A good community spirit

George Street
Photograghed by Bill Maskell 24-03-2003

My favourite place in Hove is George Street, the main high street in Hove. It has a great range of shops and it has a very small town feel. I work in Coffee Republic on the corner and you get a whole load of locals in every single day, so you see the people that work around in the shops and businesses around there. It’s just got a good strong community spirit.

Comments about this page

  • Do you remember the shop that roasted coffee beans to order? Smoke billowed out and wafted that delicious aroma throughout the area. I’m sure that was where I got my love of the demon brew as the only coffee we had at home was that disgusting stuff called ‘Camp’.

    By Vic Stevens (29/02/2004)
  • Does anyone remember the ice-cream parlor on George St? It was closed for the sale of the frozen stuff during the war, although I seem to recall it remaining open. I believe it had an Italian name, and a couple of little tables inside. Could it have beem Dimarco’s? The great day came after the war, when food restrictions were easing and ice-cream could be made again. On that auspicious afternoon, I queued for several hours with my aunt and cousins to purchase the first ice cream I recall eating! Soon after that it was possible to buy the little round Lyons slices wrapped in paper, as if cut from a roll, and inserted in a cone. Strawberry and vanilla were the choices. We always thought the former were the tastiest, and called the others ‘Plain’.

    By Patricia Overs (19/08/2004)
  • I saw your comment on Wickham and Kimber’s record shop. As a small girl, I had saved my pocket money for weeks to buy Bing Crosby’s ‘Galway Bay’. The great day came and, along with a visiting cousin from London and his family, the long awaited purchase was made. Going from there to the beach to sit on the shingle for a while, all was well until a wasp came buzzing in on the scene. Up leapt my cousin to escape it landing square on my long dreamed of record! Oh the tears and upset, quietened only by its speedy replacement. That was nearly 60 yrs ago but we were laughing over it just a few weeks ago during a transatlantic phone call. Some things one never forgets! Also used to love the smell of the coffee roaster, and the taste of ‘Camp’ – yuk! It was usually reserved for adults, wonder if it is still around with the turbanned Indian on the label.

    By Patricia Overs (19/08/2004)
  • I love going to George Street. It is brilliant doing Saturday’s shopping with my mates there. I mostly do it with my friend Laura. We always go down there every Saturday to do girlie shopping.

    By Nicolle (10/12/2005)
  • I was born in George Street over the shop which is now the Carphone Warehouse. I remember many shops and knew Ken Whicham of the record shop. He was Brighton Parks’ tennis champion in spite of a withered leg. The shop where I was born was my father’s: Harold Porter jeweller and optician. The business dated back to his father in 1888.

    By Syd Porter (22/12/2005)
  • As a child in the 50s, my mum used to take me to George Street on a Saturday afternoon. I remember her getting me a three wheeler Noddy bike from Currys and me riding it back up Clarendon Villas, pleased as punch .

    By Wendy Carpenter (12/03/2006)
  • Back to Wickham, Kimber and Oakley record shop: Are there any survivors of the small elite group who were allowed into the tiny upstairs room on Saturdays to listen to the latest jazz recordings? It was ruled over by the original and much loved Grumpy Old Man, Derrick Stewart-Baxter. As a teenager I was a regular attendee, often turning up on a Friday to open the magic boxes from EMI and Decca. What was new then – Miles ‘Kind of Blue’, first Ray Charles etc. Still have my batch of Brunswick ‘Origins of Jazz’ ten inch albums bought from Derry. The incredibly lazy, cricket loving DSB also took me many times to the 100 club in London’s Oxford Street to meet and hear the great old blues musicians who John Morton brought over. This was around 1957, 1958? The only name I recall from that room was Jeff Rigby, with whom I lost touch in the 1960s or early 70s. Oh happy days!

    By Tim Sharman (18/06/2006)
  • Re the shop that only sold biscuits: it was called Kent’s and my wife worked there in the late 40s early 50s. Out of interest, it was number 78 George Street. In 1934 it was known as Betta Biscuit Specialist. In 1927 the shop was occupied by T W Barnes + Co General Merchants. It is also the street where I met my wife for the first time.

