The hub of communications

Photo:The former Surridge Dawson building in Gloucester Road, now Gloucester Mews

The former Surridge Dawson building in Gloucester Road, now Gloucester Mews

North Laine in the 1970s

By Dick Draper, former North Laine resident

In the 1970s, when the NLCA was first formed, North Laine was the hub of communications in Brighton and beyond.

Radio Brighton and the Post Office

At that time we had Radio Brighton in the south-east of our area – it used to be in the building on the corner of Church Street and Marlborough Place, which is now [2010] a language school. At the top of North Road was the main sorting office and telephone area offices of the Post Office for the Sussex coast. Some of these functions have now moved to Gatwick and elsewhere, but the sorting office is still located there.

Evening Argus building

Further down North Road, between Kensington Street and Robert Street, was the editorial and printing building of the Evening Argus and the Brighton & Hove Gazette. The building is now called Argus Lofts, paying tribute to its former usage.

Surridge Dawson

At the bottom of Gloucester Road were the wholesalers Surridge Dawson and W H Smith, who supplied the newsagents for miles around with their required publications. The building was later converted into flats and was renamed Gloucester Mews.

The library

The main public Library for Brighton was in Church Street.  The library is now housed in the new Jubilee Library in Jubilee Street.

An important area

So altogether the North Laine was once an important area for public information, communications and knowledge!

[This article draws on a piece previously published in the North Laine Runner, No 18, Feb/March 1979; it was republished in No 206, September/October 2010.]

This page was added on 08/11/2010.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.