Change? What change?

At this time of another election I came across two photos that actually reminded me why 30-40 per cent of the population don’t bother to vote… nothing changes and nothing gets done. Without being political: look at the picture to the right, a hot local topic regarding the condition of the Madeira Arches on Brighton seafront, with temporary supports obviously showing that there was a problem.

A hot local topic regarding the condition of the Madeira Arches on Brighton seafront…

‘So when was this problem?’, you may ask. Last year? Five years ago? Ten years? NO… 1978. So why after this picture was taken has it taken almost 40 years to decide there is a problem needing millions of pounds to solve it?

The photo below is of a demonstration in Brighton about high rents, and not enough house building, and a more socialist housing policy.

This was 47 years ago in 1970, and being apolitical both sides have had ample opportunities to deal with this issue but – and I’m not condoning it – people can’t be bothered to vote because the important stuff gets talked about, but in the end it seems that’s all that happens.

As I stated earlier, this is not a political rant but an observation on my city. I care about it but despair when looking through all my stuff and realise that there is so much opportunity to improve Brighton and Hove, for us and its visitors, that’s not seized upon.

Normal service will resume next week with the auction results.

For more info email me
28 Western Rd, Hove, BN3 1AF

Lots of diversity!

The auction is only a week away and people often assume that it’s only the very old things that get sold at auction, so this week I have include two very diverse lots that are 75 years apart, and both are causing plenty of interest.

The first is a 1894 advertising flyer for Brighton’s Public Baths, which were used by the people of the Borough who didn’t have their own bathrooms at home – which in Victorian times was most of the town!

The prices are amazing as it was double the money for a warm bath at 6d – but that was first class or 2d in second class.

Two of the bath buildings still exist today, being Coben Road (now flats) and North Road (now a mixed commercial unit).

Dick Emery was a successful TV entertainer who could fill theatres countrywide

The second picture is a programme from the Palace Pier Theatre in 1970 for The Dick Emery Summer Season Show, which was an extremely popular event. Dick Emery was a successful TV entertainer who could fill theatres countrywide so Brighton was lucky to have him.

The guide on both of these items is only £5 each, which seems a small price to pay for two great pieces of ephemeral history of our great city.

If you want to come to the auction it’s Tuesday 23rd May at the Aldrington Church Hall, Glebe Villas, Hove starting at 8pm.

For more info email me
28 Western Rd, Hove, BN3 1AF

Just been done up



Both of this week’s photos are in our next auction on Tuesday 23rd May at St Leonard’s Church Hall, Glebe Villas in Hove starting at 8pm. There will be 240 other lots – including everything from the usual postcards and pictures to books, prints, guides and ephemera.

The first picture is of The Belle Vue Pub in the 1880s and was a popular local (built around 1850) which has recently been refurbished and changed its name to the West Hill Tavern. My attention was drawn to the horse and trap just about to climb up Buckingham Place and nothing else on the road… if only!

The second photo is a very early photo of the Holy Trinity Church in Blatchington Road in Hove, which was built in 1863. The reason we know it’s an early shot is the size of the trees in the front, and on closer inspection there are no buildings in the background where Eaton Gardens is now. Again, this building has just been refurbished into a doctors’ surgery and pharmacy and in my opinion a fine job has been done to preserve the building – which I discovered cost £9,000 to build, which wouldn’t have gone far in the latest refurb!

The guide price on these two photos is about £12-15, and all lots can be viewed at Robert (postcard man) Jeeves’ shop Step Back In Time in Queens Road Brighton. If you want a catalogue please email me at or pop in to my shop at 28 Western Road, Hove.


Cinema promotion



If you thought the advertising budgets for new films was a bit crazy these days well let me tell you, in 1970 it seems it was even crazier!

A lovely chap came into the shop and gave me a few of his photos he had lying around and, as is becoming a bit of the norm, he didn’t want anything for them but just said; “your shop will find a home for them rather than them getting chucked away.” Now this is being said to me on a weekly basis and I sincerely thank all those people who love the idea of what I am trying to do in the shop.

So back to the cinemas… 1970, and the Odeon on West Street was showing the Spaghetti Westerns, but for some reason there is a car half way up the building which has 007 on it. Now I’m sure I stand to be corrected, but is possibly an advert for a stock car race in ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’ (I am happy to be corrected)?

For some reason there is a car half way up the building which has 007 on it

The other huge piece of advertising is on the Regent Cinema Queens Road for the film ‘Battle of Britain’, where a large and small model of a spitfire plane were attached! What an effort and how good it looks.

So if you have anything else like this, I and countless others would love to see it.
28 Western Rd, Hove, BN3 1AF

History talks

A few weeks ago a lady came into the shop and asked me if I could sell a large framed poster for her, as it was too large for her house and she wanted to donate the money to the community-owned hall that is the Exeter Street Hall in Brighton.