    By David King (23/06/2006)
  • It is delightful to read these comments about old George Street. When I first moved to Hove in 1991 I found it neglected with a lot of closed shops and wall-to-wall traffic. Now it’s a pedestrian paradise. The street has been reclaimed by local residents and shoppers as an attractive place to walk, shop, eat, drink – or whatever! Many of the newer shops like Coffee Republic, the Sausage Shop, Puccino’s, etc have added to the existing mix of interesting independent shops. I was a ward councillor here from 1996 to 2003 and our vision of pedestrianisation was not one shared by everyone at the time but now I think everyone agrees the street looks great. Two friends of mine got engaged in George Street, which they insist couldn’t have happened without the kind of café culture that’s been created there!

    By Simon Battle (23/01/2007)
  • I replied to Tim Sharman direct yesterday via his Yahoo! mailbox (like probably many of you, he’s also a subscriber to the My Brighton and Hove email group, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mybrightonandhove) about his comments here on 18 June. Today I decided there’s no reason not to share my thoughts with the rest of you!

    I told Tim that I too had been a guest of Derrick Stewart-Baxter in the upstairs room at Wickham, Kimber & Oakley but that I’d found him to be a bit too much of a purist for my tastes given that I, like most of my friends at the time, knew nothing of rhythm ‘n’ blues other than what we’d been exposed to on Radio Luxembourg – that is people like Little Richard, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Bill Doggett! A slightly more tolerant and realistic mentor to those of us who wanted to delve deeper into the idiom was the great Don Sollash at Dobell’s, who would gradually feed us snippets from people like Red Prysock. Derrick on the other hand rather preferred that we concentrate on the likes of Lightnin’ Hopkins!

    By Jeremy Pender, York (http://profiles.yahoo.com/jeremy7788) (26/01/2007)
  • Oh yes! Wickham, Kimber and Oakley, with Derry Stewart-Baxter, the man who introduced me to the magic of Billy Holiday and Jimmy Rushing. DeMarcos ice cream parlour. The coffee shop and, was it Cobleys, where my parents bought my Hove Grammar school uniform?  George Street was a vibrant and exciting place back in the 1950s. A group of us young jazz fans would meet at the record shop and would also frequent Dobells in Western Road, where the inimitable Don Sollash reigned. We also spent many happy hours in the local jazz clubs: The Chalet Club, with the Ted Ambrose band, The Coneyhill, with Les Wood producing carbon copies of the great George Lewis, The Chinese Jazz Club over the Aquarium, where I listened to Tubby Hayes, Phil Seaman and other British jazz greats and The Vanguard in New Road, with the Les Jowett band. We also used to trek to Crawley to hear Kenny Ball, Ken Colyer and Acker Bilk. How about the concerts at the Dome? Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton, Dave Brubeck and Gerry Mulligan plus, of course, the Chris Barber Band with Ottilie Patterson. I remember the Modern Jazz Quartet at the old Essoldo in North Street. Great days !

    By Phil Lovell (08/05/2007)
  • Mum and I went shopping every Saturday up George Street. We started at the top in Woolworths on Blatchington Road and then over to George Street for the butchers and fish shop (Macs). And after shopping a lovely ice cream or Horlicks in the cafe.

    By Sandie Waller (11/06/2007)
  • Surely the fish shop was Coe’s! I don’t remember a MacFisheries in George St, but I could be wrong. I remember the roast coffee aroma from “Importers” I think it was (and may still be).

    By Paul Robinson (21/06/2007)
  • I attended George Street school 1946-1949. The fish shop was Coes and my friend’s dad drove the mobile Fish and Chip shop that serviced the Hangleton council estate where I lived. I remember well the George Street shops especially ‘De Marcos’ ice cream and the bike shop where I got my bike repaired. At the top was a Sainsbury’s where my sister worked. Does anyone remember Cowells hardware shop? My granny used to send me there to buy paraffin (what a stink!).

