12 January 2016

Waterloo Street, Hove

Judy Middleton (2001 revised 2012)

copyright © J.Middleton
Waterloo Street
As far back as March 1925 it was noted that this street was to be called Waterloo Street. The Battle of Waterloo took place on 18th June 1815 and so the events would still have been fresh in people’s minds. There was also the fact that Sir Edward Kerrison, one of the Duke of Wellington’s officers, had been present at the battle and now lived at Hove. Another war veteran was James Smith who had been present at the battle of Trafalgar (21st October 1805) and he kept a greengrocer’s shop in Waterloo Street. He died aged 74 in 1855.
By 1842 some 31 properties had been built in the street, which was re-numbered at least twice. In 1851 there were three small schools and no less than eighteen lodging- houses. Amongst the profession of heads of households there were ten fund-holders, three annuitants, and singly, proprietor of houses, retired farmer, butler, house agent, coachman, stable keeper, dairyman, baker, greengrocer, butcher, grocer, plumber, cook, curate of Hove, dyer, landed proprietor, stonemason and at number 42A Joseph Anscomb, aged 50, brewer. In addition there was an officer’s wife in the East India Company’s Bengal Civil Service plus a surgeon in the East India Company’s Service.

By 1861 the schools had gone but there were twelve lodging-houses and seven boarding houses. (But the 1862 Directory listed 32 lodging houses). There were 65 residences and only two were unoccupied. John Howick, a plumber and painter, lived at number 36 and he was the employer of 30 men. John Betts, the parish clerk, lived at number 33, while blacksmith Ebenezer Packham occupied number 48. Some houses were very overcrowded. For instance, 20 people were listed as living at number 53.
2 Waterloo Street
advert from Brighton Season 1912
In November 1879 it was stated that six houses still drew water from their own wells while in September 1881 there was a letter of complaint to the police about brawling caused by street hawkers in Waterloo Street. In 1889 Hove Commissioners had to pay out over £57 in compensation when a horse belonging to Withers & Co was injured because of the defective road surface at the foot of Waterloo Street. In January 1897 proceedings were taken against Marianne Thwaites of number 3 for selling brandy adulterated with 4% water. But the case was withdrawn when the defendant agreed to pay 16/- costs. In 1900 there were complaints about the black smoke issuing from the chimneys belonging to Robins’ Brewery, which backed on to premises in Waterloo Street.

There was a Jewish community around Waterloo Street, which flourished until the 1970s and a kosher butcher, a Jewish baker and a Jewish fish and chip shop that only used matzo oil catered for their needs. The butcher’s shop was the place to catch up on all the local gossip and it acted as an unofficial marriage market. This was an important matter since marriage outside the community to a non-Jew was considered a grave scandal. There was a block of four or five houses in Waterloo Street (presumably Jewish-owned) and the facades were painted blue regularly every two years – blue being the national colour of Israel. The Orthodox men wore large, black hats and side-locks while the Orthodox married women shaved their heads and wore wigs, and some even shaved their eyebrows too. The story goes that one matriarch was putting on her make-up when she heard a fracas in the street and rushed down to investigate. Perhaps she forgot she had only pencilled in one eyebrow. 
Jabez Wolffe was a member of the Jewish community who had been born in Glasgow but now lived in Waterloo Street. His ambition was to swim the English Channel, a feat he attempted to accomplish 22 times. His 1908 effort was recognised by the French authorities and they presented him with a handsome medal. He used to train off the Palace Pier or from Shoreham Harbour. He went on to train other cross-Channel swimmers including Gertrude Ederle, the first American woman to complete the swim, and Laddie Sharp, an 18-year old English girl who was the youngest and first swimmer to succeed at the first attempt. Jabez Wolffe died aged 66 in October 1943.

Waterloo Arch

copyright © J.Middleton
Waterloo Arch 
Al though the Old Market was situated between Upper and Lower Market Street, it was always listed in the Directories under Waterloo Street. When Alfred Dupont took over the Riding Academy in 1875 he decided to emphasize the connection with Waterloo Street by erecting a handsome arch. The structure is tall with a keystone and pediment topped off with a segmental decoration while a large diamond shape embellished the pier on either side. The arch was erected in 1877 and became a Grade II listed building on 10th September 1971.

