Photos and articles about Brighton and Hove in the time of coronavirus. See our collection and add your own!

1950s shopping?

Do you recognise this 1950s street of shops?

Do you remember any of the shops here?

If you have any ideas or memories – please leave a comment below.

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

Where were these 1950s shops?
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove

Comments about this page

  • Looking at Sainsburys there, I’ll hazard a guess that it’s George Street, Hove. We lived around the corner in Connaught Terrace and my mother used that branch a lot when I was a small child. It particulatrly sticks in my memory because she once went home and left me outside Sainsburys in my pram.

    By Jester (17/04/2011)
  • I think it’s London Road, the grand houses, with shops built in the front, are still similar today, could even be the roof of St Bart’s on the left in the background!

    By Peter Groves (17/04/2011)
  • This is the west side of London Road, you can just see the mock Tudor roof of the Branch Tavern on the corner of York Hill. These lovely villas that lined London road, had their front gardens built on to form shop fronts. The shop on the corner next to Sainsburys is now Richer Sounds.

    By Michael Brittain (17/04/2011)
  • This is London Road towards Preston Circus.

    By Julie Annets (17/04/2011)
  • Judging what looks like Trolleybus overhead I am taking a mad guess and placing this as London Road. Ted Waltons was well known greengrocer in Brighton in the 50s and also had a shop in Western Road. I am basing my guess on the fact that a lot of Western Road shops also had second outlets in the London Area.

    By JOHN WIGNALL (18/04/2011)
  • Hi, the picture depicts a range of shops from 54-57B, London Road, probably around 1955. Ranging from the left the shops are as follows: H.T.Hollis (Seed Merchants), J.Sainsbury (Grocer), T.Walton (Fruiterers), Donald Slyden (Watch Repairer), Vivian Bamford (Tobacconist), Jonas Victor (cafe) and The Stocking Box (Hosier). Regards Andy.

    By Andy Grant (18/04/2011)
  • These shops were the section of London Road between York Hill and New England Road. I remember the Sainsbury’s shop from when I was a boy.

    By Derek Lake (18/04/2011)
  • I googled T. Walton (London) Ltd. and came up with a web site. London Rd. It shows all the shops in London Road area from the 20s to 2001. The site says T. Waltons was at 56 Preston Circus in 1920 and up to 1951. In 1969 it is gone, but several of the other shops are still there. The web site seems a great resource.

    By Eric Cook (20/04/2011)
  • So do I, Derek. Biscuits sold by weight from large canisters with glass tops, and the end one was always for the broken biscuits. Ladies in turbans cutting the cheese to weight for you with a piano wire. Those were the days!

    By Len Liechti (20/04/2011)
  • This is definitely London Road. Broadmead Wireless Co took over Waltons No 56 one weekend in 1956 or 1957and transformed it into a radio & television shop. It opened on the Monday ready to trade. They also had a shop at 103 Baker Street, on the corner, until the Co-op extended their store.

    By Alan Southwell (07/05/2011)
  • This is definitely London Road. I remember going into Sainsburys on a Saturday and near the end of the day they would sell off the fruit pies and meat for 6p, and also broken eggs in boxes

    By beryl thompson nee morley (11/05/2011)
  • Yes it’s London Road, I used to walk past there every day to go to Margaret Hardy school. I remember Bamfords where I used to get my dad’s novelty ashtrays and bottle openers for presents.

    By Anne Newman (12/05/2011)
  • I started my working life at Sainsburys 55 London Rd in April 1966,as a dairy boy (the lowest rung) I used to have to box up the broken eggs mentioned in an earlier comment. They went into waxed cartons similar to the milk cartons of the time. We had to make up the cheese wires from wooden handles and a large roll of wire. It was difficult to bend and cut and I had finger ends awash with blood and Elastoplast! From dairy boy I moved on to being a bacon boy, boning endless sides of bacon, the sides used to hang in the shop on hooks behind the counter. The buildings seen in the picture above the shops were the staff quarters ‘The House’ where we had a dining room and changing areas. In spite of us having a small canteen we patronised the Dolphin Cafe on the corner of York Hill and Providence Place which sold magnificent cheese rolls, crisp crust with a flour and salt coating … I can see, taste and feel it even now!

    By Geoffrey Mead (15/06/2011)
  • Does anyone know where I can get hold of a small book that came out about a year or so ago – it was all about London Road and had a lot of photos of how it used to look, including some of the houses that still exist at the far north end of London Road? I saw this book at a W.I. meeting held in Old London Road Memorial Hall. Obviously written by someone local.  I wish I had bought it at the time. 