    By Pete Wilson (06/07/2007)
  • I remember so many things about George Street – yes, the smelly coffee shop, the smelly delicatessen (I was a little girl at that time), the little Sainsbury’s, and the lovely smell of fish and chips. A trip to Broadley’s every summer holiday to buy a blazer eight sizes too big to last until you left school! De Marco’s  -I always longed for an ice cream coated in the crumbs from the Flakes used in the “99s”, but for some reason mum would never let me (maybe Paul will remember). It was always a plain ice cream, but sometimes with a flake. I still love George Street nowadays, it has moved well with the times I think.

    By Sara Robinson (26/08/2007)
  • Yes you are right it was called Coes fish shop, there was a funeral parlour there too, I went there with an uncle once too book his funeral which I thought very strange at the time, but it was 40 odd years ago and I was only about 8 at the time. I went back 2 years ago what a change!

    By Sandie Waller (20/11/2007)
  • Was the funeral parlour “Bungard and Son”?

    By Paul Robinson (03/01/2008)
  • My mum and I used to shop in George Steet when I was tiny, about 1960. There was sawdust on the floor and blue tiles with animals on the walls in Sainsbury’s , and our very own pocket supermarket -Victor Value. I bought my first record “She loves you” in Wickham Kimber and Oakleys, but I’d forgotten the name!

    By Val Stockley (07/02/2008)
  • I used to love George Street. Ice cream from DeMarcos, my first 45 record from Wickham Kimber & Oakley, wool from Bellmans. Does anyone remember buying broken biscuits (not pre-packed!) from a shop half way up the street. I remember Woolworths opposite the top of George Street and a little shop near it which sold china and glass etc. Those were the days!

    By Ann Sellers (née Ritchie) (29/04/2008)
  • I am another survivor of Wickham, Kimber and Oakley’s small upstairs room mentioned by Tim Sharman. I worked in Shoreham in the 1950s but attended the old Brighton Tech on day release. So every Wednesday lunchtime I got myself to Church Street as quickly as I could and spent a happy forty five minutes with wonderfully informative Derrick Stewart-Baxter. I was already biting so he sold me my first EPs and really turned me on to the joyous delights of New Orleans music. I have never looked back and have managed to visit New Orleans three times in my life. Thank you Derrick.  All power to Hove, Church Street, WK&O and that splendid old character DBS.

    By Peter Milner (28/05/2008)
  • Just a footnote re Wickham Kimber etc record shop:
    A lady called Hazel worked there under DSB for years before retiring to Steyning. She was a huge fan of Fats Waller and followed him round much of the UK during his one tour, even becoming a good friend – she had a little album of autographs and photos to prove it. She had a brief moment of fame a few years ago when ‘The Oldie’ magazine interviewed her about Waller for the ‘I Once Met’ column. Sadly she died some time ago. Her interviewer, Campbell Burnap the trombonist and broadcaster, died last week too.
    DSB in his lair upstairs could be intimidating but with a heart of gold. I once got a lift with a minibus he had hired to travel to an Alex Welsh session at the Fox in Haywards Heath. He was complaining about his Mynah bird. It refused to say ‘Lady Day’, a reference to Billie Holliday. All it was capable of was defecating, even on the roof of its cage FROM THE INSIDE! Great days.

    By George Walker (01/06/2008)
  • I went to George Street School from about 1949 to 1952. I too remember the broken biscuits shop, often buying a bag of such at a bargain price. I also remember the strong smell of coffee in the street. From the pics, it sure looks as though the street has been improved a lot. Anybody go to George Street school the same time as me?
    Contact me at swameejee@netzero.net

    By Anthony Eriksson (23/08/2008)
  • If I may ask, I’m from a younger generation and remember virtually every shop that was down George Street & Blatchington Road in the 90s. For anyone who’s lived near there all there life, when did the ice-cream shop close down because I remember it very clearly. Also I’m curious about George Street School which once existed. Where was it located down George Street and when was it demolished?

