12 January 2016

George Street, Hove

Judy Middleton 2013 revised 2016

copyright © J.Middleton
The east side of George Street was photographed on 18 March 2009.  The tree was removed in October 2012. 
Previous Land Use

The 1839 Tithe Map shows that the land on which George Street and Ventnor Villas were later built, was part of a garden area of thirteen acres belonging to James Hinxman. By 1851 James Bartlett, a 71-year old market gardener, worked the George Street area as Bartlett’s Gardens assisted by two labourers. He lived in a small farmhouse with his wife, daughter, grandson and two servants. The farmhouse was situated on what became the west side of the street on a site later occupied by the Royal George pub.

The Development of Cliftonville

After the construction of Brunswick Town, the second large development at Hove was Cliftonville. Lower Cliftonville consisted of Osborne Villas, Medina Villas, Albany Villas, Hove Place and St Catherine’s Terrace. Upper Cliftonville comprised Hova Villas, Ventnor Villas, Blatchington Road and George Street. Church Road separated the two areas but at that date was called Church Street, while Blatchington Road was known as North Place at first. Note the use of place names associated with the Isle of Wight. This was the height of fashion since Prince Albert and Queen Victoria had created their holiday refuge at Osborne House in the Isle of Wight. 

George Gallard, William Kirkpatrick, George Hall and Richard Webb Mighell owned much of the land in upper Cliftonville. In May 1852 they split up and Hall sold eighteen acres north of Church Road to the other three. Their holdings were augmented in June 1852 when Philip Salomons sold fourteen acres to Gallard and Kirkpatrick who developed the land into Upper Cliftonville.

George Street Emerges

copyright © J.Middleton
This interesting old postcard shows George Street in more tranquil times.  On the left the gables and tall chimneys
belong to the George Street Schools (later renamed St Andrew’s Church of England School) and then there is
 the Royal George pub with an advertisement for Ales and Stout painted on its south wall. Nearby there seems to 
be a line of washing strung across the street. Note too the horse drawn vehicle making its leisurely way up the
 middle of the road.
It seems probable that F.D. Banister designed George Street because he drew a plan of upper Cliftonville but it did not include any houses on the west side of George Street. Eventually, most of the west side of George Street was completed to match the east side of two-storey terraced housing.

Frederick Dale Banister (1823-1897) became the chief engineer of the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway. Together with J. Hawkshaw, he designed the London Bridge Station serving this line and in 1882-1883 Banister was responsible for extending the eleven platforms at Brighton Station and other improvements including the famous concourse clock. 

George Street had the smallest plots in the whole of the Cliftonville development, averaging twenty feet by sixty feet. But it was obviously meant for a different section of the population from the genteel occupants of other houses and villas in Cliftonville. In fact George Street was designed for artisan dwellings and indeed the east side of it was the first to be built in the upper Cliftonville development. George Street was nicknamed The Barracks and there was a wall closing off the north end that extended all the way to The Drove (as Sackville Road was called then).

In the 1854 Directory seventeen houses were listed and others were noted as in the process of being built. Robert Spears, beer retailer, was at number 75 and A.J. Jarman, blacksmith and wheelwright, was at number 76 and there were two bakers in the street. In 1871 Jarman submitted plans for the erection of stables and sheds and this was approved. The George Street Schools were established in 1858 (extended in the 1870s and 1894, and renamed St Andrew’s Church of England School in 1961). Hove Fire Station was established on the west side at number 85 in 1879.

The 1861 census reveals that there were many men connected with the brick-making or building industry living in George Street. For example, there were brick-makers at numbers 2, 8, 22, 25, 30, 39, 43, 67, 73, 80 and 85 and sometimes there were two or three of them living at the same address. There were brick-maker’s labourers living at numbers 3, 18, 21 and 44 and brick-layers living at numbers 15, 39, 50, 55 and 69. There were brick-layer’s labourers living at numbers at 3, 17, 24, 33, 34, 35, 37, 51, 55, 73, 82 and 85. 

The houses were very crowded considering they were only the classic two-up and two-down. Eleven people were listed at number 17 and no less than seventeen souls at number 18. Three policemen also lived in the street. At number 26 there were two constables, one with his family, plus a carpenter and plasterer as lodgers. The third policeman lived at number 55 along with a brick-layer and a brick-maker’s labourer. (For a full list of occupations of George Street residents in 1861, please see the list at the end of this article).

It is interesting to note that two Chelsea pensioners lived in George Street in 1861. This does not mean that they went about clad in a scarlet greatcoat with a black cocked hat. It simply meant they were Army veterans and at that date their pensions were still paid through the Chelsea Hospital.

In August 1871 the drain was blocked from the top to the bottom of George Street. The chief culprit was rubbish emanating from Mr Feist’s marble works at 86A Blatchington Road.

In October 1872 the Surveyor reported there were ninety-eight houses in George Street but only seven of them had water laid on to their lavatories. This was to be an on-going problem for the Sanitary Department who carried out regular inspections to ensure flushing was adequate. From 1881 to 1890 there were twenty-four separate complaints about no water being laid on to the privies.

By February 1878 George Street contained no less than 632 inhabitants. In 1880 there were around a dozen shops in George Street and in 1881 a petition bearing 56 signatures was sent to Hove Commissioners requesting the name be changed to Commercial Road or some other appropriate term. The request was turned down.

By 1897 the change from domestic dwellings to commercial use had accelerated and most of the street was devoted to small shops and businesses. But a few private dwellings remained; for instance in 1912 two cottages were converted into shops. The last cottage in George Street to be converted was number 19, which became De Marco’s Ice Cream Parlour.

The Trolley Bus Experiment

copyright © R. Jeeves  (of Step Back in Time)
It is amazing to think this photograph is over 100 years old because it is so clear. It dates from 1914 and the poles and wires for the trolley bus experiment are visible. Note Hove Fire Station on the left.
In November 1892 a petition signed by sixty-five inhabitants was despatched to the authorities to protest against the decision to re-route an omnibus from Ventnor Villas to George Street. They claimed the street was far too narrow for buses and that four times a day ‘600 children are scattered about the street, and the increased traffic increases the possibility of accidents.’ The petition was turned down but at length common sense prevailed and the bus route reverted to Ventnor Villas.

But this did not prevent the famous trolley-bus trials from being held in George Street in 1914 with the erection of the appropriate poles and wires. The chosen vehicle was a 32-seater double-decker trolley bus with a Dodson body painted blue and cream. The top deck was open to the elements and was reached by a curved staircase. ‘Hove Corporation’ was painted along the side of the body while the top deck carried the message ‘Cedes Gearless Trackless Trolley System’. The vehicle possessed twin Johnson & Phillips 20 horsepower engines. The driver wore a dark jacket and a straw boater.

The first bus ran on 16 September 1914 and operated from 10.30 a.m. to noon. The turning circle was outside Hove Station and the route went south down Goldstone Villas, across Blatchington Road and down George Street to Church Road where there was another turning circle at the junction with St Aubyns. According to the Sussex Daily News ‘as soon as the vehicle was observed careering down George Street considerable crowds of people assembled to watch the proceedings.’ Unfortunately, ordinary folk did not have the chance to take a ride on the new-fangled machine because although the trolley bus was in action again on 18 September, seats were reserved for Brighton councillors. 

The experiment was not judged to be a success, either because of the noise or because of the ominous German-sounding name of Cedes-Stoll, Hove councillors decided to have nothing further to do with trolley buses. When the vehicle stopped, there was a loud hissing noise, which was likely to alarm any horses in the vicinity. There were also some comments in the local Press about the iniquity of supporting a German company when there was a war on. Mr K. Bowen, Managing Director of Cedes Electric Traction Company, rushed to the defence, stating that every part of the vehicle was constructed in England and there were no foreign shareholders; the company’s solicitor also got in touch with the editor of the Brighton Herald. But it was all to no avail and the company was heavily hit by the cancellation of contracts by other towns too. The rejected Hove Cedes-Stoll double-decker trolley bus (the only one in the entire country) eventually found a home at Keighley where it was numbered nine in their fleet. 

It is interesting to note that in the 1960s when a new surface was being laid in George Street, workers removed a brass plate set in the pavement by the Thomas Tilling Company inscribed ‘Omnibuses stop here’. 

Memories and Later Times

copyright © J.Middleton
This Maypole threshold mosaic belongs to number 71 Lewes Road, Brighton and is still to be seen today. 
Perhaps the Maypole Dairy Company’s shop in George Street had one too
John Bryon, who was born at Hove in 1925, remembered the aroma of Wilsher’s, the grocer at the top of George Street; it was composed of dried fruit, tea, salty bacon and cheese. The customers purchased staples such as sugar and rice loose and the shopkeeper poured them into paper cones. Halfway down the street on the left side was Maypole’s Dairy at number 54 that sold dairy products and bacon and ham. You could watch the assistants making butter into pats with wooden implements.

There is a photograph taken during the Second World War that shows an utterly deserted George Street; the chief reason being that an air raid alert had just sounded. But there was also a bye-law prohibiting the parking of cars. Thus the notion that the battle between the powers-that-be and car drivers is a recent problem is not correct.
copyright © N.Shaw
A bleak image of George Street photographed in 1942 during an air raid alert. Note the sandbagged sentry post on the corner
Another continuing concern is the changing character of George Street but this is nothing new either. First there were modest cottages, then a variety of small shops but from the 1980s at least some big name chain stores moved in, followed shortly by a rash of charity shops. In November some small traders said they were being squeezed out by a combination of rising rents and the advent of some large stores. They stated that ten years previously the average annual rent was £1,750 but in 1980 it was £3,000 while by 1982 it had soared to £15,000. At the same time freeholds that would have cost £40,000 four years ago were fetching around £150,000 in 1982.

By 1993 there were eleven charity shops in Blatchington Road and George Street; and included in the latter were Oxfam, PDSA, Save the Children, Spastics and Imperial Cancer Research. Christopher Broadley stated charity shops received an 85% rebate on rates.

There was also the problem of empty shops; in 1993 there thirteen but the situation gradually improved until by 1997 there were only two or three.

Street Improvements

One of the first attempts to improve the street occurred in 1873 when a few yards were paved experimentally with blue bricks. It could not have been a success because no more was heard about it.

