Happy memories of golden days

Cover of programme for Brighton Tigers ice hockey match, October 1950
From the private collection of the late Trevor Chepstosw

It was a fun time

These were the times when bright, stylish clothes were making an appearance in the shops, and it was safe to walk around the streets late at night. There was virtually full employment, the girls were pretty and it was a ‘fun time’. And what about sport? The Albion at the Goldstone ground; cricket at Hove. Of course there was the amazing Brighton Tigers at the SS Brighton; remember Bobby Lee, Gib Hutchinson, Lorne Trottier, Mike O’Brien and others. Cycle Racing at Preston Park track and the rise of Whitehawk Football Club. A great era !

Great jazz clubs

How about all the Brighton jazz clubs that operated in the 1950s? The Chalet Club in Western Road, Hove where the Ted Ambrose band with Bernie Waterman on piano, Sailor Spicer on bass, Keith Slade, Stu Emsley and others blasted out ‘Trad’ jazz. The Vanguard in New Road with the wonderful Les Jowett band. The Coney Hill in Montpelier Road with Les Wood recreating the music of George Lewis. All full of happy youngsters jiving and living it up with no hint of any trouble.

Memories of golden days

Does anyone remember Uncle Bonnie Manzi’s ‘Chinese Jazz Club’ at the Aquarium?  All night sessions and some great London musicians. The Regent dance hall and all the coffee bars. Ken and Jackie Moorhouse ran one in North Street over a billiard saloon. There was ‘Tingeys’ in Dyke Road near the Clock Tower and many others spread over central Brighton. I wonder how many of us who were in our late teens and early twenties during the 1950s have happy memories of those ‘golden days’.

Comments about this page

  • The old Brighton Tigers bring back very happy boyhood memories for me, when my brother used to take me to watch them every home game. My brother worked with one of the players and was given a signed ice hockey for me, but it got broken and thrown away many years ago.

    By Donald Waller (05/11/2015)
  • I added a comment under ‘A Place for Trysts’ the other day before I spotted this great cover of a Brighton Tigers’ programme. Just to say that book I mentioned by James Orlando, The Jade Nomad, all about a fifties American car, has many chapters set in Brighton about the Tigers! My dad says it really brings it all back! I’m now looking in all the retro stores for a genuine yellow & black Tigers jacket (for him not me – or is it?).

    By Barry Walsh (13/06/2016)
  • I remember Uncle Bonnie Manzi and his Chinese Jazz Club at the Aquarium on friday nights. Saw Little Walter, T Bone Walker and Champion Jack Dupree there. Earl Hines played there once. I remember seeing Steampacket with Rod the Mod – very smart he was. Jazz band regulars included Monty Sunshine, Ken Colyer and Spencer’s Rhythm Kings who were very accomplished and very funny. I can still remember their extraordinary rendition of ‘Abe My Boy’. Does anyone know anything about Bonnie’s post jazz club years?

    By Nick Burdett (06/04/2020)
  • I think the Sailor Spicer you mentioned was my Uncle Alf Spicer? His Mum was Alice Spicer (Jolly Alice).

    Would love to get more info about his career.
    Lisa Spicer.

    By Lisa Spicer (16/02/2021)

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