some cameras for adding the date to the neg alongside the strip number (found on the edge of the negative by the sprocket holes). Also many processing labs dated the lead end of the neg strip and the return photo wallet for their records. Maybe their own code, but usually the month and year was recognisable.

    By Bob (13/05/2011)
  • Bob. If I said Paragon Photographic printing, would it mean anything to you? A Bob, was my wedding photographer, we worked together. I was a bridesmaid at your wedding! Just your knowledge as to negs etc made me think you may be my long lost friend. I was Smith then!

    By Jennifer Tonks (13/05/2011)
  • Further to my comment above ref the pushchair in the photo, after a bit of research I’ve found that Owen Maclaren patented his design for the Stroller in 1965 and it went on sale in 1967. The greengrocers price tickets, to me, look as if they are marked in shillings and pence as you can clearly see the ‘d’ indicating old pence. So in my opinion the picture must be dated somewhere between 1967 and 1971 (Feb).

    By Leigh Sturgeon (15/05/2011)
  • For Jennifer Tonks (14/05/2011) Sorry Jennifer, I am probably not the Bob who photographed your wedding although I have covered many. The reason I say this is I actually have never been married. (always managed to duck at the right moment!). As for Paragon Photographic, I knew it and believe it was in West Street. Also there was a gentleman there, possibly the boss by the name of Watts. Maybe you could confirm this for me. I worked with David Packham (Photographer) late of Springfield Rd. You can see a little of my work in another article on this excellent site regarding Kings West Ice Rink and the Orange Time Piece Disco. I do remember a couple of Bob’s (pun) from back then who we sometimes shared work with, so I will scratch my head and search old address books and if I can find more details I will post info here, or on the message board and link with your name.

    By Bob Catt (15/05/2011)
  • Dunno about the date of this pic, but on the opposite side of Ann Street out of camera view would have been Needham’s Music Shop, a tiny musical instrument and sheet music shop owned by the eponymous Mr Needham. He was a good friend of my grandmother, who bought all her violin strings and rosin and sheet music there, and as a result he allowed me to purchase a Hohner Chrometta Ten harmonica in 1962 when I was 13, and to pay the thirteen shillings it cost off at two bob a week. I have to admit I never did finish paying for it, but I can’t remember why. The last time I was in Brighton, about eighteen months ago, I walked up Ann Street and the faded Needham’s shop sign was still visible above the old window although the shop has clearly been closed for may years.

    By Len Liechti (15/05/2011)
  • The veg shop on the corner was owned by an old school friend called Roy Yeates, who also ran a stall in the open market off of London Road. It was operated by Roy’s brother Billy

    By Duffy Watkins (16/05/2011)
  • Hallo BOB CATT. Thank you for replying. I must have missed your surname or I would have realized you were not he. It was Taylor. He,like me, would be in his 60s. I worked at Paragon West Street for several years in the late 60s. Yes, Pete Watts and George Rowe were the owners. I worked in the dark room but, from time to time I served customers collecting their photos, so I possibly came across you at some time. I will take a look at your articles on here. Best wishes Jenny.

    By Jennifer Tonks (16/05/2011)
  • Yes, Taylor rings a bell. We did not use Paragon as we did our own proc, print and glazing. Peter was our neighbour at Bevendean. His poor unfortunate daughter was one of my early victims when I was refining my portrait techniques. I still have a couple of 10 x 8s. I am struggling to remember her name (possibly Catherine). A very pretty little girl, extremely shy, she would have been between 13 -15 years at the time. I do have one posted on Flickr but it has been damaged with time and being buried under clutter. I no longer have the negs so had to make do with a scan. I will paste the link here if this is allowed and you may remember her on her visits to the works. If I come across anything regarding Bob Taylor I’ll be in touch.

    By Bob (originally from Brighton) (16/05/2011)
  • “The greengrocers price tickets, to me, look as if they are marked in shillings and pence as you can clearly see the ‘d’ indicating old pence”. You must have amazing vision then Leigh because even using CS5, I, amongst others couldn’t see that.

    By Jester the Clown (16/05/2011)
  • Hi BOB CATT. Her name was Yvonne! For a time she worked with us. This would be 68/69 abouts. I too lived at Lower Bevendean from 1951 to 1960ish. They were at Shoreham I believe later.

    By Jennifer Tonks (17/05/2011)
  • Well Mr Jester, I don’t consider my vision to be amazing and I have no idea what CS5 is, I simply zoomed in on the photo to 250%. I may be wrong, but It looks as though the price tickets to the right of the photo are marked as 1’5d, 1’2d, 5’10d and1’2d. The d indicating pence is at the top of the last digits, I’m not able to do that on my computer.

    By Leigh Sturgeon (17/05/2011)
  • Hi do you remember Jean Winterborn? She also worked at Paragon and she would have been about 1957-1960 I think. She’s still going strong at 84 and hardly gets a sniffle. Now she lives Wales.

    By Ron Edmonds (17/05/2011)
  • I am sorry Ron no, I was there 1966 onwards. There are others who have been on my Brighton and Hove that were there longer than me. Hopefully one of them will look in. Best wishes to Jean.

    By Jennifer Tonks (17/05/2011)
  • For Jennifer Tonks. You don’t know me nor I you, but following the messages about Bob and photography etc. I kept thinking of my old pal Bob who, in the 1950s (is that too ancient for you?) worked in the darkroom for Avery’s, top of St James’s Street. Also covered weddings etc. But he wasn’t Catt. He was, and still is, Bob Taylor! Must be a coincidence, since you say your Bob is in his 60s. My Bob is in his late 70s! I will mention your name to him next time we speak (he now lives Eastbourne). A real nuisance that he doggedly refuses to become a Silver Surfer!

