TQ3004 : 203-210, Western Road, Brighton

taken 6 years ago, near to Brighton and Hove, Great Britain

203-210, Western Road, Brighton
203-210, Western Road, Brighton
Located between the entrance to Imperial Arcade and the junction with North Street this was the last large block to be completed in 1934-5 for the Western Road road widening scheme. The rebuild also meant the demolition of the shops on the southern side of Imperial Arcade which had only been constructed a decade previously. There are currently five units; 203-05, 206-07, 208, 209-10 and TQ3004 : 211, Western Road, Brighton which faces onto North Street.

Number 202 was originally known as Regent Cottage and was located inside the entrance to Smithers & Sonsí North Street Brewery and was used as the accommodation for the brewery manager. The cottage was converted into a shop in 1908 though the brewery continued operating until 1919 when it moved to Portslade. The buildings were demolished in 1923 to make way for the TQ3004 : Imperial Arcade, Brighton. Until its demolition the shop was operated by Uptons trading under the name Dolcis who would move to 206-07 when the shops were rebuilt. Number 202 was not used in the new block. Neighbouring 203 was in commercial use by the mid 1840s with a number of businesses passing through until 1862 when it became a dyers, originally Bryant, Smith & Co and from 1906 the Johnson Brothers who are still trading at TQ3004 : 140-141, Western Road, Brighton. At the end of the 1890s part of 203 was divided into a second shop, numbered 203a, which saw a large turnover of businesses in the first fifteen years, one of whom was the photographic studio of William Friese Green who would later set up an early film studio in Hove. The last two decades were spent as a cutler.

Neighbouring 204 was also trading by the mid 1840s and also saw a large turnover of businesses until the 1870s when it was occupied by a couple of drapers and for the last decade a costumier, Lee & Son. Number 205 had an even greater turnover either side of 42 years as a printers for the Brighton & Hove Times. 206 was also operating commercially by the 1840s with less of a turnover than its neighbours its longest occupant was William Shaw, a stationer. 207 was a newsagents for over 70 years the last run by George Beal whose business would eventually merge with others to form Sussex Stationers (see TQ3004 : 34-35, Western Road, Brighton, TQ3004 : 52-55, Western Road, Brighton and TQ3004 : 193-194, Western Road, Brighton). Number 208 was home to two long running businesses; 31 years as a draper and 55 as a toy retailer. 209 spent eighty years as a tobacconist whilst 210 was the Maltsters Arms, the brewery tap of North Street Brewery. All the above buildings were demolished in 1935.

The first of the new units 203-205 was located next to the entrance to Imperial Arcade and was occupied by Meakers who moved from TQ3004 : 201, Western Road, Brighton. They closed in the late 1970s and were replaced by Wallis who would move into the newly refurbished churchill Square at the end of the 1990s. Since then the store has retailed phones, firstly by BT and since 2005 by mobile phone company O2.

Numbers 206-07 form the second unit and were occupied by Dolcis who moved from their previous shop at 202. They survived until the end of the 1980s when the shop was converted into a building society Alliance & Leicester who converted to a bank in 1997 and were taken over by Santander in 2008 with rebranding taking place in 2010. Originally numbers 208-09 were opened as a single unit which was occupied by jewellers H Samuel for over sixty years until they moved into the newly refurbished Churchill Square. The shop was initially broken up into two separate units, 208 and 209, with the former becoming a branch of Caffe Nero (Who have another at TQ3004 : 84-85, Western Road, Brighton) and the latter a series of ladies clothes shop. However, since 2006 209 has been combined with 210 as mobile phone specialists Orange then EE. 210 was originally a radio dealers, J & F Stone who closed in the mid 1970s. After that the store was expanded into by H Samuel until the end of the 1990s.