In May 1903 the Borough Surveyor stated George Street needed to be paved with wood blocks. At the time the road was macadamised with Guernsey granite and during the previous three years the average cost of maintenance was put at £48-7-8d. The expense of laying creosoted deal blocks was estimated at £2,070 and this included the cost of excavations and concrete foundation. The length of the road was stated to be 1,050 feet with the width between the kerbs measuring around twenty-five feet. The longitude gradient was 1 in 88. This outlay was agreed upon and by 1909 new slab paving had also been laid at a cost of around £200.

In 1960 a grand George Street Improvement Scheme was launched and 80% of traders were said to be in favour of it. Mr John Wells-Thorpe of Gotch & Partners, 26 Regency Square, acted as co-ordinating architect. Later in the same decade Mr Wells-Thorpe would design the new Hove Town Hall after a disastrous fire destroyed most of the old Waterhouse building in 1966.

George Street was given a tidier appearance with the removal of unnecessary street furniture such as old posts and the old lighting. New lighting was installed using mercury vapour discharge lamps. The Civic Trust organised the improvements and it was its first project on the south coast and only the third in the entire country.

On 16 July 1962 the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh officially inaugurated the new-look George Street. Six year-old Julie Reynolds presented the Queen with a pair of golden scissors on a velvet cushion. Julie was the daughter of Bill Reynolds, Secretary of the George Street Traders’ Association. The original plan was for Julie’s older sister Patricia to make the presentation but she was ill with measles. The day before the Queen’s visit, Julie got up early while her parents were still asleep and chopped off her long hair. Fortunately, her father was a barber; he gave her a neat haircut and nobody was any the wiser.

It is interesting to note that Mr Wells-Thorpe thought George Street ought to be limited to pedestrians even in those days and the Duke of Edinburgh agreed with him. The Duke of Edinburgh also wanted to know how many tons of paint had been used in the renovation (the answer was six).

Alan Gibson, of the well-known fishmonger’s Gibson & Coe, put a sturgeon in the window of his shop in George Street. As it was designated a royal fish and it was caught in British waters, he was obliged to offer the sturgeon to the Queen. She accepted the gift and Mr Gibson arranged for it to be despatched to Buckingham Palace by van.

A vast crowd followed the royal couple down George Street, held back by policemen resplendent in white gloves donned especially for the occasion. By the time the Queen reached the junction with Church Road, the crowd was so dense that the royal car was temporarily lost in its midst, which meant the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were a little late in arriving at their next destination, which was a mammoth youth rally at the Brighton & Hove Greyhound Stadium.

In the early 1970s a service road was provided behind the west side of George Street. Previously, the churchyard of St Andrew’s Old Church had reached as far as the walls but now much of the north part was re-claimed to provide a new school and playing field.

The next renovation took place in the autumn of 1986 in a scheme that cost £100,000. Haynes Construction, a firm from Tunbridge Wells, reconstructed the carriage way and pavement with block paving. The bricks were coloured biscuit-yellow for the pavements, reddish-pink for the roadway where parking was permitted and bluish-black for the central carriageway. It looked very attractive initially but over time the colours faded and older people grumbled they found it impossible to distinguish the edge of the kerb.

The improvements also sparked rumours that this was the thin edge of the wedge as regards pedestrianisation. In July 1999 it was stated if councillors do choose this option, then George Street would have a £325,000 facelift and work could start in February 2000 and finish by July of the same year. Contrary to the opinion of many people, the money was not going to come from council coffers but from the Government as part of an initiative to support pedestrian areas. The road surface and the pavement would have to be made at the same level and more seats would be installed and trees planted.

In fact the first phase at the south end did not start until January 2001, by which time the approximate cost had risen to £432,000. This was because engineers had carried out tests on the road surface and discovered some soft spots while the design proved to be more expensive than expected.

On 30 June 2001 ex-boxer Chris Eubank formally declared George Street open. It was a day of brilliant sunshine and crowds of people visited the street, which was festooned with bunting and there were balloons outside many of the shops. Early that morning, a man was observed blowing up numerous balloons underneath a huge net.

In August 2001 the cost had apparently risen to £450,000 and some reservations were expressed about the final result. There were grumbles about the street furniture, principally the bollards that were so slender that short-sighted people bumped into them and the council agreed to replace them with bulkier versions. Then there were the metal seats, which while pleasant to the eye, were narrow and uncomfortable. Apparently, the design was chosen especially to deter people from lying down on them at full length. There were also question as to the whereabouts of the promised trees but the council said it was the wrong time of year. By November 2001 no trees had been planted.

The Pedestrianisation Saga

In February 1983 a Feasibility Report suggested George Street should become a pedestrian precinct on Saturdays. No doubt the authors relied on a report from 1978 that stated 78% of shoppers in central Hove travelled on foot or by bus or bicycle. But a survey carried out in 1982 by the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce found only nine out of the eighty-six traders in George Street were in favour of restricting the street to pedestrians.

On 30 June 1983 Hove councillors voted by twenty-one to six in favour of closing the street to traffic on Saturdays from 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. for a trial six-month period. Meanwhile, angry traders staged a protest outside Hove Town Hall and Councillor Ian Moy-Loader accused the council of ‘indecent haste’.

However, because of the furore the experiment did not start until January 1984. In April of the same year a survey commissioned by the council claimed 84% of nearly 600 shoppers approved of the car ban. But the experiment proved to be a failure with some traders saying their business turnover had plummeted by 50%.

The idea was laid aside only to resurface in 1992 when the Liberal Democrats led by Councillor Bob Bailey took up the cause. But Hove councillors were not interested and again the project was shelved.

Then in March 1996 it was announced that Hove Council was to produce proposals for making George Street a pedestrian area after all although there were still differences of opinion. For example, Boots the Chemist carried out their own survey and claimed almost half of their customers arrived by car whereas a survey commissioned by the council stated that 14,436 people arrived on foot between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. suggesting that 90% were pedestrians. Alan Gibson, Chairman of the Hove Business Association and a trader in the street for thirty-five years, said 48% of his customers arrived by car.

The plans went on display at Hove Town Hall from 28 March 1996. This time the scheme was more ambitious and not confined to Saturdays. George Street was to be closed to vehicles between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. One has the impression that planners would have preferred a blanket ban but this was impossible because deliveries still had to be made.

In June 1996 some 2,000 people signed a petition in protest at the plans and the shopkeepers sent a letter and a petition to Prime Minister John Major at 10 Downing Street.

The final decision was supposed to be taken at a full council meeting on 1 August 1996. But on 19 September 1996 the Highway Management Sub-committee in Lewes threw a spanner in the works by imposing a condition that Hove Council must provide an access route to the car park in Malvern Street before any other work went ahead. Ivor Caplin, Leader of Hove Council, said ‘this is an outrageous and undemocratic ruling’. But George Street traders, who were staging a demonstration outside Pelham House in Lewes, were delighted. Nothing further was done because a re-organisation of local government in 1997 meant that East Sussex County Council no longer had a say in such affairs, which became the prerogative of the newly formed Brighton & Hove Council.

In November 1997 the Labour Party became active in the cause and organised a petition that was signed by 500 people calling for a ban on cars in George Street during certain hours. Consultants Oscar Faber and Llewelyn-Davies spent months assessing the views of the public and traders, and in December 1997 came to the conclusion that it would be a good idea to ban traffic either between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. or between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. but there should be parking spaces for disabled drivers at both ends of the street and deliveries would have to be made outside these hours.

In January 1998 there was a two-hour council debate and then the Highways Committee decided to opt for an eighteen-month experimental closure to cars from Monday to Saturday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The Conservatives voted against the move while traders demonstrated outside with placards and presented a petition against the scheme bearing 4,500 signatures.

The trial scheme began on 19 March 1998 and at 11 a.m. there was one car in George Street, two policemen, three tractors and two lorries as huge shrub containers were moved into position. Removable bollards closed off the north end and a one-man band was in evidence. Ivor Caplin M.P. said ‘This is historic for George Street and represents the start of a new era for the town centre.’ But there was a great reduction in the number of shoppers. By July 1998 council chiefs were claiming the scheme was a success while traders thought the whole thing was a disaster.

A Public Inquiry into the matter began on 11 May 1999 at Hove Town Hall and lasted four days. Shopkeepers claimed a downturn in trade, in some cases as much as 13%. But Ivor Caplin reminded them how it used to be with cars parked on either side and a line of static traffic cluttering the centre of the street while the whole area was choked with pollution and traffic fumes.

Government Inspector James Coyne produced his report in July 1999 with the conclusion that he thought the scheme ought to be made permanent. But he recommended a joint working group between the council and traders and he also thought action should be taken to stop skateboarders and cyclists from being a nuisance. The report ran to thirty-one pages with a parting shot from the Inspector that when cars were allowed into the street, the environment became ‘quite appalling’.

The subject was not dropped, however, and in April 2000 it was reported some traders had lodged a private complaint of mal-administration with the Local Government Ombudsman over the way the council had handled the issue. Unhappily for the traders, the Ombudsman did not find in their favour and Councillor Simon Battle said protesters had wasted thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money by forcing a re-investigation into matters that had already been properly dealt with.

Looking back from 2013, the row seems to be from a different age, so used have we become to the ‘new’ George Street. One major difference now is the proliferation of chairs and tables set up outside the premises of pubs, restaurants, coffee shops and bakeries, which could never have happened under the old order.

Recent miscellaneous news

On 23 August 1995 a car driven by a 77-year old woman, reversed into a stationary Peugeot, shot forward, smashed into five more cars and ended up in the window of card shop called Tru Love. The car crushed a baby buggy containing 22-month old Matthew but fortunately the baby was lifted clear with only cuts and bruises.
copyright © J.Middleton
The French Market was fortunate to have a bright, sunny day on 30 August 2003.
In the 1990s a series of French Markets were held on outside stalls in George Street. For instance, the Dieppe Market was held on 9 June 1996 and the street was closed to traffic. There was a French Market in the street on 19 September 1998 and it was reported that up to 20,000 people attended. But George Street traders grumbled it did not bring much trade their way with the exception of the cafés. The local traders were even angrier after the Dieppe Market held on 25 September 1999 because the street resembled a tip with discarded boxes, crates, cardboard, paper and rotting food. The traders also felt it was unfair competition when people from across the English Channel did not have to pay the rates and taxes they were subject to. There was another French market on 30 August 2003. But the idea of temporary market stalls seem to have caught on although nowadays it is more likely to be local farms and businesses selling their produce on a Saturday.
copyright © J.Middleton
Another view of the French Market in George Street taken on 30 August 2003.  The different coloured rose buds on sale were scented and made of wood.
George Street traders held their first ever pancake race on Shrove Tuesday, 16 February 1999. A team from Byden’s DIY won the race while the second place went to a team from the Council Environmental Services. Broadcaster Derek Jameson was involved in the pancake race held on Shrove Tuesday 7 March 2000. Mr Jameson started three heats and the final. W.H. Smith provided the winning team.