    By Oliver Coyle (26/08/2008)
  • I lived in George St from 1944 to 1955. My Father owned the car showroom at no. 85 which is now a bistro. I went to George St school from 1947 to 1953. The school was on the right hand side of the alley that now leads to the rear of St Andrews church from George St. There was a pub near the school called The George. In response to previous comments, the original fish shop was Coes which was on the right hand side near the top. In the early 50s another fish shop called Hayes opened about a third of the way up on the right. The coffee shop was called Importers. The bike repair shop was Pumphries. The best fish and chips ever, were sold in Shippams. I used to buy 1p worth of crispy bits – mmmm! I still love George St and shop there frequently.

    By Gloria Helman (10/10/2008)
  • Like everyone else the smell of the coffee will always be with me. I also worked in the Tescos in Blatchington Road which is Icelands now. I was working there during the 1966 World Cup Final and watched the game on a tv in the shop above the freezer cabinet while I pretended to move frozen chickens about.

    By Jon Hewitt (22/10/2008)
  • I was very interested in the comments as I was brought up in Hove and spent many a time walking up George Street with my mum. Then I grew up and moved to Sackville Road where I used to shop in George Street. Yes I remember Woolworths, the coffee shop, and didn’t the Body Shop have their first shop there? The ice cream parlour, Boots, now my kid’s shop there and I am in Cornwall. I miss those days, happy memories.

    By Janet Dove (07/11/2008)
  • I remember most of the shops mentioned, I seem to remember a food shop, I think it was Liptons, they always had a chair by the counter for which I was very grateful when I was pregnant with my eldest daughter, now 51yrs old. Does anyone remember the Ballerina cafe it was a great meeting place for many local youngsters, we bought one coffee and stayed all evening.

    By Marlene Hornby (27/11/2008)
  • Does anybody remember Bull’s the sweet shop in George Street? My Aunt used to work there in the 1960s.

    By J Friend (28/01/2009)
  • I have a very old photo with Foreman, George St, Hove printed on the back. The photo shows a lovely park with a bandstand in the background. The bandstand appears to have a grass or thatched roof. In the foreground is a minuture church/cathedral, made of plants and surrounded with low flowers. I would love to be able to date this photo.

    By Pam Winter (17/02/2009)
  • Dose anybody out there remember the name of the coffee bar near the top of George Street on the left hand side in 1966? I think it was where New Look is now.

    By Tony Diamond (19/03/2009)
  • Re the Ice CreamParlour in George Street Hove; this was owned by my lovely late Grandfather Agostino and later by his son Gerry. It was an old fashioned shop but well respected and it was a very sad day when the cafe closed after the very sudden death of Gerry.

    By Nina Skinner nee de Marco (15/06/2009)
  • What happened to lovely Driscoll’s drapers shop at the bottom of George Street in Church Road? I worked there when I left school in 1949 for 3 years. It was run by Mr Leo Driscoll and Mr Desmond Driscoll. It was a pleasure to work there.

    By Margaret Blythe nee Cummings (26/07/2009)
  • I remember so much about George Street as a child. Sainsbury’s – buying blue bags of tea and sugar. Watching the lady in the white hair net patting the butter into half pound bars. The broken biscuit shop – a window piled high with stock. Freeman Hardy and Willis for shoes. I also bought my first record in Wickam, Kimber and Oakley. ” What do you wanna make those eyes at me for?” by Emile Ford! We would go to Cobley’s at the bottom in Church Road for my school uniform, and later for that of my two daughters! I too remember the Queen’s visit and have photographs somewhere. My mother would shop at Coe’s the fishmonger and butchers too. The Wimpy bar later on for coffee and one of the first burgers ever. The body shop was there, but not the first one. That was in Kensington Gardens. However Christine (Max Bygraves daughter) opened the one in George Street. Later on I found myself in partnership with a good friend in The Jewellery Shop at number 22 which is now The Body Shop. What goes around, comes around! Happy days!

