12 January 2016

Farman Street, Hove

Judy Middleton (2001 revised 2012)

In the 1841 census a brick-maker and a bricklayer lived in Farman Street while ten years later Henry Corbell at number 3 was a labourer in a brick-yard. In 1861 George Woolridge of number 6 was a bricklayer’s labourer. In 1851 George Weller, aged 41, lived at number 7. He was a donkey keeper and his two sons, James 14 and Samuel 13, were both donkey drivers. It is probable their donkeys were stabled at nearby Donkey Mews.
copyright © J.Middleton 
Farman Street

In February 1878 there were 44 inhabitants in the street and the sanitary inspector reported there was no proper water supply to the privies of numbers 5 and 6 in 1880, and of numbers 5 and 8 in 1890. In 1892 there was a lamp at the south end by the archway leading from Western Road, and one in Cross Street opposite the south end of Farman Street, some 40 yards distant. A new lamp was to be placed at the north end of the street, midway between the two existing lamps, at a cost of £7.

In 1912 the borough surveyor reported that Seymour and Seymour’s Picture Frame Factory situated at number 1, 2 and 3 Farman Street had not been provided with sufficient means of escape in the event of fire. The factory was situated on the west side and had a frontage to the street of 41 feet, a depth of 40 feet, and a height of 42 feet from the pavement to the eaves. The premises consisted of a basement, ground floor and three upper floors. On the ground floor, the front was built of brickwork but above the level of the first floor, the front was all of wood and glass except for a length of 3 feet at each end. Means of access to the different floors was by an ordinary wooden staircase at the north end. But the staircase was very worn with some of the treads being almost worn through. Three people worked in the basement, eight on the ground floor, ten on the first floor, eleven on the second floor and fourteen on the third floor, making a total of 46 people of whom 31 were female.

copyright © J.Middleton 
Farman Street
On the night of 7th June 1913 a fire broke out on the premises. Chief Officer Dumbrell of Hove Fire Brigade said it was one of the most awkward fires he had ever had to deal with because of the restricted nature of the site. The factory contained considerable quantities of inflammable material and the flames burnt so fiercely that the glow in the sky could be seen as far away as Worthing. The next-door cottage at number 4 was also damaged by smoke and water. The occupants and most of the furniture were removed from neighbouring cottages as a precaution. Thousands of spectators gathered to watch the drama and William Cocks, Chief Constable of Hove, kept them in order. The Brighton authorities were alerted under the mistaken belief the fire was in Brighton. The Police Fire Superintendent arrived with 29 members of the police section, and Captain Mills headed around 25 men from the volunteer section. The event was recorded on film and shown at the Palladian Cinema, King’s Road, in the following week.

Copyright © J.Middleton 2012
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