Memories of Cheapside

Photo:Cheapside from London Road, 2008

Cheapside from London Road, 2008

Photo by Maureen Brand

My life in the street

By Dorothy Seymour, North Laine resident

My grandfather bought No 44 Cheapside from the original owner in the late 19th century. There was a small kitchen where my father had a bath fitted and an outside toilet in the small back yard. In 1988 I obtained an improvement grant to convert the smallest of the three bedrooms into a bathroom.

How we bought our food

My grandfather (Grover Hook) was an antique restorer with a workshop in Frederick Place. We had our milk delivered by Barling Bros on the corner of St Peter's Street and Ann Street, but my mother also had one pint per day from Mr Keay in Belmont Street, to keep in with him. We had our greengrocery delivered from Ann Street, our groceries delivered from Eltonton's at the bottom of Trafalgar Street in York Place, and the London Road Co-op delivered our meat.

Some early memories

I was only allowed to play with the children I met at church and there were streets where my mother thought it best that I did not walk along. I can remember people arriving at St Bartholomew's in carriage and pairs but it also catered for the people of the area.

Compulsory purchase orders

The whole area was full of little houses - many in St Peter's Street had been renovated and improved. There was a general feeling of resistance when the compulsory purchase orders came through. The Environmental Health Officer sent letters saying that the houses were unfit to live in but by this time, the 1950s, many of the houses had been bought and done up. They came to look at our house but I think that the modern buildings on either side saved us. Belmont Street went first and the residents complained that they did not get proper compensation. Initially I had a feeling of loss when the area was being demolished but this was replaced by a feeling of light as they knocked down the buildings opposite....

[Extract from Back Street Brighton, QueenSpark Books, 2nd edition, 2007; also published in the North Laine Runner, No 192, May/June 2008]

This page was added on 18/06/2008.

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