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Memories of the 1960s

58 Rugby Place in the late 80's
From the private collection of Michael Brittain.

Victorian Terrace

Rugby Place is a cul-de-sac of late Victorian terraced houses at the Eastern end of Kemp Town. I lived there on and off from 1964 until 1999, during that time I have seen many comings and goings in the street. Being a cul-de-sac with no passing traffic and few parked cars, it was a great place in the 1960s for kids to play in the street, and I have formed long lasting friendships with my peers of that carefree time.

Local Names

I lived in number 58 with my parents, Harold and Marjory Brittain and my older sisters Carol and Susan. Some local family surnames living in the street were, Thorns, Lowe, Godden, Skelton, Pierce, Michalek and Edwards. I went to school at St Mark’s Primary School in Arundel Road, as did most of the kids from the surrounding streets. Although Rugby Place is not quite in Whitehawk, I do think myself a Whitehawk boy as I spent lots of time and made lots of friends in the area.

Old Aeroplane

The street in the 1960s had a council yard at the top end with a waste piece of ground to the side where I believe an old laundry was demolished. Strangely there used to be an old aeroplane stored on that waste ground, which mysteriously caught fire and had to be removed, Rugby House now stands on that site now. On the street corners at the bottom end were two shops, on the east corner was the wonderful White’s Bakery and on the west corner was Vaughn’s fish and chip shop.

Local Shops

The top end has a twitten leading to the Broadway and Whitehawk Road where all the local shops were. You could buy most everyday items there; some of the shops I remember are Mr. Smith the fruit shop, Mr. Laine’s newsagents, Mr. Teenby’s wet fish shop, Stan Millers Broadway Café, Meredith’s DIY, The Tuck Shop and of course the Whitehawk Inn.

Comments about this page

  • Hi I lived an 23 Rugby Place from 1954 when I was born, and, moved out when I was 11. I lived with my mum and dad, Joyce and John Jones, and, my two younger sisters, Sue and Debbie. Peter Tamlin or Tamkin lived next door, and, I remember Carly Edwards lived up the road. I remember the laundry up at the twitten end. I used to push the washing up in my sisters pram. I remember Mr White the baker and my mum sending me to get a dozen yesteday’s cakes as they were 1p each. I remember the fish shop and I also went to St Mark’s Infants and Juniors. I remember climbing up the lamposts and hanging from the bar that came out near the top. I have such fond memories of that time.

    By Pauline Jones (22/12/2011)
  • Hi Pauline Jones, I lived at 55 Rugby Place from about 1941 throughout WWII until 1952, when I moved to Peel Road (together with brother Billy, Mum and Dad) at the same time as leaving Whitehawk Secondary aged 15. You must be the offspring of ‘Jacky’ Jones, a friend of my brother who in 1952 would have been about age 22. He lived with his parents Jack or John Jones, a decorator, but at number 25 (confirmed by a 1949 Kelly’s Directory). No doubt they bought the house next door for a few hundred pounds and where you were subsequently born. There was another (no relation) Jones family at number 10. My best friend John Darby lived next door at number 12. Another close friend Alan Dart, lived at number 30 with sister Barbara. Ronnie Cox was at number 19 together with younger brother Raymond (who lost a leg in a RTA) and their sister Jean. Alan Dart and Ron Cox (my contemporaries) are still alive, as is Bob Taylor (four years older) who lived a few doors further up from me at number 63 I think, just before the laundry. I have a picture (currently used for my profile on Facebook) of most of the children in a 1945 VE Day street party which includes your (father?) Jacky Jones which I want to post to this site as I can remember most of the names in the pic. I’m at the age (75) when these memories just keep welling up!

    By Brian Hatley (07/11/2012)
  • Hi Brian, I remember a Mr Darby in Rugby Place- was he an odd job man for the area? I’m sure he had a barrow to push his ladders and tools around- I remember him painting our box sash window frames at number 58 in the 60s.

