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E Sands fish shop c1920

Fish Shop c1920 46 North Street, Portslade, (Edgar Sands c.50yrs old, Martha Sands 50yrs old, Louisa Sands c12yrs and Edgar Jnr. c10yrs,
From the private collection of Martha Hooper

My grandfather’s shop

The fish shop belonged to my grandfather Edgar Sands, and he is standing outside of it with his wife Martha and children Louisa and Edgar. The year would be about 1920. My father and his sister were pupils at St Andrew’s School, Portslade. The family came to Portslade from Heathfield in Sussex, after the World War 1. My Grandfather owned this fish shop, and a barber shop also in North Street. The fish shop was situated on the south side of the street, the barber shop on the north side.

A busy commercial street

I understand that North Street was a busy street of commercial premises, chandlers, pubs and shops. There was also a Baptist Church and a Salvation Army Citadel. I can’t place where my grandfather’s shops would have been, but I think they were cleared before my birth in 1954. I do not know if he owned the shops at the same time: according to my father he did.  He had died by 1946, so the shops may have changed hands sometime before that. Were they cleared by order? I remember some patches of wasteland we called bombsites it may have been on one of those.

A good address

I do not know if my grandparents lived over these shops, but I do know that they eventually bought a new house in St Andrews Road. It was one of the last to be built in the street, and was the end of terrace, by the park entrance as it is now. Edgar senior must have done quite well as St Andrews Road, a tree lined street, was apparently a good address in South Portslade in the early 20th century.

Comments about this page

  • What a lovely photograph! Could the fish shop have been located in the same building as “Cave’s” fish and chip shop which my mum and I used to patronise (looking back on it, far too regularly) in the 1950’s when we lived at 53 North Street where she ran a tobacconists and confectioners shop?

    By Dudley Whittaker (12/10/2011)
  • I started at St Peter’s School, Portslade, in 1955 and used to walk down North Street from Seaford Road everyday from then onwards. Over the following two or three years many shops in North Street began to close but most of the properties still stood for a good few years after that (and quite a few properties were usefully occupied well into the late 1960s). I therefore have a bit of a problem when I assess the photo of Martha’s Grandfather’s fish and chip shop with her account of its location. The shop in the photo was clearly at number 46 and so I don’t think it could have been on the south side of North Street, as that side was occupied by odd numbered properties. The slope of the roadway therefore also suggests this property was on the north side of the road, if it was actually in North Street, which I don’t believe it was. (North Street slopes downwards from east to west, or right to left in the photo). Apart from the archway on the left and the sides of the upstairs window (which are of brick) the building appears to be constructed of stone blocks, which were not a common building material in this part of the county as they would have needed to be transported a very considerable distance (at least from Tunbridge Wells if the blocks were of sandstone). I certainly don’t recall any buildings in North Street being made from stone blocks when I walked and played in this road almost every day. After all, who would have paid a considerable sum to transport sandstone blocks to build a shop in North Street, Portslade? Neither do I recall any archways adjacent to shops in North Street, such as the one on the left of the photo. The very narrow pavement is clearly made of brick. Does anyone remember pavements made of brick around the 1920s in North Street, or anywhere else in Portslade for that matter? They weren’t there by the 1950s and 60s. In fact, in Martha’s other photos of North Street on this site, ranging from around 1900(?) to the 1950s(?), the pavements are all much wider and of paving slabs with granite kerb stones. Sorry Martha, but I don’t think this photo was taken in North Street, Portslade.

    By Alan Phillips (19/10/2011)
  • There was a fish/chip shop in North Street Portslade call Caves but it was quite a big shop and it was on the left hand side going down North Street. I used to live in East Street, Portslade and we would go to the shop it was opposite the pub that was at the bottom of our street, but it was nothing like the photo on this site. Also there were no brick foot paths only concrete paths in Portslade when I lived there.

    By Pat Finneran (25/02/2012)
  • Hello Martha,
    I only just spotted another post by you, in which you say that the shop was “…..long demolished by the time you were born in 1954”. None of the shops in North Street were demolished before the end of the 1950’s / early 60’s.

    By Alan Phillips (27/03/2023)
  • Hello Allan and Martha,
    I have a photo of 53 North Street taken on the 18th March 1976. This was where I was brought up by my mother, Mary Whittaker. Sweets and cigarettes were sold. I do believe that it was demolished just after this photo was taken.
    I also agree with earlier comments by you, Allan, that the angle of the photo of E Sands Fish Shop, together with the building materials, make it unlikely that it was situated in North Street, Portslade at all.

    By Dudley Whittaker (29/03/2023)

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