A parking problem!

Livingstone Road lamppost
Photo by Dave Huggins

‘I am a resident of Livingstone Road, Hove. In 1955 I bought my first old Morris 8 and my problems began. Outside my house is a lampost, that has been in position since the house was built in the 1880s. Why oh why! did Hove Borough Council have to position the post flush with the kerb.

With idle intent I have always tried to park outside my own house, the times I have slightly scraped the post are legion. The only time I have been happy parking is when the colour of my car was British Racing Green.

As the years passed and my neck became creakier I made myself a promise – if the only parking position left is outside my own house – to hell with it – I will park in another street.’

Comments about this page

  • The picture of the base of the lampost in Dave Huggins’ piece brought back memories, as that design of lamp seemed to be everywhere in my childhood days in most roads in Hove – and still is in some places with some modifications. My point is that at some stage in the past some of them were removed and sold off. They were usually bought individually by people wanting something a little different for the entrance to their drive or business. I have located two in the West Country: one in the drive of a house near Ashcott, Somerset, and another outside an hotel near the cliffs at Burton Bradstock, Dorset. I am pretty sure these lamps originated in Brighton and Hove – in fact the people at the house near Ashcott were able to confirm this. Presumably there ought to be a few dotted around Sussex too, if they were sold off locally. Perhaps someone could confirm that the design was not used anywhere else, and it would be a bit of fun for visitors to this site to look out for any more that may have been transplanted elsewhere. I would say the original sale was over thirty years ago.

    By Pat Benham (09/10/2006)
  • Can’t help with the origin of the lamp-posts, although they seem to resemble those on Prinsep Rd, where I grew up.  Does anyone remember the elderly lamplighter, who rode around on a bicycle, lighting the lamps with a long pole, and turning them off in the early morning?  The boys would try to turn them on, or climb up and hang a rope over the bar, and use it for a swing! I also recall when they were converted to sodium bulbs, which distorted the colors of our clothes.  During the war there was a pig-bin affixed to the base.  Phew! What an aroma!! Never knew how the pigs could stand it. I also recall the lights being turned on again after the war, and for some unknown reason, was quite scared of them for a while, probably after years of maintaining the blackout.

    By Patricia Overs (09/10/2006)
  • Does anyone know anything about 72 Livingstone Road in 1919 and who lived there?

    By Caroline (09/10/2006)
  • What a great website.  I used to live in Shirley Street, from 1956-65.  I also remember Saturday mornings going round the public baths in Livingstone Road.  I remember how big the baths were, also the towels and flannel were presented in mint condition.  Also you always got a new bar of soap. I also went to the barbers, I think his name was George Spall. It was two shops away from Hunts – they sold groceries and cooked meats. On the four corners were the Exchange pub, opposite was Hayters (hardware shop), Clarks (bakers) and a grocery shop on the other corner. It was a great place to live!

    By Michael Cheal (09/10/2006)
  • A truly wonderful website. It should be compulsory reading for all of today’s local school-kids. The lampost pictured is identical to the one close to where I was brought up at the bottom end of St. Leonard’s Avenue in Hove. I’d have thought that anyone growing up in this area in the early 1950’s would know the real reason they are located flush with the kerbstone. So that us kids could chalk stumps on the road side of the base and bowl across the road at them!!! Phew, don’t you lot know nuffin?

    By Alan Phillips (09/10/2006)
  • The barbers shop mentioned in earlier posts was owned by my father-in-law’s uncle and his name was Joe Spall, not George. My father-in-law would take him his flask of coffee and a pie from the bakers every Saturday morning, and get 2 shillings for his trouble. He remembers him as a very kindly and generous man!

    By Helen King (09/10/2006)
  • I now too live outside ‘the lamp post’ next door to Mr Huggins in Livingstone Road – and scraped my car within days of moving in. I also knocked a courtesy car from a garage! The lamp post was put there when there were horse and carriages so I guess parking up wasn’t a consideration then. If it was removed I guess I would miss it! It is all part of the character of the street and Hove!

    By Tracey Churchill (09/10/2006)
  • My father was ‘Alf’ manager of the baths. Mum looked after the women’s side and we lived at no.58

    By Ken Graimes (09/10/2006)
  • That lamppost! I remember the dogs too that used to annoy my parents, making a mess just outside our doorstep.  In those days we all used to happily play in the street, about fourteen of us at times, from trikes to Chopper Bikes.  Going along the pavement and around the same block.  I remember the shop opposite on the corner as Bowlers.  Not sure if that was the shop name or the owner.  He had rows of those real old glass jars of all sorts of sweets, and chocolate and everything was wrapped in paper bags. Fond memories too of living next door to Dave and Shelia Huggins. In those early days we could count the cars that parked there on one hand. When I had my first car, the only time I could not park was when the Albion football match was a home game.