    By Micaela Valentine (04/08/2009)
  • I remember Driscolls at the corner of George Street and Church Road. My mother worked there making curtains, cushion covers and nets. It changed from Driscolls to Stuart Norris and then to Army & Navy Stores. My mother was there throughout the changes till she retired.

    By Gordon Coleman (19/08/2009)
  • Well that certainly evoked some long forgotten memories. The coffee shop dominated the air, the hustle and bustle , the mixing of cars and pedestrians. Great place. I used to go there shopping with my mum many years ago. A friend‘s father, owned a green grocer called Cooks which was about half way down on the right side. McFisheries was near the top on the left and I can remember no more.

    By Alan Digweed (31/10/2009)
  • As a young student, I have been given a geography task to find out the changes in shopping/retailers over the years in George Street. I was wondering if anyone could help me with information about which shops have done what and how they’ve changed. Can anyone help me?

    By Fifi Johnson (14/01/2010)
  • Bought back happy memories, I was always in the Ballerina coffee bar.

    By Clifford Stammer (17/03/2010)
  • I often used the Ballerina 1964-1966. I do know John had some connection (aka Disco John). Still local, I do know young Tony Diamond and the lovely Eileen Misslade. Hiltons shoe shop just opposite where Susan Carter and Jacky Almond would work. We would go bowling at the old Odeon at Hove station on our scooters driving straight in to the foyer. I remember Kenny Holden on his super moped and Trevor Jones. Anyone care to join in?

    By Richard Elms (03/05/2010)
  • Can anyone tell me about Dove’s shoe store that was located at 24 George Street? Fifteen years ago my wife and I purchased an old cash register in New Orleans for $10 because the crank was broken and the drawer would not open. I fixed the crank and when I opened the register, a few keys were in the till, the sales tape was still on the roll (showing it belonged to Dove’s Shoes), and there is a certificate showing the owner to be I.T. Dove. It has little handles to select pounds, shillings, etc., and letters that I assume are shoe sizes (??), and although undated looks like it could be 1950s. How it got to America I cannot say but it is a centerpiece in our vestibule. Bob Mansfield (mansfieldbob@comcast.net)

    By Bob Mansfield (04/08/2010)
  • So interesting to read all the comments about George Street which was always great to visit. Pleased to see that it is coming back into it’s own! Anyone remember the Hove Table Tennis Club that was in a small hall behind the George pub? It supplied the Brighton League and the Sussex County teams with a lot of star players, unfortunately, I wasn’t one of them!

    By Derek Barontini (19/08/2010)
  • How wonderful to read about Derrick Stewart-Baxter and the long-gone Wickham Kimber & Oakley record shop in George Street. I too was an habitué in the mid 1950s, spending what little I had left of my weekly wage at Allen West. I learned so much from Derrick about Jazz and Blues. After I moved up to London I would send him blues records from Doug Dobell’s shop in Charing Cross Road. I still have my 78s and EPs and intend to put them on CD one of these ol’ rainy days. Have mercy Mr Percy!

    By Edmund Nankivell (30/08/2010)
  • Great to read all the comments about George Street – brings back memories of going shopping with my mum as a small boy in the late 60s/early 70s. Whilst looking for images I found this Pathe news reel from 1962 of the Queen’s visit. http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=42794

    By Larry (19/10/2010)
  • Happy days! I bought my first jazz record from WKO and Derrick Stewart-Baxter and Jeff Rigby, directed me to the John Coltrane/Dizzy Gillespie concert at the Dome around 1963, as well as to Jazz at the Ship, near Brighton Tech. All the big names came down from London, e.g. Tubby Hayes, Don Rendell, Bill LeSage etc. and we all bought our instruments, charts and reeds from ‘Windo’ Martin in Gardner Street.

    By Steve Ritter (25/12/2010)
  • Does anybody remember the soft scoop ice cream parlour with all the flavours -my one was mint chop chip – also the smell of fresh ground coffee?

