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Photo from the mid-1950s

Photo of Church Street past New Road and the Central National School on the right, demolished in 1971 before the protection order was received during a postal strike. The space has been the proposed site of a new Central Library. Photograth by J. F. Smith - photographer.
Image reproduced with permission from Brighton History Centre

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  • Just visible on the left side of the photograph of Church Street is the shop front of W.J. Crabb & Son, Wine Merchants. My Father worked there before and after WW2. Although not visible in the photograph, the entire block was occupied by the firm. I think the shop is now a hairdressers and most of the rest of the premises are occupied by Dockerals Ironmerchants. Ironicaly my father went to school with Wally Dockeral.

    By Raymond (Dickie) Bird (21/03/2006)
  • Further up the hill from where this photo was taken, you would be able to find No. 81 Church Street. It was here in about 1851 that my great, great grandfather, Henry Drury, moved to from the Islington area of London and started his hairdressing business. One day I hope to return to Brighton and photograph this shop and some of the other addresses relevant to my family history, if they still exist.

    By Michael Drury (04/04/2006)
  • My mother, in her 80s now, just recently told me that she remembered that Dockerills used to have a ‘company cat’ that was quite old and used to sleep on the counter most of the day, its bed being a basket of nails or tacks which never seemed to do it much harm. When the last old cat died it wasn’t replaced. This must have been 30 years ago or so. Does anyone in the Dockerill family (or a staff member) remember the Dockerills cat? Incidentally another fine and flourishing family business in this area is Pullingers shoe shop in Bond Street which I believe is now in the third or more generation. Like Dockerills they believe in customer service and seem to always have what you want in stock (and if not they will get it for you). Pullingers doesn’t have a cat in the shop however.

    By Adrian Baron (06/08/2009)
  • The Dockerills cat that I remember lay in a shopping basket (on cushions) and was positioned near the till so that whilst you were waiting to be served you could stroke the animal – very soothing if the customer in front was taking his time. This was the late 1980s and possibly early 1990s. The shop now has a photo by the till of the old tabby in its memory

    By Helen Mitchell (06/08/2009)
  • Up near the top on the left in the photo was a second hand bric-a-brac shop. It had a large galvanized container with dirty water in it, there was a chain attached to a sign which said ‘pay a penny & pull up the chain & see the water otter’. When you pulled up the chain there was a kettle on the end of it! That was in the early fifties.

    By terry hyde (09/10/2011)

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