    By Brian Hatley (06/06/2011)
  • Brian Hatley. Thankyou for replying. Sadly I do not think this is my old friend. Just a bit older than my friend Bob. I do appreciate your contribution to my search. Thankyou.

    By Jennifer Tonks (08/06/2011)
  • Hi Jennifer – this is probably not of much interest to you, but I was one of the artists who moved into Paragon in 1985 and used the building as artist studios for 2 years. I remember negotiating the lease with George Rowe and the smell of developer fluid still takes me straight back to those times. After two years we all moved to the next property awaiting redevelopment – Bennetts Hardware store on North Road – another warren and more happy times. I found this page by doing a search for Kodak following their recent troubles, as I’m sure that the West Street building was one of their first laboratories in the country (1920s?), prior to Paragon? 

    By Jon Mills (20/01/2012)
  • What a strange building it was Jon. Up the alley way to the door was a few steps up to what looked like dwellings. On the left of door were toilets and the rest of the floor was for developing. In the summer we would sunbathe on a rusty old roof. Oh, the folly of youth. Up the stairs from the front door was the counter for the public to collect their photos. On that same floor the posting, checking of films, with a processing room behind. Many a celeb would come in to collect. The next floor up was a small kitchen where “mice” made themselves at home in the sugar. Up a bit more was the staff room. We looked out on to the Middle Street School. The emergency way out was a straight iron ladder. What I recall are the mice that ran the place. At least I think they were mice as I was in the dark room. I was in there when the cinema next door was demolished. Up West Street was a sweet shop,then a sandwich place,then a chemist.The Bosun was our lunchtime haunt. Happy days.

    By Jennifer Tonks (20/01/2012)
  • George Rowe was my boss. A very nice man. His business partner was Peter Watts. George did the black and white side, Peter the colour side. I would be interested to hear what it was like when you went in there Jon.

    By Jennifer Tonks (20/01/2012)
  • Prior to Paragon it was Taylors where my auntie worked.

    By Ron Edmonds (20/01/2012)
  • The buildings above the church were demolished after 1965. My husband worked for a company in Ann Street called Hetex which was above the church and that closed down in 1965. I don’t know if anyone remembers but the Hetex office used to be a public house. In earlier years it had an Italian name.

    By kathleen catt (21/01/2012)
  • Hi Jennifer – my memories are a little hazy, but we filled many skips to make room for ourselves! All of the little darkrooms had to made bigger (and lighter!) for artists to paint in and do their stuff. I’m a metalworker, and set up a little forge in the shed in the back garden (overlooking the school playground). Wonderful north lights on the 1st floor kept the painters happy and we used the main room downstairs for a gallery space, which was very popular whilst we were there. There was one painter who went on to be quite famous, and I have an old transparency of him, in his studio there, (the gents toilet at the front on the ground floor) – replete with cisterns along the wall behind him. Perhaps it’ll be worth something one day! When I walk down West St now, it’s difficult to believe we all had workshops there – and in the days when no shops opened on a Sunday – we used to joke about the tumble-weed blowing down there.

    By jon mills (23/01/2012)
  • Wonder what happened to the printing machines? Big heavy things they were. Sitting there in semi darkness with something passing over your feet was worth a photo taken of our faces! ’66/’73 I was there. I enjoyed it very much. Wish I knew where all those people I worked with are now.Thank you Jon.

    By Jennifer Tonks (24/01/2012)
  • I worked at Paragons 1979-1984, my mum (Pat) was in charge and worked for Peter Watts. I remember George too. They were an odd partnership really. I do have fond memories of working there though. I remember Keith Burt, who took photos at my wedding, Jean Vaughan, Sue Robinson, Carol Robinson. The winters were freezing and I also remember the strikes going on at that time. I earned £37.50 a week, full time. Happy times.

    By Carol (03/05/2012)
  • The date is pre 15th February 1971 as the prices in the shop are pre decimal.

    By Chris Young (24/01/2014)
  • The shop previously occupied by Speedway Motors is now Ransoms, who also have the adjoining shop, formerly Blatchingtons, on the corner of Providence Place. I wish it was still Speedway.

    By Alan Hobden (27/02/2014)
  • Almost exactly opposite these shops if I remember rightly there was a music shop called Needhams where I got my dad’s guitar and banjo strings from. That was in the 50s when my dad had a stall in the Open Market. 

    By Mick Peirson (28/02/2014)
  • I bought my first guitar from Mr Needham in the 1950s while I was still at school. Later, guitar teaching became my career.

    By Patrick Benham (02/07/2018)
  • This was my Grandads and his brothers shop! And my dad was always part of it (Gary Steele). When it moved over to Lewes Road it switched over to just my grandad Ted Steele’s business. I remember polishing the bikes for 50p and going to the sweet shop next door in the 80s.
    My dad Gary Steele still repairs motorcycles in Hastings. You may have some old memories to share. Memories are important.

    All the best
    David Steele

    By David Steele (10/08/2020)
  • Bought my Yamaha 200 cc cs3e in speedways March 1972, may have been there a few years I say 1970s.

    By Derek (01/05/2021)
  • I remember Speedways well & browsed there many a time although same year as Derek got his Yamaha I bought a new Honda CB175 from Redhill Motors also in 1972 to replace a Yamaha 100! I had a mate with a Yamaha 200 though, great bike. A bit off subject but I also used to go a lot to a lovely little music shop opposite Speedways in Anne St called Needhams where I used to buy music & still have the guitar I bought there for £15 when I was in my teens.

    By Rob Tasker (02/05/2021)

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