Mum's favourite shopping spot in the 1950s
Getting the 46 trolley bus
I well remember my Mum getting the 46 trolley bus from Hollingbury to go “Down the London Rd ” to do the shopping two or three times a week. She also went to “The Market” for vegetables, fruit and a bit of haddock (the yellow smoked stuff) which we had with a knob of butter and bread on a Saturday. The Co-op was great, it had vacuum change machines that sent your money into the main office, then a receipt and change would zoom back through the system as if by magic. I still remember my Mums ‘Divi’ number as I was under orders to quote it, when making any purchase as a young man
The heart of Brighton
London Road was the heart of Brighton in the 50s and 60s. I remember Woolworths, Sainsbury’s with its glass topped tins of biscuits, and Bellman’s. There was Bradshaw’s for that new bike at £27.00 for my rich pal Dave. Mine was built from bits from the dump and a new tyre from Strudwick’s; it cost 15 shillings I think. The great sweet shop near Mitchell’s sold traditional sweets; monkey nuts, chewing wood, bull’s-eyes, humbugs, cough candy and lots of other wonderful treats. And of course there was Broadmead’s, where I pre ordered Jimi Henrix’s first LP in the late 60s.
A stout in The Northern
Western Road was rarely visited by our family although I remember MacFisheries and Marks and Sparks. My Uncle Frank had a fruit and veg stall in the Open Market which was a great place for produce , I loved the ‘Blind Man’s’ stall, he always knew if anyone was there. Alas today I am sure he would be robbed by the light fingered . I think Mum had the odd stout in ‘The Northern’ where Mrs Hayward was the landlady, before “lugging the heavy bags home”.
Not a McDonalds in sight
On a Saturday I would watch for the 46 bus, then as soon as I saw Mum, run across the ‘Green’ to help her with the shopping. Then she would have a hot cup of tea; she would probably have preferred another stout, but I knew nothing of such things . Those were very happy days. London Road was a great place to visit and shop, and not a McDonalds in sight.