Catering for the meatheads

West Street, 2003
Photogaph by Bill Maskell,

The worst place in Brighton is probably West Street. West Street just caters for the meatheads; rowdy guys in Topman clothes and rowdy girls in Topgirl clothes. The selection of pubs like Yates, the Whetherspoons, the Shark Bar, are just the most horrific places imaginable.

However, this is a good thing in a way, because in Brighton they try and section off all the meatheads onto West Street. It’s perfect because they have everything that caters for them: the kebab shops, the fish ‘n’ chip shops, and it runs down onto all the clubs on the seafront. It’s just best avoided on weekends, generally; well, it’s best avoided anyway…

Comments about this page

  • Sorry Ian, I do not think you qualify to make any comment on West Street. It has always been Brighton’s place to let off steam, and I have done so on many occasions when it was famous for Harrisons Bar and Chatfields – and they were real boozing emporiums, not like the rubbish that is there now!

    By Chris (06/12/2003)
  • What a judgemental thing to say. Maybe West Street isn’t the best place to be but it’s the only place that we can go for a night out. Sure you do get a few meatheads but doesn’t everywhere. I work at one of the bars here and I’ve never experienced any trouble.

    By Ruth (30/01/2004)
  • I agree with Ian’s comments to the letter. (In fact, I was wondering for a moment whether I had written them myself! But no, it must be another Ian as I haven’t been a student since the 1970s.) For me, West Street (along with parts of nearby Kings Road) is a no-go area. On warm summer Saturday nights it is just downright scary – bladdered, strutting chavs with bottles of WKD. Yes, I’m being judgemental, but that special bin for glass bottles isn’t there without a reason. I’m so relieved the ‘meatheads’ never turn up in the pubs in my area (Southover Street). Long live West Street!

    By Ian (11/04/2004)
  • Can’t believe you are slagging off West Street, the most busy street in Brighton. It’s London by the sea – what more could you want?

    By Salma (11/05/2004)
  • I avoid West Street like the plague. I had to walk up it recently after leaving the cinema and felt the life blood being sucked out of me. Nobody who walks up and down it on a Saturday seems to be able to handle their alcohol and I’ve never managed to walk it without someone making a rude comment about me, vomiting on the pavement or starting a fight. The cabbies I know hate it and apparently it’s impossible to get a policeman on a Saturday night because they’re all on West Street breaking up fights.

    By Karen (31/08/2004)
  • I have lived here all my life and have been drinking down West Street for years. I must have witnessed only a handful of fights during this time. Yes, West Street is the main drinking place to go, but as said by someone else you get it everywhere. How many of you go on holiday and end up down the main ‘strip’ for a few beers?

    By Shane (19/03/2005)
  • When I was in my teens I went clubbing at West Street at the Top Rank. It was all I knew at the time. I was always into a varied type of music but not 80s dance. I am so glad my late cousin showed me ‘The Underground’ night club – Sister Rays’. Everyone to their own. In hindsight most youth nowadays doesn’t have disipline, boundaries or structure in their lives and they drink and expose themselves to so much more these days – it’s a shame really. Personally, I think West Street has lost it’s character – this all started with the buildings and with this comes the people. I’ll get off my box now! If you don’t know where West Street is, follow the loosely-cladded, ever-so young and old ladies, swearing idiots and pavement sick. South of the Clock Tower.

    By Andrew Buck (26/03/2005)
  • Long live West has always served a purpose for me. My early teens were spent frittering away all my pocket money down the arcades, my late teens spent going there on a Friday or Saturday night and not remembering getting home, and now in my early thirties this street gives us all a break on Friday and Saturday nights from the ever growing chav population of Brighton. I it weren’t there you’d soon miss it!

    By Nick Child (16/04/2005)
  • Ah, but don’t overlook the curate Wagner’s first church, tucked in next to Wetherspoons. It’s supposed to have some fantastic stained-glass windows, a copy of an original design of Pugin. Not seen them myself though.

    By Laura Greaves (20/08/2005)
  • In the 1950s West Street and the ‘Front’ was the destination for hordes of visitors travelling down from London to Brighton Staion en route to a day out by the sea. Who rembers the Ice Rink? This was the place to go on weekend mornings to learn to skate and to pretend you were as fast on the ice as the hockey players who dazzeled the public during the evening battles.