By 1980 Hove Council had plans to restore the arch to its former glory. But it was not a simple matter because there was a building attached to it constructed of steel and asbestos, which was still in use. Howard Kent and his wife Sheila ran their removal business from the premises and employed a dozen people. They had purchased the building in 1979 and expended £20,000 on it, yet the Council was only offering them £15,000. There was also a dispute about whether or not the couple were aware of the plans to restore Waterloo Arch.
copyright © J.Middleton
Waterloo Arch from the garden side
By 1985 Hove Council owned the arch and the building but unfortunately there was no money available for restoration. Meanwhile the site had become an eyesore and 150 residents signed a petition calling for action. By February 1986 funding was in place and restoration went ahead. Local architect Christopher Dodd was employed on the scheme and Dixon Hurst & Partners were the structural engineers. York stone was laid on the path running beneath the arch while the arch itself was painted with Regency Cream and floodlit at night. Contribution towards the cost came from English Heritage, the Montpelier and Clifton Association and Hove Council. In June 1986 the Mayor of Hove, Edward Cruickshank-Robb, and the Mayoress, formally opened Waterloo Arch.
Today the arch is a most attractive feature and there is a well-tended little garden on the sides of the pathway leading to the Old Market. It is hard to imagine the site being derelict and unloved such a short time ago.

The Iron Duke
This establishment started life as the Kerrison Arms Hotel and it was also used as a meeting place for the proprietors of Brunswick Town. For instance, they held a meeting there on 31st October 1829 to discuss how the area should be governed and they continued to meet there until they had their own committee room in 1831.
copyright © J.Middleton
The Iron Duke
James Ireland managed the hotel in the 1830s. He had once been a draper and undertaker in North Street, Brighton, before opening some pleasure grounds north of the Level in 1824. He ran other pubs too before arriving in Waterloo Street and there he remained until his death in 1842, most probably from an asthma attack. An inquest was held at the hotel. Ireland took more than a passing interest in the affairs of Brunswick Town as he was the first Collector of Rates.
In 1851 the landlord was Kettering-born David Knowles, 36, who lived with his wife Rebecca aged 40, their children Louisa aged two and eight-month old Arthur, his step-daughter Sarah Jones aged 7, a cousin, a waiter, a cook and a nursemaid.
In 1861 David Dawson from Hichen was the landlord and he was not a family man. In the hotel with him were two visitors, one male servant and four female servants.  In 1894 an advertisement stated ‘There is something homely about the Kerrison Hotel, which is not normally met with, Mrs Thwaites, the genial proprietress, is herself a hostess of no ordinary character’.
In 1907 Mr Mayhead was in charge of an entirely re-furbished establishment and the name was changed to Hove Lawns Hotel. Bed and breakfast cost 4/6d while a bedroom for two with breakfast cost 5/-. Weekly terms were also on offer starting from two guineas. Dinners a la carte cost from 3/- to 5/- and there were large rooms for hire spacious enough to accommodate parties of up to 50 people, garage and stabling was on hand too.
copyright © J.Middleton

On 24th December 1907 a fire broke out at the hotel and Mr and Mrs Mayhead, their three children, the cook and barman escaped by scrambling onto the balcony over the front entrance and thence to street level by means of a large and decorative hanging lamp.
The hotel passed through the hands of a number of different breweries. Wigney’s owned it until 1850, Vallance & Catt were in charge from 1850 to 1892 and after 1892 to 1899 by Catt alone while Tamplin’s were the owners from 1899 to 1963.
In 1987 Mike Ashby and Averil Older purchased the premises and within three years they had turned the business around into a thriving enterprise. When they took over, its reputation was such that taxi drivers were known to be reluctant to call at the establishment. It involved a great deal of hard work but it awakened Averil’s interest in local history. She went on to write a column about central Hove in the Argus, became a guide at the Royal Pavilion and later served as a Hove Councillor. She remembers when the last wedding took place at St Andrew’s opposite the pub, some of the guests came across for a drink.
The hotel has seen more name changes than most. In around 1974 it became the Iron Duke (after the Duke of Wellington); in 1991 it became The Duke, reverted to the Iron Duke in 1994 and in 1997 it became The Duke Inn. In 2012 the signboard reads ‘The Iron Duke pub & hotel’.
In 1991 Michael Baker and Chris Dolphin took over the premises and were still there in 1997. Michael Baker came from the successful Rolling Clock Restaurant in Wilbury Road. In the 1990s the Iron Duke had a restaurant large enough to seat 40 people and there were twelve bedrooms for commercial guests or tourists.


