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Can you identify this pub?

This photo comes from my late grandmother’s collection.  Her father was a member of the Collins family which included Captain Fred Collins of the Skylark fame and her mother was born into the Harman family.  Both families have lived in Brighton for many generations, maybe the people in the photo are from one of these familes.

Can anyone identify either the pub or the people?

Old Brighton Pub
From the private collection of Liz Woodford

Comments about this page

  • I think this pub is the Unicorn Inn, North Street.

    By Julie Annets (20/03/2009)
  • Hi, Liz. l know this is a long shot, but l have to ask the questions! My grandad was a member of the Sky Lark crew sometime between 1905/1950s, he helped with the troops in getting them back from France in the war. Mum has told me he was a member of the Sky Lark crew and l also remember helping in my childhood winching the boat up the shingle for pleasure rides. “Anyone for the Sky Lark” in Brighton. I have one photo of him with his wife and baby in navy uniform, could be Merchant Navy. His name was Thomas Goble (nick name was Gossie), born 1884. His parents were James Goble and Mary Jeffery, married in 1871 in Brighton. I have struggled finding info on this pair since their marriage and the birth of Thomas. In 1890 Mary remarried to Henry Nutley and put her father down as Richard Harman – but he was Richard Jeffery when she married James Goble! Richard was a fisherman and Thomas was a fisherman. Can’t find out what happened to James and why the change of surnames for Mary’s Dad – from Jeffery to Harman? They are all Brightonians. Any help would be appreiciated. Thank you.

    By Sheila Jones (20/03/2009)
  • I think this pub is the Cannon pub which was in Cannon Street and was demolished when Churchil Square was developed.

    By Malcolm Lima (20/03/2009)
  • I am not saying it is it but this looks a bit like the Shepherd and Dog in London Road – see the James Gray Collection website. But if it is, there had been a few changes to the frontage.

    By Dennis Parrett (21/03/2009)
  • The 1861 street directory mentions ‘J. Barnett, Cannon Brewery, 16 Russell Street (Brewer, maltster and coal merchant)’ if that’s any help.

    By Peter Barnard (22/03/2009)
  • It looks very like the exterior of The Dependent (no longer a pub, but with its exterior and sign restored) in Little Preston Street.

    By Chris S (30/03/2009)
  • I found the names and occupations of Collins and Harman in the Kellys directory 1867.

    Collins family:
    Edwin – beer retailer – 48 Upper North Street
    James – Masons Arms – Seymore Street
    John – beer retailer – 71 Rose Hill Terrace
    William -Albemarie Hotel, 7 Marine Parade

    Harman family:
    Richard – beer retailer – 96 Gloucester Lane
    Jane – beer retailer – 110 Southover Street

    By Maralyn Eden (31/03/2009)
  • Many thanks for all your suggestions. Haven’t found any links to my known family yet but still working on it. Anymore ideas would be welcome. Sorry Sheila, but I don’t recognise anyone from your family.

    By Liz Woodford (31/03/2009)
  • Isn’t this the Fiddler’s elbow?

    By GC (03/04/2009)
  • The Unicorn Inn, North Street, was demolished in 1920 and the Regent Cinema built in its place. That was demolished and Boots now stands on the site. The incline of the road is the wrong way to be the site of the Regent or Boots, so it can’t be the Unicorn Inn.

    By Renia Simmonds nee Lambor (03/05/2009)
  • The Unicorn, 133 North Street – My great grandfather (Richard Paige) had it. A number of my great aunts and grand father were born there. I am not sure if it is The Unicorn - I did find picture of it. As I understand it the pub was on the south side of North Street.

    By Annette Paige (10/05/2010)
  • The Unicorn Inn, I imagine, was much bigger than this – it had a yard from which carters went 3 times a week to villages within a 10 mile radius of Brighton. Also, as Renia Simmonds says, the incline is the wrong way.

    By Justin Young (26/08/2010)
  • There’s a Barnett showing as landlord at the St Georges Tavern in Upper Bedford Street in the 1870s and 1880s. Don’t know if that’s any use?