    By Gordon Dinnage (09/10/2006)
  • It is great to know that people still remember the baths and Alf, who was my dad.  You are right Vic Stevens, although my dad was small, I can’t remember anyone ever having a go at him.  But his bark was worse than his bite. I wonder if anyone remembers my mum, who looked after the women’s side of the baths. She was Elizabeth or sometimes known as Pat?

    By Alfred Graimes (09/10/2006)
  • Totally agree about the lamp post. It has got me twice with different cars. The first time I was given an estimate of £600 to repair the damage!

    By Paul Hawker (09/10/2006)
  • Well, I used to dangle happily from that lampost as part of the daft games kids played at the time in the 1970s. I used to play on my heavy gauge trike (with boot compartment, no less) in that gang with Gordon, above! The lamposts, as I remember, were important markers. As a small child, playing in the street, I was allowed to play up and down between lamposts pointed out by my mum.

    By Lynn Huggins - Cooper (06/11/2006)
  • I remember the lamp posts, and Victor Stevens (from the Junior School ’55-’59). I lived at 26 Goldstone Road and used to roller skate around all those streets. Shirley Street was the best since the pavements were smooth. Do you remember the sisters who ran the milk shop? I used to wait eagerly for my weekly copy of the School Friend and other magazines from Mr. Jenner, the Newsagent. My friends were the twins, Sandra & Marilyn. I wonder if my old house is still there. I’ve lived in Hawaii for the past 35 years. so this site is quite a treat for me to visit! Jackie Collins, Honolulu.

    By Jackie Collins (02/12/2006)
  • Does anyone remember Stan and Margaret, they had the grocer’s shop? My mum used to take me in to get a Jiffy Jelly on the way home from school. When our house was pulled down in Ellen Street, Stan used to deliver the shopping to us up in Hangleton. Joan Laws, the lamplighter’s daughter, is my Mum’s friend and would love to hear from anyone who remembers her: wwandas@aol.com

    By Wendy Carpenter (02/02/2007)
  • Whilst researching my family history I discovered that my great, great grandparents’ address on the 1881 census was 58, Livingstone Road. They were the Leat family. They had a large family all living at that address over a number of years. My great, great grandparents were called John James Leat and Emma Elizabeth Ellen Leat. My great grandmother who was a girl at the time was Emma Leat who later became Emma Sach. If anyone knows anything about them or any of their relations living in that area today, I would be really grateful – please contact me on draydon@tiscali.co.uk. Also what would they have been doing there? Would they have worked at the baths?

    By Karen Bennett (19/06/2007)
  • My grandmother, Florence Dorrington, was born at 130 Ellen Street in 1890. She met my grandfather, John George Warwick (known as George), who ran a newsagents on the corner of Sackville Road and Livingstone Road. According to historical directories the shop was definitely there between 1911 and 1915. But I only know that they moved to London before my father was born in 1922. If any one has any information or photos of the area I would be interested. Thank you.

    By Ruth Allen (31/07/2007)
  • I lived in Livingstone Road from 1935 to 1946, I can’t remember the number as I was only 4 years when we moved there. We lived in a basement flat with two flats above us. I remember there being a chemist shop at the top of the road and at the other end we used to spend our sweet coupons in a sweet shop during the war.

    By M Woodward nee Selby (14/08/2007)
  • My family on my grandfather’s side used to own Clark’s Bakery.

    By Sean Clark (17/09/2007)
  • My Grandfather was the gas-lamp lighter who lived in Shirley Street. Although I was very young at the time I do remember his bicycle and long pole that he used to light the lamps with. He had three daughters; Peg, Joan and Betty, and one son who served in the Navy named Harold. My mother Joan, married Bill Weller from Clarendon Road who was a plumber by trade and worked for Hove Council. The best mate mentioned by Vic Stevens is my cousin, Les Ordon who took the £10 emigration passage to Australia when he was 21 year old in 1967 I think.
    Les is visiting UK and it would be good if anyone who remembers him to contact me as he would love to be reminded of friendships and growing up in Shirley Street all that time ago.

    By Denis Weller (10/02/2008)
  • My nan has asked me to write on here to see if anyone remembers the Hoopers of  number 50. They lived there round about the early 1950’s. My nan’s name is Maureen. I would love for people who remember the Hoopers to get in touch with us.

