Prestonville History Night

The Hall was filled to capacity as the neighbours of Prestonville listened intently to the history of their streets and roads.
Andy from Brighton & Hove Stuff explained how Prestonville was built in small stages with a few houses at a time because it was expensive and were usually let rather than bought because buying was not commonplace then. He showed us a useful reference annual called the Kelly directory which recorded every inhabitant that lived in each street and what they did for a living. Then the directories were phased out when phone landlines arrived. Stanford Road was one of the first streets and when the railways started to flourish the streets west of Stanford grew and the fields were developed into streets. Stanford School was used as a hospital during the war. There was a gun siege in Buxton Road in 1984 and beneath Exeter Street Hall they found Saxon burial remains.
The Argus newspaper closed its printing presses when computers arrived. Andy was offered and acquired the Argus picture library going back many years of thousands of photographs. He showed us a black and white photo of school girls on Brigden Street.
Rob from Step Back In Time has made his living from selling postcards and prints of Brighton & Hove. When postcards were invented in the 1800’s they were blank. If you affixed a stamp and posted it, it only took a couple of hours to arrive for example in Portslade from Brighton. Then the law changed and larger picture postcards became available. Once again he has several thousand photos of Brighton.
At the end of the evening the lucky raffle ticket winner received an illustrated street map of their choice of Brighton.
Angela McKay