A Storm to Remember 28 July 2014

From around 6 a.m. a ferocious storm descended on the south coast. There was thunder, lightning, hailstones the size of small coins and the torrential downpour was the equivalent of three weeks’ worth of rain in one hour. Not surprisingly, the storm caused damage to some businesses and private properties. Although many people blamed the council for blocked drains, no drainage system could have coped with the sheer volume of water.

In George Street staff members at Boots (numbers 59/61) were to be seen in the morning sweeping the water out of the store and into the street with large floor mops. The store was closed until the damage was cleared up.

On the opposite side of the road at number 42, the Chestnut Tree Shop was badly affected. It is a charity shop that raises funds for a children’s hospice located near Arundel. When the shop manager Jade Hoskins arrived for work, she could not believe how much damage had been done. The rain had cascaded through a flat roof at the back and ruined much of their donated stock. By 2nd August there was still a notice on the door stating that the shop was closed until further notice. In fact the shop did not re-open until the second
week of September 2014.

Mural

The creation of a giant mural in the alleyway next to the Cliftonville Inn began at the end of September 2014 and was completed by the end of October. It was a fascinating project for passers-by because it grew piece by piece. Unfortunately, work started just as a dry spell came to an end and of course paint could not be applied when it rained.

The people behind the mural were arts company Brighton Think Big. Graffiti artist Req and his team were photographed in front of their finished artwork and it was printed in the Argus (1 November 2014). The Argus stated they had completed ‘a month of hard spraying and rolling’.

Passers-by were alerted to something happening when a giant wall was sprayed with white paint and a small notice attached to the Bon Marché frontage informed the public of the project. The first finished object was the pink car at the east end; then there was bunting and a few iconic beach huts; the famous portrayal of Pinkie by Richard Attenborough, followed later by the words Brighton Rock. Old postcards had been used for inspiration and the white van travelling north up George Street can be seen in this blog. The bathing belle holding aloft a lifebelt was a popular postcard of its time and no doubt considered risqué. The image of a woman and child standing in a doorway refers to the time when George Street was mostly residential and this was the last domestic dwelling in the street. 
copyright © J.Middleton
Then there was a nod to the Tithe Map and a sailing vessel, which could be the Royal Escape, and a lovely depiction of a black Labrador enjoying Hove Lawns. The image of three swimsuit beauties, with extremely long legs, comes from the Fifties. The last piece to be finished was a salute to a saucy postcard at the west end of the mural.
copyright © J.Middleton
copyright © J.Middleton

George Street Shop Notes

East Side (south to north)

Number 1. In October 1871 the surveyor reported a carpenter’s shop had been erected in the yard without the permission of the Hove Commissioners. By 1960 the well-known department store Stuart Norris were listed at 1 / 2 George Street. But today Barclays Bank occupies the same site, which is numbered in Church Road.

Number 3. In October 1871 the surveyor reported a building in the yard of this house was being used to dry fish without the permission of the Hove Commissioners. In 1960 Radio Rentals ran their business here.

Numbers 4 & 5. In 1960 there was an Art Needlework Depot called Rita at number 4 while L. Cohen, confectioner, was at number 5.
In January 1998 Wine Cellar opened here, three weeks later than expected. Brighton & Hove magistrates had requested four names on the licence whereas the company had only expected to have to supply one or two. It was only the second Wine Cellar premises to be opened in Sussex and hundreds of different wines were on offer. The opening of the Wine Cellar seems to have been the last straw for the Victoria Wine Shop, located a few doors further up George Street. It closed in February 1999; in fact it was one of four Victoria Wine Shops that closed in Sussex. First Quench was the owner, the company being formed after a merger between Victoria Wine and Thresher.
By September 1999 there were plans to turn the whole building into a major new wine bar called Parisa although some traders objected. The Parisa went ahead anyhow but it was of short duration because in November 2001 the SFI Group bought out the Parisa chain, which owned twenty-eight bars, and on 31 January 2002 the George Street premises re-opened as the Slug and Lettuce.

Number 8. In February 1892 Mr W.T. Nye (of numbers 8 and 9 George Street) applied for a renewal of a petroleum licence to keep eighty gallons of petroleum in a field west of Sackville Road. The shed and iron drum in which the petrol was stored was stated to be in good repair and permission was granted.
In 1935 a music shop opened at number 8 that was later known as Wickham, Kimber and Oakley. Richard Wickham and Ernest Kimber worked for several years at Godfrey’s in Western Road, Hove before making the decision to branch out on their own. In the 1940s they opened their second shop in George Street at numbers 95 and 95A, at the same time taking Harold Oakley into partnership. In 1966 at number 8 Mr Wickham had a total record stock of 30,000 items and the BBC used to buy some items for their sound archive. This shop closed on 31 March 1974.

Number 9. In 1960 George Pharmacy was located here while in 1974 University Plastics occupied the premises and it was a DIY store.
In July 1992 Martin and Bernice Gross opened a coffee shop and bistro called Rainbow’s. It was arranged over two floors and so there was enough seating for eighty-two people.
But the enterprise did not last long and in September 1993 Oliver’s Bar and Brasserie opened there. The menu included Uriah Heap’s ‘umble steak and kidney pie, and Little Nell’s lamb hotpot. In January 1995 vandals broke in, splashed sauce and custard about, put bleach in the fat fryer and wrote in cream ‘Alarm this place’. Owner Christine Borthwick lamented that the premises were wrecked.
By 1996 Le Lion d’Or was established here. The Golden Lion Group owned it and they were a Brighton-based company that also ran Hove Place Hotel in First Avenue. The décor was described as 1920s style with black tables and chairs; in 1996 it won an award as Hove’s best shop-front and particularly memorable were beautifully curved large brass push-bars on the doors. By January 2013 the Lion d’Or had been up for sale for a year and concerns were felt when it was known bookmakers Paddy Power wanted to open a business there. Did George Street really need four betting shops? Already in place were William Hill and Ladbroke’s while Coral aimed to move in shortly.

Number 10. In 1960 Leonard Thompson, optician, was the occupant of this shop. By 1999 S.C. Babyaid operated their charity shop here. Later on Alan Moon opened Cocoon Knits. He re-activated the George Street Trader’s Association. There were many colourful advertisements for his shop, including knitted orange fruit that was hung from the branches of the tree outside, and a group of knitters covered an entire double-decker bus with knitted squares of different colours, destined eventually to become blankets for charitable purposes. The shop offered beginner’s classes in knitting and crochet. But unfortunately Mr Moon was unable to make a viable living out of his enterprise and closed in 2013. By the autumn of the same year Jabba Yard, selling women’s clothes, was operating in the shop.
copyright © J.Middleton
In 1960 Lester’s toy shop occupied numbers 13/14 but in 2012 Costa coffee shop set up business.
Numbers 13 & 14. Lester’s had had a shop on this site since 1948. In 1960 it specialised in toys.  In 2001 Gary Lester said his father started the business selling carpets, lino and prams but now he sold furniture and sofa beds and three generations of the family were involved in the business. Unlike other George Street traders, Gary Lester was in favour of making it a pedestrian area. The Lesters also had business connections with Boundary Road, Hove, where they used to sell baby equipment at number 43 and toys at number 44. But by 2001 they sold furniture at numbers 56 and 57. By 2012 Costa coffee shop occupied the premises.

Number 16. The World’s Stores were located here from before the First World War. On 13 June 1934 a fire started in a shed at the back of the premises and at one stage flames were shooting up to a height of fifteen feet. Hove Fire Brigade was soon on the scene but it was two hours before the fire was extinguished. It was thought around £500 worth of groceries and provisions had been destroyed. The World’s Stores was still in business here in 1960.

Number 19. This was the last cottage in George Street to be converted into a shop and it became De Marco’s Ice Cream Parlour. It was still in business in 1960.
By 2000 the Portman Building Society occupied the shop; it was stated the rent came to £41,000 a year and was subject to review every five years. By this time the premises were numbered as 18/19 George Street and today it is still occupied by the building society although the name has changed to Nationwide.

Number 23. In 1914 Alfred Gregory ran his cycle repair business from this shop and he shared the premises with Madame M. Delest who took in laundry. In 1960 there was still a connection with laundry since the shop acted as a receiving office for Channel Laundry Services Ltd.
In 1964 Rene Danin and her husband moved to Hove from London, having sold their florist’s business, and instead opened Rene Florists in this shop.

Number 31. In 1914 Charles Edward Tulley ran a china warehouse in the premises. In 1960 Heath & Heather, herbalist, ran their business here and by 1974 it was occupied by Realfoods, herbalists.
In January 1996 the 15-year lease became available, the annual rent being £12,500. By January 1999 the Hove Accessory Centre was in residence and amongst the goods for sale displayed outside the shop was a life-size resin statue of the late Princess of Wales wearing a long, figure-hugging pink dress. The statue was created in Poland and had a price tag of £200. It raised a few eyebrows

