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Men's group outing - can you identify anyone?

It was suggested that the attached photograph shows a gathering outside the Albion Inn in about 1905. The licensee’s name was Chas. Norman. However, further research indicates that the picture is in fact of the Cross Keys in Cheapside.

I do not know anything about the occasion but my grandfather is in the photograph. It was a large gathering for perhaps a men’s outing of some kind and I wondered if it was anything to do with the Albion Brewery. However the 1911 Census shows my grandfather as a laundry worker so I am unable to throw any light on this. Can anyone identify any ancestors in the photograph and what they were all gathered for?

Outside the Albion Inn c1905
From the private collection of Dennis Parrett
My Grandfather Henry Terry
From the private collection of Dennis Parrett

Comments about this page

  • By the buttonholes, it took place on ‘Oak Apple Day’.

    By Roy Grant (12/03/2009)
  • Lovely photograph. It would be wonderful if each individual could be identified. The man, back row, third from left, bears a resemblance to the one second from right, same row. The two with trilbies look like ‘tofs’ to me. Are the button holes a clue? Are they daffodils? If so, it may narrow a search of the local papers. I guess it may have been an outing as extreme left there’s someone holding a squeeze-box.

    By Janet (12/03/2009)
  • The man in the second row (after front row) second from the far right looks like he might possibly be my grandfather, William Breeds. He’s wearing a lighter coloured cap and has a light moustache….he’s beside the man with the thick grey beard. Not too sure. I have a photo of a smaller group of men similarly dressed but without the hats, except for a couple of straw hats. One man has a banjo, and one has a mandolin, so it must be some kind of men’s choral group. It was sent to my grandfather in Toronto, some time shortly after he had left Brighton in 1913. The note on the back says they had stayed at the Bridge Hotel in Arundel, and it reads to the effect that my grandfather had been part of the group.

    By Carol (17/03/2009)
  • I don’t like to spoil the party, but I do not think this pub is the Albion Inn. Despite the obvious similarity and co-incidence that Charles Norman was the publican, I believe the pub shown was the Cross Keys at 17, Cheapside, on the corner with Wood Street. Charles Norman was the publican there from around 1914 until around 1916. He died early in 1917. The structure of the building in the photo corresponds much more closely with that of the Cross Keys. Additionally, the windows and door arrangement are completely different to the Albion Inn, as shown in pictures on this site. Regards.

    By Andy Grant (18/03/2009)
  • Perhaps the location is not the Albion Inn, but a positive identification has been made, regarding Henry Terry, which implies that the group of men were from Brighton. So the question remains as to why they were on the outing.

    By Carol (25/03/2009)
  • Carol, have you also seen the similar photo of the Obed Arms group under ‘People/Local folk?’. Do you recognise anybody there? There is also a photo of The Cross Keys in the James Gray Collection website – you can search for Wood Street and one of the options shows a pub on the corner. It is difficult to make a firm conclusion but see what you think. There are obviously some differences between my old photo and the present day Albion. There seem to be some reflections in the side window of what is opposite but unfortunately I have been unable to discern precisely what they are. If it was 1914 to 1916, a lot of men were going off to war. The Royal Sussex Regiment was mobilising in earnest from 1914. That would not have included my grandfather. Here we have 42 men enjoying themselves possibly at a time when there was, in some towns, a lot of pressure for them to serve their country. It is hard to judge my grandfather’s age; I had estimated him to be in his early thirties. He was born in 1874 but he was often a very sickly person with chest problems who died in 1921. He lived in and around the Elm Grove area. A later picture of him shows he must have aged quickly so it is difficult to tell exactly and that is why, with Kelly’s directory entry 1905 for Chas Norman, I guessed at 1905 when he was landlord at the Albion. My other grandparents also ran a shop called the Albion Fruit and Vegetable store in I think Richmond Buildings so there was a close connection to the whole area. As far as I know Henry Terry was not a musician and this gathering could possibly have been a men’s’ outing. The Group has been well prepared by the photographer but there is nothing on the back where did your grandfather live in Brighton and what did he do for a living? Is there any way you can positively identify him which then would give a year if it is him. Like you I am intrigued about what the gathering was about. By coincidence I also have another photo of a group which includes my grandfather; probably outside a pub or similar establishment but I not sure where it was. There are men with musical instruments and straw hats. It is not brilliant quality but I can scan and enhance it a little. If you want to see it please e mail me at

    By Dennis Parrett (26/03/2009)
  • On the James Gray Collection website, I found another photo of the Cross Keys looking up from Whitecross Street which I passed to Andy for his opinion. This one, the other photo from a different angle and the advantage of Andy’s information and analysis by e-mail, makes it as certain as can be that the group of men are outside the Cross Keys on the corner of Wood Street and Cheapside. One of men with peak caps may be a driver of a coach and this perhaps was a charabanc outing. I am not any the wiser as to why my grandfather was there as it was not his local in terms of his home or work, but perhaps he was with a friend or was a member of an association of some kind.

    By Dennis Parrett (26/03/2009)
  • Dennis, have a look at the photo on this site, under Bonchurch Road, it’s a picture of Mrs Cox’s Laundry van.
    There is a man in the photo with a beard, and he’s wearing the same cap as the man in your photo, who has the white beard and moustache (the man on his right is the one who looks like it could be my grandfather). It appears that it’s the same man, only younger. I wonder if he is a member of the Cox family.
    My grandfather worked for the Cox Pill Factory from about 1900 to 1907/1908. Is it possible that your grandfather worked for the Cox family’s laundry business, and maybe this was an outing for both groups of employees?
    I don’t know how many worked at the pill factory.

    By Carol (31/03/2009)
  • I’m sure this is not the Cross Keys. Notice that cheapside goes up on the lefthand side of the door and the Cross keys is tiny . I believe this to be the Star of Brunswick ( note that the lines in the plaster work are identical and that the walls around the door frame are identical, on the right it is flat an the left it is stepped.

    By Bradley Taplin (17/02/2014)
  • Hi Bradley,

    If you look above the door in the MyBH picture, you will just discern the name of the proprietor Chas Norman, which was also stated by the submitter and which entirely supports the Cross Keys as being the pub.

    The picture from the James Gray collection you have sent is of the Queens Head at 42, Cheapside (on the corner of Belmont street). The Cross Keys was at 17, Cheapside (on the corner with Wood Street). The only pictures in the James Gray collection are JG_25_237 and 242, which show the Cross Keys with the characteristic lines you refer to and provide an exact match for the layout of the pub in the original picture.

    This type of decor was standard to a number of pubs, including the Star of Brunswick. It is also most unlikely that the submitters’ grandfather (from this part of Brighton) would have travelled all the way to Hove to the Star of Brunswick.

    Regards, Andy

    By Andy Grant (17/02/2014)
  • I stand corrected, although the latter argument does’t stand on me as I’m someone who lives in Preston Village and drinks in the Kingscliff area. Suppose there was a lot more choice in those days though.

    By Bradley Taplin (18/02/2014)
  • I have just seen this photo and yes I do wonder if the man with the white bushy beard is John Cox, wife of Annie.  I have recently found a photo of my grandfather Henry Ede Cox standing next to this man who is sitting down. (Henry would be John’s grandson.) Also found were smaller booth type photos of him and Annie Cox nee Ede. (Sadly can’t be of much help with the type of outing at this stage TT).

    By Janet Considine (24/06/2015)
  • Everyone is looking so very smart. Is this how they would have dressed for an outing, with buttonhole flowers too? They look too cheerfull for it to be a funeral but too uncomfortable for a relaxing day trip.

    By Sandra Bohtlingk (25/06/2015)

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