Growing up in the 50s

I grew up living on the Old Shoreham Road. We moved there in 1959 when I was 18 months old , and I was there until the age of 18 years. If it hadn`t been for that bunch of fascists – the Anti Brighton Bypass Association – ABBA (very apt), the north side of the road would never have had to be demolished, so obliterating a community!

The local shops
I would like to see pictures of the area as it was: the sweetshop at the corner of Trafalgar Road and the Old Shoreham Road, the Southern Cross pub (run by my friend’s grandmother), Coughtrey’s the cycle shop (I bought my first ever set of derailleur gears there!), the bakery, the fish`n`chip shop (which had a couple of fires), the greengrocer, and then up the hill a little, the hairdresser on the corner of Wolseley Road and the little garden shop just in Wolseley Road where I used to buy bamboo for making bows and plant sticks for arrows, and finally on that side, the sweetshop run by the crippled man that had a choc-ice machine outside.

Shops are now Tates Garage
The other side of the road had another greengrocer, run latterly by the Pickett family, which was almost opposite Wolseley Road. The shop on the corner of the access to the old allotments was a heating / installation company at some time, then up the hill to the parade of shops which now, of course, are all part of Tates garage. In those days, there was a wool shop, another hairdressers (I think) and the newsagent/sweetshop. Garage on the corner as now.

Comments about this page

  • I lived here during the time I spent in Brighton and I liked it. I like the houses, the small gardens, the smell of the sea nearby. But it’s a pity that some people do not care about their houses. Some are really in bad condition.

    By Sylvie L. (03/10/2004)
  • It is a pity about the state of some houses! I have a friend who is moving there and that is one thing that was noticed, but it is still a nice place.

    By Bert (24/03/2005)
  • I lived in Old Shoreham Road in Brighton for about 2 weeks in a host family. I think it’s the most pretty street in Brighton and Hove. I really loved it there. The street was busy but everywhere were these beautiful old English houses. I found it a great place to live and I’m sure I will come back one time.

    By Sayuri (04/10/2005)
  • I used to spend my 3d in the choc ice machine on the way back from Portslade County School For Boys in the summer – Mr Coleman I think his name was. We lived in Old Shoreham Road opposite the golf links. I was back in the UK in 2002 and was surprised to see the golf club was gone – a road now running down the middle of it. Now I’m in Brisbane its all memories for me – great site.

    By Chris Edwards (10/07/2007)
  • I used to live in Old Shoreham Road, just up from the New England Road railway bridge, with my parents (my parents still live there today). When I was much younger I remember a small grocery shop on the corner of Old Shoreham Road. The bottom of Old Shoreham Road has not changed that much, with the exception of the bollards on the left hand side of the road (going up from bottom of road to the corner) – this was done to prevent vehicles from mounting the pavement.

    By Darren Crawford (02/08/2007)
  • In responce to Mick Wren who would like to see photo’s of the Old Shoreham Road Portslade. Put Portslade into search site. Ray Hamblett has a wonderful site full of his photo’s of that and other areas. I remember this area more in 1960s/70s and I had a lot of memories revived after visiting his site.

    By Marie B (31/10/2007)
  • I lived at 80 Old Shoreham Road up until 1954, my mother ran a School of Elocution and Dramatic Art – Gladys Weston – from there. Can anyone tell me what happened to that house?

