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Home > Sussex >
Brighton > Northern Tavern
The Northern Tavern was situated at 85 Ditchling
Road. This pub closed in 2013 and is now used as a lettings agency.
Source: Nick Hearn
This was my home between May 1961 and July 1963,
when I was aged 14 to 16 years.
My parents were the tenant landlords of the establishment which at that time
was known just as “The Northern”.
The pub was owned by Watney’s who had taken over Tamplins, one of the local
Brighton breweries; Tamplins headquarters was originally located opposite
“The Level” on Lewes Road.
At that time the premises had two bars, a small Saloon Bar entered via a
door in Baker Street, and a Public Bar which was accessed from the door at
the front of the premises and at an angle between Baker Street and Ditchling
Road. There was a cellar accessed from behind the Public Bar counter and out
the back (adjacent to Baker Street) there was secure bottle store with an
access to baker Street for deliveries. There was also a trap-door chute for
deliveries to the cellar, but I can’t remember if that was in Baker Street
or at the front in Ditchling Road.
The living accommodation was accessed via a door in the Saloon Bar leading
to a staircase and consisted of:
First floor - a large “front” living room and a small kitchen/diner at the
rear. There was also a toilet off the landing on the staircase.
Second floor – 1 Double and 1 Single bedroom, a box room with no external
windows, and a bathroom (no toilet).
There was constant traffic noise 24 hours a day as we were also on one of
the all-night bus routes that ran in those days; “ours” ran, I believe, from
Black Rock via a circuitous route to somewhere in Hove.
We were there during the severe winter of 1962/1963 and I can remember that
the snow started around lunch time on Boxing Day 1962 and stopped about two
days later. The entrance to the Saloon Bar in Baker Street had a six-inch
step down to the pavement, after the snow it was at least a 12 inch step up
onto the snow.
Christopher Wakeling (November 2023)
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Eldest son of the licensee, my younger
brother was born while we lived there.