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A fire in the stables

Bristol Gardens in 1962
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Chickens and other animals

I remember these buildings as a kid in the 1940s and 1950s. If I remember rightly, there were a couple of workshops/garages, and a stable at the far end which was run by a Mr and Mrs James. They lived in the twitten between the end of Princes Terrace and Manor Hill. The stables kept lots of chickens and other animals. I think it was in the late 1940s that the stables caught fire.

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Horses led to safety

I distinctly remember a fireman carrying out a tray of day old chicks that were thankfully unhurt. Of course the horses were led out to safety, and were tied up across the road in the entrance to a big house, the vicarage I think. Mr and Mrs James were kind hard-working folk with a very strong Sussex accent.

A long time ago!

The fire brigade I suppose had to come from Preston Circus as the fire station in Roedean Road was not built yet. It is such a long time ago now, it is difficult to remember. A friend of mine lived a bit further down Bristol Gardens in a basement flat behind Sussex Square, and there was access to one of the dwellings in Sussex Square through the basement.

Comments about this page

  • I lived at number 9, named Bristol House, in 1971 to 1973 whilst working at Sussex River Authority, the Marina Project. There was a pub just down the road but I cannot remember the name.

    By Rob Body (21/03/2020)
  • The ‘couple of workshops/garages’ mentioned above and shown in the photo were, in the 1950s,’Joe’s Garage’. He seemed to specialise in repairing Lancias. The stables at the end of Bristol Gardens nearest Church Place was East Brighton Riding Stables. I have a photo taken from our garden in Church Place about 1954 which shows these premises from the other side and the sign on the wall can be seen.
    Surely the Mr and Mrs James mentioned were the vicar and his wife? Reverend James took over at St Mark’s Church early in the 1950s and persuaded me to join the choir but I can’t now remember his first name.
    These premises were originally the coach houses and stables for Nos 19 and 20 Sussex Square which was the home of the Marquess of Bristol during the 19th century. It recently came to light that one of my wife’s forbears, John Perman, was coachman to the Marquess and lived above the coach house there.
    I believe the nearby pub was the Clyde Arms.

    By Tim Sargeant (23/03/2020)
  • I was in the Choir at this time as was Vic Fuller.

    By Michael Penfold (25/03/2020)
  • Michael, How nice to hear from someone from those days! I’m sorry but I’m afraid I can’t now remember the names of anyone who was in the choir at St Mark’s. Friday night was choir practice and the choir master / organist was Victor Bradley. Was the head boy a chap called Bush? I was second boy and later a server. We left Church Place Brighton in May 1957. I am trying to find a copy of the Parish Magazine from those days as my mother did the photo of St Mark’s which was on the cover. Any ideas where I might look?

    By Tim Sargeant (25/03/2020)

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