    By Emma Robinson (29/04/2008)
  • I am researching the Austin and Ford families who lived at 82 and 78 respectively. Any memories or info would be appreciated.

    By Ken Graimes (06/10/2008)
  • I am reading all these lovely memories of my past home. I am Vic Stevens’ sister Suzanne, and remember well being sent round to the baths in Livinstone Road and Clarkes the bakers. We used to wait until late in the day to get the bags of stale cakes they were better than todays so called fresh cakes. Times were hard back then for me 1951-1971 and others around but I wouldn’t swap them for todays childhood memories. Does any one remember the fish and chip shops in Shirley St. Everyone had their favorite and the butchers with the sign in the window ‘always pleased to meet you, always meat to please you’ that always stuck out for me. Those lamposts were used for many a game as already has been said. There was always lots of us kids out in the street playing ‘he’ skipping hopscotch etc. using the poles that stuck out from the lamposts to swing on, those were the days!

    By Suzanne Barber nee Stevens (05/02/2009)
  • Ken, do you mean 82 Shirley Street, Hove? I have ancestors who lived at that address in 1891 and 1901, but not sure about 1911. A Mr William Muzzell and his family lived there. Don’t know if this helps. I dont know if its a coincidence, but the head of the house’s sister; Fanny Muzzell, married a James Graimes in 1889!

    By Shelley (25/04/2009)
  • Fanny and James were my grandparents. I would like to know more about the family.

    By Ken Graimes (10/09/2009)
  • Hi Ken, my surname is Graimes and my Grandfather came from Brighton. My father’s name was Keith Graimes. I remember him telling me about an Alf who used to run the baths in Brighton. My Grandfather’s name was either Charles or Tom? He married Blanche. Are we related Ken?

    By Daryl Graimes (08/11/2010)
  • Hi Daryl. My father and your grandfather were brothers. I have a pretty complete family history if it’s of interest. Contact graimes@dodo.com.au Look forward to hearing from you.

    By Ken Graimes (08/04/2011)
  • My mother lived at 100 Livingstone Road during the war years. The name was Kingsley and Fairhall. Does anyone remember them?

    By Susan Lowndes (18/04/2011)
  • My mother was Daisy Graimes born 1911 and charles 1914, plus other sisters. Also father’s name John. Any relations still in Brighton?

    By Sylvia Smith (31/08/2011)
  • As a child in 1962-1969, my family lived in a one bedroom basement flat in Livingstone Rd, Mum, Dada, my sister and myself all in one bedroom, I’m not sure of the number but at the end of the garden was an overgrown raised up ‘dump’ where people buried cats and dogs. I remember the baths, huge hot baths once a week and a gob stopper afterward from the sweet shop nearby.

    By Bonita Holland (Deane) (24/01/2012)
  • Emma, I know the son of one of the said Hoopers: parents were Albert & Winifred nee Wren, children (not in order) Patricia, Nita, Maureen, Pamela, Peter, Brian, Douglas b.1949 my friend’s dad, Steven, Kevin and baby Wendy who died in an accident, crushed by a lorry.

    By Nickie Preston (29/07/2012)
  • I have lived at No. 74 Livingstone Road for 27 years and wonder if anyone knows the reason why there is no Number 70?

    By Helene Mahon (30/09/2013)
  • Did someone mention ‘jiffy jellies’? My dad and I used to love them, back in the 50s-60s. Why do things have to change? 

    By Jacqueline Beale (15/07/2014)
  • My Nan and Grandad lived at no 6 Shirley St in the 40s to 60s, Mabel and Albert Lucas. I lived there for a while as a child, I remember the fish and chip shop – Witherdens? and Brigdens the butchers. I also remember being taken to the British Legion. My Mum told me about the Shirley Press being bombed when she lived there.

    By Gill Barnes (15/05/2015)
  • Witherdens the fish shop; as kids we used to go in and ask for a penneth of crackling. It was all the batter off the fish that was left in the fryer – it was lovely!

    By Wendy Carpenter (05/12/2016)
  • There must be hundreds of similarly (badly) sited lampposts in Hove.

    When I worked in Palmeira Mansions back in the 1970s, a colleague who had just bought a brand new Citroen car came in steaming one morning, because he had scraped the car on one of them in nearby Palmeira Avenue!

    By Alan Hobden (07/12/2016)
  • Hi,I am a local Hove resident and am researching local history and have recently started doing guided historical walking tours of the Aldrington, Poets Corner, Old Hove and Cliftonville area. I am trying to find out any more information or anecdotes about the baths in Livingtstone Road – any information most gratefully received.

    By Rach (21/04/2019)

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