Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Aladdin’s Cave of Brighton and Hove history opens in disused shop
An “Aladdin’s Cave” of all things Brighton and Hove has opened in a disused shop.
Everything from 50-year-old Argus front pages and Ordnance Survey maps from the turn of the century, to Sixties’ holiday brochures and old bus signs can be found in the shrine to the city’s history.
Estate agent and self-confessed local history nut, Andy Garth, set up in the former Blatchington Road Blockbuster store to keep squatters out.
He said: “It’s amazing how interested people are in this stuff. I thought it was just me. People come in for a look around and end up spending an hour going through the plans and old newspapers. It’s like Aladdin’s Cave.”
Among the many thousands of items in the shop are Ordnance Survey maps from 1780.
Mr Garth bought the 900-odd originals off eBay.
One of the more detailed sections of central Brighton shows the scale of the train station back in 1876.
Along with turntables and cattle storage sheds, the plan shows the adjoining turning and fitting shop and boiler store.
Another map shows the Royal Sussex County Hospital in 1876 surrounded by fields. Among the many outbuildings include the female orphan asylum and blind asylum.
Instantly noticeable when thumbing through the maps is the amount of pubs and breweries.
Dominated There were more than 600 in the early 1890s with the symbol PH on almost every street corner.
Among the breweries at the time were the Phoenix Brewery and malthouse off Lewes Road and Amber Ale Brewery at Preston Circus.
The shop’s back wall is dominated by a giant diocese map of the city from 1910. Incredibly, fields are the main feature north of Preston Park while Portslade is virtually non-existent.
The 52-year-old has also collected city guide books over the years.
But perhaps the most interesting collection – and not for sale – is a series of leather-bound collections of the Brighton and Hove Gazette from 1921 to 1938.
The broadsheet covers seemingly every event in the city from birthdays and weddings to business meetings and court appearances.
The adverts also provide a fascinating insight into what life was like.
One edition from 1938 features an advert for a housemaid at £20 a year.
However, remarkably some sections look very similar.
The sport page’s top headline reads: “Albion’s Promotion Hopes”.
Some things never change.
Brighton and Hove Stuff is open on Thursday and Saturday from 10am.
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- UPDATE: nearly 100 flights delayed at Gatwick after Nats fault
- Farage pilot found dead at home in Eastbourne
- Gatwick Airport delays after control centre fault
- Chaos and damage as river bursts its banks
- Heroic work of the police and public recognised
Comments are closed on this article.