    By Pam Denne (nee Weston-Davies) (20/02/2008)
  • I was born on the Old Shoreham Road opposite what is now Speedy Spares. In the early 50s the parade of shops was very popular and had everything you needed except, as my mother lamented, a post office and a chemist. For those we had to travel to Trafalgar Road.  The shops were as I remember running east to west: Harringtons the bakers, Winnie Bray ran the greengocers, there was a wool shop called Rays and a butchers called Elsies. On the other side of the waste ground was the shoe menders which was run by the Greens until it was taken over by Bob Roffey, next to that was Sear and Tongue which was a very successful grocery. Mr Tongue was in some way connected to the introduction of Danish Bacon. The newsagents / sweetshop was called Browns and was managed by Mr Heasman and assisted by Mr Pitt who went on to marry Winnie Bray the greengrocer. At the end of the block was Findlaters the off licence which never seemed to have customers.  There were other shops to the east dominated by Pembrokes grocery and the sweet shop run by his wife later taken over by Mr Parker who installed the choc ice machine. On the corner of Wolesley Road was Patchings the ironmongers which became the hairdressers.  Like most places it was quite a stable little community based around the shops and Wolesley Road. The characters I remember in the 50s and early 60s were Fred Steele the mobile greengrocer, Charlie Todd in Melrose Avenue, Mr Dale the taxi driver Harry Wakeham who had a mismatched glass eye, the Finchs and the Greens who ran the laundry and Bert Brundle who lived in Abinger Road. This site has stirred so many memories.

    By Peter Wrapson (22/06/2008)
  • Hi Peter, I remember you and your family. We lived over the road in the laundry – see the article on Carlisle Laundry and the area around – much as you describe.

    By Roger Bateman (25/12/2008)
  • I lived at 50 Old Shoreham Road in Brighton until my mid teens and I was the fourth generation of the same family to live at that address. My Great Grandfather brought the house when it was first built. At that time, the row of terraced houses between the junctions with Stanford Road and Hamilton Road was called Prestonville Terrace. I remember that there were two small Grocers Shops on each corner of Old Shoreham Road and York Gardens one of which, now converted to a house, was run by a Mr Shand and his wife. They used to sell greengrocery from a lean-to, which is now a garage, at the side of the shop.

    By Derek Lake (04/04/2009)
  • I went out with a girl from Old Shoreham Road. She had to go in the shop next door to phone me. Around 1972,  met at Blue Waters holiday camp in Seaton, Devon

    By Barry Stevens (22/09/2009)
  • Hi Pam!, did your mother perchance emigrate to South Africa at some point? The drama teacher at my primary school was Gladys Weston-Davies. I once visited her at her home near Stellenbosch.

    By Christopher Viney (01/01/2010)
  • Hi Pam! Did your mother perchance emigrate to South Africa at some point? The drama teacher at my primary school was Gladys Weston-Davies. I once visited her at her home near Stellenbosch.

    By Christopher Viney (01/01/2010)
  • Pam, Was the School of Elocution taken over from the Doreen Inman School of Elocution by any chance?

    By Carol Tucker (20/01/2010)
  • I was born in Melrose Avenue 1943, and remember those shops well. I went to St Nicholas School, and then on to Mile Oak school. This place did have a village feeling as everybody knew everyone. When I visited last I didnt recognise the place, what a shame, progress.

    By Jean Hudson (13/07/2010)
  • I remember the road works to take out the front gardens and other things to widen the roads. We used to travel along there every week.

    By Trevor Sharp (31/01/2011)
  • I lived 91 Old Shoreham Road over my dad’s sweet / tobacconist / paper shop between Warrens grocers and Haywards hair dressers – I think it was from about 1955 to 1962. Saunders greengrocers was there as today and I remember Dysons haberdashery store, a chemist and a funeral place all on my side of the street. I went to Ellen Street School which was demolished in the 1960s I think.

    By Linda Maidment (11/02/2011)
  • The row of shops on the Old Shoreham Road opposite Applesham Way is much changed. The garage has become a Garden Centre which is ironic as the garage was built on a nursery! Nearly all the shops are either run by Speedy Spares which has been there for years or the Garden Centre. The only exception is the August Moon which occupies the grocers shop. For a fast food outlet this must be a record as I recall it being there 30 years ago. The road is faster and most of the personality of that area has gone. However friends who live in Melrose Avenue still maintain their spirit.