Now I had heard about the Hall having been bought by the local residents to be used as a hub for local events and hired using the money for its upkeep.

The lady and I came to a deal… I would not take my usual share of the sale price if she could book me (and Robert Jeeves the postcard man) to present an evening at the hall on The Prestonville Area and the roads surrounding it which were relevant to the locals who use it.

So we turn up at 6.15pm where volunteers were busy getting the table and chairs out and opening the bar (yes, a jolly good one as well). My heart sank slightly when I was told they had no idea how many people would be attending as it was £3 on the door on the night, but it had been on Twitter and Facebook so hopefully SOMEONE would come!

Well blow me down, 100 chairs later and standing room only

Well blow me down, 100 chairs later and standing room only, Robert and I did what parents would know from their kids as a “Show and Tell” on local history and postcards and maps – 80 per cent of which was just about their area.


I understand we went down well and all were entertained and went away knowing things they never knew before!

I was extremely impressed with the fantastic enthusiasm and work the volunteers do with the Exeter Street Hall, so good luck to them and long may it prosper.

If anyone out there would like a talk on their area or a general view of the city, Robert and I have very reasonable rates.
28 Western Rd, Hove, BN3 1AF

The Argus & Brighton and Hove Stuff Exhibition Invite

The Argus Managing Director Tony Portelli & Andy Garth would like to invite you to our VIP archive photograph launch at The Grand. When The Argus moved to its new home in Manchester Street the enormous archive of fantastic historical pictures was lovingly archived by Andy Garth and his team at Brighton and Hove Stuff. The Keep also took in thousands of the early glass plate negatives, which date from before 1960, and volunteers have helped clean, scan and catalogue them.

The combined efforts of Brighton and Hove Stuff, The Keep and Argus staff have helped preserve the photographs for future generations and for us all to enjoy now. The great news is that the picture archive will soon be available for everyone to view and to buy online so that we can all search people, places and historic events from approximately 30,000 images.

To celebrate this, The Argus, in collaboration with Brighton and Hove Stuff, invites you to the launch of The Argus Photo Archive 1929-1992 Sale and Exhibition at The Grand, King’s Road, Brighton, on Friday, April 28. VIP guests are welcome between 12pm and 2.30pm to view the exhibition and make purchases before the doors open to the general public from 2.30pm to 5pm.

An exhibition of some 350 original photographs will be on display with the opportunity to purchase the original or order a copy on the day or online via Come and search the database – you may find a picture of yourself or someone you know. The Grand has kindly donated a room for this prestigious event and the hotel’s chosen charity Rockinghorse will be there, along with The Argus Appeal, to receive any donations from visitors.

Historical items relating to The Argus over its 137 years of providing news and views will also be on show. A group from The Keep, Kevin Newman from All Inclusive History, Brighton Auctions and Paul Green who presents The Argus Archive Talks will be there to share their expertise. If you would like to attend the VIP session, please RSVP to Lyle Acott as soon as possible at

Auction results

Hot off the press! I am writing this the day after our first auction of the year held jointly by me and Robert “Post Card Man” Jeeves, of Step Back in Time.

We offered 241 lots, including all sorts of eclectic items from Brighton, Hove and all other parts of Sussex.






There were over 60 people in attendance and prices ranged from £1 to £96. In the end we sold 230 lots, which is a great achievement and lovely to know that us geeky local history buffs are not a dying breed. Demand was apparent from the start when the first 19 lots of 1880 original photographs all sold for 4 to 5 times the guide price.

I have included a couple of photos of sold lots which show that the types of items differ in many ways.

Theatre programs always attract good interest with the West Pier and older Theatre Royal ones a big favourite

Theatre programs always attract good interest, with the West Pier and older Theatre Royal ones a big favourite, and selling for £14.

The Students Hospital Rag Magazine is from the 1930s and has loads of great adverts and jokes, with this selling for £27.

And to add topicality, a signed Albion football from the last season at the Goldstone went for just £9.


Our next sale is 23rd May at The Aldrington Church Hall, Glebe Villas, Hove and we are accepting entries now, so if you think you have anything suitable either pop in the shop at 28 Western Road Hove or email

Brighton Promettes

The promettes are trainee models who are on duty at weekends in the summer, dressed like air hostesses, they offer advice and answer questions from tourists in Brighton.

If you visited the promenade of Brighton in the 1950s, you were likely to be greeted by six glamorous girls dressed in sharp-cut uniforms with a ‘catwalk model poise’ and welcoming smile.

They were called the Promettes and were on hand to give directions, offer medical advice, or just brighten up the day of tourists to the East Sussex seaside town.

Brighton Promettes (1956) is a little collage of pictures from the Argus archive and an original voice narrator from a promotional film from 1956 created by Latest TV Brighton.