Notes and queries: A father's friends

Where to start… My father spent his early years in Brighton. When his parents split in 1940, he was moved to Orpington and his father was prevented from seeing he and his siblings. My father, Fred Marchant, would dearly love to hear from old friends such as Les & Desmond Macey, Gerald Hyatt, Billy Wolvin, and his old sweethearts Doreen Cooper and Mary Wickson. They all lived around the Elm Grove/Cobden Rd area.

But my search centers around his father. I have been unsuccessful in documenting any part of his life prior to 1926. I can’t find a birth date or records of his medal awards from WW1. Frederick Marchant Sr. was a motor mechanic and owned a garage first on William St. and then at 16 Richmond St. It appears his best friend would have been Mr. Lewis Morris who owned a number of boarding houses on Carlton Hill and William Street. My father called his daughters, Rose and Agnes, Auntie.

My best bet was his second wife, Kathleen who married Cornelius Woodhouse after Frederick’s death in 1942. Unfortunately, she passed away in 1974 and is buried at Hove Cemetery. I have been unable to locate any records for Cornelius from that time. He would be 106 as of this date, so I would assume he died. As Kathleen’s estate was not probated, I would assume that he died after her.

If anyone has information on anyone listed here, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you. My father is 73 now and I would dearly love to solve this mystery while I can still share it with him.

Comments about this page

  • Hi Karen, Hope this gets to you. My uncle was Gerald Hyatt your Dad’s friend. He went to Tasmania after the War and was killed in Korea in 1953. I see your post is from 2001 so I may be too late for you.

    By Sue Corbett (29/04/2006)
  • My great great great grandfather Walter Flinn (born 1799) lived at 52 William Street in the 1850s. He was a silk dyer who had emigrated from Dublin in the early part of the century and set up as a general dyer and cleaner. His wife was Elizabeth (born 1822), daughter of Adam Taught, sea captain of Hastings. His son Joseph (born 1850) went on to set up the beginnings of what became the large firm of Flinn & Son that had the big works in Portslade. Walter was the “Flinn” and Joseph was the “son” in the name. Flinns was taken over by Johnsons of Liverpool in 1920 but the name was kept. I believe the shops are still called Johnsons and many are the original Flinn shops.

    By Nick Fleischmann (14/11/2008)
  • I lived at number 10 William Street. Our family name is Newman. We lived next door to the Gunn family-there was Daisy Gunn one side who sold fruit and veg and Emma Gunn the other side who sold fish. I had lots of good friends along our street, there was the Ansells, the Virgos, Douglas, Newingtons- they were my cousins. Albert, Stevie Jimmy ,or Monkey as he was known, and Georgie. If anyone has any info regarding William Street let me know. What about Jack Balls, old shop in Edward Street,and Greenfields bakery, with Norman the son of the baker?

    By Duffy (16/05/2009)
  • Further too my last entry, I would like to invite any of my neighbours from William Street to write to me as I often wonder what has happend to all the good people that I grew up with. Does anyone remember Joey Sambucci? He lived right at the bottom of Edward Street along a little road that used to have a horse meat shop next door. Also the Weaver family who lived in Kingwood Flats. Terry was a good friend of mine. We could tell a few tales between us. Ahh the good old days!

    By Duffy (25/05/2009)
  • Duffy, it’s Tina. I have quite a bit of info on both nanny and grandad’s family (Newman and Sallis) going back quite a long way. I have copies of various certificates (birth/marriage/death etc) I’d be happy to send to you if you’re interested. Not sure if you’re still at the same address. Hope you’re well x

    By Tiny Brighton (02/11/2009)
  • My grandad lived at 58 William St. His name was Frederick married to Ellen Sullivan, her family lived at no 59 - they were Irish. She died leaving a young family, my dad was one. He lived with an uncle there from about 1920, I would like to find which uncle. He went in the army about 1929 and died in 2003. I know his uncle had a horse and cart, he was probably a hawker. Any info would be great!

    By Anne Newman (12/05/2010)
  • My grandparents lived at No. 55 William Street in 1908. Their names were Richard and Lillian Standing. I do not know how long thay lived there but they moved to Hereford Street.

    By Julie (27/07/2010)
  • From 1916 – 1934, my parents (the Grants) and grandparents (the Hays) had the two second hand furniture shops on the corner where nos 15 & 16 Edward Street met William Street.

    By Roy Grant (30/08/2010)
  • If Tina could contact me I would love to get family history.

    By Duffy (08/11/2010)
  • Hi Roy, I have been reading about your family shops and I am amazed. My grandfather, Charles Frederick Davis, supposedly had a butcher shop at 15 Edward Street in 1931/2. His brother, Walter Stanley Davis, had a butcher shop at 101/101c Gloucester Road in 1928-1931/2. He lived there in 1932 (according to his marriage certificate). I think our families have been following each other around Brighton.