    By Peter Wrapson (30/05/2011)
  • Born in 1942 and named after the battleship, I lived at 23 Applesham Way and in the early 50s my playmates were Roger Bateman, Bob Dyke, Richard and Phil Green. I remember with great affection the area as described by Roger Bateman and Peter Wrapson. I now live in Southwick with Judy, my wife of 37 years. My Mum, Doris, is now 99 years old and still lives at No 23. Whilst sharp as a pin, she has forgotten some aspects of the area and will be very pleased when I fill in the gaps using the comments of Roger and Peter.

    By Rodney Way (13/10/2011)
  • It was really good to read Rodney Way’s comment. I do remember you as a very tall boy and once tried on his cowboy trousers which were too big for me This was done at the behest of your sister Angela. I also remember his father parking a huge Regent petrol tanker outside No 23. It was to me a thing of wonder. I sometimes saw your other sister Gillian on the bus from Worthing. As always this site throws up many memories.

    By Peter Wrapson (18/10/2011)
  • Hi, interesting to read all about this area as I grew up there. I lived at 80 Old Shoreham Road, Portslade from 1952 till I married in 1974. My mum and dad rented the upstairs and then managed to buy the whole house. Does anyone remember the sweet shop owned by the Hollidays? Their son Norman was my best friend – still in contact! Would like to hear more memories.

    By paul brewer (26/02/2012)
  • Paul Brewers comments were interesting as there were three sweetshops in that area during my time. Mrs Pembroke had one which was bought by Mr Parker who installed the choc ice machine, Browns which is closest to Southwick which was run by Mr Heasman and then Mr Debenham and Daniels near Southern Cross, Which one did the Holidays take on or was it another? Not many are left now as roads and supermarkets take their toll. Yet I guess that either side of the road communities still exist yet they are not united by the shops and pubs, However the schools and clubs like scouts and guides keep it going. Perhaps chatting to the neighbours has been replaced by TV etc. Paul has reminded me of those times and how we owe a lot to where we grew up.

    By Peter Wrapson (03/03/2012)
  • Hi Rodney, I remember you and your family well, we lived at 20 Melrose Avenue, and have lots of photos of us all as children growing up in the area. We left Sussex in 1954, but have very fond memories of the freedom we had, and of the place. Shame it had to change.

    By Jean Chandler (15/03/2012)
  • On talking to my mum apparently the house numbers have been changed over the years and she did not live at 80, but rather 56. She has enjoyed reading the comments and it brought back many memories.

    By Paul Brewer (06/04/2012)
  • The Off Licence, Findlaters, was run by my aunt and uncle, Roy and Lily Watson. I used to love visiting them because the flat seemed to have so many rooms. My father also worked for Findlaters, in Waterloo Street, Hove, then it was taken over by the Threshers branch of Whitbreads

    By June Churchill nee Bates (20/05/2012)
  • I just saw in the 1911 census that my dad was living at ‘Huntsmoor’ on Old Shoreham Road. Does this house name sound familiar to anyone?

    By Deirdre Smith (01/06/2012)
  • Hi Deirdre, ‘Huntsmoor’ was the name of the right-hand dwelling, half of a pair of semi-detached houses located on the south side of Old Shoreham Road, midway between Sackville Road and Leighton Road. It was built around the turn of the century and is now numbered 166, Shoreham Road.

    By Andy Grant (03/06/2012)
  • Deidre – Old Shoreham Road is 8 miles long, does the census indicate the district? If it is Portslade, then it’s odds on that it overlooks the recreation ground as these were the only substantial dwellings existing in 1911. However I do recall the name.

    By Peter Wrapson (03/06/2012)
  • Christopher Viney: Yes, we did live near Stellenbosch. My mother passed away in 1999. As far as I know 80 Old Shoreham Road, Hove was a private house and my mom ran her studio from there. Would love to know if anyone remembers our family: Weston-Davies Elfyn and Gladys and myself Pamela and my sister Sylvia?