copyright © J.Middleton
St Andrew's Church
The church was not part of the original plan for Brunswick Town, nor did the land on which it was later built form part of the Wick Estate. The Revd Edward Everard owned this piece of land and when he became aware of all the building activity going on in the Brunswick area, he decided to build a proprietary chapel. The Act of Parliament allowing the scheme to go forward was dated 3rd April 1828. Although Charles Augustin Busby was the architect of Brunswick Town, he was not invited to design the chapel. The two men knew each other but an apparent friendship had ended in acrimonious circumstances. In 1824 Everard was joint secretary of the Sussex County Hospital and he and Busby inspected possible sites upon which a new hospital might be built. At the time Everard assured Busby he would be given the commission to design the hospital. But it was a rash promise and one he was unable to fulfil. Lord Egremont and Thomas Attree, both important and influential members of the hospital committee, favoured the young architect Charles Barry and eventually he was given the commission. Busby was furious at the outcome, which he plainly thought of as an act of betrayal. Consequently, when Everard began to think about his new chapel in Waterloo Street, he turned to Charles Barry. St Andrew’s is important because it is the first example of the Italian Quattrocento revival in England and it was consecrated on 5th July 1828.

Charles Barry (1795-1860) was articled at the age of fifteen to a firm of Lambeth surveyors and architects called Middleton & Bailey where he stayed for six years. Perhaps as a mark of respect, his son Edward’s second name was Middleton and he too became an architect who designed Wykehurst Park, Bolney, in the 1870s. Between 1817 and 1820 Charles Barry travelled through France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Syria and Palestine. Hove Museum has a charming pen and wash scene by him entitled Ponte delle Pagalia. In 1823 Barry won a competition to design St Peter’s Church, Brighton. Barry has been described as the most versatile of the leading Victorian architects. He designed Gothic-style churches, Grecian-type institutions while his London Traveller’s Club harked back to the Quattrocento and the Reform Club’s inspiration was Cinquecento. But his magnum opus was the Houses of Parliament designed in collaboration with AWN Pugin and work commenced in 1839 – this commission too was the result of a winning competition entry. Charles Barry had five sons, two of whom became architects, one a bishop and the fifth the engineer of Tower Bridge. Barry was knighted in 1852.
copyright ©  J.Middleton
The interior of St Andrew's Church

The interior of St Andrew’s was designed as a plain, square preaching house and the only ornament to be seen were three round-headed niches containing panels inscribed with the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed. On either side was a preaching desk.
Everard was right about his instincts to build St Andrew’s (although it cost him £6,000 to do so) and in his position of perpetual curate he was soon welcoming a large and fashionable congregation. On one occasion in December 1828 the pews contained the Duke and Duchess of Bedford, the Duke and Duchess of St Albans and the Duke and Duchess of Roxburgh. In 1830 William IV appointed Everard as Chaplain to the Household, which meant he took services in the Chapel Royal when the royal family were in residence at the Royal Pavilion. Everard died in 1839.

By the 1840s the congregation included the elderly Duchess of Gloucester (sister of George IV and William IV) the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their daughter Princess Mary. The princess was of ample girth and famously nicknamed Fat Mary but she was popular with the public. No doubt the worshippers at St Andrew’s were often diverted by the Duke of Cambridge who was somewhat deaf and accustomed to uttering loud comments during the course of the service. Once when the minister intoned solemnly ‘Let us Pray’ the Duke rejoined ‘By all means’.

The Revd WH Rooper was the incumbent from 1856 to 1863. In 1868 the Revd Daniel Winham was appointed to St Andrew’s and the following year set about a series of improvements. The first item on his agenda was to sweep away the old seating and to install open, carved, wooden benches. But he left the old wainscot around the walls in place. In 1882 he expended £2,000 of his own money in acquiring a piece of land occupied by stables adjoining the chapel on the east side. The stables belonged to the owner of 15 Brunswick Terrace and J Horace Round’s father sold the land especially so that the chapel might be enlarged. Winham commissioned Edward Middleton Barry, son of the original architect, to enlarge the edifice. A chancel was constructed on the newly acquired land and the original interior was transformed from the plain and somewhat severe chapel it had been to something more in sympathy with its Italian-inspired exterior. A sanctuary was created, set back from the main body of the church and framed by finely proportioned Ionic columns and surmounted by a dome glittering with gold stars upon a blue background. The altar was lit from above. But the altar remained plain with the only ornament being a Holy Communion plate. Space was made on the north side for a new organ and an elaborate organ case was added in 1889. The total cost came to over £5,203 of which £2,328 was met by public subscription while Winham paid the residue.
copyright ©  J.Middleton
One of St Andrew's Baptistry
stained glass windows

