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Memories from 1923

My mother, Hilda Bryant, came to Brighton from London in 1915. In that year, her father lost his job as a brush maker, when the German factory he was working for was closed down. Her parents decided to leave Nunhead in South London, after her father was offered a brush-making job in Brighton.

‘Miss Lux’, Hilda Bryant outside her home at 10, Beaufort Terrace, with her dog Spot. Brighton Carnival 1923.

Old Brighton families
The family first moved to Argyll Street, then to 10 Beaufort Terrace, Islingworth Road, where my mother lived until 1938. In this year, she married Charles Henry Gower, from Bear Road, at St. Luke’s Church, Queen’s Park. My father Charles Gower descended from a line of old Brighton families, mainly people engaged in the local fishing industry, families such as Miles, Jasper, Patching, Speed and Gunn.

Brighton Carnival 1923. Waiting for the Carnival to start.

The Brighton Carnival
When she was 14 years old, my mother took part in the Brighton Carnival and entered the fancy dress competition as Miss Lux in 1923, as seen in the two photographs. One of the photographs shows her outside her home at Beaufort Terrace with her dog Spot, who often turned up outside her classroom at St. Luke’s Terrace School – much to the annoyance of the teachers. The other picture, I think, is taken in Maderia Drive, just before the Carnival moved off.  My mother painted the Brighton Carnival poster at her school, dated June 4th 1923, to advertise the Carnival.

Brighton Carnival Poster painted by Hilda Bryant. 1923

Comments about this page

  • These are brilliant Graham, I would love to hear more about Brighton Carnival as it was. We started a summer Brighton Carnival again in 2007 and it has been really popular – 15,000 came last year and we expect even more this year. But would really love to compare stories! Anyone else with any memories like these please can you contact me?:,

    By Brighton Carnival 2009 (03/03/2009)
  • Thank you Graham for the good photos. My family lived in Argyl Street. The 1901 Census Julia Thompsett [Nee Moon] and James Thompsett were listed as living in Argyl Street Brighton, previously living in Islingworth Road, 1881 census as Tomsett. But stayed in Argyl Street untill at least 1909. My great grandfather James was struck by lightning at his allotment near the race course in June 1909, which was recorded as the worst year for Electrical storms in Sussex. Well it certainly was for our family. Julia was left with five small sons and a young daughter. If any one ever remembers reading this when looking back in the archives, I’d be grateful for them to let me know. It must have been recorded somewhere. I have tried to find it for many years; many thanks for reading.

    By Janny Gibson (24/01/2011)
  • Lovely to read this Graham. I am the current owner of 10 Beaufort Terrace so it was great to find out a bit of history relating to it.

    By Danny Bush (03/05/2011)
  • I saw on your page the carnival poster! Is there anyway I can get a copy of the poster, my mother will be 100 on 13th June, and this would be a wonderful conservative gift, we are desperately trying to think of special ways to celebrate and to get a copy of this poster would be wonderful. Thank you for taking the time to read this message.

    By Jacqueline Steer (27/01/2023)

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