    By Pam Denne (30/06/2012)
  • Thank you Andy and Peter for the info on ‘Huntsmoor’; I googled and found a photo and map!

    By Deirdre Smith (07/08/2012)
  • Haven’t been on this site for a long time, great to see a number of names that brought back memories. I now live and work in Papua Nuigini, and have a residence in Cairns.

    By rick green (07/09/2012)
  • My grandparents, Arthur and Mary Dale, moved to 54 Old Shoreham Road Portslade (then known as 7 Ivy Terrace) in 1931 with their three sons, Arthur (my father), Ernest and Leslie. The house was/is on the north side of Old Shoreham Road, two or three doors west was a greengrocers and opposite was a pet shop run by a family whose very attractive daughter worked there on Saturdays. Mr.Dale the taxi driver mentioned by Peter Wrapson was my Uncle Les. I was born at 69 Applesham Way in 1946 before moving to Mile Oak in 1950. The area has changed immensely since the 60s. My Dad and Uncle Les have passed away but Uncle Ern was 95 on1st Sept and still lives just off Wolesley Road. I remember the Pembrokes store and knew their son Maurice who was tragically killed in a drowning accident abroad.

    By Roger Dale (12/09/2012)
  • Roger Dale’s comment brought back memories as I remember Mrs Dale and I comforting each other after a lorry crashed into a house some doors up from No:54 whilst I was on my paper round. I never knew that row of houses were called Ivy Terrace which I presume predated some of the infil building to the west. Mr Dale used to garage his taxi in Applesham Way at the rear of the house later occupied by Roger Bateman’s aunt Sybil and locating herself close to her sisters

    By Peter Wrapson (12/10/2012)
  • I lived at no 1 Melrose Avenue and remenber Rodney Way and family. Peter, did you live next door to my aunt Dora Broadbank. Memories come back of the winkle man on Sundays a treat to have a pint of winkles, a pin, and a jar of vinigar.

    By Rick Green (22/10/2012)
  • Hi Rick, I can’t recall the winkle man which is odd as my mother liked winkles. I lived at 24 next to Reg and Dora who were always kind to me and I have a picture somewhere of my Dad and Dora celebrating living 50 years in the houses. Dad died the following year and I guess Dora died a few years after that. Her husband Reg Broadbank was a very well respected teacher at the secondary school up the road and was a lovely character.

    By Peter Wrapson (24/10/2012)
  • Hi Peter, Reg was a wonderful man; taught me to play crib and sparked my joy of reading with the readers digest given to me. My mum dad and brother Phil all ended up in Australia, unfortunately all passed on, Rick.

    By RICK GREEN (25/10/2012)
  • Mr Broadbank (known to us as Reg) taught me at some stage during my time at Portslade County School for Boys from 1960 to 1964. I remember him as being a very kind but serious man who had nothing but the wellbeing of his students at heart.

    By Alan Phillips (25/10/2012)
  • Mr Broadbank, now there is a name from the past. I believe that he taught me Maths and a very good job he did of it to. He also taught my father. I remember he gave me a thruppenny bit on one of my birthdays and awarded me a school prize, a book which I still have. A really nice and proficient teacher, well liked and respected.

    By Dave Phillips (26/10/2012)
  • Reg’s stepson was also a well remembered teacher at the same school. He was Derek (Midge) Martin who I believe taught geography and coached football. I walk past what was his classroom on my way to adult evening classes. His wife Viv taught at the girls’ school

    By Peter Wrapson (01/12/2012)
  • Hi again Pete, Yes, Viv and Midge Martin were a lovely couple. Midge was leading goal-scorer for Portslade football club in the late 1940s / early 50s and, as you say, a teacher at Portslade County for most of his working life. Viv played tennis for Sussex County and was also a popular teacher. They had a large family including triplets. Sadly both have passed on in recent years.

