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My grandparents' home for many years

Grandfather at his newstand on the seafront

Connected to Brighton

I feel connected to this web site. I’m connected to its places, topics, people and areas. How could I not be, having lived in Brighton for nearly seventy years? I was born at the General Hospital towards the end of the war, and taken back to the house that my grandparents rented at 2 Franklin Street. This was the house my mother was born in, and where she lived for eighty-four years – paying rent all that time. I remember that the tin bath hung on the outside wall and we had an outside toilet.*f*

Grandfather’s newspaper business

My grandfather William Millerick, ran a newspaper business from the house in Franklin Street. Newspapers would be delivered to the house and stacked in the hallway – ‘the passage’ as my mother would call it. Paper boys would collect the newspapers from the house. Before the war my mother and her brother would pull a handcart loaded with newspapers up the steepest part of Ditchling Road.

Remembering Fairlight Schools

Trains rattled past our house on their way to Kemp Town station. The light in the living room was not in the usual place in the centre of the room; a result of the ceiling coming down when the Germans dropped bombs intended for the railway line. Smallpox broke out and I stood in a queue outside Royal York Buildings on a cold, wet day to be vaccinated. I attended Fairlight Infant and Junior Schools. Who remembers Miss Dunstan, Miss Reid, Miss Brunt, Pop Morrison and Mr Fluck the caretaker?  At age eleven I moved on to Varndean Boys’ School.

Did you ever live in this area? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Shopping with the ration book

Lewes Road was my area. I was sent to the shops with the ration book – to Mr Matthews at the bottom of Franklin Road for sweets, greengrocery from Devesons, paraffin from Mence Smiths, eggs (each one tested over a light bulb) from Pearks. Later I had a paper round from Schofields the newsagents. I remember the Rag and Bone man, and also a scarey man with a patch over one eye who sold winkles from a basket on the front of his bike. The coalman would carry sacks down our narrow stairs to the coal cupboard in the basement kitchen.


Comments about this page

  • Hello Roger, it’s been a long time since we both spent time in Franklin Street. I remember all the places you noted plus a couple more: Mr Martin’s deli on Lewes Road with the huge ham in the window and Hollis, the butchers also on the Lewes Road.  I cannot remember the name of the shop but there was also the broken sweet shop where you could get double the amount for the ongoing price at other shops.
    Its great to hear from another ex-Franklin Street person.  Take care.

    By Peter Miller (27/09/2014)
  • Not me but ancestors on my grandmother’s side, were Dennetts. They were apparently into photography but may also have had some furniture shops in Franklin and Lewes Roads. This is a bit sketchy, I would appreciate any further details.

    By Ken Valder (28/09/2014)
  • Hi Roger. My brother and sister and myself were all born and bred in Franklin Street, do you remember the Miller family? Also can you remember the Home and Colonial store and the Mason bike shop in the Lewes Road? Also the winkle man who came around every Sunday. God those were the days! And when Fairlight and Elm Grove Secondary became one school? What great days!

    By Susan Hill (nee Miller) (01/11/2014)
  • Mence Smith is a name I haven’t heard for many a long year. I seem to recall there was a large one in Bayswater, London when I was a kid. It was dark and cavernous, and the walls were lined with small wooden drawers full of hardware items. The staff all had brown overalls, and were expert at what we now call DIY! Thanks for the memory.

    By Stefan Bremner-Morris (02/11/2014)
  • We lived at Number 28 Franklin Street. My Mum and Dad Cecil and Doris Fowler moved in the 1940s and we left in 1998. They had five children: Jean, June, Brian, Keith and myself Rodney. We all went to Fairlight School and the two girls went to Senior School at Fairlight.  We knew all the families who lived in Franklin Street and the grandparents  would all play in the street till 10.00 at night. Being a cul-de -sac it was quite safe. Mrs Chapman used to organise coach outings, street parties. When I look back they were very hard times but everybody was in the same position.

    By Rodney Fowler (22/03/2015)
  • Does anybody remember Hollis Butchers on the corner of St Martins Street and Lewes Road? Mrs Hollis used to make wonderful hamburgers and they sold stuffed hearts in the 50s. I never used to think where they came from – not too sure if I would eat them today!

    By Rodney Fowler (19/06/2015)

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