The Dome in Brighton was packed with people waiting to hear the British Fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley.

But no one there knew that opponents had found a clever way to prevent him from being heard.

A few days before the meeting in July 1934, workers at the Dome let an electrician wire up the hall with loudspeakers hidden in the chandeliers and a cable leading to the nearby offices of Labour councillor Lewis Cohen.

When Mosley started to speak, the strains of La Marseillaise were heard instead throughout the hall.

Mosley’s lip curled with anger as he struggled to be heard against the more melodious sound coming from the loudspeakers.

Afterwards fascists attempted to march around Brighton but were met by determined opposition from hundreds of counter demonstrators.

It was not the first time there had been clashes between fascists and their opponents in Brighton, according to a new book by Tony Greenstein.

In August 1933, there was a riot at The Level resulting in a number of fascists having to receive hospital treatment.

In March 1934, William Joyce, later known as Lord Haw-Haw through his wartime Nazi broadcasts, also spoke at the Dome. Mosley held another rally in Brighton in April 1936 but there was more fierce opposition from local people.

Greenstein says, “Brighton was rapidly becoming a no-go area for the fascists, except when they could bus in thugs from London.”

He says beating up fascists was becoming something of a tradition in the town. This meant that Mosley and his supporters either held meetings at short notice or gained extensive police protection for rallies at the Dome or the Corn Exchange.

Mosley was never the same force again following the Second World War which left a national abhorrence of fascism.

Many Jewish ex-servicemen returned to Britain in the wake of the Holocaust and were determined to prevent any resurgence of fascism or anti-Semitism.

With the anti-fascists, they took part in what local people called the Battle Of The Level soon after the war.

Fighting lasted for more than an hour, ending with a rout of the organisers of a rally by Mosley’s new party called Union Movement.

A bizarre spectacle was that of elderly retired Jewish men wading into the fascists with walking sticks and umbrellas.

Greenstein says that following this defeat, Mosley and his men never returned to Brighton.

There was a long period of quiet before the formation of the National Front and more clashes in the 1970s.

Anti-fascists formed a committee to take action but there were differences of opinion over how direct this should be, Some of the Jewish activists, now often old, took a more moderate line than the others and there was also friction over their attitude to the state of Israel.

But one way or another, they ensured that almost no activity by the National Front or other far-right groups was able to take place in Brighton unhindered.

Only last month there were clashes in Brighton when the March For England rally was disrupted by a large group of anti-fascists.

Greenstein himself has a long record of fighting fascism and says he has the scars to prove it.

* The Fight Against Fascism In Brighton And The South Coast by Tony Greenstein (Brighton History Workshop, £8.99).