    By Roger Bateman (20/12/2012)
  • I have just re-read Roger Dale’s post from last September where he mentions the attractive daughter of the pet shop owner. Was this Sonia [Stringer] who may have lived in Locks Hill? I, like others, recollect buying bamboo canes for bow and arrows. I am not sure what else he sold.

    By Peter Wrapson (06/03/2013)
  • To Peter Wrapson – Does the 6th Hove Scout Troup mean anything to you?

    By Stella Fryer (17/08/2013)
  • To Stella Fryer-Yes, I am currently assisting in producing a book about 6th Hove for its centenary in 2014. We are still collecting memories and photos. Hopefully it will be a fitting history of the group and glimpse of the social history of Portslade.

    By Peter Wrapson (29/08/2013)
  • I remember the 6th Hove Scouts’ marathon trek along the Southdowns Way in about 1977 during a heat wave and drought when the boys each had to carry a gallon of water on their backs as well as camping gear. A spur of the moment decision saw Bob and I, with Chris and Gill Thompson, camp with them at Alfriston on the last leg of the journey. We got up early to cook very welcome bacon sarnies for the lads. The sight of them running down the hill triumphantly having completed the whole course will always be a happy memory as our son Nick was one of them.

    By Stella Fryer (05/09/2013)
  • For the attention of Roger Dale: When you moved to Mile Oak you became friends with Geoffrey Atkins and Peter Thursby. Pete lived at 180(1) Mile Oak Road. We used to go fishing a lot around Henfield in the late 1950s. Geoff went to the school at the top of Applesham Way but then re-took the 11+ at 13 and went to The County and on to Tech College. I can see Geoff next to you in the Shiverers’ photo. Pete’s father ran a pub in Worthing, right near the railway station. 

    By Christopher McBrien (11/05/2014)
  • Does anyone remember a second hand shop in Shoreham run by an Amelia and Fred? I was told they ran a shop there in the 1950’s.

    By Keith Harding (19/08/2014)
  • I live at 54 Old Shoreham Road, Southwick. I think the houses were built for the old diary. I have been here 27 years and I would love to know when they were built and who first lived here,  and see some pics of this road back then.

    By Carol Murphy (03/09/2014)
  • I think the dairy you are referring to is the Southwick Hill Farm Dairy which was still active until 1980 or perhaps later. It was accessed by a small road from Old Shoreham Road. It had a loyal following locally. My Mum always thought it better quality than Unigate or the Co-op and many young boys would help the milkman over bits of his route for no reward other than the fun of putting milk on the step. I guess the supermarkets caused its downfall.

    By Peter Wrapson (05/09/2014)
  • FOA: Roger Dale. You talked about wanting to see photos of the shops etc.  on the old Shoreham Road. As Chris McBrien will tell you, join the Portslade, Fishersgate page on Facebook and you will see a great deal and more.

    By Cáit (03/02/2015)
  • Pam, Denne and Christopher Viney: Gladys Weston-Davies taught me all about English poetry and drama in Bellville, South Africa around 1965 – 1967. I met her again later in life and the last time was at Somerset Mall in the 1990s. Dignified, a lady, well dressed, like in the 1960s. The names Gladys and Sylvia rings a bell.  I also have a memory of a relation in Stellenbosch called Aubrey. Would love to have some contact. I had a look at the Cape Town Eisteddfod certificates that she so well prepared me for. My 85 year old mother Maggie with sisters Ella and Anna will probably remember more. She is the only one still alive at Utopia old age home in Stellenbosch.

    By Johan Human (29/06/2015)
  • I don’t know if this thread is still live but, in the hope that it is, I’m trying to find out where exactly my grandparents bakers shop was. It was in the early 1950s, called P J Hawkins and, I understand, was near Coughtrey’s cycle shop somewhere near southern cross. Any ideas please?