    By wayne (09/05/2011)
  • I loved George Street and bought lots of things from the Army Surplus Store that was near Currys on the right hand side going down. Wasn’t there a Radio Rentals also ?

    By Ian Wallis (10/05/2011)
  • My Mum used to work in the supermarket at the bottom end of George Street in the 70’s. It was then Priceright.

    By Lorraine Luke (10/05/2011)
  • My Mum just reminded me of the clothing store “Ann Logan ” where she used to buy our kids clothes from. She used to save up her wages to buy us the latest fashion.

    By Lorraine Luke (16/05/2011)
  • Can anyone tell me what the original use of the building on the western side of George Street was? It is now Georgie’s Bistro and has the coat of arms of Hove Borough Council at the top of the building? I remember an embroidery and wool shop on the western side also I think there was a fishmonger called Watts.

    By Ann (20/11/2011)
  • Hi Ann, the building was previously used as a Fire Station by the Hove Volunteer Fire Brigade until the late 1920s, after which it became an auction house. It thereafter was used for varying commercial purposes; greengrocer’s, butcher’s, Wimpy Bar, etc. Regards, Andy.

    By Andy Grant (21/11/2011)
  • I had a very unique experience on George St. A friend was staying with us, and on a Sunday in the early fifties, I took him up George St. Only one shop in the entire street was open. Belcher’s sweet shop about two thirds up on the right. In the heat of a balmy summer, the sunny street was utterly and totally deserted, except for us two. We bought some of those sherbert bomb things, and some Palm toffee. It’ll never happen again.

    By Richard White (29/02/2012)
  • Does anyone remember the Army and Navy? I think it was either where Coffee Republic is or where Barclays is. I remember going in there all the time when I was a nipper (early 80s).

    By Doug Johnston (09/03/2012)
  • I was shopping in George Street yesterday after visiting Tesco. My wife, daughter and I often go there for the charity shops which are great fun and usually have some good bargains. I’ve known it for many years as I used to have my business account with the bank at Williams and Glyn’s at the top on the right side when Mr M.A.P.Thomas was the manager.

    By Maurice Brice (09/03/2012)
  • Well done Steve Ritter for buying your first jazz record here. I remember when I was secretary of the Brighton Jazz Club and Stewart Baxter used to come to our gigs at the Richmond Hotel where we played each fortnight on the first floor. Ted Ambrose was the band leader and it was circa 1948/9 while I was studying at the Brighton College of Art & Crafts – opposite the King & Queen pub – on Grand Parade. Anyone remember this?

    By Maurice Brice (09/03/2012)
  • Great to read past stories about George Street. I have worked in the street for 30 years at ‘The Body Shop’. Remembering when the first small shop opened in 1978 selling incense, flip flops, kiminos and, if like me, had your ears first pierced on their high chair in the window, taking in all the different perfume oils around! I have seen a lot of changes in the street including the changes in ‘The Body Shop’ but it still remains a unique and big-hearted community street. Where has that time gone? Happy Easter!

    By Jane Irwin (The Body Shop) (06/04/2012)
  • Fantastic stories – I lived in Montefiorie Road but would hang around George Street waiting for the church jumble sales or endlesssly browsing charity shops for ‘retro’ garments to wear myself or sell on on my parents totters stall on Portobello Road. Something which I still do now much to my daughter chargrin, although she’s keen for a bargain if its from beyond retro! Must remember (note to self) to keep it as fashion comes around again and again. But I do remember ‘new’ shops opening coming from Kensington Gardens such as the Body Shop. But still have yet to find anyone who can remember ‘Spaghetti Junction’ in Blatchington Road, a unique new takeway offering more than fish and chips! No-one seems to remember this take away. I can remember eating great jacket potatoes and bolognese. Quite exotic for late 1970s. John, Belfast Street, where are you?

    By Evie Cozens (08/04/2012)
  • I grew up in Hove in the 50s and my sister worked in Sainsburys. I remember all the old shops. What a wonderful community George Street was.