    By Loretta Elder (20/11/2010)
  • Hi Tina, I don’t know if you remember my family, we lived at the top end of George Street next to the hairdressers. My younger sister was great friends with sister Sharon who I’m sorry to say is no longer with us. Another of my sisters was friends with your sister Linda. I remember when you lived in William Street, Mighell Street and then I believe you moved to Sussex Street. What fun we all used to have. Where have all those years gone and who would have thought that us lot around Edward Street and Carlton Hill would be using computers? I certainly didn’t but we all looked out for each other.

    By Kathleen Catt (nee Cornford) (30/03/2011)
  • Hi Cathy, nice to see you are still reading the messages. I don’t think that the Tina that you are writing to is a Douglas as the Tina who wrote to me is my Aunt Rose’s daughter Tina xx

    By Duffy Watkins (31/03/2011)
  • I have just read your comment Duffy saying the family Newingtons was your cousins, Monkey was a great friend of my brother Jim along with Derek Rolf, my Sister Kathleen is married to Alan Scrase who is also a cousin of the Newingtons. Alans Dad was Mrs Newingtons brother, I think I must be a bit older than you, I can’t remember you at John Street, I do like reading all your comments though. My sister told me that John Street school has been demolished now, it is very sad to think there will be nothing left of the old places. I do have a book though on Back Yard Brighton which shows a lot of the old haunts. Ann.

    By Ann Roberts nee Wickham (17/05/2011)
  • I do remember Alan Scrase, he must know me as well. And, yes, I did know that his dad was the brother of ‘Cissie’ as she was called, I think maybe her real name was Priscilla – always Aunt Cissie to me. I also remember the Rolfs – Micky, Danny, Tony, Derek, their mum Flo and dad Shrimp. And, yes, the old school has gone now. Ahh, they say its progress – maybe not?

    By Duffy Watkins (31/05/2011)
  • I lived in White Street from 1940 to 1949 and went to St Johns School, Carlton Hill and sung in the choir at St. Johns. I have a connection with the Gunn family through a family called Andrew. I am also interested in the person calling herself ‘Tiny’ – did you work for BT and also go to St. Johns?

    By David Wickham (03/06/2011)
  • Hey, good to find someone who agrees with me.

    By Stretch (08/06/2011)
  • To David Wickham – sorry I think you’re thinking of another Tina. My relations are the Newman/Sallis/Newington families. Although there is a Gunn/Newington connection. My (step) great grandfather Jim Newington’s mother was Sarah Jane Gunn.

    By Tina Eames (18/07/2011)
  • Duffy, I haven’t forgotten you. I’m still working on getting everything put together for you. By the way ‘Aunt Ciss’- her real name was Cecilia (maiden name Scrase). Her son Monkey died a few years ago now (early 2006) x

    By Tina Eames (18/07/2011)
  • Hi Duffy, you asked about Joey Sambucci, well, he still lives in Brighton and I saw him only a few days ago whilst on the bus and would you believe it he hasn’t changed at all. You have also mentioned the Rolf family. I went to school at Queens Park secondary modern with Tony and used to hang around with him but lost contact when I married.

    By Michael Lever nee Webber (04/11/2012)
  • Hello Duffy. I have a message for you from your cousin LALA (Albert). He sends you his best wishes and hopes you are well. He was interested in your comments on here about the family history and hopes you can pass any further info onto him. Georgie and Stevie (Weavie) are still alive and kicking and I am also very well we all have grown up kids and g/children. How many years is it now Duffy since we left William Street? Where’s the time gone? So how has life treated you? I would like to know what youve been up to over these years. I understand youve been living in Cyprus? I lived in Spain for five years, loved it but came back home for family reasons three years ago, but I miss it, all that lovely sun! A few people we knew have have passed on now, but Terry Weaver is still with us and I was with Tina Douglas in January of this year at Lizzie Argy’s boys funeral (John 35yrs) we were both there paying our respects. Well hope to hear from you soon… LALA!

    By Joy Pantelli (17/03/2013)
  • Hello Lala, Albert. What a surprise I got when I read the message from you, I’m happy that you are o.k. You’re right, I do now live in Cyprus; been here for seven years now – very hot in summer. Also, I knew that you did live in Spain, where do you live now – still in Brighton? I miss the old town but it’s not like it was for us. Sorry to hear about several old friends passing away, I did know about some of them. Can you send me your e/mail address, then I can write more, I am using my wife’s address at the moment.

    By Duffy (06/04/2013)
  • Hi Karen, my mother was Mary Wickson (1929-1993) and I wondered if she was the same Mary mentioned in your post. She lived in Southover Street which was not far from Elm Road.

    By Janet Kohler-Bond (20/04/2014)
  • My mother lived in William Street. Claira Smith, she married my father in 1941 – his name was Herbet Gibbs lived in Grove Street.

    By Roy Gibbs (01/01/2018)
  • My great grandparents Agostino and Gaetano Grossi Frezza lived on 61, William Street in 1901. I am not sure how long they lived there. They had two daughters die in early infancy. My great grandfather was an organ grinder and sold ice cream. They also lived on Sun Street when they first came to England 

    By Lorrie Frezza Perkins (27/06/2018)

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