    By Jackie Hawkins (28/03/2018)
  • I was born in Southlands Hospital  January 1942,I had three brothers,Edward,David & Edgar,we lived then at 44 Melrose Avenue, Portslade-by-Sea,then moved about 1949 approximately to 176 Old Shoreham Road, Portslade opposit Victoria Recreational grounds (park),The house we had was called the Doll`s House that is what our mother (megan) called it,we had a butchers shop at 33 Western Road Hove,we all became butchers.If there is anyone out there do contact us and put our memories to rights.

    By William (Billy)Powell (31/03/2018)
  •  Comments for Jackie Hawkins.(Bakers shop-Porslade).Yes we used the shop and the shop on both sides of the road,your shop was on the corner opposite the cycle shop to which there was a big gap where the  other off-road works were ie: older man with a furnace going to make horse shoes etcetra.


    By William (Billy)Powell (31/03/2018)
  • Thanks Billy, do you have any other details eg which side of the road or corner of which road? I know nothing about it as I think my grandparents moved around the time I was born (1953) as I only remember them living in Fishersgate – but remember my mother talking about working in the shop with her mother in law. I assume they retired but have no relatives etc still alive to ask. If I know roughly where the shop was I can go to library and see if I can find anything.

    By Jackie Hawkins (11/04/2018)
  • I remember the bakers on the west side of the unmade used in the 50s by Greenfields removals and I do recall the farrier. Coughtrys cycles was on the east side corner. I do not recollect the Bakers name but recall it being taken over by a C Reeve in the late 50s. All demolished when road was widened. I hope this helps.

    By Peter Wrapson (24/06/2018)
  • I lived with my Mum and Dad and Sister Daphne at 66, Old Shoreham Rd, Portslade from my birth in 1947 ’til 1971. The house was next door to a café which was originally owned by Mr and Mrs Tidmarsh, then Mrs Cooper and her children. Next door to the café was the entrance to the allotments which I believe is now called Camp Close; during the first world war it was the site of an army camp. I attended St Nicholas Infants and Junior School. I remember Mr Coughtry’s bike and toy shop and Mr Court’s newsagents up the hill by Southern Cross. In my early teens I was a delivery boy for Bob Roffey who was a shoe repairer in premises which is now a garden centre. There was an ironmongers on the corner of OSR and Worsley Road, and a bit further on was a pet shop owned by a Mr and Mrs Stringer whose daughter Sonja was in my class at school.

    By Brian Reynolds (26/06/2018)
  • THIS IS FOR RODNEY WAY. I knew you well, I lived at 28 Applesham Way. Remember your mum and dad and the bantam chickens you kept. Others you may remember up the road - Ray Pilcher, Dave Edmunds, Ray Harris and the Trussel brothers. 

    By Robert Gander (09/09/2018)
  • The more I read the various articles on this website, the more I realise just what a small world we live in! I used to live in 76, Old Shoreham Rd Brighton [strangely enough on the corner of Buxton Rd] in the late 1950s into the 1960s. How Mum ever bought the house I don’t know other than the fact she worked long hours outside of home and then cleaned and ran ’76’ as long-term bed-sits; we had the ground floor. Every scrap of money she earned went to paying off the mortgage – I know as I had to go and do her banking, especially after emptying the various meters. There was a highly skilled photographer/artist living just up Buxton Rd on the opposite side, John; his Reliant Robin fascinated me until I got my own wheels – Vespas in particular.

    By Nigel D Buxton (01/09/2019)
  • Does anyone know what happened to Froebel school Southwick 1957 please.

    By robin white (09/11/2020)
  • Anyone remember Portslade Road and the shops?
    I lived in Red Hill Farms the Green grocer with my parents.No 75. Next door was Stacy’s a milliners.The other side was close to a dentist. Wont forget that one in a hurry.

    By ann patricia eatwell (06/07/2021)
  • Does anyone know of a Mary Child who possibly lived in Fishersgate during 1930s-1950s and adopted some children.

    By Shobha (15/07/2021)

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