Old Images
Number 202, 1932 - LinkExternal link
Number 203a, 1920s - LinkExternal link
Numbers 203-210, 1934 -LinkExternal link
Numbers 206-210, 1934 - LinkExternal link
Shops demolished, 1934 - LinkExternal link
Numbers 203-10, 1939 - LinkExternal link

Regent Cottage - Brewery Mangerís accommodation
1908 - BOOTMAKER (William Le Vay)
1909-1934 - SHOE SHOP (Uptons Ltd (Dolcis))
1845-1846 - GINGER BEER MAKER (JA Gracomelli)
1848-1850 - FRUITERER & CONFECTIONER (James Smith)
1852-1854 - SODA WATER MANUFACTURER (Joseph Langridge)
1859-1861 - CABINET MAKER (J Colling)
1862-1934 - DYERS (Bryant, Smith & Co 1862-905, Johnson Brothers 1906-34)
1899-1900 - AUCTIONEER (AG Graves)
1901-1902 - TOBACCONIST (GW Bond 1901, Westonís 1902)
1903-1905 - JEWELLER (Isaac Isaacs)
1907-1910 - PHOTOGRAPHERS (Natural Photographic Studios)
1911-1913 - BEDDING MANUFACTURERS (Hamilton & Burch)
1914-1934 - CUTLER & SILVERSMITH (John Ireland)
1845-1848 - CHEMIST (John Major)
1850 - HERALD PAINTER (AP Harrison)
1852-1854 - MANGLE MAKER (Edward Morley)
1856-1864 - BOOT & SHOE MAKER (T Lulham)
1865 - DRAPER (GH Ashwell)
1869-1870 - BRUSH WAREHOUSE (Thomas Burtenshaw)
1871-1875 - CUTLER & OPTICIAN (George Mitten)
1876-1923 - DRAPERS (E Bentley & Co 1876-89, Denman & Tulley 1890-1923)
1924-1934 - COSTUMIER (Lea & Son)
1856-1861 - IRONMONGER (A Mason)
1862 - MILLINER (Mrs Harmer)
1864 - PHOTOGRAPHER (AW Harmer)
1865-1917 - PRINTERS (Brighton & Hove Times)
1918-1921 - PHOTOGRAPHERS (Sterling Studios)
1923 - SHOP FITTERS (Parnall & Sons)
1924-1931 - LIGHTING (District Light Supply Co)
1933 - WATERPROOFER (E Rayne)
1934 - HOSIER (Dorothy Norman)
1937-1976 - OUTFITTERS (Meakers Ltd)
1980-1998 - LADIESWEAR (Wallis)
1999-2016 - MOBILE PHONES (BT Phone Shop 1999-2004, O2 2005-16)
1845-1861 - PLUMBER, PAINTER & PAPER HANGER (James Saunders)
1862-1868 - CHEMIST (Isaac Garrett)
1870-1923 - STATIONER (William Shaw)
1924-1927 - BABY CARRIAGES (Domesticities)
1928 - TAILORS (Two Five Tailors)
1929-1933 - COSTUMIERS (Millers)
1934 - FURRIER (Regent Fur Stores)
1845-1846 - PRINTER (James Eyles)
1848-1925 - NEWSAGENT & STATIONERS (Wood & co 1848-56, MP Molyneaux & Son 1859-64, George Beal 1865-1925)
1926-1934 - BUTCHERS (Bernard & Son)
1937-1988 - SHOE SHOP (Dolciís)
1990-2016 - BANK (Alliance & Leicester 1990-2010, Santander 2011-16)
1846-1877 - DRAPER, HOSIER & HABERDASHER (W Bradshaw)
1879-1934 - TOY REPOSITORY (Rose Shaw)
1845-1848 - STRAW BONNET MAKER (Sophia Ryder)
1850 - HATTER (James Burridge)
1852-1932 - TOBACCONIST (William Dendy 1852-62, Greenyer & Son 1864-1901, AI Jones & Co 1902-22, Nathan Landaw 1923-26, J Harris 1927-32)
1933 - HAIRDRESSER (Doris Harris)
1934 - MILLINERS (Suzanne)
1937-1998 - JEWELLERS (H Samuel)
2001-2016 - CAFE (Caffe Nero)
2001-2005 - LADIESWEAR (Ice Babe 2001-04, Tiger Cub Clothing 2004-05)
1845-1934 - PUBLIC HOUSE (Maltsters Arms)
1937-1974 - RADIO DEALERS (J & F Stone)
1975 - LADIESWEAR (Slendos Ladies Fashions)
2005-2016 - MOBILE PHONES (Orange 2005-12, EE 2012-16)
Western Road, Brighton

