Saturday, 24 December 2016

Snowstorm on the Street

No sign of any blizzards yet in 2016 apart from one enclosed in a small glass globe

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Crump the Builders and 'The Day Sussex Died'

Some interesting information about Crump the Builders, who used to have a yard at the top of Temple Street, number 24. You can see Crumps' sign painted on the south-facing wall in the best-known (and seemingly almost only) photo of early 1920s Temple Street.

The Crump sign at the top of Temple Street
Our oldest resident, Enid Gray, lived next door at number 23 before she moved over the road with her hairdressing salon to number 37, and she remembers being woken up in the morning by the Crumps barrows clattering about in their yard. See her story here

George Crump
...George's wife
George Crump and Sons worked all over the Brighton and Hove area, and built some of the large houses on Dyke Road which have since become Nursing Homes. One of the Sons was Clement Crump, who is seen below in uniform aged about 16. Chris Kilby from Southampton has contacted us about his personal connection:

...and Clement Crump, one of their sons
“Clement was my Grandfather. He was enlisted in the 13th Battalion Royal Sussex regiment, one of the Sussex 'pals Battalions’, most of whose men lost their lives in a diversionary attack the day before the Somme.

“You can read more about it if you Google 'The Day Sussex Died' or the 'Battle of the Boar's Head.'

'Pals kept together': a Southdowns recruiting poster

Men of the Southdowns Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, in 1915
The 11th, 12th and 13th Battalions of the Royal Sussex Regiment, consisting of approximately 4,500 men, were known colloquially as “Lowther’s Lambs”. This was a reference to local MP Claude Lowther, who had taken personal responsibility for raising the battalions. 

The 12th and 13th Battalions, supported by the 11th, were sacrificed in a diversionary raid on the Boar’s Head salient at Richebourg on 30th June 1916 in an attempt to draw German attention away from the main Somme battle area further south. 

The Battle at Boar’s Head lasted less than five hours, but the Southdowns Brigade lost 17 officers and 349 other ranks. Over 1,000 men were wounded or taken prisoner, and the 13th Battalion was all but wiped out. June 30th 1916 was subsequently known as “The Day Sussex Died”. See the Royal Sussex Living History website for the full account.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Nobody's been here as long as Martin....

Meet Martin Kearley, of 15 Temple Street. Born in 1947, Martin has lived in the Street since birth, he’s our only Lifer. Martin has shared some memories with us.

* Martin’s parents, Hilda and Jack, bought the house from his grand-dad, on his father’s side, just after the War. His grand-dad died in the bathroom. “He went up to the bathroom, and my Mum was in the kitchen and eventually she thought ‘he’s been there a long time,’ and she went up, and she found him dead on the floor. It must have been a tremendous shock.”

* ”As far as I know I’m the last of the Kearleys.”

* “My parents had a lot of work done on the house and Mr Crump of Crumps the Builders, just up the road from us, used to come along and discuss things with my mother. One day she asked him why a house near us was called Brook House. Mr Crump said there used to be a farm here years ago, and there was a little stream running down.’

* “When I was growing up there was a dwarf who lived in the street on the same side as us, further down. What he did, I don’t know.”

* “They once found a door lintel next door at Number 16, which makes me wonder if the houses may have been connected at some stage.”

Martin's parents, Jack and Hilda Kearley

* “Remember the Great Hurricane of 1987? The only damage to the street was to the red house, the one at the top of the street that’s built in a different style. All the chimney pots came down.”

* “When I was growing up the pizza takeaway on the corner used to be a television repair showroom. There was a greengrocers next door. Where now there’s a newsagents further up on the corner with Norfolk Road there was a milk bar. I remember being sent there by mother to get milk. She impressed on me the need to cross the road with very great care. The roads were quite quiet compared to now, but of course, me being an only child, she was doubly careful. ”

One Christmas with Mum and Dad

* Martin worked for 17 years at a basket making factory in Robertson Road, until the company went into liquidation. “At that stage they did what they called soft baskets, baskets on wheels.”

* Martin followed his old boss west, and worked for a ship repairers in Shoreham, but he left them to look after his mother in her last years, his father having died some while before. They let out the top floor of the house to a lady called Brenda. ‘But as long as my mother was alive she insisted on calling her Miss Trustler, she never called her Brenda. Brenda paid a peppercorn rent, my mother never put it up. A few quid a week, if that.”

* “One day I came home from work, and went up to see Brenda, and she said that my mother had come up the stairs and said there was a man in the kitchen. There wasn’t any man there. We reckon she had seen my father. So I thought ‘I can’t have this’ and I gave up my work.’

* “I cared for her for six years, and after she died I didn’t have a job. Robert from Inmans, the auctioneers just over the road from me, came over one day and asked me if I’d like a job. He said they wanted a man to make sure nothing went missing from their showroom, which was five doors down. The house directly opposite me was their offices, and five doors down was the showrooms, which had been Hamiltons, a firm that serviced engines.”

A teenaged Martin and his Dad at the back of Number 15

* “You can’t tell now that there used to be a garage there, but you will notice just outside the house a metal plate in the gutter which must have been put there to help the vehicles to drive in.”

* “Inmans used to be in Kemp Town but moved up here around 1963. I still work for them, although I don’t do that much for them nowadays, just helping out on a couple of viewing days every month. They stayed here until 2005 but moved because the parking is so awful in Temple Street. I’m glad I’ve never had a car!”

* Martin has never been tempted to leave Temple Street. “It’s so central,” he says. “The bus service is great and we’re only fifteen minutes walk from both Brighton and Hove train stations. I can travel anywhere from here. I have been all around the country, but whenever I come back home I think ‘Why would I ever want to move from here?’

Never tempted to leave: Martin Kearley