Number 32. In 1914 Frederick Clegg, china dealer, occupied the premises. In 1960 Dunn’s Footwear were in business here.
By 1974 there was a furniture store called Furnimart. In around 1984 Julian Pelling purchased Fine Records and Ian Wallace joined the firm in 1986. In 1994 it was stated that the two men ran the business together with Ian’s girlfriend Silvanna Galen. One part of their trade was devoted to vinyl records as there was an international market for them. It is interesting to record that in 2013 vinyl is making something of a comeback after so many years in the recording wilderness and Fine Records is still in business.
copyright © J.Middleton
This excellent photograph of Albion spectators in 1922 is an example of Wiles’s photographic work carried out in his George Street premises. Note the solitary female wearing a hat adorned with white feathers. 
Number 33. Thomas Walter Wiles established a stationer’s and a toyshop in these premises in 1905 and remained for twenty-two years. For local historians Wiles’s claim to fame was as a prolific photographer of local events who developed his films in a dark room at the back of the premises and then produced postcards for sale. There was also a studio at the back and the business was very much a family enterprise because his brother George and his daughter Mary assisted him.
copyright © J.Middleton
Here is another example of Wiles’s photographic activities taken on 17 June 1911 with children on their best behaviour wearing their best clothes for their treat. The postcards would be on sale in his shop and must have provided a lucrative trade.
In 1950 Betsy and Sidney Harris started Harris’s Leathergoods on the premises. Eventually they handed over their business to their daughter Diana and son-in-law Lewis Mann. Betsy Harris died in February 1991 but the shop continued until 2000 when it became Lindy Lou and sold luggage and bags; it was still there in 2005. Today the resident business is Bert’s Home Store.
copyright © J.Middleton
In 1999 Harris’s Leather Goods occupied number 33 but today there is Bert’s Home Store. 
The photograph was taken on 19 November 2013. 
Number 35. In 1914 W. Bravery & Son ran a watchmaker’s business here. In 1960 the business was listed as Importers Retail Salesrooms Ltd. Tea Merchants while Miss Bravery lived in the upstairs flat. From 1967 to 1998 Raymond and Molly Buckland ran Coffee Importers from the shop. The most evocative scent in George Street was the smell of freshly ground coffee beans wafting out through the air extractor set in the window. In June 1998 it was stated Langdon Foods had sold the business to Puccino’s although the Bucklands continued to live in their upstairs flat. In June 1999 the Bucklands complained they were virtual prisoners in their own home because of pedestrianisation. The shop was renamed L’Espirito del Caffe and was still in business in 1999 but by 2013 it had become the Revival Coffee Company.
 copyright © J.Middleton
This advertisement for Messrs Lewonski & Sons dates from 1897.
Number 37. In the 1890s this was the chief office of Lewonski & Sons, proprietors of funeral horses, open cars, glass cars or closed hearses. At that time Samuel Thomas Lewonski, who was thought to have Polish origins, was described as having a mane of black hair and a fierce handlebar moustache. By 1910 Lewonski had branched out into other spheres of business, being listed in the Directory as an auctioneer, valuer and manufacturing upholsterer and there was a goods warehouse too. The auction rooms were at 37 and 37A George Street while his residence and office was at 201 Church Road. He suffered a reverse on 18 April 1908 when a fire broke out in his furniture repository at 4 Shirley Street, Hove. The fire caused consternation when it was realised several men employed by Lewonski were still inside the building and there were three horses stabled too. But men and horses were all safely rescued. The alarm was raised by men of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve who were on their way to a smoking concert at Hove Town Hall. The men also proved to be a great help in keeping the excited crowd in order because there were so many spectators they were hampering the firemen’s efforts. In fact the four streams of water issuing from the hoses belonging to Hove Fire Brigade seemed to be having little effect and the Brighton Fire Brigade was sent for. Soon Superintendent Lacroix and a strong contingent ‘came tearing up on the motor fire engine, followed by the Duke Street section with their hose cart.’
Samuel Thomas Lewonski also found time to be a Hove councillor. He was much against the acquisition by the council of St Ann’s Well Gardens, famously declaring the gardens to be no more than a boghole and a quagmire. In 1928 he became the proprietor of the Hove Electric Empire cinema in George Street (see number 77).
copyright © J.Middleton
A fire destroyed Messrs Lewonski’s furniture warehouse at 4 Shirley Street on 18 April 1908. This view shows the aftermath and no doubt copies of the postcards were published by some of the many witnesses.
Lewonski married Mary Ellen Holdstock, a cousin of James Coe who ran the fishmonger's at 40/41 George Street. The couple had three sons and a daughter and later lived at 38 Goldstone Villas. Mrs Lewonski died on 28 May 1926 and her widower died in his nineties on 21 December 1942. They were both buried on the south side of Hove Cemetery where their grave is marked by a pillar with an urn on top.

In 1960 the shop was a hosier business called Rosslyn and by 1999 the premises were occupied by Stead & Simpson, selling shoes.
copyright © G. Bernard
This evocative photograph is of one of Samuel Lewonski's sons.
He is Ernest Lewonski (1890-1936) and his wife Ellen.

copyright © J.Middleton
In 1960 there was a sweet shop at number 38 while today Glow is in business. In 1960 number 39 was Dee’s the grocer and later on became the Card Centre; today it is Baby Star. The photograph was taken on 19 November 2013.
Number 40 & 41. Jimmy and Bert Coe came to Hove from London in 1898 and opened a fish shop in George Street, followed by a butcher’s shop in 1909. In 1898 May Bailey worked for James Coe as a housekeeper although she was engaged to Albert Coe. The couple had known each other for fifteen months but then Albert told her he thought it would be better if they parted. May left him a note and in October 1898 threw herself under the London Express train. Her body was found midway between Patcham Tunnel and Preston Station.
In 1913 Hove Council told Coe’s to stop curing or drying fish on the premises. In 1914 Coe’s supplied fish to Hove Sanatorium (Foredown Hospital, Portslade); in May of that year the bill came to £2-11-11d while in June it was £2-10-3d.
On 20 March 1914 Coe’s four-wheeled van and horse were outside the shop when the horse was startled by a passing motor-car and bolted. The horse ran out of George Street at full gallop and into Goldstone Villas where gallant Police Constable Bertie Pronger attempted to stop the horse and was dragged forty yards for his pains. But he did stop the horse and the grateful Hove councillors awarded him a gratuity of ten shillings and sixpence for his bravery.
Fishmonger Coe liked to cater for different tastes and apparently outside at the back of the premises there was a barrel full of live eels for those who relished such a delicacy. 
During the 1920s and 1930s Coe’s used to rear their own chickens and turkeys in flint-walled yards that backed onto the Easthill Windmill buildings in Portslade. In 1925 the brothers held a game licence and their full names were recorded, Albert Thomas Henry Coe and James Charles Henry Coe. James Coe’s cousin Mary Elland married Samuel Thomas Lewonski, a prominent Hove businessman with premises at 37 George Street who also ran the Electric Empire Cinema at 77 George Street. Mary died on 28 May 1926 and James Coe attended her funeral at Cliftonville Church. 
James Coe died aged 74 on 29 June 1945 and was noted as being one of Hove’s foremost fishmongers. He was also Treasurer of the Hove branch of the Conservative Party and members of the Conservative Club acted as pallbearers at his funeral, which was held in St Andrew’s Old Church and attended by his two sons, three daughters and their families.
Coe’s wife Ellen Margaret died on 4 September 1946 aged 69 and their son Albert John (Jack) Coe ran the business. Jack Coe’s brother Jimmy Coe married Doris Attwater, daughter of Mrs D.E.J. Attwater, licensee of the Royal George at 93 George Street, and both Doris and Jimmy assisted in running the pub.
Jack Coe was a member of Hove Council and in the 1970s was still running the shop together with his daughter and son-in-law Alan Gibson. By this time the fishmonger’s and butcher’s shared the same premises with fish sold on the north side and meat at the south side. At the back in the middle Queenie (or Peggy) occupied the cash desk and all transactions were paid for there. Things could go a little haywire should you decide to pay for your fish and meat together, instead of separately, as then the lady would become concerned that an item had not been paid for. Six men were employed full-time, and two men part-time on the fish side while another six men worked full-time on the meat counter. In 1983 Gibson & Coe moved to 49 George Street. Jack Coe died on 10 June 1989 and his wife Marguerite Florence (Margie) died on 2 January 1993 aged 78. They were buried on the north side of Hove Cemetery. By the 1990s Superdrug had moved in to numbers 40/41.

Number 44. In 1914 the builder’s H.J. Attwater occupied the premises. By the 1930s Easiephit Footwear was in business there. In the early hours of 17 February 1932 fire broke out and Hove Fire Brigade was summoned. By the time Chief Officer Dumbrell and his men arrived, the stairs were a mass of flames and Mr and Mrs Harris were trapped upstairs. A ladder was quickly placed to the upper window and the manager and his wife, two dogs, four puppies and a cat were rescued. In 1960 Easiephit  Footwear Ltd. Boot-makers were still in residence and Greenlees & Son ran the business, which, amazingly enough, was still there in the 1970s. By 1999 Philip James, jewellers, were in residence and by 2013 it was the Diamond Nails Studio.

Number 49. In 1914 Thomas Goodwin, boot maker, ran a business here. In 1960 the shop was a butcher’s known as Allens (Hove) Ltd and in 1974 it was still a butcher’s shop now run by the Leeson Brothers. Then in 1983 another butcher took over when Gibson & Coe moved in. In 1992 sausages made on the premises with a meat content of 74% came third out of 138 entries in a national competition. Alan Gibson was elected Chairman of Hove Business Association in 1995. In 1997 Gibson & Coe won a gold award for its pork and sage sausages at the 28thButchers’ Fair at Utrecht in Holland, the largest fair of its type in the world. In January 1999 it was stated the shop sold haggis all the year round but not many. However, in the run-up to Burns Night in 1999 they sold 600lbs. In December 1999 Alan Gibson received a silver cup after being named Hove Business Personality of the Year. Gibson also received an invitation to meet the Queen, as a representative of the Hove Business Association, at a reception held at the Corn Exchange on 20 March 2001. By 2013 02 Phones occupied the premises.
copyright © N.Shaw
Cornford’s produced a beautiful looking bill but what is amazing
to us is that in 1900 you could have such an elaborate funeral for under £10.
Number 50. In 1894 William Cornford established his undertaking business here and it remained right up until the 1980s when it moved round the corner to 100 Blatchington Road; there was another branch at 8-9 Queen’s Parade, Hangleton. By the 1990s Floriana’s, a popular café, was in business here and the frontage had been altered to include an old-style window. In March 2001 Maurice Lambert took over. He decided to retire at Christmas time but soon became bored and opened a restaurant called the Bay Tree. In May 2001 a thank-you lunch was provided outside the restaurant for workmen from contractors Colas who had been busy carrying out street improvements. Traders clubbed together to pay for the meal, which included quiche, sausage rolls, fruit salad, tea and coffee. By 2013 Café Quench was at number 50.

Number 55. In 1914 Arthur Pinker ran a fruiterer’s business in this shop and the one next door at number 56. By the 1920s Boots the chemist was at number 55 and in 1924 Hove Council approved alterations to the shop. Now that Coe’s has gone and Cornford’s has moved, Boots easily holds the title of the business with the longest association with George Street. Boots stayed at number 55 (on the east side) until the 1970s and then moved across to the west side where it was numbered 59-61. In the late 1990s Boots acquired the next shop on the north side, formerly occupied by Wizard. On 13 November 1999 Jenny Langston, Mayor of Brighton & Hove, officially opened the newly extended Boots. Meanwhile, at number 55 on the east side, the shop was empty in 1999 but by 2013 was home to Mind, a charity shop.   