    By Rita Keeley (nee Spry) (06/05/2012)
  • I have had many of the items that George makes and sells and they are delicious. Everything from the jams, tauobbleh, grape leaves and the falafels (might be the best falafel’s I have had and the sauce he made to dip it in was fantastic). Not only will you have fun visiting and shopping at George’s shop because he is such a character, just a fun loving person but you will really enjoy the food you can get there, I highly recommend Jammin’ George’s place.

    By Shakti (27/05/2012)
  • How wonderful to read all the memories of George Street and WKO Record Shop. I worked for Southern Publishing Co, publishers of the Evening Argus and Gazette, and knew DSB from there. I was after an LP: Jazz at Vespers, George Lewis; and it was not available anywhere but DSB got it for me. Have to get it out tomorrow and play it. Happy Days!

    By Audrey Wilson (30/05/2012)
  • Interesting reading regarding the Wickham, Kimber and Oakley Jazz Record Store in George Street - Tony and others have mentioned JEFF RIGBY who ran the club for many years. Jeff is alive and well (although not as well as he would like) and living in Brighton. Jeff still has kept his enormous passion for jazz and music and I am sure he would love to hear from anyone who remembers the numerous wonderful jazz names he brought to Brighton. Jeff doesn’t have an email address but if anyone would like to write to me on entcorp@aol.com I will be delighted to pass them onto Jeff. Thanks. Peter Brightman

    By Peter Brightman (12/07/2012)
  • I used to visit Wickham Kimber and Oakley on my way home in the 50s from swimming at the King Alfred, to buy sheet music. My Dad knew Derrick Stewart-Baxter before the war. Dad was a former dance band guitarist and used to sit in with local bands in Brighton. Once they were playing a tune Dad hadn’t heard before and Dad got lost in the wrong key. By the time he found the right key the tune had moved into another key and Dad spent 16 bars trying in vain to catch up. Afterwards DS-B came up and congratulated Dad on his wonderful solo! Dad swears he wasn’t being sarcastic. Later, in the 70s, I worked at Sound Diffusion in Hove and we knocked off early on Fridays at 3.30 and I often went to Logan’s Cafe in George Street for coffee and scrumptious cake!

    By Tony Hill (27/09/2012)
  • I found George street while wandering aimlessly in the area last year . I travel to Brighton and Hove regularly from Luton in Bedfordshire . I have since visited many times over the last 12 months most recent visit being today I love the coffee shops and enjoy the charity shops. I do not know anything about it’s history as it’s all new to me all I can say is it’s a pleasant place and very friendly unlike busy Brighton

    By Shaun Gallagher (12/10/2012)
  • Does anyone know anything about the old cinema in George street? It was where Select used to be, and I heard it was haunted until it was exorcised .

    By Charlie (08/11/2012)
  • I worked at Stuart Norris on the corner of George Street for a while in the 1960s in the goods in dep’t, and as a drivers’ mate (not that I could drive). Yes, can still remember that wonderful smell from the coffee shop.

    By Colin Philcox (13/03/2014)
  • I too worked at Stuart Norris in the early 60s as a student, busting furniture in the delivery van. Forget the driver’s name, but he liked ‘Stingo’ beer. But I did drive the mini van for the electrical department, and having gone to George St School, I knew every shop in the street very well, including the wonderful coffee shop.

    By Richard White (19/05/2014)
  • I remember Derrick Stewart-Baxter at Wickham Kimber and Oakley very well. I was there browsing the LPs for blues albums one day when he whisked me upstairs and played me tracks from some ‘proper’ blues LPs. I seem to recall he was not at all happy with new recordings of blues legends backed by English bands. I also remember leaving an American Folk Blues Festival gig at, I think, Fairfield Hall, Croydon in the 1960s, and Derrick was at the exit shouting “Magnificent!”. It was, too!