In 1923 Father Kirkley became vicar and two years later he embarked on an ambitious programme of re-modelling the interior with the aim of creating a little piece of Italy. He decided the interior was far too gloomy and he had the heavy stencil work covering walls and ceiling, painted over. He wanted to admit more natural light into the interior and so he had the dark glass surrounding the figures of the Apostles removed. Instead he substituted roundels of clear glass from Venice called cibles and these were the gift of Lord Lurgan and his brothers Colonel Brownlow and Cecil Brownlow. (Lord Lurgan lived at 26 Brunswick Terrace). Then he banished the many stone memorial tablets crowding the walls and had them placed in the narthex, except for two large ones that he allowed to remain. The chancel was raised and plain York slabs replaced the wooden flooring. The sanctuary area was raised further and WR Blacking designed a magnificent baldacchino for it. A 14th century sanctuary lamp was added and the wooden altar rails were replaced with solid bronze rails, modelled on those at St Paul’s Cathedral. There was also a new font and Christopher Webb designed a new window depicting Our Lady. The total cost came to £4,000 and the congregation raised all the money.

On 30th March 1851 a religious census recorded around 350 people attending the morning service and around 300 people coming to the one in the afternoon. But the late 20th century saw the congregation dwindle away to vanishing point. At least the church was made a Grade I listed building on 23rd March 1950, which meant church authorities could not demolish the building, had they the mind to do so. Almost as a swansong was the celebration of the 1,300th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in Sussex when in 1981 a combined choir of 100 people walked in procession from St Andrew’s to Brunswick Lawns where an open-air service was conducted.

By the 1990s the building no longer functioned as a church and in 1995 a group of squatters took over after being evicted from St Anne’s Convent. During their stay, the squatters smashed pews, broke gilt plasterwork and woodcarvings, gutted the organ, left syringes on the floor and made bonfires of Bibles, embroidered hassocks and music. It seems some documents were also destroyed. Before they left St Andrew’s they held an eviction party and around 300 people took part.
Various schemes were put forward to convert the church to different uses but none came to fruition. For example, in January 2001 St Patrick’s Trust came up with an ambitious £700,000 project to utilize the building. A night shelter for homeless people was located at St Patrick’s Church but at the present time, it is closed.

In 2002 the Churches’ Conservation Trust carried out some restoration work at St Andrew’s. Michael Robins, local guide and amateur historian, lived in Brunswick Terrace and looked after the church. He was committed to the restoration of the church and keeping interest in the historic building alive. In 2004 he kept the church open for visitors for five hours from Tuesday to Saturday. He enjoyed telling people about the history and children were fascinated to hear about Andy, the friendly church mouse. For 28 years previously, Mr Robins had worked as a British Airways steward.

In 2005 there was great excitement when an underground chamber was discovered by chance. It happened when electrician Darren Brown and Chris Clarke were chipping away at the pavement outside the church to make a small hole and check the lightning rod was properly earthed. Suddenly, the concrete collapsed, revealing a chamber measuring 16 feet x 8 feet. Mr Robins lost no time in clambering down into it and said ‘I didn’t mind the dark and the rubble because it was so exciting. There were about three dozen bottles of different sizes’.  Most of the bottles were green gin bottles belonging to Gordon’s Special Dry Gin and there were 40 of them. At first they were thought to be antiques since they had a hinge opening but matters were soon put right by Gordon’s Distillery. They stated the distinctive underscoring of the word ‘London’ plus a boar’s head on the bottom, dated the bottles to between 1951 and 1963. But still the intriguing questions – what were they doing there? At first people thought the chamber must be part of the secret tunnel that legend proclaims once joined the church to the pub opposite. But Mr Robins commented that if the tunnel existed it would have to be on the other side of the church.