West Side (north to south)

copyright © J.Middleton
Dean and Perry Jenkins’s open-air fruit and vegetables stall at the top of George Street provides a welcome splash of colour.  
The photograph was taken on 29 October 2013
Number 57A. In July 1879 it was stated proceedings were to be taken against Henry Newton trading from this shop for selling mutton and pork unfit for human consumption. In 1960 Mrs Fryer ran a tobacconist’s shop here.
On 27 March 1999 Ivor Caplin, M.P. for Hove & Portslade, opened Sensational Sausages. Jeff Galvin and Mark and Meryl Grover were behind the enterprise and they sold around thirty-five varieties of sausage. By 2004 they sold olives and dry foods as well as a selection of South African goods. In November 2004 the business was up for sale and there was one year left on the lease. The entire premises were held on a full repairing and insuring lease at a cost of £13,000 a year. By April 2005 David Barr was running Sensational Food at the shop. He said that pedestrianisation had led to a dip in business but his niche market meant his customers returned eventually.
copyright © J.Middleton
Rainbow Flowers is the new kid on the block and was photographed on 29 October 2013. The business closed on 28 March 2014.
Later on Dean and Perry Jenkins expanded from their greengrocer’s shop on the corner of George Street and Blatchington Road and then the latter site was sold. Dean and Perry Jenkins then decided to operate as an open-air stall and the shop became a café briefly before Rainbow Flowers opened here in 2013.
copyright © H.J.G. Flowers
This photograph of George Street dates from around 1910. In the backgroundcan be seen Freeman, Hardy & Willis and young Harry Flowers stands by the window wearing his smart suit adorned with watch chain  He worked in the shop and his father George Flowers ran the shop next door. 
Number 63. Freeman, Hardy & Willis, boot makers and shoe shop, occupied this shop and were another long-standing presence in George Street. They were there before the First World War and were still in business in the 1970s when they acquired number 62 as well. They remained until around 1990. By 1999 numbers 62/63 were occupied by Shoe Fayre and another shoe business followed. Then in October 2013 the British Heart Foundation’s new charity shop opened here.
copyright © H.J.G. Flowers
George Flowers, saddler and harness maker, stands proudly outside his shop in around 1894. He was named George after his father who served in the 17th Lancers and was killed before he was born in the Charge of the Light Brigade.
Number 64. In the 1890s George Flowers, saddler and harness maker ran his business from this shop. His father, also George Flowers, served in the Army and was in the front line of the 17th Lancers at the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balalclava on 25 October 1854 where he was killed in action. His wife was with him in the Crimea and after his death she returned to England where her son was born. Young George Flowers was educated at the Star & Garter Home, Richmond. In 1960 Raymond Sherman lived in the upstairs flat while Tredgetts, Florists, occupied the shop. The premises were empty in 1999 and by 2013 Celly’s Hairstyle (everything £9) was in residence.
copyright © J.Middleton
Cooper’s window dressed for Christmas 2013. 
Number 65. In the 1960s Lynwool occupied the premises. It was run by two spinsters and sold supplies for knitting and needlework. By the 1990s Cooper’s the jewellers were trading from this shop. In March 1999 the owner Keith Cooper complained too many traders were talking down George Street but he felt enough confidence about the future to invest some £15,000 on improvements to his shop. Fourteen years later, the shop is still in business. In November 2013 Mr Cooper said he had been running the shop for around thirty years.

On 23 March 2015 two men snatched a gold chain worth £500 from Cooper’s and raced off as fast as they could but it was not their lucky day. Simon Cooper was working upstairs in his office while his two daughters Sophie and Lucy were in the shop. When he heard the alarm he rushed downstairs and ran after the men. Meanwhile, bystander Robert Nemeth saw two men running up George Street and thought they were rushing to catch a bus but when he saw Mr Cooper in pursuit, he realised what was happening and joined in too. They all ran up Goldstone Villas and through Hove for almost half an hour until Mr Cooper and Mr Nemeth lost sight of the men at Sussex County Cricket Ground. But a police van was soon at hand and the breathless duo soon spotted their quarries in Holland Road; two men were arrested on suspicion of theft. Later on, Mr Copper said he did not know how he managed to keep on running because after all, he was in his fifties. (Argus 24 March 2015)

Number 66. In March 1893 Mr Smith was fined £1 with costs of £1-17-6d for selling milk adulterated with water, not less than 20%. In January 1998 pensioner Charlie Payton said he was born in this house in 1914. His father, Sidney Paynton, was a furniture dealer and the family lived above the shop. In 1960 there was a tailor’s business here registered as Albert Morley Ltd. By 1999 Bernard the Baker’s were in the shop and by 2013 Timpson’s were in residence. They are shoe menders, key cutters etc.

Number 67. In June 1879 proceedings were taken against George Gravett for selling crabs in his shop unfit for human consumption. He was fined 40/- and costs but he was given the alternative of a month’s imprisonment. In 1960 V. & H. Cooke ran their tobacconist’s business here. By 1999 Clark’s shoes were in residence. The shop was specifically for adults while their other shop on the opposite side of the road catered for children.
copyright © J.Middleton
The Samaritans shop always manages to have an eye-catching window display.
Number 70. In 1861 a gas labourer, an agricultural labourer and a washerwomen occupied the premises. In 1960 by Brighton & Hove Goldsmith’s Company ran a jeweller’s shop here. By 1999 the Samaritans charity shop had arrived.

Number 71. In 1960 a carpet dealer operated from this shop. By the 1990s Potter’s Men’s Wear was in residence. In March 1999 the management were so incensed at the size of their rates bill that they put it on display in their window to draw attention to the expenses they incurred. The bill came to £8, 924-25. The shop closed down at Easter in the same year. Tony Davis, director, laid the blame on the car ban and a 12% drop in trade. By 2013 Carphone Warehouse was in residence.

 copyright © J.Middleton
Next door to the Samaritans shop is new arrival Chubby Chops.
It was a French bulldog called Bobbie that inspired the opening of dog-friendly café Chubby Chops. Bonnie belongs to joint owners from Hove Joel Ariaman, aged 29 and 25-year old Alex Ziembinska. When Bonnie was a puppy they found it really difficult to find a café or restaurant prepared to allow Bonnie to enter; hence their light-bulb moment.
They did their research by opening their business in a pop-up shop in Brighton Square in June 2014. When this proved to be well received by the public, they decided to open Chubby Chops in George Street, moving there in December 2014.
There are two menus – one for people, the other for doggy customers; both using local produce and homemade to boot. Noel and Alex are ambitious too; in fact Joel said they would love to be a doggy Starbucks with premises elsewhere and perhaps franchising their concept. (Argus 6/3/15)
Unfortunately, the enterprise proved short-lived and by the end of November 2015 it had closed. The idea just did not take off in George Street.
 copyright © J.Middleton
No female can resist looking at the beautiful bridal dresses as she passes by.
Number 73. In 1861 the premises were occupied by two brick-makers plus a brick-layer’s labourer. By the 1990s Granada TVs were in business there. On 14 July Louise Taylor opened her bridal boutique called Once Upon a Time. For the previous seven years she had been a cheerleader for Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club.

 copyright © J.Middleton
The outside seating area is well patronised when the weather is good.
Number 75. In 1960 Home Decorators occupied the premises. In 1975 Dixon’s ran their electrical goods business here. This photograph of the current occupant Caffé Nero was taken on 15 April 2015.
copyright © J.Middleton
Back in the 1850s a blacksmith and wheelwright occupied number 76; today, in modern premises Vodafone is in business. The photograph was taken on 29 October 2013. Note the flourishing young tree, which sadly had vanishedby late December 2013, probably blown over by the gales. George Street had been in existence for at least 150 years before trees were planted.
Number 76. Aaron John Jarman was one of the first occupants of George Street, carrying on the trade of blacksmith and wheelwright from at least 1854. By 1861 he had taken over next-door’s shop at number 77 as well and in August 1871 plans were approved for him to build stables and sheds. Later on a cinema occupied this site and when this was demolished, two new shops were built. It is interesting to note that in 1960 number 76 was occupied by a modest-sized Tesco’s. The premises later became a British Gas showroom; it closed down on 30 November 1995 due to supposed lack of sales. By 1999 a business called Carter’s operated here selling electric and gas appliances. By 2012 Vodafone was in residence. 

Hove Electric Empire advert from 1916
Number 77. Hove Electric Empire. 
 In December 1910 Hove Council approved plans for an ‘Electric Theatre’ submitted by J.H. Hickton and H.E. Farmer. Building work went on apace and on 11 April 1911 the Picture Palace opened its doors. The Directory for that year gave the street numbers as 76, 77 and 77A but by 1914 it had settled down to just number 77. The cinema had exotic features such as domed towers and the façade was embellished with decorative plaster-work, particularly over the entrance. The base of the building was protected by an area of dark brickwork extending upwards to a height of sixteen bricks. Inside the building there was an orchestra pit and a 16-foot high dome. Classical figures adorned the proscenium arch. In 1920 Denman & Matthews submitted plans for a gallery and Hove Council gave qualified approval. But first they wanted to see details of the steel work and ‘a guarantee satisfactory to the Council’ in respect of the reinforced concrete. Then the Watch Committee needed to be happy about the seating accommodation.
In 1911 Arthur Cooper Feast received a renewal of the cinema licence. The licence seemed to travel from man to man with astonishing speed. For instance by 1914 F.G. Smith held the licence while the following year it was issued to E. Webb. Walter Easter and Robert William Herriott held the licence from 1919 and then in 1921 it was transferred to Charles Dunesby. In 1928 Samuel Thomas Lewonski took over. He was a colourful character and a man of many parts. (See also under number 37).  Children going to the cinema often saw Lewonski there. He was of small stature and always dressed in black as befitted an undertaker. The children called him Old Wonky.
The high turnover in management may have had something to do with the refusal of Hove Council to allow cinemas to open on Sundays. Right back in 1911 Mr Feast had applied for a seven-day licence but was refused. In 1924 Mr Dunesby tried again as he wanted to open from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. He wrote ‘There is a very great demand by my patrons as there is no cinema open in Hove at the present time (on Sundays) … and the consequence is that they have to go into Brighton, where all the cinemas are open, and they find great difficulty in getting back in wet weather when the omnibuses are full.’ A petition in favour of Sunday opening with 560 signatures accompanied the letter. Unfortunately, council officials found that 140 names did not appear in the Register of Electors. The request was turned down. In 1927 Mr Dunesby tried again together with Mr Goldberg from the Tivoli Cinema but this time some of the religious authorities came out strongly against Sunday opening and the licence was not granted. It fell to Mr Lewonski to be the lucky man to whom the seven-day licence was at last issued in 1928. But this was only after a Hove referendum showed a majority wanted to have Sunday opening.
In the 1930s a notice appeared near the pay-box stating This cinema is clean. It is not a flea-pit. But it was still a small cinema only able to seat 350 patrons and although a sound system was installed in 1932, it simply could not compete when new cinemas opened in the vicinity; the Lido in Denmark Villas opened in 1932 and the Granada in Portland Road opened in 1933. The Hove Electric Empire closed in 1934 and the last film screened was Jack’s the Boy starring Jack Hulbert.
The premises were demolished and re-built as two shops. By 1960 number 77 was occupied by Dresswell Gowns, ladies fashion shop, run by Mrs L.M. Jacobs and David J. Jacobs was also listed as living at this address. Later on Kenneth Armstrong was in charge and in January 1990 he retired handing over the business to his daughters Maureen and Heather. He died in October 1990 leaving a widow Brenda. In  1995 the daughters closed the George Street shop and relocated the business to 115 Church Road, Hove and thereafter to 56 Church Road, Hove, once the home of Combridges. Meanwhile number 77 was occupied by County Bookshop in 1999 and by 2013 was home to EE Orange Mobile.

