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A 1970s paper round

Southover Street: late 1960s
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Harry Croydon’s shop

In 1970 I lived in Islingword Street with my parents Eileen & Dennis, my nan, sister and brother. I was 13 years old and I had a paper round at Harry Croydon’s shop on the corner of Jersey Street and Southover Street; it was on the lower side and is now a house. I had an evening round, which was just delivering the Evening Argus and a Sunday morning round. The evening round was alright as it was just down Jersey Street, then down Albion Hill to the high rise flats in Grove Hill, Highlea so it was not too strenuous.

A fitness exercise

As for the Sunday round, well this was an exercise in fitness itself. For a start I had two bags; one to hold the papers and the other to hold the money. It was safe in those days to walk around with a load of money on you. The papers were the old style massive ones, Times, Telegraph etc with all the supplements. The money was the old pounds/shillings and pence, big half crowns and florins. So as you can imagine I was weighed down quite considerably, and on a wet day it was worse. It got even worse when I tell you the route of my round. I went down Jersey Street, then up Albion Hill, probably the steepest hill in the area. Then I went along Toronto Terrace, down Islingword Road into Ewart Street and back down to the shop.

Do you remember?

All that hard work and effort resulted in wages of 3/6d or 17 and a half pence in new money. We used to get 1 shilling, 5p in new money for each evening round. Did you live in the area at this time? Maybe I delivered your papers? If you have any memories to share, please leave a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • The picture above show’s the corner of Hanover Terrace with Mr.Mrs, Simpson Electrical Shop and car on the left,which was attached to my old house No:-11 Hanover Terrace. The wasteland you can see became the electrical sub station, and the second house in from the wasteland to the left, was Mr.Mrs, Ambrose sweet and tobaconist’s shop. The little shop up the hill next to the wasteland was Stan’s the Barber’s, where I got my hair cut as a child. The photo look’s like it was taken opposite Mrs.Gappings fruit and veg shop in Southover Steet. I can remember the sub station being built back in the very early 60’s.

    By Donald Waller (28/12/2012)
  • The house on the corner is/was 57 Hanover Terrace. I lived there from 1956 when I was born with my Mother Pauline, Father Norman and grandmother until 1961 or 62. We moved because there was a structual problem (no surprise looking at the building I suppose) to Tilgate Close. I remember vaguly the shop next door Mrs Ambroses and a chip shop up southover that was pretty good. I to was a “victim” of Stan in my younger years. We had the obligatory outside lav and I remember no bathroom either. A hip bath in the kitchen was the luxury of the day. I can see an ariel on the roof. Not sure it would have been ours as we did not have a telly. Think our move might have been something to do with the sub station building. Three cheers for the substation!!!

    By Barry Eason (29/12/2012)
  • Hello I too lived in Islingword Steet in number 13…we had the Stoners, Cogans and Terrys as neighbours and accross the road were the Radfords and the Bradys our house had an avairy in the recess in the basement and you could often find children laying flat looking through the grill at the birds….my mother hated living there but I loved that huge house and would spend hours looking out across Brighton from the upstair windows…Happy days my parents left and took over Steves Cafe at the bottom of Coombe Road in August 1970

    By Laine (29/12/2012)
  • HiYall, I’ve lived in this area (Washington Street) since 1966, and gosh, I’ve seen some changes! There was a watchmakers shop on the corner of Southover street/Belgrove street/Washington street, which became enlarged into the Southover street Post office. Further up in Southover street was Peter O’Flinns Pharmacy which eventually moved to the top of Islingword Road. Peter O’Flinns mother also owned a Hair Salon across the road from the Southover Pharmacy. At the corner of Washington street and Islingword Road was a Mini supermarket!!! It was a Wavy Line Grocers and what a great thing that was. I only had to go a few yards down the road and I could purchase my weeks shopping. Just around the corner in Islingword road there were two Butchers shops, Archers the butchers is the remaining. The other butchers shop, the guy had the same name as the remaining butchers shop: Brian, sold out and moved to Southern Ireland. Just a little way up the road (Islingword) there is what is known as a convenience store. This shop during the “sixties” was a greengocers and when the owner sold out the new owners were Italian and turned the shop into a MiniMart and called it : The Wop Shop.” They sold out and a Kenyan Asian guy purchased the shop, and then sold to the current proprietors who after a good 25 years are now part and parcel of our close community. Another interesting fact concerns the Estate Agent that is now on the corner of Lincoln street and Islingword road. This premises back in the ’60’s was in fact a DIY store. Yes you could actually buy anything and everything. I used to buy hardboard, chipboard, plywood, you name it, the had it. Traveling a little down Islingword Road we come to a shop that specialises in Pianolas, also further down there is Fannies, a Sandwich and Delicatessen outlet.

    By Chris Rolph (30/12/2012)
  • The photo may show a row of battered old houses, but I gather that prices are now in excess of £300k for freehold dwellings in the area! Cheap by London standards, but I wonder what they would have fetched in the 1960s?

