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Memories of the 1950/60s

Popular parade of shops

I was born on the Old Shoreham Road opposite what is now Speedy Spares. In the early 1950s 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 greengrocers, there was a wool shop called Elsie’s and a butchers called Ray’s.

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Block of shops on Old Shoreham Road

Houses on Old Shoreham Road

Remember the shops?

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. 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; the sweet shop was later taken over by Mr Parker who installed the choc ice machine.

Do you remember these shops? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.

Stable little community

On the corner of Wolseley 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 1950s and early 1960s 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.

Comments about this page

  • I lived at 66 Old Shoreham Rd from My birth in 1947 until I married and moved away in 1971. In my early teens I worked at Bob Roffey’s shoe repair shop as a delivery boy on a heavy trade bike with a large basket at the front. I remember the ironmongers on the corner of Worsley Rd also the pet store in that same road owned by a Mr and Mrs Stringer. Their daughter Sonja was in my class at St Nicholas Juniors.

    By Brian Reynolds (04/10/2018)
  • Brian, I found my parents’ wedding invitation for May 1948 and the rsvp address was Sorrento, 66 Old Shoreham Road, Brighton. Their surname was Brook, I wondered if you could shed any light on this.

    By Jan O'Brien (Brook) (16/02/2020)

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