Number 78. In November 1888 it was reported that there had been complaints about the rag-and-bone shop here and the Sanitary Inspector was given instructions to make sure matters improved. In 1914 T.W. Barnes & Co ran a general merchant’s business in the shop. By 1960 A.E. Kent & Co, biscuit distributors, ran their business here.
In July 1967 Pat Phoenix, star of Coronation Street, came to open the new Ann Logan baby shop. She arrived in a chauffeur-driven white Mercedes, flanked by policemen and the street was brought to a standstill. The baby shop was still trading in 1974. By 1999 Dorothy Perkins occupied numbers 78/79 and are still there.
copyright © J.Middleton
This exotically dressed customer was photographed entering Willow at 80 George Street on 24 June 2010. 
Number 80. In the 1860s William Lidbetter, a gardener, lived in the house and he also took in lodgers. In March 1860 William Charles Atkins, his wife and child, had been lodging with Lidbetter for some eight weeks and owed him £9-14s plus some money he had borrowed. Atkins was prosecuted. The shop was not listed in 1960 and presumably was empty and it was also empty in 1999. In 2013 women’s clothes shop Willow was in business.

Number 81. In 1914 John Moore ran a hairdresser’s business here and interestingly enough it was still a hairdresser’s in 1960 when Frederick A. Reynolds was the man in charge. By 1974 the shop had become a restaurant called the Eating House and by 1985 it was called Figs. In September 1985 Paul Grunder and Graham Rowell opened their restaurant called Blossoms; they had previously run the Tureen in Upper North Street, Brighton. In 1999 Blossoms won an award as the best café and takeaway. By 2001 the restaurant had been renamed The Terrace and by 2013 had become Cala’s Restaurant.

Number 83. In 1914 Richard Watking & Son, domestic engineers, occupied the premises. By 1960 Currys Ltd, cycle agents, were in business here. By 1974 electrical firm Curry were in residence. Currys closed down in 1998 and the shop was leased at a passing rental of £18,000 to Sussex Beacon, the local Aids charity. By 2013 the shop was empty, having previously been occupied by the Perfume Warehouse.
copyright © J.Middleton
Georgie’s has been at number 85 for many years. At the top of the building the Hove coat of arms can be seen, dating from the time when Hove Fire Station occupied the premises
Number 85. Hove Fire Station was established here in 1879. Although the building served as headquarters, various pieces of fire-fighting equipment were stored in different parts of Hove. In 1889 the Chief Officer requested the authorities to install a hydrant near the Fire Station so that the fire engine might be washed. A new service pipe was installed linking the main in George Street to a hydrant at the rear of the premises; it cost £26. In April 1891 it was decided that indicators to the Fire Station should be placed on lamps at the south and north ends of George Street. In May 1898, Mr Coombes, who was in charge of the Fire Station, was presented with a handsome marble clock on the occasion of his marriage.
 copyright © J.Middleton 
The men of Hove Fire Brigade (all sporting moustaches) were nimble on their 
feet and often won prizes for their speed of deployment in National Fire Brigade 
competitions. In this photograph two cups are on display together with the 
Challenge Shield embellished with a fireman's helmet on crossed firemen's axes.

The Hove Volunteer Fire Brigade was formed in 1879 and continued to run services from George Street until 1914 when it became a municipal enterprise. There were some reservations about the takeover because the quarters were so inadequate but it went ahead anyhow. In 1914 the Fire Station contained the engine house on the ground floor where the motor pump and steamer were stored; on the first floor there were four rooms occupied by the Station Officer while at the rear there was a watch and recreation room for the volunteer members. Lainson & Son were the architects who designed the watch room in 1908. At the back of the premises there was a two-stall stable but horses were no longer stabled there and Hove councillors thought the space might be converted into a duty room. 

Plasterer Wally Warder created the Hove coat of arms at the apex of the building and it is still to be seen to this day although the colours are not accurate because the background of the saltire (St Andrew’s cross) should be blue rather than red; over the years this colour has faded to pink.

By 1923 conditions at the Fire Station were very cramped and although there were five permanent members of the Fire Brigade there were no quarters for them in the building. It was also stated the Fire Station’s ‘situation in George Street renders the exit with the modern heavy motor fire engine, of which the Council now has two, extremely awkward and dangerous.’ The rent was £50 a year but the lease would expire in 1928 and Hove Councillors had the opportunity of buying land in Hove Street from the Vallance Estate and building a new and spacious Fire Station. This handsome building designed by architects Clayton & Black was officially opened on 2 June 1926.
 
In May 1966 an old shop front was removed to make way for the incoming Wimpy Bar and the words ‘Hove Fire Station’ were clearly visible underneath. Today Georgie’s Bistro occupies the premises and has been there for a number of years. In November 1998 it was stated the restaurant paid a rental of £20,000 a year and the freehold had been sold to London & City Estates for £175,000.

Number 90. This shop laid claim to being the longest established fried fish shop in Hove, having started in around 1900. In 1908 Albert Thomas Witherden was in charge and in 1914 the premises were described as a fish supper bar. Dennis Hugh Shippam purchased the business in around 1953 and the name was changed to Shippam’s in 1962. It was still in business in the 1970s. For many years the window boasted a large figurine of a cheerful fish with a chef’s hat on his head standing on its tail. By 1999 Clinton’s Cards occupied numbers 90/91.

copyright © K. Lane
The Royal George pub was built in the 1860s,
reconstructed in 1924 and demolished in 1965. 
Number 93. The Royal George Public House. It was built on the site of a small farmhouse dating from the time the area was a market garden. The 1861 census recorded a victualler living at number 93 but no pub name was recorded. Luke Feast was the victualler in question and he was aged 32 and had been born at Plumpton. He lived with his wife Lucy who was the same age. By 1867 Charles Leddon was in charge of the pub and according to the 1871 census a widower and son occupied the premises. By the 1880s William Grinyer was behind the bar and apparently busily diluting the drinks. In 1894 Grinyer was the subject of legal proceedings for selling whisky adulterated with 5% of water. In October 1894 the summons were withdrawn because the defendant had paid the costs, including the analyst’s fee, amounting to twelve shillings and sixpence in total. William Grinyer continued to be landlord and by 1905 his widow was the licensee. By 1910 W.J. Grinyer, presumably their son, was the landlord.

Brighton Brewery owned the Royal George from 1871 to 1900 when Tamplin’s took over. In 1924 Tamplin’s reconstructed the building and in the 1950s Tamplin’s sold the pub to Watney’s.
In October 1928, in the spacious hall at the back of the pub, the re-opening and consecration of an Ancient Order of Druids Lodge took place, possibly Ames Lodge. On the south side of the pub there was a wall dividing the premises from the George Street Schools. By 1954 the wall had fallen into a bad state of repair but nobody knew who was responsible for it. After discussions, it was decided to split the cost between Tamplin’s and the school authorities.
The Attwaters were the last landlords of the Royal George and were licensees for thirty-eight years, beginning with Frederick Attwater who was there until 1951. Mrs D.E.J. Attwater followed on and was still the licensee in 1962. Her daughter Doris helped to run the pub and when she married Jimmy Coe, he also helped out. Jimmy Coe was the brother of Jack Coe, the well-known George Street fishmonger. (See under numbers 40/41). The Attwaters left the Royal George on 1 November 1964 and the pub was demolished the following year, Watney’s having sold out to Pricerite. It is ironic that today part of the site is now covered by the Wetherspoon’s Cliftonville Inn.  
By 1999 QS (clothes) occupied number 93 and by 2013 it was M & Co.

copyright © J.Middleton
The George Street Schools opened in 1858.
This photograph dates from the 1970s by which time
 it had been re-named St Andrew’s Church of England School.
 
George Street Schools. William Kirkpatrick donated the site on the west side of George Street and the agreement to build the school was dated 25 June 1857 between the Revd Walter Kelly, vicar of Hove, and John Parsons, builder; James Woodman was the architect. There was a 70-foot frontage to George Street while the west side of the school abutted the churchyard. The school was ready to receive its first scholars (all boys) by 1858; girls were not admitted until later. The School Registers from 1865 provide not only the name of the child but also the district he came from and the occupations of the father or mother. The occupations listed include shepherds, sailors, many labourers, bird-catchers and a washerwoman. Boys came from the immediate vicinity and also from Fishersgate, Copperas Gap, Portslade, West Blatchington, Withdean and Preston. Considering the distance some boys had to walk to school, it is not surprising that in bad weather they did not turn up. Also when October came around, many boys were absent for potato picking to earn money for their families.
School places were in great demand and the school expanded in the 1870s. Unfortunately, the new building was erected on the girls’ playground, which meant that outdoor space became very limited. But still the demand grew and the school was again enlarged in 1894. By 1904 the number of pupils exceeded the recommended accommodation number by at least fifty. His Majesty’s Inspector commented in 1904 about the boys ‘Teaching is good and successful and discipline in the Classrooms is quite satisfactory but I noticed rough, ill-mannered behaviour in the small play yard.’ About the girls he reported ‘Discipline is excellent and the interest shown by the girls in their work is praiseworthy.’ He found the infants delightful as ever.
In spite of the popularity of the school, in 1926 the Local Education Committee decided on a reduction in the number of teaching staff. Out of the whole area eleven posts were to be lost but it was decreed five of them must go from church schools. As a result the school became badly understaffed and there was an average of 43 pupils to one teacher.
In June 1931 the school became a mixed junior and infant school although there had been grave misgivings about such a revolutionary move. In March 1961 the school finally became known as St Andrew’s Church of England School. But overcrowding remained a problem. The only solution was to build new premises on the nearby churchyard. It was decided not to disturb the human remains (around 2,000 of them) but build the school on a concrete raft on top. Unhappily, many beautiful Victorian monuments were demolished and lost forever although a record was made of the inscriptions. The foundation stone of the new school was laid on 3 March 1976 and was ready for occupation in 1977, having cost £210,000. The old site in George Street was sold for £87,000 to Linkwood Construction Ltd. a London property company.  

