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Small but warm and cosy

Wood Street
Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove

Many happy memories

I was born at 29 Wood St in 1925 and lived there until my mother’s death in 1947. I have many happy memories and can still remember our little house. There was the front room which was the best room and seldom ever used except for special oc­casions. All the best furniture was kept in there and an aspidistra of course.

Warm and cosy kitchen

The kitchen was warm and cosy, not very big but we were comfortable in it. We had an open coal fire at first, but this fell to bits in the end and the landlord replaced it with a second hand range called a ‘Kitchener’. It incorporated an oven as well as the fireplace, but the oven never cooked properly, it was large and really very unsightly, the warmth that the fire threw out more than made up for it.

No electricity

There were cupboards built in either side of the fireplace in the recesses, which came in useful, and although not airing cupboards they at least could ensure that all the washing done was kept damp-free once aired. That was done with the aid of several lines strung across the kitchen. Mother would do the ironing on the table, then throw it over the lines. As we had no electricity we had to have flat irons in those days, which were heated up on top of the stove. The houses were demolished in the 1960s for a new development.

Reproduced with permission from: Back Street Brighton, Queenspark Books, Brighton, 1st edition 1989

Comments about this page

  • I didn’t realise that we had television in the 1930’s.

    Editor’s note: Well spotted John – that will teach me to just copy photo titles from the museum collection. Jennifer

    By John Wall VK2 (26/12/2012)
  • The very wealthy had a limited TV service in the 30s–perhaps that didn’t apply to most residents in Wood Street!

    By Stefan Bremner-Morris (26/12/2012)
  • Just spotted the author’s name – Dorothy Seymour. Would this be the same Dorothy Seymour who lived just off the London Road? She was active in the Girl Guides and gave me my first job in the NHS (retiring in 5 years).

    By Martin Scrace (27/12/2012)
  • I don’t think this is what is meant by an aerial view of Wood Street.

    By Alan Hobden (27/12/2012)
  • Notice the aerials for ITV, in full swing by 1959! Why has everyone got a little bin at their front step and what were they for? Don’t recall seeing anything like those in 1959. They look like food scrap recycling bins – but surely not in that year? During the War we had them strapped to lamp posts especially for “Bones Only”. A larger dustbin was alongside for “Pigs Swill”.

    By Brian Hatley (27/12/2012)
  • Those little bins are what we called “the pig bins”. We had them in Bennett Road in the 50s. A bloke I knew called Teddy had a pig farm somewhere around Brighton as did other folk. He would come round the houses with his lorry on a weekly basis collecting leftovers for pig swill. If I remember rightly there was a cheaper joint of pork for my mum at christmas for the contents of the weekly pig bin. Teddy was one of us jack the lads who would congregate outside the Electricity showrooms at the bottom of North Street in the early 60s with our cars for the weekly run to the roundabout in Crawley and back as fast as you could go. Just outside brighton on the A23 was “windy corner” which could be done at 100mph if you had the right car and a following wind. Teddy the pig farmer had the right cars. At first he had a mark 1 Ford GT Cortina which was faster than our Minis. Then he bought a Ford Lotus Cortina which really did the business at that time. Good fun. Mike Peirson.

    By Mick Peirson (28/12/2012)
  • As the tiny bins appear to be lidded could they have been for the ashes from the fireplace? But what then?

    By Sandra Bohtlingk (28/12/2012)
  • Please can anyone give any information of any family living at 29 Wood Street Brighton in 1929 as my nan was born here in December of that year.

    By Cheryl (12/04/2013)
  • Kelly’s directory 1927 and Pikes 1937 both have a Mrs Coppard at 29 Wood St. You do not give us a surname so it is difficult to go much further. Bear in mind your family could have been lodging there in the property rented or owned by Mrs Coppard. Let us know some more as there are family history ‘buffs’ who can respond!

    By Geoffrey Mead (13/04/2013)
  • Hi Chery. The only thing I can offer is that a Mrs. Coppard was listed at that address in 1929 and 1930. Unfortunately directories do not give information on others (family/lodgers/visitors) that may have been there. Poll books might help for other eligible adults, but unfortunately the availability of these requires you to visit a repository which holds them and these are presently closed whilst awaiting relocation. Regards

    By Andy Grant (14/04/2013)
  • Thanks for your replies. My Nan’s birth surname was Mitchell. Her father’s name was Samuel and his occupation was a general dealer. Her mother’s name was Sybil.

    By Cheryl (14/08/2013)
  • Good day, I’m not sure how I got through to this page in all honesty as I am researching my Great Grandmother; Dorothy Dunn (nee Hobden) and her 2 daughters; Mary Dunn and Marjorie Joyce Dunn (my Gran).

    I don’t know that anyone will read this, however I find it very strange that I land up on a page about Brighton, where they grew up!

    If anyone can assist me with information about any of them I’d be most grateful.

    Kind regards, Tracy.

    By Tracy Edwards (28/11/2013)
  • My great grandmother louisa mary willott lived in 110 wood street aged 3 with her parents in 1851. The 1851 census shows that but has been wrongly transcribed as goodman.

    I cannot however find a birth certificate for her in either name.

    Any help most appreciated.

    By Marilyn Palfreman (07/03/2020)
  • Hi, I was born at 39 Wood street in 1946 I lived there with my sister Barbara, Mum and Dad, our name was Gillam my dad was Len and my Mum Doris, my gran on dads side lived in the same street unable to remember her number, I remember the Hunts, Pat and Joan, Beards, Maureen Mrs Rogers, the Stones Norman, Laddie, Queenie and Phyllis Henderson, Mrs Grey other names have gone out of my head.
    Would love to catch up with anyone that remembers us I did a paper round from Mclaughlans shop opposite Wood street in Trafalgar Street.

    By Linda Prior nee Gillam (04/05/2021)

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