Notes and queries: an interesting history?

“I would like to know as much as possible about St James’s Street. How long has it been there? What kind of people used to live there, and live there now? Does it have any interesting history? Any information would be useful. Thank you.”

E-mail to My Brighton and Hove website from Fay (12/04/2001)

Hi Fay, Thanks for your query about St James’s Street. If you go to the My Brighton and Hove website, you’ll see that I’ve put up a page of information about St James’s Street drawn from the original My Brighton exhibit. There’s more to come – photos and comments about shops along the street from a local historian, plus an oral history interview with a local butcher. These are on the original ‘My Brighton’ CD-ROM, but we haven’t yet got round to transferring them onto the net. Hope this helps!

E-mail reply to Fay (see above) by Jack, My Brighton and Hove volunteer, 18 April 2001

Comments about this page

  • I am very keen to find out more about the Grenvilles who had businesses in St. James St in the second half of the C19. George had a butcher’s shop which moved from one end to the other. There was also a milliners which the ladies ran. George had, I believe, a brother called William, who was also a butcher in the Kemp Town area. For a few years, relations of George’s, called Hiscock, were licencees of the Quadrant Freehouse near the Clock Tower. There was also a Hayden who was a tailor in Hove. Haydens/Grenvilles and Hiscock were all related. Any info or pictures or sources of where I might find info wouold be gratefully received.

    By Jenny Martin (07/02/2005)
  • Pre WWII there was a garage on St James Street owned by a gentleman whos name resulted in the nickname “Ten-a-penny”. On leaving school in the early 1930s, my late father was an apprentice at this garage. A well known local bookie garaged his Essex Super Six at these premises but had not paid the rent for some few weeks. As a result the garage owner said to the bookie “Pay up or I’ll stick your motor in the middle of “Jimmy Street” and wait for something to ‘it it”. Bookie said to my dad “Do you want a car son. Pay what I owe and it’s yours”. As a result my dad’s first car was a quality american job that cost him 12/6d (52 1/2p) in unleaded money. Sadly dad died 15 years ago so I can’t verrify the story. It’s as I remember him telling it.

    By Raymond (Dickie) Bird (09/01/2007)
  • From 1946-1954 I lived at 22a St James Street. Our entrance was up an alleyway to the side of Clarks Bread Shop and Tearooms. Our ‘front room’ was the first floor over the shop and when as kids we played in the room we of course made a noise which resulted in thumps from the shop to quieten us. Sainsburys and Meads were close by and there was a large chemist shop over the road where, courtesy of the two children of the owner, we were introduced to the magazine ‘Health and Beauty’. We were so close to the beach as the street is only one street back from the waterfront. I remember Max Miller at the bottom of the road looking at the naughty postcards. Often Arthur English was with him. What about Gizzies Ice Creams just up from Lyons on the opposite side? The day trippers at Edlins? Even in those days it was dangerous to ride a bicycle with those double decker buses and the road so narrow. Our house was very old but I guess it will go when the 100 year lease expires. When we had the house it had about 60 years to go. My parents had a Morris Traveller and it was garaged on one of the side road in one of a line of rental garages.

    By Jennifer Goddard (nee Norrell) (02/02/2007)
  • In St. James’ Street can anyone remember the public baths and swimming pool? Was it in this street and when did it close?

    By Constance Sutcliffe (08/02/2007)
  • My parents let the top part of our house to holidaymakers during July and August each year so we could not use our bath. Us children went to the Public Baths that were at the top of St.James’s Street almost to Kemp Town. We loved the big baths. The lady in charge would turn the water on from outside and not let you be in there too long. I remember it was all white tiled floors and walls. I think it was 2d and you took your own towel and soap. I can’t remember a swimming pool though.

    By Jennifer Goddard (nee Norrell) (09/02/2007)
  • I am very interested in St James’s Street in Brighton as most of
    my ancestors seemed to live in this street,according to the 1871 census.
    They lived at numbers 45, 51, 78, and they had various occupations ranging from Confectioner to Fishmonger and Fruiterer. Can you tell me anything more about the Moy Family or St James’s Street during the late 1800’s

    By Carol (02/06/2008)
  • My mother’s great-grandfather, Joseph Flinn, and family lived on St James’s Street in the 1880s/90s. He was a dyer and founded the firm of Flinn & Son Dyers and Cleaners that later had the big works in Portslade. He had four children and the two boys went on to manage and develop the firm until WW2. Joseph’s father Walter had emigrated from Dublin in the early decades of the 19th century where the family had been silk dyers since the early 18th century at least, possibly longer. The family probably arrived in Ireland from northern Europe in the 17th century as they were Huguenots [Protestant] who left France or the Low Countries.

    By Nick Fleischmann (14/11/2008)
  • Hi,I am looking for a bookies named Kiki, it was on the edge of Kemp Town in Upper St James’s Street; can anyone help or have knowledge of this shop. My Grandfather Frank Gray had his picture up in the shop as he was a jockey around 1900-1920. Any info would be appreciated.

    By Art Gray (23/03/2009)
  • My grandparents and aunt lived at 9a St James Street. My grandfather Percy Wilkinson was a retired music hall artist and was a member of the Water Rats, his stage name was Delevine. After he died in 1936 my grandmother Esther became a fashion buyer at Hanningtons. My mother and her two sisters lived there too.

    By Peg Salaun (06/10/2009)
  • I have researched this street from 1800 – 1910 – but have later info as I also lived in the street as a child. Just e mail me for any information you would like to have. I would also like copies of any photographs.

    By E.Miller (19/10/2010)
  • I lived at 51 St James’s Street from birth in 1956 to 1976. This was above the greengrocer at one stage called Croucher’s as my uncle ran it. There were 2 flats above the shop. The shop changed later to a fish and chip shop. I went to Queens Park School and every day I walked up Upper Rock Gardens. Loved it.

    By Annie (12/03/2012)
  • Hi Ann, I remember the greengrocers well. I used to work in a shop called Alexandra Sloans. I think it is now a second hand shop unless it has changed again. I have not been down the street for some time now.

    By Beryl Thompson (nee Morley ) (28/03/2012)
  • Hi, my name is Sandra Stone and I was born at the Royal Sussex County and lived at number 20 Dorset Gardens from 1945 and my parents and grandparents lived there until 1993. If anyone wants answers I may be able to help – ask away.

    By Sandie Stone (18/11/2014)
  • As students in 1966 we rented a 5 storey Georgian house in Pavilion Street (now demolished). The hot water tank was in the basement so hot water never travelled as far as the bathroom. The highlight of every Saturday was going to the public baths in St James’s Street with our wash things and towels. I remember mahogany panelled cubicles, baths the size of horse troughs. No taps, water was controlled from outside the cubicle by fierce women in white overalls. You could call out and request ‘More hot in number 6 please.’ Then the sluices would open and water would gush in. Hazy memory that it cost about 9 pence and it was the best value ever. We used to pass the Badedas over the top of our cubicles to each other and it tended to leave a green mark on the mahogany surround. Saturday night out often seemed a bit of an anti-climax after the fun of the trip to the baths. What happened to the old baths building?

    By Vicki Towers (22/04/2022)

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