The main shopping street of Brighton that runs west from the junction with North Street reaches the old boundary with Hove at the junction with Little Western Street then continues on to Palmeira Square. On the eastern side is the main shopping area of the town, Churchill Square whose construction necessitated the removal of numbers 1-28 in the 1960s. As the road heads west the large multi-national and national chain stores give way to smaller or more local services. Beyond Montpelier Road up to the Hove boundary a large number of eateries can be found. The buildings themselves can be divided between those on the southern side and those to north. The former are small single occupancy buildings, sometimes expanded into the neighbouring property, largely from the 19th century with one or two exceptions; numbers 52-55 were rebuilt in 1903, 61-62 in the 1920s, 79-80 and 86 also date from the same decade and were specifically designed for banks. The northern side has been entirely rebuilt during the 1920s and 1930s from Hampton Place to North Street and contain a series of department stores, some now subdivided. These have been unaltered with the exception of 175-180 which was rebuilt after a serious fire in the 1970s.

The road actually predates the growth of Brighton originally being a track that ran across open fields to Hove church. Development began in the early 19th century initially at the eastern end and was clustered around terraces; Regentís Place, Clarence Place and Western Place whose gardens backed onto the track. By the 1830s these disparate groups of terraces had been renamed Western Road after the family of the same name who originally owned much of the land in the vicinity and resided at Preston Manor. An impetus to development was the construction of Brunswick Town which was erected next to the road on the Hove side. Another was the villas, terraces and crescents in the Montpelier and Clifton estates to the north. The through access nature of the road meant that it now began to convert to commercial use with many of the former gardens being built over or extended into causing a narrowing of the street. By the mid 19th century much of Western Road was commercial with only small pockets of residential buildings to the west of Montpelier Road and these too would convert towards the end of that century. The last residential house to go was West Hill Lodge on the north eastern corner of Montpelier Road which was demolished in 1905.

The extension of the shop fronts particularly on the northern side narrowed the road considerably and was causing problems even in the age of the horse and cart. Consequently, the council began long term planning for widening the road beginning in 1905 when the gardens of houses west of Montpelier Road and those belonging to Codrington Place. From 1926 to 1938 all the blocks east to North Street were redeveloped pushing the road line back and largely giving the layout the street retains today. Many of the new buildings, with the exception of Mitre House, were built in the prevailing fashion as department stores and a number still operate as a single occupancy today, with 195-200, purpose built for Marks & Spencer in 1932 still inhabiting the building today. The last major building works occurred in the late 1960s on the southern side when a large block was removed for construction of the open area in front of Churchill Square.

The construction of the shopping centre in the 1960s and its rebuilding in the late 1990s both caused an influx of businesses into the centre and there was much worry during the latter refurbishment when Debenhams left its old premises lessening the reason to walk down to the western end of the road. Whilst Waitrose on the opposite side has remained and even expanded into neighbouring properties providing some anchor to the street you can still detect a change of business type beyond Argos which has only gradually begun to creep westwards again now the shops of Mitre House have been filled.

Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   © Copyright Simon Carey and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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Grid Square
TQ3004, 1685 images   (more nearby search)
  (find more nearby)
Date Taken
Monday, 28 March, 2016   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 5 April, 2016
Shops > Shops   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 3073 0434 [10m precision]
WGS84: 50:49.4311N 0:8.7191W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TQ 3067 0433
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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