Number 96. Fad’s, the home decorating store, closed its doors for the last time on 28 August 1999. Fad’s, and its predecessors Bargain Wallpapers, had been in George Street for twenty-nine years. The empty premises were rapidly converted and a new Wizard store opened in September. The previous Wizard store had been in a much smaller shop near the north end of the street and was taken over by Boots. But Wizard did not last very long at number 96 and by 2013 Robert Dyas was in business there.   
copyright © J.Middleton
This photograph was taken looking south down George Street and MVC,  the music and video store, still occupied number 97.  The billboard advertised that the Lion d’Or Bar (at number 9) was open all day. 
Number 97. In 1999 the MVC Music and Video store occupied the premises but by 2013 Bon Marché had moved in.

copyright © J.Middleton
George Street is a popular venue for buskers. These two performers were photographed on a chilly day on 10 December 2003. 
Number 98. In 1889 C.G. Goddard designed and built a bicycle at the Dolphin Motor and Cycle Works located here. By 1960 the premises had expanded up to number 101 and was home to Bellman’s food market. This was later taken over by Tesco’s who sold it to pub chain Wetherspoons in the 1990s. Wetherspoons spent some £800,000 on converting it to a pub, which they decided to call the Cliftonville Inn. Quite why they opted for this name is not clear. The Cliftonville Hotel was next to Hove Railway Station (now called The Station) and the Cliftonville Inn was in Hove Place (now the Red Lion). Of course the new Cliftonville Inn was situated in an area previously known as Cliftonville but part of its site was once home to the Royal George Public House. 
copyright © J.Middleton
This photograph was taken on 22 July 2014 and shows the exterior of the Cliftonville Inn in all its flowering glory consisting of nine hanging baskets and two wall-attached baskets.
Number 102. In 1914 P.H. Simmonds ran a ham and beef shop on the premises. In 1974 it was home to Domestic Electrical Rentals Ltd and rented out television sets.
In July 1990 Claire Rayner, agony aunt and novelist, opened the new Gold Arts shop. Jeweller Douglas Newman opened the first Gold Arts shop in 1979 at Brighton Square. In 2013 Gold Arts continue to occupy the shop and also run a pawn-broking business.

1861 Census – Professions of Occupants

  1. General shopkeeper / Dressmaker
  2. Brewer’s labourer / Brick-maker
  3. Gardener / Brick-maker’s labourer / Laundress / Laundress’ maids (two)
  4. Shoemaker / Milliner 
  5. Carter / Baker
  6. Gasworks labourer / Charwoman /Servants (two)
  7. Carpenters (two)
  8. Greengrocer / Brick-maker
  9. Cabinet maker / Upholsterer / Servant / Dressmaker
  10. Coachman / Baker’s boy / Tailor
  11. Brick-maker’s labourers (three) / Plasterer’s labourer / Agricultural labourer / Gardener
  12. Laundress / Beach labourer
  13. Engineer / Ironer
  14. Laundress / Iron moulder / Gas Work’s labourer
  15. Bricklayer and plasterer / Bricklayer’s labourer / Laundry worker / Gardener
  16. Coachman / Servants (three) / Blacksmith
  17.  Bricklayer’s labourer / Laundress / Plasterer’s boy / Watch & clock maker / Servant / Gardener
  18. Chimney sweep / Washerwoman / Servant / Brick-maker’s labourers (two)
  19. Agricultural labourer / Scavenger’s carter
  20. Hairdresser / Dressmaker
  21. Brick-maker’s labourer / Railway labourer / Bricklayer’s labourers (two)
  22. Greengrocer’s carter / Needlewoman / Cart boy / Brick-makers (two) / Carter / Ironer
  23. Painter and general dealer / Dressmaker / Trouser maker / Coach painter / Former lodging house keeper
  24. Tinman / Bricklayer’s labourer / Master carter
  25. Mariner / Laundress / Brick-maker
  26. Police Constables (two) / Carpenter / Plumber
  27. Dressmaker / Retired coal merchant / Milliner
  28. Laundress / Labourer (keeps pigs) / Assistant Laundress
  29. Washerwoman / Grocer’s labourer / Brewer’s labourer / Laundress
  30. Brick-makers (three) / Washerwoman / Servant
  31. Carpenters (two) / Machinist
  32. Carpenter / Painter / Ironer
  33. Bricklayer’s labourers (two) / Coal merchant’s labourers (two) / Washerwoman / Blacksmiths (two)
  34. Carpenter / Grocer’s boy / Bricklayer’s labourer / Dressmaker
  35. Road Labourer / Laundress / Bricklayer’s labourer / Servant / Laundress
  36. Agricultural labourer / Washerwoman / Laundress
  37. Brick-maker’s labourers (two) / Charwoman
  38. Painter and paper-hanger
  39. Bricklayer / Brick-maker
  40. Laundress / Dressmaker / Brick-maker’s labourer
  41. Chairman (he pushed/pulled Bath chairs) / Coach-maker’s apprentice / Laundress / House servant
  42. Laundress
  43. Agricultural labourer / Brick-maker / Laundress
  44. Chelsea pensioner / Chairman / Washerwoman / Brick-maker’s labourer
  45. General carter / Servant / General labourer / Carpenter 
  46. Charwoman / Errand boy
  47. Carpenter / Agricultural Labourer
  48. Carpenter / Charwoman / Gardener
  49. Weaver / Servant / Laundresses (two)
  50. Charwoman / Bricklayer
  51. Bricklayer’s labourer / Lamplighter / Servant / Mariner
  52. Gas stoker / Dressmaker / Servant / Tailor
  53. Servant / Stonemason
  54. Gas Work’s labourer / Porter / Agricultural labourer
  55. Police Constable / Bricklayer / Charwoman / Bricklayer’s labourer
  56. Master Mason employing two men
  57. Book maker / Book binder / Mariner / Ironer
  58. Cork cutter / Laundresses (two) / Dressmaker
  59. Gardener / Agricultural labourers (two) / Laundress / Coal merchant’s labourer
  60. Ironmonger / Laundress
  61. Agricultural labourer / Charwoman / Stonemason
  62. Grocer / Grocer’s assistant / Servant / Shop assistant / Beach labourer
  63. Brick-maker / Bricklayer
  64. Agricultural labourer / Chelsea pensioner / Farm labourer / Needlewoman / Errand boy
  65. Laundress / Cellar-man / Char-man
  66. Agricultural labourers (two)
  67. Laundresses (two) / Brick-makers (three) / Charwoman
  68. Gas meter maker / Shoemaker / Laundress / Servant
  69. Bricklayer / Servant
  70. Gas labourer / Agricultural labourer / Washerwoman
  71. Staircase builder / Laundress / Former laundress aged 92
  72. Cordwainer / Shoemaker
  73. Bricklayer’s labourer / Brick-makers (two)
  74. Cook / Grocer and coal merchant /Ironer /Mason
  75. Not mentioned
  76. Wheelwright / Apprentice / Journeyman / Dressmaker
  77. (The previous dwelling and this dwelling were classed together)
  78. Gas fitter / Coachman
  79. Carpenter, joiner / Domestic servant
  80. Greengrocers (man and wife) / brick-maker
  81. Grocer / Lady’s maid
  82. Bricklayer’s labourer / Laundress / House servant
  83. Labourer / Carpenter
  84. Agricultural labourer / Mangler
  85. Bricklayer’s labourer / Brick-maker
  86. Baker / Gas work’s labourer
  87. Agricultural carter / Agricultural labourer / Coal labourer / Charwomen (two) / Jobbing boy
  88. Seaman / Laundress / Beach labourers (two)
  89. Paper hanger / Bakers (two)
  90. Brewer’s labourer / Agricultural labourer
  91. Printer employing six men / Dressmaker
  92. Gardener / Laundresses (two)
  93. Victualler / Agricultural labourer
  94. Dairymen (two) / Housekeeper
  95. Carpenter / Laundress
(Total of 169 households)

Traders as recorded in the 1960 Directory – East side (south to north)

1-2.  Stuart Norris
3.  Radio Rentals
4.  Rita, Art Needlework Depot (Thomas F, Merritt)
5.  L. Cohen, Confectioner
6.  Walter Gillett Ltd. Stationer and printer
7.  George, Cleaners
7.  James Gleave
8.  Wickham, Kimber & Oakley, Music Dealers
9.  George Pharmacy (Hove) Ltd. Chemist
10. Leonard Thompson, Optician
10. John Ridge
11. George W. Street & Sons, Watchmaker
12. A. Banks, Milliner
13. Lesters, Toy Dealers
14. Brown’s Domestic Stores, Hardware and Paints
15. Carlin Carpets Ltd.
16. World’s Stores
17. Barnsley & Co. Newsagents
18. Mrs A.J. Gunn, Fruiterer
19. De Marco Brothers, Ice Cream Parlour
20. Mrs E. Wickes, China and Glass Dealer
21. Pearkes Dairies Ltd. Grocer
22. Brighter Homes Stores Ltd. Wallpaper merchants
23. Channel Laundry Services Ltd. Receiving Office
24. Mrs K. Bennett, Grocer
25. A. Hayes, Fishmonger
26. Geall Sound Distribution Ltd. Public Address Engineers
26. Geall Ltd. Electrical Engineers
27. Chaspers of Hove, Pet Store
28. A. Pomfrey, chimney sweep
29. Victor Value & Co. Ltd. Grocer
30. Excel Drapery Company
31. Heath & Heather, Herbalist
32. Dunn’s Footwear
33. S.E. Harris, Fancy Goods
34. E.J. Thompson & Sons Ltd, Ironmonger
35. Importers Retail Salesrooms Ltd. Tea Merchants
35. Miss Bravery
36. G.I. & A.J. Scotts, Fruiterer
37. Rosslyn, Hosier (A. Bloom)
38. P.K. Buttimore Ltd. Confectioner
39. Dee’s, Grocer
39. Cecil A. Woolven
40/41 Coe Brothers Ltd. Fishmonger
42. Archie Mayler, Tailor
44. Greenlees & Son (Easiephit Footwear Ltd.) Boot Maker
45. James Blackman, Fishmonger
46. Zena Peters, Baby Linen Dealer
47. Eastman Ltd. Butcher
48. Harry Richard Sale, Chemist
49. Allens (Hove) Ltd. Butcher
50. William Cornford & Sons, Funeral Director
51. Ogdens (Brighton) Ltd. Baker
52. Lesters, Home Furnisher
53. Brighton Tele-Radio Services Ltd. Radio Engineer
54. Maypole Dairy Ltd.
55. Boots, Chemist
56. S. Hilton & Son Ltd. Boot Maker
56A. Clark’s Bread Company Ltd. Baker

