Timber and joinery in North Laine

Photo:North Road Timber Co in North Road

North Road Timber Co in North Road

Photo by Jackie Fuller

The North Road Timber Company

In the 1830s the site of the North Road Timber Company in North Road was a grocers and tea dealers owned by John Lynn. North Road was then known as North Lane, part of the rapidly expanding North Laine area.

It became Walter & Lynn

In 1879 it became Walter & Lynn, wholesale grocer and provision merchants, who moved to Jubilee Street in 1921. In 1982, when the present building was being renovated, their names were still visible above the entrance.

Part of the timber and furniture trade

Since the Second World War the building has been part of the timber and furniture trade in Brighton. It has been both a furniture dealers and a DIY store.

Timber unloaded on the beach

Until the railway arrived in 1841 timber coming to Brighton was unloaded directly onto the beach. It was stored in large timber yards in the centre of the Old Town around Middle Street.

Then from Shoreham by rail

After the railway was built timber came from Shoreham Harbour and was cut into planks in yards such as John Eede Butt's in Trafalgar Lane. It was made into furniture in the area around North Road and was sold in the Old Town.

The longest speaking telephone link

In 1879 Brighton timber merchant John Eede Butt had the longest operational speaking telephone link in Europe, linking his Brighton and Littlehampton branches. It stretched a distance of 22 miles, rented from the Post Office at £6 a mile.

[The above was originally written for the 'My Brighton' multi-media exhibit which could be seen in Brighton Museum in the mid-1990s. It was reproduced with permission in the North Laine Runner, No 166, January/February 2004.]

This page was added on 01/12/2009.

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