Changing times: regeneration

The Gloucester Street sign
Gloucs Rd looking west

Ms Lanza lives in Brighton. She has two grown up sons, one of whom is a Professor of Economics.

“I was at Gloucester Street nine years ago. It was a very down and out area, full of winos, breaking windows and police out everyday. A very rough place where no one was safe. It has improved now and it has changed for the best. It has been modernised with new housing on one side. This is where the car park used to be. Tenants are happier now as they live in a safe street and in modern homes.”

Comments about this page

  • Just looking at your picture on the internet of Gloucester Street above. Due to the fact that my grandparents lived in that street for many many years, I really don’t think the picture is of Gloucester St. On the right hand side of that street were houses that had basements; one went down the steps off the pavement to enter the house. I can remember it all very well. Hope you didn’t mind me writing this to you.

    By Brenda Bassett (16/11/2003)
  • My mum used to live in Glouster Street in the 1950s. Her name is Elieen Dowds – does anyone remember her?

    By Bridget Dawkins (13/07/2005)
  • I have to agree with Brenda Bassett that the photograph shown is of Gloucester Road. Sure would like to see some photos of Gloucester Street as I am a resident myself.

    By John Edwards (08/08/2006)
  • I live in Gloucester Street now and I love it! I would like to see more historical pictures of my street.

    By Jessica Staunton (17/10/2006)
  • My grandmother lived at 21 Gloucester Street until she died in 1959. Then my aunt lived there until she was forced to move out because of flooding in the 1970s. My grandfather died in 1946 so I never met him but he was a taxi driver in Brighton. I should love to see how No.21 looks now. If the person who lives there now reads this, would it be possible to have some photographs?

    By Carol Hardy (03/03/2007)
  • Photo shown is definitely Gloucester Road, not Gloucester Street. You can see the corner of the Basketmakers Arms and the full length of Gloucester Road.

    By Maureen Brand (07/02/2008)
  • My grandmother lived at No 16 Gloucester Street circa 1929, that is the address given on her marriage certificate although she was also recorded as living in Eastbourne in the very same period of time. Does anyone have any information or photo’s of No 16 or names of inhabitants etc? Thanks.

    By Keith D Flanigan (31/05/2008)
  • My great great great grandparents, Thomas & Mercy Haffenden, lived at 38 Gloucester Street from around 1869 up until 1885. Thomas was a dealer in building materials. I believe the houses on this side of the street were demolished and have now been rebuilt.

    By Linda Penn (03/01/2009)
  • My fiancee (now wife) and I moved into a flat at No. 22a Gloucester Street in 1979. It was part of a home-starter scheme run by the council to help young couples get a leg-up on the housing ladder. We stayed there for about two years and, by paying a subsidised rent and saving an agreed amount per month, we were able to put a deposit down on our first flat in Sackville Road, Hove. After we moved in my dad told me that the flat was directly opposite the house in which he was born! We have very fond memories of our time in Gloucester Street.

    By David Tiffin (07/02/2012)
  • My mum is 90. She’s lived in Brighton all her life and says she’s never heard of North Laine! How long has it been known as North Laine?

    By Mick Cork (25/02/2012)
  • Hi Mick, The term ‘laine’ dates back hundred of years and refers to a division of land. It has nothing to do with the word ‘lane’ in street names, although it has frequently been confused or even misused. ‘North Laine’ was the land division upon which Gloucester Street was built. Regards, Andy

    By Andy Grant (26/02/2012)
  • Would the Carol Hardy mentioned on this page be the beautiful Carol Hardy of BOAC fame? Please contact me, Ian ( 

    By Ian Arnott U S A (23/02/2016)
  • North Laine is a comparatively new usage for the area, doubtless related to its development as bohemian area of regeneration within the last 30-40 years or so. There are laines all over Sussex – it is a Sussex word – and these were originally the common lands. Brighton had five laines: north laine, where it is today; west laine, where Churchill Square now is; little laine, between Madeira Drive and Edward Street, from the Old Steine to about as far as Bedford St; hilly laine, the Islingword area east of north laine and north of little laine; and east laine, east of little laine and hilly laine.

    By Renia Simmonds (25/02/2016)
  • Between 1927-1932, the person registered at 16 Gloucester Street was a Mrs Bagley. I would guess she was a lodging-house keeper.

    By Renia Simmonds (25/02/2016)
  • The word Laine used in this context does not mean ‘Common lands’. The laine was a group of field strips, locally termed paul-pieces, that were grouped in blocks-furlongs- separated from other blocks by broad pathways-leakways. The strips were a legacy of an ancient, possibly Anglo-Saxon, farming system that was disappearing from Sussex as early as 1485 when West Burton was enclosed. Quite why Brighton still had these paul pieces at the start of the 19th century is a subject of debate but may relate to the local economy being so dependent on marine activity rather than land-based income.

    By Geoffrey Mead (27/02/2016)
  • I lived in Gloucester Street in 1974. I was three years old, born to Gerald and Barbara. It was unfit to live in. We weren’t allowed to go down in the basement front room as there was a huge hole in the floor. The bathroom was in the back room of the basement, it was a really eerie house. I had a lot of friends in the street, Lisa, Helen, Maxine and Kim. We could play games in the streets as it was rare to have cars in the street. My great grandparents and grandparents had also lived in Gloucester Street. Gutsell was their surname.

    By Mandy (18/05/2019)
  • Gloucester Road appears to have been called Gloucester Lane until 1861 census at least. To confuse matters, in the 1841 Register of Electors for Brighton, there are 4 references to Gloucester – Place, Terrace, Street, and Lane.
    My ancestors lived in Brighton – namely John Hayles, builder – initially recorded as at 25 Kensington Gardens in 1841, then 25 Gloucester Lane and 25 Gloucester Road by 1871. I am wondering whether it was the same residence, possibly on the corner of Gloucester Road and Kensington Gardens?

    By Wendy Sanderson (nee Hayles) (02/02/2021)
  • I have a section of an 1832 Saunders map of that area and what is plainly North Rd is named as North Lane, so presumably Gloucs Road today would have been Gloucs Lane at that time.
    Can someone please change the incorrect label for the image on that page which is Gloucs Rd looking west. Gloucs Street is a block to the north.

    Thanks Geoffrey

    By Dr Geoffrey Mead (02/02/2021)

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