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Brighton in 1955

Christmas comes to Western Road
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Click on the photograph to open a large version in a new window.

Do you remember these Christmas 1955 lights in Western Road? 

Do you remember any of the shops at this time?

What about your Christmas shopping?

Just to give your memory a jog – in the 1950s, a typical home had a cooker, vacuum cleaner and a plug-in radio.

The average weekly wage was £10 a week.

Only 33 per cent of households had a washing machine. Most people were still doing their washing by hand.

Only 15 per cent had a fridge and freezers and tumble dryers were scarcely heard of.

Only 10 per cent of the population had a telephone.

So let’s hear some of your 1950s Christmas memories.

Comments about this page

  • If you want to see what was going on at the Brighton General Hospital over the Christmas in 1955 and several other Christmas years go to look at the following web site.

    By Ken Ross (21/12/2011)
  • This photo brought back a lot of memories.  You were lucky to sometimes get a turkey and the bulk of all households made the weekly food ration stretch. As for the shops in Western Road they were always full of Christmas cheer – Wades and Littlewoods always had Father Christmas. But the best thing about the fifties was the family get together; if they had not seen each other all year it was a guarantee they would at Christmas.

    By JOHN WIGNALL (29/12/2011)
  • We lived at 18 Blucher Place on the carpark. We did not have a washing machine, a fridge, a freezer or even a telephone. My nan who lived 3 doors down at no 21 only had an outside loo in the yard. We never used the front room, which had a piano nobody could play. Stew was very often on the menu, which probably included cheaper cuts of meat like scrag end of lamb. Everybody was in the same boat. Mum did char work for Molly Lacroix, who had a convenience shop top of Russell St and for Bertie Bassett , Brighton’s Breeziest Butcher. We moved to Manor Farm in 1957 but Nan was the last resident to move out in 1960. I was astounded to see a picture of her outside her house on James Gray Collection Vol 29 no 106. The shops that I can remember in Western Road were Dorothy Normans, a ladies’ dress shop and Home and Colonial, where they used to pat the butter with the wooden blocks. There was a coffee shop on the north side, which emitted a lovely smell of coffee being roasted. Woolworth’s was very popular with the children because of its wide range of sweets. 

    By Peter Maurice (01/01/2012)

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