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Remembering old shops

Edward Street in the late 1960s showing Lumleys the newsagent
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Grumpy Mr Lumley

I was a paper boy at Lumleys the newsagents, Edward Street, between 1974 and 1976. I recall the owners of this shop, Mr and Mrs Lumley, very well. They lived in Upper Rock Gardens, as I did back then, and they had a son named John and daughter-in-law named Sue. Mr Lumley was always grumpy and I tried to avoid him as much as I could. I recall Gordon who also worked at the newsagents. He was practically running the shop and always seemed to be working. He had a brother named Clive who worked in the corner shop up from Lumleys, run by a hard-of-hearing elderly lady.

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Sunday trading

In between both these shops stood Jordans or Jordons, a grocers. I would go in there often to buy wood for our front room fire. I recall how strange it was that the bald headed guy that served me, he may have been the owner himself, refused to sell me certain goods on a Sunday. I recall him also being rather grumpy. I spent some of my social life in the Brighton Boys’ Club, nearly opposite to Lumleys and attended its disco when Slade and other glam rock groups were at their peak. 

Impression of steepness

I originate from Reading and when moving to the Brighton area, I remember being dropped off at a coach station in Edward Street. My first impressions of Edward Street was its steepness, there were hardly any hills in Reading. I recall, I can’t have been any more than eight years old, looking east from outside the aforementioned coach station near the bottom of Edward Street and believing beyond the horizon of this hilly street stood the seafront. Of course, my bearings were proved to be  way off the mark.

Comments about this page

  • My wife and I moved into this area in 2005. I remember Gordon at Lumleys. The shop moved further up Edward Street. Sadly, Gordon was disabled and eventually this forced him to retire. He was very cheerful and liked by all who knew him. He worked for Lumleys most of his life – he started as a paper boy.

    By Richard J. Szypulski (20/02/2016)

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