    By Michael Brittain (08/11/2012)
  • Hi Michael, yes you’re right. He was mainly a window cleaner but could turn his hand to anything. By the 60s he (and family) would have been living in Hangleton, but he would surely have cycled across Brighton to earn a crust back at Rugby Place. He knew everyone and everything. During the war he was in the Home Guard (like Dad’s Army) and I can still recall seeing him in khaki carrying a rifle (might have been a wooden one!). I must send the picture mentioned above – we are grouped more or less in front of what would become your house.

    By Brian Hatley (09/11/2012)
  • Rugby Place was the next street down from my street Bennett Road. In the 40s and 50s I loved Rugby Place for roller skating, you see my road was tarred and gravelled. Rugby Place was smooth tarmac and no gravel because there were basements in the road so the gravel was not used, at least that was my way of thinking. I remember Mr and Mrs Campbell on one corner who had the fish shop which sold wet fish, and fish and chips as well. They had a little terrier that sat up and begged with Mr Campbell’s pipe in it’s mouth. We kids could get a bag of crackle as we called it which was the bits of fried batter for twopence, (heart attack in a bag). On the opposite corner was Mr and Mrs White who had the bakery. Lovely fresh bread all year round, and also stale cakes which could be had for a couple of coppers. I remember Pauline Jones, but it must have been another Pauline as the Pauline I knew went to the same school as I did at St. John the Baptist and was a mite older, and I think she had a sister called Shirley. I also remember Ray Cox who only had one leg but was a good footballer, I think Ray died fairly young as I remember, Jimmy Downard who could walk on his hands, and Dave Edwards who lived in the road. Long ago days fondly remembered. .

    By Mick Peirson (10/11/2012)
  • Us boys (and some girls) in the street almost lived on roller skates! They had metal wheels in those days and Rugby Place had the most appalling paving and road surface until, after the war it was refurbished with the most brilliantly smoothly laid paving imaginable! We had races from Bristol Gardens end to the twitten, and “Ginger” Hooley could not be beaten! Mick, there was indeed a Pauline Jones at no 10. She was a toddler with an older sister Shirley and brother Billy. The Pauline at no 23 or 25 (mentioned above) was not then even a twinkle in Jacky Jone’s eye!

    By Brian Hatley (20/11/2012)
  • Hello everyone late of Rugby Place, do any of you remember the Fish family? My sister Peggy married Ernest Fish; there was Doreen, Rita, and also another girl and boy. Thank you.

    By James Guile (03/03/2014)
  • I remember Ray, he used to come over to the squares and play football with us. He was a good footballer. His mum was quite famous in the Teddy boy era. We all took our trousers round to get them “pegged”. Great job she made of them.

    By Harry Atkins (04/03/2014)
  • Hi James Guile, have you not noticed the two Fishes in the VE Day street party picture on this page? I listed one as Ken (wearing a pill box hat and eating (not yawning, as stated). An older sister, who could be Rita is at the back, second girl from left of the drainpipe in the picture. Others in the family are not present.

    By Brian Hatley (18/03/2014)
  • I didn’t live in Rugby Place but went to St Marks school from 1956 to 1963 and had a friend Patsy Terry who live in Rugby Place until her family moved to Australia around 1962. Loved the bread and currant buns from Whites bakery

    By Catherine Hemmings (Hill) (29/05/2019)
  • Our grandparents lived at no 58 and then crossed over to no 57a they had 4 children Joyce, Lorna, Betty and Gerald. Grandad was a top football ref.

    By Neil Chandler (07/03/2020)
  • Hi Michael. I worked for IDTA Bennett Road/Rugby Place, 1990 – 2000.
    I notice that you mentioned a family called Michalek. I think you might be referring to MISEOLEK family – I worked with Eileen who lived a door or two down from IDTA back entrance. I am not sure if she is still alive – as she would be in her 90’s now. She was a lovely lady.
    Just stumbled across your post by chance.

    By Chriss Lay (08/09/2020)

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