12 January 2016

Lower Market Street, Hove

Judy Middleton (2001 revised 2014)

Twelve properties were completed by 1842 and by February 1878 there were 197 inhabitants. The sanitary inspector was kept busy making sure there was a proper water supply to the privies. Quite often this was not the case. For example, numbers 1, 12 and 13 in 1881; numbers 2, 14 and 47 in 1888; number 6 in 1889; numbers 6 and 33 in 1890 and number 33 in 1893. In 1895 Parsons & Sons were awarded the contract to construct a new sewer in the street at a cost of £199.
In 1923 Hove’s Medical Officer of Health cited a case of overcrowding in the street in a plea for more council accommodation to be provided. Apparently, three families shared one house but none of them had applied for a council house because they could not afford more than 10/- a week for rent. One astonishing fact about the street was the number of pubs or beer houses. In the 1930s there was also an establishment known as the Lower Market Street Mission and when Dame Anne Charlotte Seymour of 4 Grand Avenue Mansions died in 1935, she left the mission £1,000.

Carpenter’s Arms
It was situated at number 35 and it started off as a beer shop rather than a pub. Samuel Christmas was the first man in charge of it and on 31st March 1832 he signed a restrictive covenant concerning the premises with the Revd Thomas Scutt, freeholder of the Wick Estate. Vallance & Catt owned the premises from 1835 but Christmas continued to be landlord until at least 1842. John Stringer was in charge in 1850 and by 1854 the pub had acquired its name. E Hickmott was landlord in 1856 and was still there in 1859 but there is no entry in the Directory for 1866. Vallance & Catt sold the pub in the 1870s and by 1875 it had reverted to being a beer shop while also hosting an eating house run by Thomas Bonner.

The Conqueror
It was established in the late 1860s and was at number 16. Kidd & Hotblack owned the pub from 1884 to 1926; Tamplin’s owned it from 1926 to 1964 and then Courage took over until 1992.
In 1871 William Reynolds was the landlord while in 1875 H Dyer was in charge but Samuel Flint was the longest serving publican, being there from at least 1898 to the late 1920s. In May 1898 Hove Western Star Football Club held their annual dinner at the pub and an excellent repast was served up by the host and hostess Mr and Mrs S Flint. The pub served as the HQ of Hove Western Star Football Club as well as the Brighton Mitre Cycling Club.
copyright © J.Middleton
The Conqueror

By 1930 R Dillon was in charge, followed by William Tait in around 1935 and FW Hutter in 1947. In 1951 Frederick Terence George was the landlord, followed in around 1954 by Albert Pond.

John and Muriel Phelps ran the pub from 1968 until 1992 but then Courage Breweries informed them they were putting the pub up for sale. They had little choice but to leave since they could not afford to buy it themselves. The Phelps were not entitled to compensation because they were tenants and not employees. But the Licensed Victuallers Association offered them a flat. Regulars and neighbours held a farewell party for them and Councillor Bob Bailey said ‘John and Muriel are an institution round here’.
In October 1993 The Conqueror was advertised for sale as a freehold free house and offers in the region of £130,000 were invited. But it was not until February 1998 that the establishment had finished being refurbished with new carpeting and panelling. Flo Stone, 92, was invited to cut the ribbon. She lived near the pub where she had enjoyed her gin and tonic for the last 20 years and she also celebrated her 80th and 90th birthdays at the pub. Landlord Alex Korobin said ‘she is a great character’.

In the Evening Argus (15thMay 1999) columnist Rowan Dore wrote an article about the pub in which he claimed it was once described in a guide as one of the worst pubs in town; not to mention Courage’s sign-writer who got in a tangle with his spelling and wrote ‘Conquerer’ on one side of the sign. (There is a stained-glass window depicting William the Conqueror in the saloon bar).
But new life has been breathed into the pub by lottery money showered on the nearby Old Market Arts Centre headed by Stephen Neiman who also took over the running of the pub. Under the banner of Conqueror Inns, the company ran the pub and the bar at the Old Market. The managers were Keiran and Fiona. Further improvements were planned and there was a darts team.

In the Sussex Drinker (Summer 2014) it was revealed that the pub had changed its name to the extraordinary title Bottom’s Rest. Perhaps it was chosen to emphasize its earthy roots in contrast to grand buildings in Brunswick Square, which once housed the upper crust. At Bottom’s Rest customers could sample such delights as Rosie Pig Cider, Arundel Gold and Harvey’s Best.

Hero of Waterloo Inn
This was a small pub at number 34 about which no snippets of information seem to have survived apart from being mentioned in the Directories. It opened early in the 1850s and GE Trigg was in charge in 1854. But in 1856 J Trigg was the landlord and by 1861 Esau Trigg ran the pub. By 1866 L Wilder had taken over and by 1875 the pub was not mentioned by name although it was still there. After that it seemed to fade away.

Horse and Groom
It was a small beer house established before 1839 at number 3 and there was a restrictive covenant governing the premises dated 8th April 1829. In 1842 George Trigg ran the beer house and was still there in 1851 when he was described as a beer retailer aged 58 who was born in Surrey. It would be interesting to know if there was a connection with the Triggs who ran the Hero of Waterloo. William Gurnsey or Garnsey was the next landlord, followed in around 1859 by R Brooker who stayed until the 1870s. In 1879 the licence was transferred from James Blackhall to George Rose and Rose remained until the 1880s. In 1888 the rent was £45 a year. In 1891 Louisa Starr aged 40 was the beer retailer and she lived on the premises with two nieces, two lodgers and one servant. In 1895 a new lamp-post was erected at the south end of the street to replace the bracket lamp attached to the wall of the Horse and Groom. In 1905 the landlord was W King but the pub was not mentioned in Directories after 1906 and Stephen Sheather was the last landlord. Vallance & Catt owned the Horse and Groom from 1892 to 1899 and Tamplin’s owned the property from 1899 to 1906 when it was sold. It was demolished in the 1970s.

Copyright © J.Middleton 2012
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