    By Nick Burdett (21/04/2016)
  • I must congratulate all contributors to this page on George Street.  It has brought back many memories from my 1950s childhood in Hove.  I remember buying a bag of chips in Shippams, fish and chip shop on my way back from swimming with a friend at the King Alfred.   We were about nine at the time and I still remember my fascination with the model fish standing on its tail in the window.  Did it have a cook’s hat on it’s head.   Anyone else with similar memories?  Of course, the often mentioned aroma of roasting coffee is possibly the most evocative memory.   I also have memories of going into shops in my Scout Cub uniform asking for jobs during “Bob a Job Week” and spending some hours working in the back room of Tiptons the grocers on the top corner of George Steet opposite Woolworths where they asked me to pull off the muslin from large full size rounds of cheddar cheese.  Now when I go into the large Currys stores I often think of their origins as a bike shop and envisage the one on George Street which I think had a recessed doorway with windows on either side where many a kid would gaze enviously at all the bikes on display (but my first full size bike came from Bradshaws on Western Road). So to all, well done to everyone, let’s keep this thread going.

    By MikeP (27/06/2016)
  • I loved George Street: Coes fish shop; the coffee roasting shop smelt divine; my friend’s mum ran the sweet shop and Mum’s friend Mrs. Edwards was at the biscuit shop together with a younger lady, Margaret. The record shops; Curry’s had the tricycle I wanted but didn’t get – I remember it all. Also the Queen came to visit. Still looks nice when I visited from overseas – a very special place indeed.

    By Angela Borochov (02/01/2017)
  • Does anyone remember Denmark Villas? My mum, dad & I lived there for a few years when I was school age and I think my school was called Connaught Road School? Does anyone remember it? If I can remember it was just up the road from George Street?

    By Brenda Tucker (27/07/2017)
  • I was a regular weekly visitor to WKO in the 1950’s when I was studying engineering on a day release basis at Brighton Tech. Derrick Stewart-Baxter taught me a huge amount about jazz in the little upstairs room where, guided by him, I bought all the jazz an d blues LPs I could afford. We soon became firm friends to the extent that he invited me to his house on several occasions, where after meeting his wife and sharing a drink he put on some of his personal record collection for me to listen to. I remember that one of his favourite trumpeters was Ruby Braff, whom I also came to enjoy.After a while my visits came to an end as I had to carry on my technical education via attending the tech, which soon became the College of Technology, then the Polytechnic and finally part of the new University.
    Yes I did finish my studies and became a fully qualified Chartered Engineer which pleased my employers, Ricardo and Co at the Bridge Works, Shoreham-by Sea. And yes again, I still have dozens of those LPs in playable condition.

    By Peter Milner (12/12/2019)
  • I visited George Street a few weeks ago as my eldest grandson now lives in Hove. It brought back so many happy memories of times I spent there between 1954 and 1966. The things I remember most as a young child were shopping for vegetables and fish in the greengrocers and fishmongers and going on Christmas Eve to choose a chicken from the butchers at the top of the street. My mother and I also visited Woolworths, Pearces (the bakers) and Home & Colonial in Blatchington Road at the same time.
    Many of my teenage years were spent in George Street too enjoying the coffee at the Ballerina Cafe listening to the juke box, buying records at the record store. Loving the smell of roasting coffee beans as we shopped for handbags and records and at Broadleys at the bottom of the street for my Nevill School uniform and at Stuart Norris for the striped fabric to make our school summer skirts in Needlework lessons.
    My husband worked in Boots Pharmacy for a short time when it was on the other side of the road from where it is now before we moved away from Hove. My parents still lived in Hove until 2002 so I still visited and saw some of the changes over the years but it wasn’t until recently that I had time to reminisce and appreciate how lucky we were to have George Street on our doorstep.

    By Linda Jones (formerley Taplin) (05/05/2022)
  • Linda your post recalling dear old George Street is absolutely spot-on. My memories exactly. Really enjoyed reading it.

    By Nick Burdett (06/05/2022)
  • My wife worked in the biscuit shop in George street in early 1950/3 long time ago. Her maiden name was Leggett.

    By David King (21/10/2023)

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