    By Stefan Bremner-Morris (30/12/2012)
  • My mother paid £1100 cash for her house at 13 Islingword Street in 1961

    By Laine (30/12/2012)
  • My parents paid about £2000 for 8a Islingword Street in 1967. We had all 4 floors but I gather it is now flats so who knows what the overall value of the building is now. I was never keen on living there as we had moved from Moulsecoomb and as a 10 year old I had to adapt from a lovely big garden to the street for my play area. I became very fit though as I didn’t like school dinners and went home from Moulsecoomb Seniors at lunch time. 11.50am the bell went, I got the bus at about noon, ran up Southover Street and home about 12.20, quick dinner then back down the road and at school for 1.10pm! I only have to look up Southover Street now and I’m worn out!

    By Paul Clarkson (31/12/2012)
  • 8a was that the big double fronted house that used to be a laundry ?

    By Laine (31/12/2012)
  • Hi Barry Eason, Your name ring’s a bell, did’nt we used to play together before you moved away ? I was born in 1956 opposite your house in no:-11, with the Simpsons electrical shop attached to our house.

    By Donald Waller (31/12/2012)
  • To Laine..8a was a big house but not double fronted and you’re right it used to be a laundry. When my parents bought it in 1967 it had to be converted, it had an outside toilet and 2 washbasins! One in the kitchen and one tucked away in the corner of a hallway going down to the cellar. My Dad was quite good at all this so he set about changing all the rooms and adding false walls and also including a bathroom in the basement. I have told this story before on another page but want to include it here. On the day we moved into 8a Islingword Street we parked outside and my Nan, who hadn’t been to the house said she used to work in the building when it was a laundry. This must have been in the 1920’s and she lived at 8a Holland Street at the time. When we went down to the cellar there was a mangle and my Nan recognised it as one she actually used when it was a laundry! I found it very different living there but there were some good memories from the area. I remember Tuppens the grocers at the corner of Grove Street and Southover Street and of course Harry Croydons newsagents on the corner of Jersey Street. There was a wet fish shop in Southover Street between Holland Street and Scotland Street. My Nan used to send me round to the Charles Napier pub on a Saturday evening to get some ginger ale for her Whiskey, I used to go in the ‘off sales’ part which was on the Southampton Street side of the pub. Even now you can still make out where it was but the door has gone. We used to play out in the street mostly, the good thing was that there were hardly any cars so we had plenty of room.

    By Paul Clarkson (02/01/2013)
  • There is a fabulous old film available that shows a couple of scenes from the Southover area called ‘Lady Godiva Rides Again’ starring Diana Dors, Stanley Holloway and a very young George Cole. It was released in 1951 and I would presume it was an ‘x’ category at the time. There is a scene where the camera shows the view looking down Albion Hill over a very grey Brighton and it pans round to the corner of Quebec Street. This is now a house but back then in the film it was a newsagents/confectioners shop called ‘THOS.CLARK’. It then zooms to the upstairs window on the Albion Hill side of the house to a lady looking out and the view we see that she is looking at is the fish & chip shop on the corner of Ewart Street and Islingword Road. That scene must have been filmed from an upstairs room on the east side of Ewart Street. The fish & chip shop is still there today. I’ve read on-line that Ruth Ellis (last woman to be executed in Britain) is an uncredited character playing a beauty queen which is a bit spooky. It’s quite a good film, obviously a bit dated but it’s always nice to look at old Brighton in films.

    By Paul Clarkson (02/01/2013)
  • Another interesting scene shot for Lady Godiva Rides Again is of the Regent Ballroom in Queens Rd.The scene depicts the contest to pick a girl to play Lady Godiva.The recent TV Series The Fear caused a bit of a stir the way Brighton was shown I should imagine the people of Goventry where pulling their hair out in 1951.

    By Dan O'Shaughnessy (05/01/2013)
  • Wow, that must have been quite an area to cover with a paper round. Wouldn’t fancy lugging a full bag of Sunday Timeses up Islingword Road or Carlton Hill. I didn’t cover the Hanover area but I did do an evening round six days a week delivering the Argus to the Sylvan Hall Estate, approx 1962-67. Had to climb to the second floor of every block (ie. up two flights of stairs) to drop the papers on the doormats. If memory serves me correctly a few blocks even had third floors? Used to leave the bag at the bottom, of course. Another memory of those blocks was the hand-powered washing machines in the communal laundry rooms. And I had a small army of friendly cats around the blocks that I used to meet and greet each evening. Hey, maybe I should have posted this comment on a page dedicated to the Sylvan Hall Estate!

    By Len Liechti (13/01/2013)
  • You’re quite right Len, it was a very hard area to cover, especially on a wet Sunday morning at around 7am! I used to start in Jersey Street then go up Albion Hill to Toronto Terrace. It was quite a climb and coupled with the money and a full paper bag it was no picnic. Mrs Croydon was quite a formidable lady and if you got anything wrong you knew about it in a strict ‘Peggy Mount’ style telling off. She used to count all the papers so if you returned with ‘one over’ it was always your fault, even worse if you returned ‘one short’ then all hell was let loose.

