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Do you recognise these shops?

Mystery photo
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Thanks for all your comments – here is the text from the James Gray collection to which this photograph belongs; it was taken in 1967.

8-16 Western Road. The Rudledge family occupied No. 12 the Scotch Wool Shop, for more than 80 years. The business of stay and corset makers was started here in 1860s and the family lived in the little house behind 11 Grenville Place. In 1947, the business closed and this tiny shop with only a 13’ frontage was sold at auction for £14,100.

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Comments about this page

  • London road, Kendall sold umbrellas and rainwear – c1950s.

    By Terry Hyde (08/12/2011)
  • I think these shops were in either London Road or Western Road. I have a vague recollection of my grandmother buying me an umbrella from Kendalls! That would have been in the mid 1960s. We lived in Norfolk Road and moved to Islingword Road in 1966, so could have been from either location.

    By Maggie Williams (08/12/2011)
  • I would say it’s London Road close to Rose Hill Terrace, it looks like late 1950s or early 1960s.

    By Peter Groves (08/12/2011)
  • These shops are in Western Road not too far from the Clock Tower and would have been taken in the late 50s to early 60s – before they were demolished for the redevelopment of Chuchill Square.

    By John Wignall (08/12/2011)
  • The photo looks like the shops on the south side of Western Road, they were demolished to make way for the original Churchill Square shopping centre.

    By Michael Brittain (09/12/2011)
  • This is Western Rd south side 11-16 , opposite M&S. Kelly’s Directory 1968 has them all listed but this soon became Churchill Sqare and Kelly 1969 has them all gone. At about this time and earlier there was access to the rooms above and to the rear of these shops from Grenville Place, up an iron fire escape to ‘The Istanbul’ coffee bar – known to the patrons as ‘Mustapha’s’.

    By Geoffrey Mead (09/12/2011)
  • Could it be Blatchington Road?

    By John Cording (09/12/2011)
  • Is this the beginning of Western Road? Where Churchill Square is now.

    By Carol Homewood (09/12/2011)
  • Just a thought, my wife seems to think it could be London Road or Lewes Road up towards the viaduct. We left Brighton in 1969 so the memory is a bit hazy. Now live in Brisbane Australia, enjoy looking at this site brings back some great memories, good luck with your search Jennifer.

    By Roy Anderson (10/12/2011)
  • It is the Churchill Square end of Western Road, as seen in the Western Road section of James Gray.

    By Peter Groves (10/12/2011)
  • Definitely south side of Western Road; I recognize the Polyphoto shop.

    By Tony Clevett (21/02/2012)
  • Definitely Western Road. I used to wait at that bus stop to get home after work at Barclays Bank in North Street.

    By June Churchill (08/03/2012)
  • Yes, this is Western Road, I remember going to The Istanbul coffee bar. I don’t recall which shop it was above though perhaps somebody else will remember. You had to go round the back to get in, this was in 1965. I used to go there with my “Rocker” mates. You could look out onto Western Road. I had forgotten the name of it until I read Geoffrey Mead’s comment, so thanks.

    By Anne Newman (10/03/2012)
  • Ref Geoffrey Meads comment about using an iron fire escape: the only shop I can think of was Dothery Normans which was at the end of Western Road and backed onto Grenville Place right opposite the Cranbourne Arms pub. This was back in the 50s and I had left Brighton by 1956 so these names may not be too accurate. I can remember the fire escape as I lived in Grenville Place and often got into trouble for playing silly beggars with my friends around this and the back of the shops.

    By John Wignall (11/03/2012)
  • I came across the picture on the web today. I am now retired but for 15 years in the 60s and 70s I was the display manager for the Kendall 120 chain of shops based in Leicester. The shop shown in the picture was a very successful branch on Western Rd that was demolished to make way for The Churchill centre. The shop was relocated to corner premises accross the road towards Hove. There was also a branch on London Rd and in Worthing. The chain was eventually purchased by the menswear group Hepworths and later converted to become the start of the NEXT shops. Best wishes Nick Taylor.

    By Nick Taylor (26/03/2012)
  • What a strange picture. It all looks very light as though day time but where are all the people. Also looks like the shops are closed. Sunday maybe? Absolutely Western Road though. Must have walked this part hundreds of times. I also had photos taken at Polyfoto when I was 15, (1961). I still have one I believe. It came out of a set of 36 pictures from which you could choose the ones you liked best to be enlarged. I am still 15 at heart but definately wiser! Thanks for the picture.

    By Sandra Bohtlingk (27/03/2012)
  • I, too, had photographs taken at Polyfoto. One of them is on display in my sitting room (was I really that young once?) and a few strands of hair, obviously out of place, has irritated me for the past 50 years. Macfisheries was another shop in that row. The area looks a bit drab in the photos but the later Churchill Square, made the original appear almost cutting edge. 

    By Linda Keet-Harris (13/05/2014)
  • Definitely Western Road. I had my photos taken as a baby at Polyphoto in 1948! and I think they are still around somewhere! I also remember around 1964/5 buying jumpers and twinsets at a super shop on the south side of Western Road just past where Churchill Square is now. I think it was called something Graham? They were all the fashion for a few months. Does anyone remember?

    By Linda Horsburgh (nee Waller) (21/10/2015)
  • I also remember these shops but there was a ladieswear shop called Jax which was on the south side of Western Road by a bus stop. Unfortunately I have yet to see a photo of it from any 50s/60s collections.

    By Marlene Hoad (30/04/2018)
  • Marlene, there is a picture of Jax in the James Gray Collection.

    By Janet Beal (02/05/2018)
  • My aunts worked Kendall’s for a while. It always seemed like a posh shop. Full of lovely raincoats and umbrellas.

    By Lesley Miles (nee Goddard) (01/03/2021)
  • Hey, I worked in two Gents outfitters just opposite Meakers. The second one was called Blackburns. The manager was a severe gentleman called Mr East I think. I’m 89 now so memory not so good. The years would have been 1948/49/50. Had to wear a suit and white starched collar with a quiet tie and shiny shoes. Pay was two guineas a week. Those were the days.

    By Bob Pelham (22/03/2021)
  • This is Western Road. Kendalls was also in London Road but the shop was smaller, it was the west side of London Road in the early 60s. I bought a raincoat with a Mandarin collar from there.

    By Carol Marten (18/10/2022)
  • Definitely Western Road where Churchill Square is. As a teenager we used to catch the bus home from that bus stop after a night out in Brighton.

    By Gary Hudson (05/09/2023)

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