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Remembering broken biscuits and cheese triangles

Ladies Mile Road photograped in 1956
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

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Dairylea cheese on the way to school

I lived in Ladies Mile Road on the corner of Warmdene Road from 1950 to 1970 and went to ‘Peter’s’ for my haircuts. There was also ‘Penna’s’ over the hill in Old Patcham – they were cheaper but you got a ‘scalper’. I used to buy lights (offal) and whale meat at Holyers for our dog. There was a grocers, ‘Tommy’s’, in the parade opposite Gravely’s Stores who sold cheap broken biscuits and ‘Energen’ slimming rolls. Tommy used to sell us single Dairylea cheese triangles on the way to The Old School in Old Patcham.’Gibbo’ was the caretaker at Patcham School and lived in the school house next door to the library. He was a miserable and officious old boy – but maybe it was us being mischievous kids.

Barrage balloon in the playing field

The old dragon in the library made us put our hands on the counter so she could check if they were clean before accessing the shelving. In WWII there was a barrage balloon anchored in the school’s small playing field backing onto London Road and the Brangwyn Estate. The concrete and iron hoop anchor points were still in place in 1952 and on the walls of the schoolroom were drawn/painted several swastikas which we were told represented ‘planes shot down by the balloon/anti-aircraft gun crew’.

Do you remember ‘Tommy’s’? Did you have a haircut at ‘Peter’s’? Or do you live in the area now? Share your memories or views of the area by posting a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • I spent a fair bit of time in Ladies Mile Road as a kid as my father had an electrical shop there called Cleanerhomes. The shop was opened in about 1972 and closed in about 1978 when it was relocated to his larger shop in Portland Road, Hove.

    By Phil Drayton-Morris (02/09/2013)
  • The librarian referred to by Nevile Bolding was a ‘Miss Hines’, who indeed was very officious and lacking empathy for children. Incidently Neville, your Mother and mine (Ivy Wheeler) were friends. If I remember correctly your Mother used to run a ‘Keep Fit ‘ class that my sister Annettte Wheeler attended. I have a photo of the class with your Mother in it somewhere.

    By Michael Wheeler (26/10/2014)
  • Hi Michael. It’s taken me 3 years to find your message (shame there isn’t the facility to be notified when new posts are added to a topic). Yes, my mother, Florence Bolding was involved in several local and Brighton organisations including wartime pageants, the Womens’ Junior Air Corps (WJAC) and several drama groups.

    Gosh! Do I remember your sister Annette? She was an absolute stunner and a heart-throb of mine and several of my pals – all probably in our early teens around 1960 perhaps. I seem to remember that she had the most gorgeous blonde hair (although it was 60 plus years ago!).

    Editor’s note: Sorry Neville – good suggestion – too expensive.

    By Neville Bolding (14/01/2018)
  • Hi, Neville, I think I am your cousin.  My father was Albert Wickham. I’ve enjoyed reading your postings.  I also love to reminisce – hope  we can keep in touch   

    By Kath Wickham (17/01/2018)
  • Hi Kath. Probably we’re cousins but never met? My mum was a Wickham and her siblings were Wilf, Dorrie, Les, Albert, Reg who later lived nr. Newmarket, Cambs., and another whose name I can’t remember either (memory’s going – I’m 73 now). Didn’t Albert have a pub in Church Rd Brighton, opposite the museum? My email:

    By Neville Bolding (14/07/2018)
  • I was absolutely terrified of Miss Hines. I can still remember the smell of floor polish which used to make me cough bringing down her wrath on my head. The floor would squeak as you walked on it so everyone used to tiptoe around. Writing this has brought to mind the swing gates inside the library door. Not sure of their purpose.

    By Jacqueline Martin (01/11/2021)

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