Memories of the 1940s

Fiveways:click on image to open a large version in a new window
Photo by Tony Mould
Fiveways:click on image to open a large version in a new window
Photo by Tony Mould
Corner of Hythe Road:click on image to open a large version in a new window
Photo by Tony Mould

My Saturday job

When I was a schoolboy in the 1940s I used to work on Saturdays and school holidays for Flynns the dry cleaner, and I enjoyed making the rounds of Hollingbury with my delivery cycle which had a small wheel at the front surmounted in a frame by a large wicker basket. When loaded the vicious beast could toss the contents on the ground in front of one by a careless manoeuvre. In the middle of the road , opposite the shop, stood one of the log cabin shelters where the trams used to pause before continuing west or south.

A weekly chocolate treat

At the Stanmer Hotel, kept by Mr. Dawbarn, my adopted aunt Dolly worked as barmaid for many years and her great favourite was his son, Denzil. My cousin Eric opened the radio and TV store ‘Preston Radio’ close to Eastwood’s the Garden Centre. On the corner of Hythe Road stood a sweet shop from which another aunt bought me each week, a bar of Cadbury’s milk chocolate. On the opposite side of Ditchling Road was a green grocer whose name I think was Sinden.

A village atmosphere

So many memories and so difficult to bring it all back. The name Five Ways was not known to me then; it was to Hollingbury that I delivered. The atmosphere was like a village with such friendly people and small shops flourished offering plenty of choice to their customers. I think that the Co-op had a store on the north-west corner but it is a long time since I visited to see what remains of this community.

Do you remember?

Do you remember any of these shops? Maybe your memories of Fiveways are of a later time. If you can share any memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • I lived at Fiveways from 1946 to 1969, at No. 78 Hythe Road, the last house of the long terrace before the gardens/garages of Preston Drove began, long since replaced with an assortment of houses. Starleys garage was at the Lowther Road end of the road. Between Hythe and Preston Drove was a dairy owned by two sisters I think and a haberdashery shop next door which always smelt very musty inside. They had yellow plastic blinds to protect the window display from the sun! Round the corner in Preston Drove was Enfields a sweet shop, a hardware shop and a barbers. Between Hythe and Sangate Road was Pearks who sold broken biscuits very cheaply, and I think a hairdressers on the next corner which always smelt of perm lotion. Mrs Griesbach owned the bakers on the next corner. I think she was German and always seemed a bit stern so I was always a bit scared of her. I used to pick at the end of the bread on my way so home so it always arrived with a hole in it! Opposite Hythe in Ditchling Road was Sladens a greengrocers, Peters a sweetshop and a newsagents on the corner. The Stanmer pub had a corner porch before the entrance to the bars and my brother and I used to squat in there with a pop and crisps whilst our dad had a pint inside. I seem to recall Arrowroot biscuits there too? Happy memories in that area.

    By Maureen (03/09/2013)
  • Hi Maureen, I remember the haberdashery shop very well, my mum and nan often went there in the early 1980’s, it was called Julies. I think it was run by two elderly ladies possibly sisters. The fascia was also in yellow.

    By Adam Dennis (14/05/2014)
  • Hi,

    I lived down Edburton Av. very close to Fiveways for one year when a PG student. A very very good friend of mine had an upstair flat at Fiveways and we used to hang out there a lot. The flat was above a shop ( can’t remember what!)  but between the flat and the Edburton Av end of Fiveways was a fish and chip store as well as a delicatessen – I loved the smell and taste of the fish and chip store. There was a bakery across the road and a family run hardware store with lots of fun things to sell. Nice times

    By Nera (04/09/2014)
  • I was interested in Maureen’s memories of Five Ways and Sladens Grengrocery – I lived at 55 Hollingbury Road and had a Saturday job at Sladens, which meant delivering greengrocery  up and down all the hills around the area on a bike with a large wheel at the back and a small wheel underneath the large carrier over the front wheel (heavy!) and tricky work around corners not to mention the uphill journeys!

    By Tony Stevens (16/08/2015)
  • Hello, I was very pleased to have come across these photos etc, a few reminders of the past. I was born at 65 Edburton Avenue in August 1941. I remember being dragged inside and put behind the sofa, because I was outside watching doodle bugs going over, probably towards London. I was also a scout at the church down Stanford Avenue, and I also was a butchers delivery boy on one of those bikes the others are talking about, his shop was at the Five ways. My Mother used to have the hairdressers on the corner of Stamford Avenue and Ditchling Road – it was called Dorothys I think even though my Mothers name was Mabel. There was an old police box beside it if I remember correctly. My Mother met a French Canadian when they all came over with the Americans etc, but he died on the beaches when many others died as well. Unfortunately my family tree ended there as well, I was never able to get his correct name, as it was all a bit of a mess as my mother was already seeing another soldier, so I ended up with a stepfather, which didn’t turn out well. Our house was quite full there was my Nan, Uncle Frank he was also in the home guard, Auntie Payne who had been married to Jack Payne of the BBC big band orchestra. He had died so my Auntie came to stay with us, there was my older half sister Yvonne who was my stepfathers Daughter, and when my Stepfather came home from the army he was living with us and he eventually gave my Mother another child Angela, who eventually worked with my Mother in her hair salon. I went to Ditchling Road School for the duration, and then went to Fawcett, which was next to a girls school, which I think was called Pelhams. This was down the town and nothing to do with the Fawcett at Patcham, I didnt know there was another one. So there are quite a few memories of that area. I will have to stop otherwise it will turn into a book. Oh Happy Days. 

    By David Beal (02/03/2016)
  • Fiveways, that’s a place that looms large in my boyhood memories growing up in Hollingbury. My grandmother lived in Ashford Road, and so did I after my mother died in 1948. Someone mentioned the little newsagent/tobacconist on the corner, well I did a paper round from that shop for a year or so starting in Ashford Road and progressing to Dover Road and finally the top part of Osborne Road. In the first picture just in front of the silver car, is Mr Dear’s barber’s shop where I had my hair cut for many years. In fact I can’t remember having it cut anywhere else.

    By Peter Clark, Brisbane. (25/06/2019)
  • Does anybody remember the private lending library at Fiveways? It was next to Mr Lewis’s chemist shop, just up from the Stanmer pub, and was run by an Anglo Indian couple, whose name I am trying to remember. This was in the late ’50s / early ’60s.

    By Julie Bloor (12/04/2020)
  • I do not remember a private lending library at Fiveways but at about the same time, late 50s/early 60s, there was also one in Prestonville Road close to the Seven Dials.

    By Derek Lake (12/04/2020)
  • I lived in Hollingbury Park Ave for 5 years in the 1980s, the little sweet shop referred to above, next to the greengrocers was at that time Mrs O’Brians. A very superior sweet shop that had a wonderful display of upmarket Continental chocolates, in boxes but also in a glass cabinet with loose choccolates that you buy ‘bespoke’ as it were! Accompanying these delights she sold sophisticated greetings cards, both ideal if you were invited out to a smart dinner party. Mrs O’Brien was straight out of a children’s book of ‘jobs’…she was Mrs Sweet Shop! A liitle lady with big round glasses and a lovely smile.
    In this string of comments there is a mention of private lending libraries; when I was at Stanford Juniors in the 1950s and at B&H Grammar in the 60s there was a lending library in Port Hall Street at the back of a little newsagents[Deacon’s?].

    By Dr Geoffrey Mead (13/04/2020)

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