Popular shopping destination
London Road was definitely a very popular shopping destination years ago. I remember it mainly in the 1960s and 1970s; you could obtain everything you needed in that road without having to go further into town. It did have some great shops like Bellmans, Woolworths and the Co-op. Added to this there were several butchers, hardware stores, Boots, Timothy Whites, then there were clothing shops and shoe shops.
Woolworths in the 1970s
I worked at Woolworths in 1973 and 1974, and can well remember being sent into the road to pull the blinds out. This was done on sunny days as the sun used to shine directly onto the front of the store in the morning, and at around 10am it took quite a while due to the amount of shoppers, so I had to wait for a clear bit of pavement. If you go to that location today you can still see the steel fronts of those blinds, and the hooks where we had to pull them out with a long wooden pole.
Fish chips and a haircut
Then of course there were the shops that surrounded London Road. There was Needhams in Ann Street for musical instruments, along with Wicks in Ditchling Road where you could buy Airfix kits, train sets, Scalextric and Subbuteo teams. Baker Street had Bardsleys fish & chip shop which incidentally is still going strong, two barbers which were Youngs and Coopers, and the pet shop. I’ve only covered the 1960/70 and I’m sure there are many people who can recall some more memories from my era, and the decades before.