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A visit to the cinema and bread and dripping

163 Marine Parade
Photo by Tony Mould

Playing ‘dare’ across the road

I lived at 163 Marine Parade from 1940 until 1955. The Nevill House Hotel abutted our house. Many famous celebrities of the time would visit our house and chat with my grandmother. Some that come to mind are Laurence Olivier, Anna Neagle, Robert Fleming, Nigel Green and Flora Robson who was a dear friend of my grandmother’s. My sisters Valerie, Jackie and I would play ‘dare’ to see who could cross Marine Parade the fastest without getting hit by a passing car.

Banjo Groyne

We also threw our old guy over the sea front railings one Guy Fawkes night so we would not have to carry him down all the steps to the Banjo Groyne beach for the bonfire and firework festivities. Needless to say he did not arrive intact and the old clothes and rags used for stuffing him got caught on the wild flowers that grew up on the cliffs. They remained there for weeks until a storm came and blew them away.

Visiting the Odeon cinema

After school I would deliver prescriptions to many of the famous stars who lived in the area because I worked for Miss Morgan and Miss Lacroix who owned the chemist shop at the bottom of the alley on Marine Parade, between Belgrave Place and Eastern Terrace. We spent every Saturday morning at the Odeon Cinema at Paston Place and would go to Bert’s Cafe afterwards for a slice of bread and dripping for a half-penny.

Do you remember?

Did you ever live in Marine Parade? Perhaps you live there now? If you can share your memories or views with us, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • Lovely memories of Marine Parade which I loved as a kid in the 40s and 50s. The above mentioned film and stage stars were often seen in the area and were very polite. My brother delivered groceries to Anna Neagle. I quite often saw Larry Olivier walking along the parade in the early morning. Nigel Green was a dog lover. He often walked around with his labrador who held a wicker shopping basket in his mouth with a tiny poodle sitting inside. I saw Flora Robson early one morning in a little sweet shop where I was buying some sweets, she was very nice standing there in her dressing gown with curlers in her hair, no snobbery at all. I wonder if Miss Lacroix had any connection to the firm Peter Lacroix who were grocery wholesalers in Arundel Place where I worked in the 50s? Pleasant times.

    By Mick Peirson (04/03/2014)
  • Going to the Odeon on Saturday morning is a favorite memory of mine as well. I was given a shilling to spend. It cost sixpence to get into the pictures, downstairs of course. Then three pence for a flavored ice block, tuppence ha’penny for sweets and then for the remaining ha’penny that great piece of bread and dripping from the fish shop which I’m guessing from the article was Bert’s Café. I usually asked if I could have the crust. Great Days!

    By Eric Cook (05/03/2014)
  • Dame Flora Robson lived with her sisters in Wykeham Terrace next to my aunt. Flora liked bingo!

    By Stefan Bremner-Morris (05/03/2014)
  • So glad my article about growing up at 163 Marine Parade, Kemp Town, Brighton gave so many of you great memories. It was a lovely time and place to be then. I am still so very proud and happy to have hailed from such a beautiful area of Brighton. I can still feel the sea spray on my face from when it would get gusty along the seafront, and remember the swarms of gnats that would arrive when it got hot and humid which seemed more prevalent back then than today, all part of so-called global warming I suppose. So, to all of you out there who were around at that time, sweet memories!

    By Gwen Healy (nee Barnes) (14/08/2014)
  • When my parents moved to Brighton in 1947 our first address was the first floor flat in 163 Marine Parade.  I remember trying to paint the sunsets from our balcony and getting very angry as the colours kept changing.  Well I was only three years old at the time.

    By Keith Rossetti (31/07/2018)
  •  ”I wonder if Miss Lacroix had any connection to the firm Peter Lacroix who were grocery wholesalers in Arundel Place where I worked in the 50s? Pleasant times”. —- Dear Mick Peirson, Peter Lacroix was Miss Joan Lacroix’s father and also my great-grandfather!  Hope you see this message! 

    By Anna Cristina Lacroix Arena (05/09/2018)
  • Thanks for the message Anna Cristina. I had a pleasant time working at the firm when I  was a young teenager, such different times, fond memories.

    By Mick Peirson (06/09/2018)
  • I am so happy that you saw the message Mr Pierson! I wrote to my mum at facebook – she now lives in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and I live in Ipswich – she replied: Carole Lacroix “Yes, Auntie Joan and Morgie’s chemist shop, the chair in the sitting room. Her Auntie Joan was Peter Lacroix’s daughter and sister to my father (John) I seem to remember now the name Pierson”.

    By Anna Cristina Lacroix Arena (07/09/2018)
  • Dear Anna Cristina my birth name has the e before the i and not the i before the e as in Peirson and not Pierson. Common mistake I have sort of endured most of my life I suppose as we were taught the i before the e except after c etc. I get mail and e mail all of the time and people still insist that I have spelt my own name wrong. Regarding working at Peter lacroix’s, I can recall all of the names and the faces of the people who worked there so long ago.

    By Mick Peirson (08/09/2018)

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