Early memories

Memories of Upper Market Street

By Rosemary Deacon

Photo:Rosemary and George

Rosemary and George





My brother George and I were very lucky children living with our parents Rosina and James at 13 Upper Market Street in Hove.  Our grandparents lived next door, also our Godparents Mr and Mrs Bundy - always someone there. All the other people living in the street were almost like Aunties and Uncles to us.  There was Mr White who had the sweet shop at the top of the road.  Mr Marsh, the chimney sweep and Mr Hill, the cabinet maker who could be seen working through his window.

Our house was an 11 room place with no hot water or bathrooms and only 1 toilet, apart from an almost under ground one in the basement - not very popular. The only water was a tap on the landing, and in the only kitchen in my parent's flat. Lighting was by gas, but electricity soon came and our Father fixed a bath with geysers making us the only house in the road with one - just a bath in the kitchen with lift up table over - luxury.

My mother worked very hard, letting some of the rooms and also taking in lodgers.  Our parents moved around the house depending on who needed rooms.    One chap lived in one single room for years. Just one room, no bathroom, no kitchen and no facilities.  I think he worked in a local hotel so I suppose he was fed there.  Washing was done on a copper and hung on a line in the basement passage, there was a small yard but as the walls were high it was not very helpful for drying clothes, which were a lot thicker and heavier then.

There was a public house opposite, The Locksmith's Arms, which later became The Odd Spot Café and is now a florist.

We were allowed to play quiet games outside the house - dolls prams, skipping and no ball games - Grandfather would come out if we did and remind us that the park was up the road.

Our Dad was a private chauffeur, so often there was a very posh  car outside - a Buick I remember well and I thought unheard of almost, an American one, a Packard in 1936 when our cousin visited from the USA.  This caused a stir as no one else in the street had a car.

The big building which is now the Market Art Centre was Dupont's Riding School then.  We could hear the horses kicking sometimes and watched them going into the stables down a big slope at the side.

Our parents had an allotment where lovely fruit and veg was grown and flowers too.  We never liked helping in the garden.  We were always well fed - I know I grew up appreciating all the good stuff we had.

We liked to watch the lamplighter come every day to light the gas.  He came on his bike with his ladder which he leaned on the arm of the lamp and lit it with a long pole thing.  I never saw him come to put it out!!  A man came and played the barrel organ and Grandpa always said "Give him something to play in the next street"!.  Also came the watercress man and the muffin man, and someone selling winkles and grinding knives.

Grandma and Pa went up to the pub at the top of the road, not the one opposite - they always said they were going to the coffee shop - it was a long time before we knew where they were really going!  It was called The Western, now Jugglers.

After many happy years living together Grandma Clayton died in 1936 - changing so much - Grandpa continued next door with my Mother's help.In 1938 my parents bought a house in Court Farm Road, West Blatchington and we all went there - a new area for us all - we soon settled there and later Grandfather joined us.  We must have missed the beach I think, but other interests took over as we grew up.  War time came.

The other 2 houses remained in the family and both George and I lived there again as married couples at different stages in time. When I lived there  we used to go to the local cinemas as often as possible, just to get a seat as we had no armchairs to relax on in the evening, just the bed taking up the whole of the room, no wardrobes just a couple of cupboards for our few clothes.  The only 'kitchen' facilities would have been a single gas ring!

I believe  that 5 generations of the Clayton and Horrobin families have lived in 12 and 13 Upper Market Street over many years.

This page was added on 14/06/2006.