Thursday, 29 August 2013

Temple Street in the 1950s

Reg and Maud Jinks moved into 3 Temple Street in 1961 – but before that the Walden family lived there. Sisters Terry and Bonnie Walden recall what it was like to live in Temple Street in those days

Girls of the house: Terry and Bonnie Walden
The Walden family arrived at 3 Temple Street in 1949. There were open fires in all the rooms and lincrusta wallpaper in the hall, which the girls liked to ‘pop’ (like bubblewrap today). All the front doors had canvas curtains to protect them from the sun in summer. Sisters, Terry and Bonnie have vivid memories of living in the street. Their mother bred budgerigars in an aviary in the backyard and also took in lodgers: two men came from the Isle of Wight to work as bus drivers and so loved Brighton that when they returned home, she sent them The Argus every week!

One door down a woman bred Persian cats. One door up the husband or brother had a dental repair workshop.

There was a tailor (Morris and Altman at no 7) half way up with two daughters. And further up a woman selling terracotta pots (Provence Pots no 21). John Adams at no 41 worked on the Brighton Belle and his was the first family in the street to get a television. The sisters watched the Coronation in 1953 and The QuatermassExperiment on it: television was an event and curtains were drawn and lemonade and sandwiches served. Ken Witty, a lifeguard on Brighton beach, lived near the top on the left. Half way up on the right was some sort of engineering workshop with men wearing green dungarees (Associate Engineering Ltd, selling motor car components).

Entertainment? The girls played all the usual children’s games out on the street. Of course, the beach was very close by. You could catch a paddle steamer to the Isle of Wight from the West Pier and go for boat trips in the fishing boats which pulled up onto the beach. And there were swings in St Ann’s Wells Park. Ice cream could be bought in a jug from Fortes next to the Metropole. There was a wonderful toy shop in Preston Street. Terry and Bonnie had bicycles and went skating at the ice rink in West St. It was a huge event when Father Christmas came to Plummer Roddis (opposite Waitrose which was then the Curzon Cinema) and when Princess Elizabeth visited the seafront in 1952.

Like Enid Gray’s daughter Lynne the girls went to Clifton College in Clifton Road. The uniform was green with yellow braiding and plaid skirts. Mrs Stanley was the head. There was a big old stove like an Aga on which cocoa would be made in the little bottles of milk, stood on it to heat up. Then you took your 11+ in St Mary Magdalen’s school hall. The walk to school took them past a sweetshop at the top of Victoria St where they initially used ration books to buy penny chews and sherbet dabs. The Post office was diagonally opposite and next to it a grocers which delivered every week.

Thanks to the CMPCA

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