1960 Directory – West side (north to south)

57A.  Mrs. M. Fryer, tobacconist
57. Ballerina Snack Bar
58A. Handicraft Supplies (Butcher & Butcher Ltd)
58.  Miss Vera Colwell, Draper
59.  J. Sainsbury, Provision Merchant
60.  T. Walton (London) Ltd. Fruiterer
61. H. Kranat, Confectioner
62/63. Freeman, Hardy & Willis Ltd. Boot Maker
64.  Tredgetts, Florist
64.  Raymond Sherman
65.  Lynwool, Needlework and Wool Stores (Miss T. Latten & Miss G.E. Corfe)
66.  Albert Morley Ltd. Tailor
67.  V. & H. Cooke, Tobacconist
68.  Popular Laundry Services
68.  Frederick Alfred Hutchings, Chimney Cleaner
69. George Mence Smith Ltd. Domestic Store
70. Brighton & Hove Goldsmiths Company, Jewellers
71.  P.K. Buttimore, Carpet Dealer
72.  Bari Boutique, Ladies Outfitters
74.  M.G. Cooke, Fruiterer
75.  Home Decorators (Hove) Ltd.
76.  Tesco Stores, Grocer
77.  Dresswell Gowns (Mrs L.M. Jacobs)
77.  David J. Jacobs
78.  A.E. Kent & Co. Biscuit Distributors
79.  Smith & Brown (Brighton) Ltd. Outfitters
81.  Frederick A. Reynolds, Hairdresser
82.  Greville Harcourt, House Furnisher
83.  Curry Ltd. Cycle Agents
84.  A. Young Ltd. Butcher
85.  Midge Motors, Motor Agents
86.  Hove Surplus Stores, Outfitters
87.  Lesters, Baby Carriage Dealer
89.  Harrington & Son Ltd. Baker
89A. Miss Weaver
90.  Dennis Hugh Shippam, Fried Fish
91.  Ernest Ward (Fruit) Ltd. Greengrocer
92.  Butcher’s, Butcher
93.  Royal George Public House (Mrs D.E.J. Attwater)
95/95A Wickham, Kimber & Oakley. Wireless Dealer
Primary School (Church of England) Mixed Junior & Infants
98/101. Bellmans, Food Market
103. Dudley Worcer, Picture Framer, Artist’s Materials

Traders as recorded on 21 June 1999 – East side (south to north)

Barclays Bank (numbered in Church Road)
1. One Better
2. Abbey National Building Society
3. Roseby’s (bed linen, curtains etc)
4/5. Wine Cellar
6. Ladbroke’s (bookmaker’s)
7. Barnado’s (charity shop)
8. Scope (charity shop)
9. Le Lion d’Or
10. S.C. Babyaid (charity shop)
11. Hove Jewellers
12. Empty shop
13/14. Lesters (furniture)
15/17. W.H. Smith (booksellers, stationery, cards)
18/19. Portman Building Society
20. Empty shop
21. Truffles (bread, rolls and cakes)
22. Body Shop
23. Rene Florist
24. Deli Bistro
25. Boot’s Opticians
26. Hove YMCA (charity shop)
27. Imperial Cancer Relief (charity shop)
28. End of the Line
29. Friday-Ad
30. Contessa (ladies’ underwear)
31. Hove Accessory Centre
32. Fine Records
33. Harris’s Leather Goods
34. Tari’s Coffee Lounge
35. L’Espirito del Caffe
36. Streets a’ Head (hair salon, formerly Happy Bride)
37. Stead & Simpson (shoes)
38. Barnard
39. Card Centre
40/41. Superdrug
42. Going Places
43. Lunn Poly Holiday Shop
44. Philip James (jewellers)
45. Impulse Party Shop
46. Connaught Leisure
47. Thornton’s (chocolates)
48. Anglian Window Centre
49. Gibson & Coe, fishmonger and butcher
50. Floriana (café)
51/52. Sussex Stationers
53/54. Royal Bank of Scotland
55. Empty shop
56. Brown’s Traditional Baker

21 June 1999 -West side (north to south)

57A. Dean & Perry Jenkins (greengrocer)
57A. Sensational Sausages
57. New Look (women’s clothes)
58. Wizard (novelties for £1)
59/61. Boots Chemist
62/63. Shoe Fayre
65. Cooper’s (jeweller)
66. Barnard, baker
67. Clark’s (shoes)
68. Holland & Barrett (health food store)
69. KJC (mobile phones)
70. Ophthalmic Opticians
71. Potter’s Men’s Wear
72. Pet’s Corner
73. Granada (TVs)
74. Carnival (shoes)
75. Dixon’s
76. Carter’s (electric & gas appliances)
77. County Bookshop
78/79. Dorothy Perkins (women’s clothes)
81. Blossoms (restaurant)
82. This ‘n That
83. Sussex Beacon (charity shop)
84. Specsavers
85.  Georgie’s Bistro
86/87. Halifax Building Society
88. PDSA (charity shop)
89. Empty shop (used to be Pedlar’s)
90/91. Clinton’s (greeting cards)
92. British Heart Foundation (charity shop)
93/94. QS (women’s clothes)
95. Radio Rentals
96. Fads (home decorating)
97. MVC (music and video)
98. Cliftonville Inn
102. Gold Arts
103. Bradford & Bingley Building Society
Broadley’s (men’s clothes, numbered in Church Road)

There were eighty-six businesses including eight charity shops. According to the Electoral Roll 1999 only five people lived in George Street).

Traders as recorded 29 October 2013 – East side (south to north)

* Denotes the same trader as recorded in 1999

Barclays Bank* (numbered in Church Road)
1. Savers
2. Santander
3. Sports Dreams (charity sports kit)
4/5. Slug and Lettuce
6. Ladbroke’s*(bookmakers)
7. Barnado’s *(charity shop)
8. Scope *(charity shop)
9. Paddy Power (bookmakers)
10. Jabba Yard (clothes)
11. Feet First (chiropodist)
12. Xpress Beauty
13/14. Costa (coffee shop)
15/17. W.H. Smiths*
18/19. Nationwide Building Society* (Formerly Portman)
20. Apollo Tanning & Beauty
21. Truffles*
22. Body Shop*
23. Doggy Fashion
24. Caffè Bar Italia
25. Boot’s Opticians*
26. YMCA* (charity shop)
27. Age UK (charity shop)
28. Clark’s* (Kid’s shoes)
29. Flight Centre
30. Into Hair
31. Greggs (bakery)
32. Fine Records*
33. Bert’s Homestore
34. Marina’s House Restaurant
35. Revival Coffee Company
36/37. Prestige Cycles Ltd.
36. Phones 4U
38. Glow Hair Salon
39. Baby Star
40/41. Superdrug*
42. Chestnut Tree House (charity shop)
43. Card Factory
44. Diamond Nails Studio
45. Impulse Party Shop*
46. Connaught Leisure*
47. Heavenly Deli
48. Christobel
49. 02 Phones
50. Café Quench
51/52. Sussex Stationers*
53/54. Royal Bank of Scotland*
55. Mind (charity shop)
56A. Grasmere Farm Shop (moved from Church Road in 2013)
56A. Gossip (café)
Johnson’s (cleaners. Numbered at 96 Blatchington Road)

Traders as recorded on 29 October 2013 – West side (north to south)

Wine Me Up (94 Blatchington Road)
57A. Dean & Perry Jenkins* (greengrocer)
57A. Rainbow Flowers
57. Empty shop (was New Look)
59/61. Boots*
62/63. British Heart Foundation (charity shop)
64. Celly’s Hairstyle, everything £9
65. Cooper’s (jeweller)
66. Timpson’s (shoe menders, keys cut etc)
67. Clark’s (adult shoes)
68. Holland & Barrett*
69. Empty shop
70. Samaritans (charity shop)
71. Carphone Warehouse
72. Pet’s Corner*
73. Once Upon a Time (bridal wear)
74. Cheque Centre / Western Union
75. Caffé Nero
76. Vodafone
77. EE Orange Mobile
78/79. Dorothy Perkins*(women’s clothes)
80. Willow (women’s clothes)
81. Cala’s Restaurant
82. Empty shop (formerly Julian Graves health food shop)
83. Empty shop (formerly Perfume Warehouse)
84. Specsavers*
85. Georgie’s*
86/87. Halifax Building Society
88. Headcase Barbershop
89. Claire’s Accessories
90/91. Clinton’s Cards*
92. Empty shop (formerly British Heart Foundation)
93. M & Co. (women’s clothes)
95. William Hill (bookmakers)
96. Robert Dyas (hardware store)
97. Bon Marché (women’s clothes)
98. Cliftonville Inn* (Wetherspoons)
102. Gold Arts* / GA Pawnbrokers
103. Coral (bookmakers)
Coffee Republic (numbered at 157 Church Road)

There were eighty-three businesses including nine charity shops; they were five empty shops.

Sources

Argus
Censuses
Directories
Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade

Thanks to Robert Jeeves of Step Back in Time, Queen’s Road, Brighton for allowing the use of the photo of the George Street Trolley Bus Experiment.

Copyright © J.Middleton 2016
page layout by D.Sharp