In August 2005 Brighton & Hove Gay Men’s Chorus were giving a concert at St Andrew’s when Mr Robins noticed two church volunteers racing along the north wall carrying fire extinguishers. It seemed a candle had set fire to some coconut matting. The choir carried on singing and the audience was completely unfazed as they were convinced it was all part of the act.  Mike Robins died in 2011. In February 2011 it was stated that John Hamilton and Jason Pimblett formed the Gay Men’s Chorus six years ago and they had been rehearsing and performing at St Andrew’s since its inception. By 2011 there were 30 members. On 5th December 2011 in a deal reported to be worth £1 million the Gay Men’s Chorus released its debut album through Universal Records.

In 2006 the Churches’ Conservation Trust told the Friends of St Andrew’s Church they needed to raise £10,000 in order for heating to be installed. The Trust stated that if the Friends managed to raise that amount then the Trust would provide the further £20,000. Bert Holden, aged 91, generously pledged to donate £5,000. He was a choirboy at the church for ten years, he was married there and his two children were baptised there. Another well-wisher local businessman Mark Peake donated £2,500 and the Friends had already raised £2,864, mainly by sponsored walks.  
In 2008 the clock was restored. There were three clock faces and a striking mechanism dating back to 1869, which was taken down for work to be done to cure years of salt-laden air and corrosion. The Friends of St Andrew’s Church raised more than £2,000 for the project and the Churches’ Conservation Trust matched that amount. In July 2008 to coincide with the church’s 180th anniversary, the bells were heard once again. It was the first time in forty years.
Two members of the Friends of St Andrew’s Church were Joanne Heard and Kevin Jameson, both aged 44 in 2011. They were much involved in fund raising and it seemed only fitting for them to be married there too. But because the church had been declared redundant, it took around nine months for permission to come through from the Archbishop of Canterbury. The wedding took place on 28th August 2011.
Burial Vaults
Unique in Hove, underneath the church there are burial vaults. This was necessitated by the shortage of land in Brunswick Town for burial purposes. The nearest churchyard was the one attached to St Andrew’s Old Church, Hove but at the time Brunswick Town was built there was no easy access because there was no direct route along the present day Western Road and Church Road. Instead there was a line of posts near St John’s Church blocking entry to vehicles. Therefore a funeral cortege had to turn south and go along the coast road (Kingsway) until Hove Street was reached and then they could turn north.

At Waterloo Street steps lead down to the burial vaults and at the foot a long passage leads east while through a stout door another passage runs parallel with it and has five segmental barrel vaults opening from it. The door in question is massive, at least two inches thick, well studded and lined inside. The vaults were created with good ventilation and so the atmosphere is pleasant and not at all damp. The brick built chambers remain in good condition to this day. There are five vaults but coffins only occupy four of them. They are laid in three stacks for five spaces, that is, approximately fifteen coffins on either side with smaller coffins on the top layer where space is restricted because of the arch. The coffins are laid on iron shelves and  the front part has a stone inscribed with the occupant’s name cemented into place but the end of the shelf is left open for ventilation. There are also some coffins in the passage connecting the vaults. Custodian Michael Robins stated there were 55 bodies in leather coffins but other sources suggest the coffins were of lead. At the far end of the vacant vault there rests a lonely stained-glass window belonging to the church and removed during one of its restorations.

Lord Charles Somerset was the first person laid to rest in the vault and he died on 20th February 1831. He asked to be buried with the least possible expense and stipulated there was not to be a lavish ceremony. The request seems out of character when compared the pomp surrounding him when he embarked for South Africa in 1814 to become Governor of Cape Colony. Two ships were required to transport all his furniture, household staff and horses. Dr James Barry was his personal physician at the Cape. It is probable Dr Barry attended Somerset’s funeral because the Brighton Gazette stated his medical attendant was present. Dr Barry had an illustrious career, serving in the British Army from 1813 to 1859 and rising to become Inspector General of Army Hospitals. Dr Barry died on 25th July 1865 and the people laying out his corpse were astonished to discover that the good doctor was in fact a woman.
Following an Act in the previous session of Parliament amending laws relevant to the burial of the dead, on 30th January 1854 the Queen in Council agreed to an Order stating that burials in the vaults of St Andrew’s Church must cease forthwith.
During World War II the vaults were used as an air raid shelter.

Copyright © J.Middleton 2012
page layout by D.Sharp