    By Martin (04/11/2005)
  • Does anyone remember the Court School of Dancing located next to the Astoria cinema. It was one of a chain of ballroom dancing schools. I started going there when I was around 14 years old in the late 50s. Wednesday and Saturday nights were the best. I managed to achieve gold medal standard in the quickstep, waltz, foxtrot and tango. Boy did I think I was hot! Graduated later to the Top Rank Suite at the bottom of West Street. Yes, I have to admit to being a week-end Mod, complete with ex-US army parka and a Lambretta. Syd Dean and his band used to play the first half of the session and no-one danced to him. We used the time to suss out the talent. If I remember correctly, all the blokes used to parade clockwise around the perimeter and the girls anti-clockwise. After an intermission, the DJ came on, I think her name was Marie. She used to play some great stuff – Tamla Motown, Stax etc. When we were kicked out around midnight (if we hadn’t pulled) then it was off to O’Hagens hot dog shop on the seafront. I think these days it would be either a kebab or a curry. Oh happy days!

    By Peter Wood (05/01/2006)
  • How West Street seems to have gone down. As a pupil in the mid 50s of the original St Pauls School, at the rear of the church, I spent a lot of time in that area. Saturday mornings were spent at the ice rink (the hot blackcurrant drinks were legendary) or the Saturday morning pictures at the Regent. In my teens there was a basement coffee club called the Sombrero at the top of West St – Saturday afternoons were spent down there. It was like a nightclub: loud music, dim lights and smooching young couples! There were lot of Italian, French and Spanish exchange students who hung around but we were never scared to walk the streets day or night. I remeber the Model Aerodrome on the corner of Duke St and West. My father was, and still is, a model enthusiast and we spent many Saturday mornings in the shop chatting to others and checking out new items. We met Dick Emery in there several times. Yes, Peter Wood, I remember the Court; it was where I met my husband in the late 60s. It was always known as the marriage bureau! A great way to meet people. Yes, happy days!

    By Patricia Silsby (03/03/2006)
  • I fully agree with the writers who slag off West Street. I was born and raised in Brighton and still live here but I never go near West St after dark – even in the winter.

    By Malcolm (04/05/2006)
  • Oh dear! Really what’s happening here is people just slagging off any place where us young’uns go to have fun! Yes, we can get a little rowdy sometimes, but who didn’t when they were young? Insted of slagging off all of these places where young people go, you should be happy it keeps us more or less in one place, instead of roaming the streets! For whoever is glad that the ‘meatheads’ dont turn up in Southover Street, it is terrible for drunks, youths and chavs with bottles of WKD! So really, you lot are just taking any chance to slag off the heart and soul of Brighton!

    By Jasmine (11/12/2006)
  • I’ve written before, about St Luke’s SeniorBoys School (how senior we were, having to leave school at 14, educated or not!). After working at Southdowns in Portslade for a couple of years, then at Crawley Aircraft, then as a Flight Engineer in the RAF, I returned to Brighton, living at home at 7 Firle Road, near the Racecourse. I went to work at what was then National House halfway down West Street, in 1946, and spent a lot of time after work in places like Sherry’s where you could meet some nice young ladies and spend trhe evening dancing and drinking. West Street had a “bad” reputation then, but was in nothing like the state it is in now, according to your reporters.
    I now live in New Jersey, but on a recent trip I was favourably impressed by the daytime activity up and down West Street, especially the pedestrian precincts.

    By Robert E (Bob) Green (04/02/2007)
  • I just discovered this web site which has nudged some fond memories about the Court School of Dancing.
    My friends and I started going there in the 1960s and then we went to a place called Alan Deans School of Dancing, which was the opposite side of the road to Courts. Can anyone remember Alan Deans? They played all the latest hit records and in intermission time they would teach ballroom dancing for 30 minutes, and that is where we really learnt to dance waltz and the quickstep etc.
    This place soon became very popular, and we made many friends there, Roy McClennen, Ray Crisp, and especially Carol Milton. We had many good times there, Christmas time and New Years eve dances where fab. I think most of us graduated to the Regent ballroom which became the place to be with the big bands playing there, but also the pop groups too. Sad thing is now, lost touch with all these friends over the years, and still can’t find them on friends reunited!