    By Paul Clarkson (14/01/2013)
  • Hi Donald Waller, remember me, we were best mates when we were young. I  still have a picture of us somewhere. I was born in the 2 up 2 down at no 50 Hanover Terrace, outside loo and no bathroom or central heating. I vaguely remember playing in the streets, Ambroses on the corner. We all had our haircuts at Stan the butchers, who always used to knick my ear with the razor. There was good chip shop in Southover Street. I moved to Cobden Road off Islingwood in 1968, but went to the Secondary Tech school in Hanover Terrace before it was demolished in the 80s. It’s so strange to go back to that area now, it all seems so small and overcrowded. Happy simple times and memories, married to a Maltese girl for 28 years and lived there with my three children for the past 16 years. I was back at Christmas to see my Mum and had a stroll along Hanover Terrace, it hasn’t really changed.

    By Peter Paolella (16/01/2013)
  • Yes Len, it would be a good idea to post a comment on a ‘Sylvan Hall’ page as I bet there are many people who have memories of the estate. When I lived in Upper Lewes Road as a 14 year old in 1971,  my friends and I used to play football on the Level but when the fair came we had to go elsewhere. One day we found this fabulous piece of ground in front of one of the old houses on Sylvan Hall and no-one bothered us as it was derelict and we weren’t anywhere near the flats. I couldn’t believe it in about 1977 when I went past one day to find the old house was gone only to be replaced by the flats, a great shame as I believe the old houses were built around the 1850s. Had the old houses survived and been converted to flats I wonder what value they would be today.

    By Paul Clarkson (18/01/2013)
  • Hi Peter my old friend – yes I can remember you, and your mum and dad. Good Lord it must be 40+ years since I last saw you and your family. How are you keeping? I can remember your dad taking us swimming off Brighton seafront we could have only been 4/5 years old. Get in touch my old friend, it would be great to chat about old time’s again. Very kind regards Don Waller.

    By Donald Waller (22/01/2013)
  • Does anyone know what was previously on the corner in the photo? Was it once a building that perhaps was levelled during the war? According to the land registry office the one on the opposite corner is No. 11 Southover St and Stan the barbers was No. 14 so the gap must have been 12 and 13? If anyone can remember or knows any speculation as to what it was, I’d be most intrigued.

    By Andrew Wiseman (30/04/2013)
  • Andrew, further up the page, Barry Easman said he used to live where the demolished house was: 57 Hanover Terrace.

    By Renia (01/05/2013)
  • Hi Andrew, I was interested as well about the gap in Southover Street. I’ve been looking back at the archives and the property missing is number 13, there doesn’t appear to be a number 12 listed in any of the directories. Number 11 is on the lower corner of Southover Street/Hanover Terrace and then the next property is number 13. I will have a proper look again soon but for now I have the following information. In 1904 number 13 was a ‘general shop’ then in 1921 it is listed as a ‘drapers’, going on to 1929 it is listed as selling ‘cooked meats’ and in 1938 it is shown as ‘umbrella repairs’. In the ’50s it is listed as residential, so I don’t think it fell victim to WW2. Number 14 looks like it has always been a hairdressers and shows that Stan was there from 1937. Number 15 is very interesting as it was a ‘fishmongers’ in 1914 but in 1935 it is listed as a ‘boot repairs’. I hope this fills a few gaps for you. It is a shame about the plot where the hairdressers was, it is just a run down building now and it’s sad to see it just fall down over the years.

    By Paul Clarkson (01/05/2013)
  • Hi Andrew, so far as I am aware, the picture does not depict bomb damage. The missing houses appear to have been demolished at the end of the 1950s and had previously been an Umbrella Maker, Arthur Allum (#13) and the private residence of James Birch (#12). This was in 1940, but after the war the properties were both being used residentially until their demolition. The opposite corner (#11) was a Greengrocer prior to being used as shown in the picture. Regards, Andy

    By Andy Grant (01/05/2013)
  • During the school summer holidays in 1969 a friend of mine was ordered by his parents to get a short back and sides at ‘Stans’. There was three of us and my friend went in to the shop and myself and the other boy couldn’t resist watching through the window and giggling as the hair was falling to the floor and the brylcreem was being pasted on to my poor friend’s hair. Anyway our joy was short-lived when Stan closed the curtains, came to the doorway and yelled ‘Go away’!! We ran up the hill and along Coleman Street as fast as we could. In those days if an adult told you to ‘go away’ then you did!!

    By Paul Clarkson (02/05/2013)
  • The house you see on the corner is 57. I can’t for the life of me remember what was on the empty space next to it. I only know we had to move because the building was in danger of collapse.

    By barry Eason (03/05/2013)
  • Hi, I have been researching my Nan’s sister Miss Sarah Ann Isaacs. I have been looking in Kelly’s 1887 directory and have found she had a grocery shop at number 13 Southover Street. Thought there might have been a photo of the building on Google Earth but sadly it’s been demolished. I would be very grateful for any photos or information on the shop that anyone has.


    By Barry Plank (31/12/2016)
  • I believe mum and dad paid 380 quid for 50 Hanover Terrace back in 1954. I have still got the receipt with Dad’s documents somewhere.

    By Peter Paolella (14/11/2017)

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