    By Rob Sinden (19/09/2011)
  • I think, according to all the directories of the time, that it is 8, Upper Bedford street. If it is it would be one of these buildings, although this picture is almost a hundred years on:

    By Bradley Taplin (12/11/2013)
  • I don’t know the pub, but the people are my great great grandparents, William Collins (1837-1902) and Elizabeth Collins nee Molton (1839-1910). William was a brother of Captain Fred Collins of the Skylark boats. Liz, I’m guessing from your info that your grandmother was either Ellen, Daisy, Dorothy or Ivy – the sisters of my grandfather Edward. If you get in touch I’ll be able to give you more info. And if this is correct, the couple in the photo are also your great great grandparents. Email me at if you like.

    By Michael Jeggo (04/06/2014)
  • In 1870, 16 Russell Street was managed by John Barnett, maltser and brewer of the Cannon Brewery:



    By Renia Simmonds (05/06/2014)
  • My suspicion is that it is probably the Prince Albert on Frederick Place (photographed from Trafalgar Street). The incline on the pavement looks about right, and the people pictured had family members living in Frederick Place at this time.

    By Michael (26/03/2015)
  • This is the Dependant pub in Hove. The building is still standing as it was all those years ago at the end of Sillwood Street, Hove.

    By Aron (16/02/2016)
  • Aron, I’m not so sure about that. The pavement in front of the pub in the old photo slopes down from right to left, but outside the Dependant in Sillwood Street it slopes from left to right.

    By Alan Hobden (16/02/2016)
  • The various landlords of The Dependent (later the Dependant) in Little Preston Street were: In 1881-5, M. Davies. In 1886-8, Leon A. Pierre. In 1889, H. Gathercole. In 1891, A. Denyer. In 1892-3, Edward Mills. In 1895-6, William Butcher. In 1897, W. Barnard. In 1898-9, Lewes Cruttenden. 1901-1905 Harry Ketley. In 1908-1909, Charles W. Saxby. In 1912, Harry Chipping. In 1914, Mrs F. Chipping. In 1916-1920, Percy George. So the pic, above, doesn’t look like it was The Dependant.

    By Renia Simmonds (17/02/2016)
  • Firstly, Sillwood Street is in Brighton, not Hove. Secondly, the slope of the road means that this pub appears to have been on the west side of whatever road it was on. Having said that, The Dependent originally had entrances on both Preston Street and Little Preston Street. So it could indeed be The Dependent, but photographed from the Preston Street side.

    By Alan Phillips (17/02/2016)
  • The Dependent pub is NOT in Hove, but as stated above, in Lt Preston St. Brighton.This image has the slope of the street incorrect for the Dependent as that site is on the east side and the slope would be the other way sloping towards the seafront. I would go for the Cannon brewery pub noted by a couple of contributions above.

    By Geoffrey Mead (17/02/2016)
  • It is not the Dependant for a number of reasons. The slope of the road runs in the opposite direction. The structure of the building is different, ie there are thick pilasters to either end of the present building containing a wooden frame front, whereas the picture has a narrow plain wall end and wooden framework contained within. The name of the brewery is also rather odd, inasmuch that it implies a London pub rather than a Brighton one. Although a John Barnett did run the Cannon Brewery, he died in 1870 and the picture probably post-dates then.

    By Andy Grant (18/02/2016)
  • Liz Woodford and I have established that we are second cousins.  Her Grandmother was  the sister of my Grandfather, Edward Thomas Collins. I have been researching for a number of years and have established somewhere along the line that Edward William Collins (also known as William Edward Collins) and his wife Elizabeth Collins (born Molten) were the proprietors of the City of London Inn, 41 London Road, Brighton.  The establishment was probably demolished ages ago, but it would be nice if anyone on the site has any knowledge of the pub, or any connection to the family.  I have gathered an enormous amount of information to date but there is always room for more.  If anyone would like to contact me by email my address is

    By Joan Colson (11/04/2016)
  • Hi Liz,

    I was wondering if you have any information on Brighton Harmans? My granddad was adopted and all we know is his birth mother was Ellen May Harman born 1915 and her father was called Frank and lived at Arlington Hotel, Marine Parade. Any help would be massively appreciated.

    By Jenny Nash (16/06/2017)
  • Hello Liz,

    My friend Tim knows all about Captain Collins and Martha Collins. I will give you my e mail address if you want to know? 


    By Neil Hegarty (29/10/2017)

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