I hope that these six photographs will enable many of you to take a trip down memory lane; to remember a West Street of the past, maybe a place of your lost youth? I would love to read your memories of this time, please share them by posting a comment below. Or you could send them to me at:- firstname.lastname@example.org
The first photograph shows the top of West Street with Horne Bros on the corner of North Street. Did you go there to be fitted for a suit? Or maybe you bought one off the peg? Across North Street and on the corner, the tall building facing into West Street was the White Lion Hotel, the ground floor being occupied by Barclays Bank who vacated their offices in 1957. The building was demolished in 1977 and replaced by the present Boots store. The Eight Bells public house stood on West Street for over a hundred years before it was demolished. Did you ever go in there for a drink?
The second photograph shows the frontage of Ritz Amusements. This site has a long history of being involved in entertainment. In 1867 it was the West Street Concert Hall; it has also been a roller skating rink, a large cinema and most famously, Sherrys Dance Hall which, together with The Regent Ballroom, dominated Brighton’s nightlife for many years. Did you ever visit Sherrys? What about Ritz Amusements? Did you ever blow your pocket money on the machines?
The third photograph of 77 West Street was taken in 1966. Once described as a “commodious and commanding family mansion”, it was considered to be one of the best houses in West Street during the mid-19th century. It remained in private occupation until 1881. Just before the photograph was taken, South Eastern Gas Board gave up the building after 83 years occupation. The fourth photograph shows 51/2/3 West Street, at the corner of Duke Street, in April 1963. The corner building was erected in 1867 after widening of the north side of Duke Street. It was demolished and replaced by Guardian Assurance Company building in 1964.
Photograph number five shows the S.S. Brighton which opened in 1934, billed as the largest covered sea-water swimming pool in the world. It was soon converted to a famous ice rink, home to ice spectaculars and the Brighton Tigers ice-hockey team. In 1959 it became known at the Brighton Palladium and the photograph shows the advertising for its ice show at Christmas 1963. For the first time pop shows were introduced starring entertainers like Cliff Richard, Lonnie Donogan and Petula Clark to mention a few. The last photograph shows the Stadium on the day it closed down, 17 October 1965, at the end of the Conservative Party Conference.