    By Irene Dobson (23/01/2014)
  • The book is “London Road, Brighton’s First Suburb”, the ISBN is 978-0-9564380-0-3, and it is £11.50. Probably you can find it on the net!

    By Peter Groves (23/01/2014)
  • Irene, the book is called “London Road: Brighton’s First Suburb”, and is available on Amazon at £11.50. I have a copy and it’s very interesting!

    By Janet Beal (23/01/2014)
  • Thanks for info on that book, will definitely try and get it now.

    By Irene Dobson (21/04/2014)
  • Sainsbury’s store used to be located in St James Street, Brighton and I think it was where Morrisons is now located.

    By Susan (11/10/2015)
  • Sainsbury’s was at 24, St James St. Originally it was just counter service but in the late 1960s it had an annex that was almost a separate self-service store. When it closed it was replaced by the Scout Camping Shop in both units. It was almost on the corner of Dorset Gardens above the current Morrisons. I worked at many JS branches in the area [see above] but never at 24 [as it was known]; it had a huge trade in catering for the B&Bs and small hotels south of St James St. It was not uncommon for a customer to request a number of slices of bacon, presumably 2 per guest, rather than the more usual “a pound of rashers please”. This entailed counting every rasher rather than just doing it by weight.

    By Geoffrey Mead (13/10/2015)
  • London Road.  That is St Barts Church in the background.  My mother learned to bone bacon in that Sainsbury’s!  We lived in Whitecross Street early 50s.

    By Linda Horsburgh (nee Waller) (21/10/2015)
  • Sainsbury’s had two stores that I know of in the late 50’s/60’s and I recall going into both during various shopping trips for butter, cheese and eggs especially, with my Mum. My sister and I were fascinated by the ladies cutting and preparing packs of butter (not all pre-packaged in those day!), using butter paddles and wrapping the result in greaseproof paper. What a skill! The photo is of the London Road store, looking south towards St Peters Church, not towards Preston Circus.

    By Jeanette Eason (30/05/2018)
  • Jeanette, you’re right that the photograph is looking south, but it is up near Preston Circus as opposed to the other Sainsbury’s shop which was near where Aldi is today.

    By Janet Beal (31/05/2018)
  • As I stated earlier in this ‘string’ I worked at the branch shown here at 55 London Rd. I was taught to cut, pat, shape and wrap butter using the wooden pats; it was NOT easy! The more you worked the butter the more it broke down into a semi-liquid yellow goo. Skilled butter workers could shape it with a very few strokes and the trick was to shape it into a long rectangle. The greaseproof wrappers had two lines printed on them and the butter had to fit inside those lines to allow the wrapper to be folded and secured. I never did lard but that was even worse to shape according to older colleagues.

    By Geoffrey Mead (31/05/2018)
  • H.T Hollis was my dad’s uncle’s shop. Later it became Cramphorn-Hollis. I remember in the early 1970s my dad, John Hollis, used to take me down there on the 26 bus from Hollingbury on Saturday mornings. If he knew his uncle wanted him to run errands ( like escort the banking!), then on the way there, he would often leave me with people he’d known from his youth then collect me afterwards. On the way through the old Open Market to the bus stop (we never stopped to look in the toy and model shop on the corner by the bus stop because we couldn’t afford anything) he would stop to chat with all his old mates and we invariably walked out laden with meat and veg just in time for the bus. I especially remember him leaving me with a Greek family (Theia and Theios plied me with food and pastries) as even now in my 50s I can see myself being stood on a chair with a huge spoon stirring a massive pot of moussaka sauce. I still make it today and judge the cinnamon level by nose: when it smells like I remember in that busy kitchen then it’s right! Wish I had known their names – everyone then was Auntie or Uncle, even when they weren’t.

    By Bridget Hollis-Gadsby (14/05/2020)
  • Hollis’ had a corn store on the west side of Foundry St at the southern end near North Rd. it was a redbrick warehouse with a loading door on the first floor. I used to drink at the Pedestrians Arms further along the street, and one day back in the 1970s they were hoisting sacks of grain up into the top floor and one had split with a heap of grain on the road, I think every bird in B&H was in that street diving into the heap!

    By Dr Geoffrey Mead (14/05/2020)
  • I have a little 00 gauge railway station bookstall like the one’s that W.H. Smith had on railway stations back in the good old days. I worked in the one on Hassocks station, that is now saved at the Bluebell Line. The one I have is for ‘T. Walton (London) Ltd Fruiterer & Greengrocer. The sign on the model is just like the one in the photo of the store in London Road. I have tried to put photo’s of it on but I cannot get them on, sorry.

    By MALCOLM Grace (12/05/2021)
  • It’s definitely London Road, above the shops, like Iceland. Would recognise them instantly.

    By Loren (10/03/2022)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.