    By Stephen Browne (06/04/2007)
  • Ian may well be right. If West Street is the destination for meat-heads, then things have not changed in several decades when I was a student also. West Street was, as I recall, always a very rough and rowdy place and avoided by many. It was the place that morons made for in order to provoke a fight. I am sad to hear that it appears to have retained its trouble spot image over time. In fact, I knew people who openly boasted of going down there for a fight on weekends and saw it as a sort of invisible medal that was pinned on their chest.

    By Edward Castle-Herbert (10/05/2007)
  • I remember the Underground Club (now part of The Standard). Especially when it went back from being the Cavern, and Lowlife was the best night there at the end.

    By Alex (05/09/2007)
  • No such thing as Topgirl. It’s TopShop.

    By Ella (01/07/2008)
  • I remember the Alan Dean School of Dancing. Joan and I got our bronze medals in ballroon dancing there in the late fifties. Great place. Some people are referring to the Court school of dancing next to the Astoria on London road. The name does ring a bell, but I remember our group playing for their graduation parties for a short while and I thought of it as the Arthur Murray School of dancing. Did it change names or are both names the same place?

    By Anthony (23/08/2008)
  • I have just found this site. Yes Peter I remember the Court School of Dancing very well and yourself. I was taught to dance in the era of Stan Cross, Daphne and Tony. I was in touch with Stan up until a few years ago but now he seems to have disappeared. I gained many medals from junior to senior classes and learnt to dance as man. It was a big part of my life. I was crowned ‘ Miss Court’ one year and had to go the Locarno in Streatham for the finals. Ann Nightingale was one of the judges. We had several trips up there over the years taking part in dance competitions. I can see faces from The Court but can’t put many names to them. I can recall Maurice, Malcolm, John Tees, Roy and Yvonne, Sue, Shirley. No drink was allowed on the premises so we used to go along to the ‘King and Queen’ during the interval. How exciting it all was. Oh happy days.

    By Pauline ( 21/11/08 ) (21/11/2008)
  • West street is like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. I have done both in my years here. Yes it’s full of the Friday/Saturday night cattle market chav gang but I am guilty of walking it a few times. If you’re young or think you are then you will find yourself down here there at some point. I have a child now that I take to the cinema on a friday night. We come out and step into the alcohol fuelled air and I think to myself Oh my God kids are getting worse, how awful they all are! I wonder what my child is thinking when some girl totters past in nothing but a hairband and what looks like duct tape but then I realise this is where he’ll be in a couple of years time. Same as any normal teenager.

    By Claire (31/03/2009)
  • I must agree with Ian, I used to go into Brighton in the early and mid 70s and West Street was a place where you had to have your wits about you, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings. In those days meatheads were called skinheads, Bovver boys, thugs or “Lager Louts” looking to cause trouble or start a fight with anyone. The Top Rank Suite was also well known for fights, I think I was there twice and every time there was nothing but trouble. In the summer months it was terrible the foreign students were targeted as easy pray, even my mother used to say to us when we were little kids that “Brighton is a haven for trouble” that was in the 50s. Sorry if I sound judgemental but some things never change apart from the tolerance levels! The comments from Edward Castle-Herbert sum it up.

    By Paul (20/04/2009)
  • What Ian dosen’t seem to realise is that all these so called meatheads as he calls them are the children of those people that went to West Street in the past and it’s only the same as when they prowled the street for some fun. I remember West Street when it was full of servicemen in full uniform, soldiers and sailors, and the fights were something to behold, but it was over as quick as it started, but we the Brightonians still went back for more having grown up in probably the poorest area of town, bottom of Edward street. It all seemed normal to us kids, so my point is that maybe Ian should look back at his ancestors and maybe it might become clearer.

    By Duffy (18/05/2009)
  • I was searching for young idiots in Brighton, and came upon this message board. I work at the nearby Churchill Square shopping centre. It’s the same crowd that mills at the centre that hangs out at Yates. Suffice it to say, they don’t have many redeeming qualities. I am from America since 1 year ago, and I must say I find the youth quite contrary to my sensibilities. I think the boomer generation had its flaws, but the offspring of boomers are downright disgusting. Some call it the Look at Me generation. I had my share of binge drinking as a youth, but I grew out of it by 19. These guys, though, have no social graces. Enough said.

    By Peter (13/07/2009)
  • West Street is a rite of passage for real Brightonians. In my day it was Sherrys, the Suite, the 1900 club, the Bosun, the Vanguard, the Queen Anne. Afterwards a burger and if lucky a tryst with a young lady. Occasionally a ruck, but we all grew up OK didn’t we?

    By Paul Hubbard (17/08/2009)
  • Refering to Ian’s message: I think it’s way too harsh! I am a Brightonian and have been out in West Street many times and it makes a great night out. Yes, you get a few meat heads but you get them everywhere! And with Ian being a student in Brighton, if he doesn’t like what we have to offer, he knows what he can do!

    By Sammy Galvin (19/08/2009)
  • Well, having read all your comments on West Street I’ve just got to add my 2 pennyworth. My association with West Street started in the 1950’s at St Pauls School (like Pat Silsby). My Mum worked at the Bamboo coffee shop in West Street and my first job was in Midland Assurance at No. 33. Later on I spent 8 years working for Top Rank as Sales and Marketing at the Revolution, which later changed to Tramps, Metro, Busby’s and lastly Orellana’s. Then, approached by the opposition, I moved across West Street to what was then Sherry’s and became Sales Manager at the Pink Coconut for 4 years. During those years I worked many nights that gave reason for me to be at the front door or to pop over to see how the opposition was doing that evening. Occasionally I’d walk round to Annabel’s in Middle Street. Although there was the occasional scuffle in West Street or on the seafront, I never ever once had reason to be scared, even on my own at 1 or 2 in the morning – or later sometimes. In those days my own outside-work entertainment often started off by meeting up with friends at the Queen Ann or The Half Moon – and once again there was no fear attached to walking out alone. Nowadays I won’t go into central Brighton at night. It is most definitely NOT the same breed of animal on the street. I don’t think we ought to feel intimidated and embarrassed by our own species in our own town, but that’s the way it is. Many of this current generation seem to have been brought up by people with no parenting skills whatsoever. To my mind, a teenage girl lying drunk in the street, knickers on show, in a pool of spew is a disgrace to herself and her parents and an embarrassment to the community whilst to her it is something to brag about on facebook the next day. The boys and the girls alike seem spoiling for a brawl over the most trivial thing and even a friendly smile at someone is enough to provoke a “What the **** you gawking at?” type of comment. I don’t need any of that brickbat intelligence and stay well away from West Street for my own well being. West Street hasn’t changed, but the people using it have – and for the worse, which very much spoils it for those that are on an innocent night out for a few drinks and a bit of crumpeting. I wonder, out of interest, how many defenders of the present day West Street have changed their view since seeing the ‘Brighton Beach Patrol’ on screen. What a bloody disgrace to the whole city to have the contents of our dustbin put on show for the world and his brother to see. I find that I no longer have any pride in saying that I’m from Brighton.

    By Lesley Brett (11/12/2009)
  • Hi everyone, I have just found this site while looking to see what has happened to old friends from Brighton. Yes I remember the Court School of Dance, I went to the Saturday night dances. I was a full time student at the Brighton and Hove Arts School and I went to the Court to meet boys; I met my first husband there. How funny to find this site.

    By Lynette Bailey (31/12/2009)
  • Hi all, as a born and bred Brightonian who also went out on Saturdays nights to West Street during the 1980s here’s my view. Every one of us are responsible for the lack of decent places for young people to go and Brighton, lets not forget, is one of the better cities to live in. I’m glad young people have West Street as their own – its hardly a sacrifice to the rest of us. What I find heartbreaking is that this is what young people have offered to them by large companies – Weatherspoon’s, Yates’ and the like. I used to go to the Pink Coconut and didn’t like it much even then, but what else was there? Young people need freedom and living in Melbourne as I do now, I can really see what they miss out on in England – not just the weather. I would like to put every single politician into West Street on a Saturday night and force them to stay there and see how much they or their kids like it.

    By C Spiers (04/01/2010)
  • West Street – what can I say? In the late ’50s we as girls were banned from it. It might well have been the place to go for a little fun, but the so called fun to day is a very different thing. And by the way, the word ‘chav’ actually means child, so perhaps West Street is a kind of nursery for the growing up process.

    By Joyce Blackman (09/01/2010)
  • I am an American who travels to Brighton one a year or so for work. I love Brighton, but on my last trip I wandered over to West street to see girls with rather large thighs in trashy miniskirts and bad hair styles and lunk head men chest beating to each other. I realized I may had stumbled on the rare habitat of the Brighton Chav.

    By Beatbix (10/01/2010)
  • West Street is great for sorting the neat from the chavs. Let them have their fun there where the police can watch them – we can have the rest of the city. It’s cool with me…..

    By Mickey Smith (15/02/2010)
  • Pauline, I remember you being crowned “Miss Court school of dancing” and going to the Locarno. If I remember correctly we were going out together then. I also remember Roy & Yvonne. What great times they were.

    By Peter Wood (15/05/2010)
  • The memories have just come flooding back. I remember the 70s and 80s with great fondness. Ice skating at the Top Rank on Saturday mornings in 1970, Sherries in late 70s and 80s after drinking in Deryk Carvers, Queen Ann, Pav Tav. Also fond memories of the resident band at The Suite – Steve someone – always wore shades? Then onto East Street (ish) to get a Captain Submarine! Remember them? Torpedo rolls with just about anything you like in them. Forerunner for the current Subs I reckon. West Street is a great part of most Brightonian’s history.

    By Carol (29/05/2010)
  • Hi Peter and Pauline, how wonderful to read about people who remember The Court School of Dancing. I first went when I was around 11 so that would be 1960 and took medal classes up to gold as a junior. After a break of a few years I returned to take more medal classes up to third gold bar and of course enjoy the dancing, this time going in the evenings instead of saturday mornings. I was also taught by Stan and Daphne. I also remember Tony, Vince and Chloe. Those medal tests on a Sunday morning, shivering (not with cold but fear) waiting for the time to “perform”. Pauline, I was also a Miss Court, it must have been 1966 or 67. Other dancers I remember are Adrian, Chris, Carol, some others who I can see but can’t remember the names. Woudn’t it be fantastic to put on our dancing shoes and get together?

    By Julia Gaitley (11/08/2010)
  • I must agree with the meathead quotes, as a born and bred Brightonian through the years I have noticed the decline in West Street. I spent most of my youth down there in clubs such as the Pink Coconut, Coasters and the Top Rank suite, and worked in such clubs as Orianas, the Event, the Paradox / Creations in total 12 years of doorwork though most of that was at Midnight Blues, and I am now a cab driver in Brighton – one that wouldn’t dream of picking anyone up from West Street. Most of the violence in West Street is now caused by the increasing number of people coming into town from London, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill and other Sussex towns, mixing with the locals and causing problems. Even as a 6ft 7″, 20 stone bouncer, I am always on guard when walking about anywhere near West Street. It is such a shame for the nice youngsters who just want a good night out, but at least it serves to keep most of the idiots in the same place. And I will always have a place for West Street and memories growing up partying there. My advice is just to go with a group of friends and try your best to avoid the meatheads. You’re only young once - enjoy yourself - there are plenty of clubs away from West Street with a lot less violence.

    By Andy Crook (04/11/2010)
  • I met my wife Kathy 46 years ago today at the Court School of dancing, I learned to dance on the Wednesday and went looking for a girl on Saturday. I went with three buddies Eddy, Keith and Bob, I think we all met girls there, happy memories. I live in Canada now, been here for the past 36 years.

    By John Harris (27/12/2010)
  • I remember West Street from the late 1950’s. It was a place you had to take care. One Sunday, during lunchtime hours, I witnessed a Teddy Boy fight spilling out of the Half Moon pub. Another time a brewery rep. visiting our establishment told me that the public house at the bottom end of West Street (can’t remember the name) had just lost 200 glasses in a massive fight in the bar. West Street also had a name for prostitution (no, I did not have experience of this service. I was only 15 at the time with 2/6d pocket money a week!).

    By Barrie Searle (10/02/2011)
  • In the early 70s my friend Victor was refused service in a vast, gloomy and inhospitable pub called The Bosun on the east side of West Street – he was a student with long hair and had just knocked off work on a building site. When he demanded to see the Captain, large men in suits appeared out of the gloom and encouraged us to leave the premises.

    By Andrew Seear (09/03/2011)
  • My grandmother went to Sherry’s Dixieland dance halls in the 40s. Sherry’s was featured in Quadraphoneia and iconic film of the 70s. Sherry’s it was an icon of the 40s 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s sadly to be changed in the 90s and 00s but after working as a barman in Sherry’s for 2 years in 80s, there is nothing that changed my life more. I am now retired aged 48 and live a life better than most dream of . ALL BECAUSE OF WEST STREET and SHERRYS. For every person that hates something there is someone that loves it, that is why the world is such a great place.  West Street is what it is and it has destroyed lives and it has made them. That in my mind is a place unique in the world today. It alone makes it a special place and rightly so.

    By A Williams (03/04/2011)
  • What happy times were spent at the Court School of dancing! Early 1960s. I met my first husband Eddie there. Does anyone remember the coffee bar- The Zodiac, held over a shoe shop in St James’s Street Brighton? Boy hunting, parading up and down the piers and seafront on Sundays. Eyeing and chatting up all the Teddy boys down from London for the day! What great memories. Pam Barnes. Nee Martin.

    By Pam Barnes (21/04/2011)
  • I live in West St and I love it. West St has an amazing history. Yes it’s busy, yes it’s bustling with pubbers and clubbers on Fri and Sat nights. Yes, every weekend all the day trippers are heading from the station to the beach with their bags, buggies n inflatables. There may be idiots down here on occasion and maybe a while back people may have found it an intimidating place but it’s well policed now, there’s cctv cameras everywhere and there’s door security on all the pubs and clubs. I think it’s probably one of the safest places in town. I live here with my sons and we have never had any problems. What people have to realise is that wherever you are in the world, there will always be the odd idiot I think it’s unfair to say that West St is a no go area. I’ve lived in a few places around Brighton and Hove and I can definately say West St is the best place I’ve lived and I won’t be moving.

    By Debbie (28/04/2011)
  • Such an intersting website. I am Brighton born and bred. My mother used to go to Sherrys and I used to go to the Court School of dancing (1953 -1959). I met my husband there too. We got up to Bronze medal but didn’t continue after that. We went to the coffee shop next door in the interval. I heard that someone is trying to get together a re-union, but haven’t seen anything lately about that. They were such fun days- I remember dancing with a Tony a lot-we did great Rock and Roll together! Any Tony out there remember that? I lived in Kemp Town then.

    By Sylvia Pickett (nee stephens) (19/01/2012)
  • I met my husband in one of the places by West Street  called Bill’s Dive under Harrisons which was demolished a few years ago and the Thistle Hotel I believe now stands in its place. We used to have some really good nights in there- the seafront used to be really busy winter and summer and  there was always some where to go and it didn’t cost the money they charge the young ones today to go in. You could even go on the Palace Pier dancing on the out door dance floor which was good if the weather was ok.

    By Kathleen Catt (Nee Cornford) (22/01/2012)
  • Clubbing in the 80s was all about the pub crawl through the Lanes, ending up at Top Rank/Busby’s or Pink Coconut…..must say I have a soft spot for The Pink Coconut as met my husband there in 1984……still married and living in Dubai! West Street was full of fun….and a very long taxi queue at 2am….Happy Days!

    By Claire Townsend ( Nee Pearce) (23/01/2012)
  • So funny to read all the stories about West Street, and from all the different eras. When i was a kid it was all about the arcades playing games like Kung Fu, Star Wars and Vemesis with my four quid from my Saturday job at the motorbike shop. Then as we got older it was all ages night at the suite on a Tuesday all trying to bunk in upstairs and get a lager! Then Brighton Rock for some football violence and sister rays (under swifts) to dance to the Mondays or the Cure or the Jam. Great place cos mods, casuals, goths all went there and got on.  Always remember sitting on the wooden stairs smoking a bifter looking at the shirts upstairs at Swifts! The Coconut wasn’t really our vibe but had some funny nights there,it was more savannah,toppers,frock and jacket(later on),kings club(if you met an older lady) and of course the Escape and the Zap. Or there were some mad little basement clubs like Cubana inRegency Square or the one in Queens Square by the taxi rank.

    By Tommy Cockles (19/03/2012)
  • Well, West Street must have changed a lot since I left Brighton. As a young teen, I spent many Saturday afternoons in the arcades near the seafront end of the road. Later, the Kingswest was always popular and the pub opposite (can’t remember the name) was always full, but never lairy. In fact, on my first date with my future wife, we went in there to buy bottles of wine over the counter – hardly an option for “meatheads”. It was sometime a little scary on a Saturday night if Brighton were playing at home – I recall the Police used to herd the Millwall fans into the subway tunnels at the end of West Street and leave them there all night. I suppose, like everywhere in the UK, West Street has become home for those sad teens who seem to think that drinking yourself into a stupor is “entertainment”. Maybe we were just a little more grown up about boozing, 30 years ago?

    By Marc Turner (13/02/2013)
  • Does anyone remember the 101club from the late 60s?

    By Colin Andrews (20/05/2013)
  • West Street was the best back in the mid 2000s. You could find me in Yates, Wetherspoons, then on to Creation for the best night in town!

    By Guy (23/09/2013)
  • While I have to agree about the general comments here, I have to say West Street was amazing during the arcade era and for me that was the ’90s to the mid 2000s. Sure it has idiots [Toby, I have edited your description…] but it’s also the place for a cheap boozy night out. It is what it is! Now I look at it with only arcade and it’s really sad. I made so many friends from those times and it really helped to get me into the gaming industry today. Jeffrey from Family Leisure now runs the Brighton Eye, shame that there are no decent arcades for young people to have the same opportunities to meet and make great friends as myself and my buddies had.

    By Toby N (14/12/2013)
  • It’s a shame that everybody seems to recall all the negative things about West Street – has what you say about it actually been observed by you or is it just hearsay? As a cab driver I have worked the taxi rank at the bottom almost every Friday and Saturday night since the rank was installed and have found the road has never been as bad as everybody seems to think it is, and, at 65 and having driven a taxi for 40+ years in Brighton, l think I am qualified to make this statement!

    By Mick Cowley (23/05/2014)
  • A few years ago Pat Silsby wrote about West Street, and I was wondering if you, Pat, are related to Mick Silsby whose mum was born Octavia Budd? A group of us lads at that time 50 plus years ago sometimes came back with Mick after Saturday nights in Allan Dean’s and Ricky’s Bistro just off West Street.

    By John Davis (26/04/2015)
  • What a pity so many negative comments re West St.

    I worked at the Odeon West St during 1938 and until 1953. The good and beautiful and happy years. Except maybe the wartime. I became Canadian and have lived in Canada from 1953. I am in my 94 year.

    By Jack (Bob) Odom (29/05/2015)
  • Does anyone know of the Bull Frogs nightclub that I believe was in or near West Street in WW2?

    By Tim Whitehead (04/02/2016)
  • Hi Peter. Yes we did go out together. Still have the ring! Happy days. Sadly Yvonne passed away suddenly at home in June this year. Do you remember Don & Shirley? They live not far from us. Did you go go to Australia? Michael Hemmings too? He was going out with a girl from the Court, she used to have fainting fits if I remember right. We had two children, now have three Granddaughters. Did you marry? Remember you taking me home on the bus and then you walked over Wild Park to get home, what a gent. Hope life is treating you well.

    By Pauline Stratton nee Weston (18/07/2016)
  • Hi Pauline, so lovely to hear from you. Sorry to hear about Yvonne, she was a sweetheart. I went to Australia in 1968 and married in 1980. Have three daughters, a son and three grandsons. I remember the girl who was always fainting and as I recall she was going out with my mate Michael Berry, who came out to Oz with me. I remember those walks home over Wild Park, they were very spooky so late at night! Life has treated me well as I hope it has you. If you wish to get in touch my email is: I try to get back to the UK every four years or so.

    By Peter Wood (19/07/2016)
  • John Davis,
    No I’m not related to Mick Silsby. My husband was Allan Silsby and as far as I know he didnt know him either. There are a few members of our Silsby clan that I’ve never met but I don’t recall the name Octavia mentioned. Sadly my hubby passed away in 2010 so I cant ask him. I only wish I could.

    By Patricia Silsby (09/08/2021)
  • It must be lovely to be so superior that you can pass judgement and generalise with such confidence. I have been known to eat and drink in West Street and to shop in Top Shop so I must be a meathead by Ian Wotsit’s definition. However, like many other frequenters of West Street and Top Shop, I am well qualified, hold down a responsible job and I have never been drunk or disorderly in public. Anyway, I was not aware that all other areas of Brighton are so different.

    By Anna Rattray (02/10/2022)

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