The 'Top Twenty' and broken biscuits

George Street, Hove undated
Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove

A ride on a number 5 bus

I haven’t been to George Street for years as I no longer live in the area, but it was certainly one of my favourite places as a child in the 1950s. When I was old enough to be allowed ‘down the town’ on my own on a Saturday, a bus ride on a 5 or a 5B from the Grenadier Public House to the top of George Street, would soon bring me to my idea of shopping heaven.

The fascination of the ‘Top Twenty’

I remember the ‘Wickham, Kimber and Oakley’ record shop, quite near the bottom of George Street on the left-hand side. I bet it’s long gone of course. They always displayed the ‘Top Twenty’ or ‘Hit Parade’ chart in the window. Of course I was of an age that this information held endless fascination for me. It was some time before I had enough money or courage actually to go into the shop. It is especially memorable because it was the place where I bought my very first single. This prized possession was a 78rpm version of ‘Tom Dooley’ by Lonnie Donegan, which, as we all remember, cost 6s 8d.

Buying broken biscuits

From a somewhat earlier phase, and on a slightly different tack, I remember a shop on the other side of the road nearer the top, which sold just biscuits. They were loose in big tins and the assistants would weigh out what you wanted. They had an endless selection of all the most wonderful biscuits you could imagine.I remember going there with my parents frequently and them buying a pound of broken biscuits!

Do you remember the record shop? What records did you buy there and how much were they? What about the biscuit shop? Did you ever buy broken biscuits there? Please share your memories with us by posting a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • Does anyone remember the smell of fresh roasted coffee from the coffee shop and also the Italian ice cream shop (cafe)?

    By Gerald Stockwell (28/10/2013)
  • Yes I do remember the coffee shop and oh how strong was that wonderful smell – I attended George Street infants school in the 50’s  and every day went into the sweet shop opposite the school to buy aniseed balls ( 2 ounces ) which you sucked quietly in class until there was only a small bit in the centre. We often got caught though when we took them out our mouth to compare colours

    By Chris Kisko (11/12/2013)
  • My wife’s grandparents used to live above the laundry at #68 (I believe) until the early ’70s and my father-in-law and my wife’s uncle grew up in George Street at that address. My own father was the manager of the Woolworths at the north end of George Street from the mid ’50s until the early ’70s. I later discovered that my wife’s grandfather used to do odd jobs for my father at Woolworths. I remember when they did some major renovations to George Street and the Queen came to open the new-look George Street – I saw the whole thing from the roof of Woolworths, along with the rest of the staff. Who can put a date to this event?

    By Paul Gregory (13/03/2014)
  • I can also remember the dress shop Dresswell’s, Colwell’s a haberdashers, Blackman’s a wet fish shop, Bellman’s wool and of course Hudson’s a very grand grocers at the bottom of the street. There was also an excellent fresh fruit and veg shop, but can’t remember the name.  The Co-op in Blatchington Road was a mini department store, with monies sent to and from the cashier in overhead containers.

    By Sheelagh Baker (19/09/2017)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *