Distractions from school
I moved to Brighton from London with my parents in the mid 1950s and we lived in a basement flat in Belgrave Place, off the seafront. Those five years in Brighton as a teenager hold some great memories. I had passed the 11 Plus and managed to get a place a Varndean Boys’ School, but the distractions were many in those days; Black Rock Swimming Pool and the Brighton Jazz Club to name but two. I must admit school was not a priority, particularly in the summers.
A tough paper round
I worked hard to get the necessary spending money though. I had a paper route mornings and evenings, that took me from Chichester Terrace to Marine Parade. It was tough at the best of times but really hard in the winter, especially on Radio Times day. And I do not remember any of the stars of stage and screen that lived along my route as being particularly generous, except maybe Max Wall who lived just across the road from The Bristol Hotel.
Joined the RAF
I had a job in a greengrocers on St. George’s Road just up from the cinema. I worked Friday evenings and all day Saturdays for a gay couple that owned and ran the place – yes, even then. I left school in the summer of 1959 and two months in an insurance office prompted, no, convinced me, to join the RAF. I waved goodbye to Brighton in January of 1960 and haven’t been back since – maybe one day. Oh by the way I live in Canada now.