North Laine History
Thee former Gigins, now Ju-
Gigins on the corner of Kensington St
My grandmother, Emily Elizabeth Randall, was born in 1893 and died in 1994 aged 101. In her 90s she wrote the story of her life.
She was manageress of Gigins
As she lived in Crown Street, off Western Road, there is not a great deal about the North Laine area, but I am copying a few paragraphs below which may be of interest. They describe her time in Gigins, the cake and bread shop, on the corner of Gloucester Road and Kensington Street, where she was manageress from the 1930s (when the photographs were taken) to the 1960s. Some older residents of North Laine may remember her.
In the first photograph, my grandmother is standing in the door. Next door, the shop with lamps may be named C Davis, and beyond that is the fruit and vegetable shop which was on the corner of Kensington Gardens. The shop on the other corner of Kensington Street may be a newsagents as a noticeboard for advertisements can be seen above the sandwich board.
Managing the shop in the 1930s
"I am now supervisor to all the shops [Gigins] but I am not happy with the job. I am not much good at trying to put people in their place or telling people off. I also find it hard work -
Life is now about the same each day: up at 7 o'clock; work by 10 to 8; finish work at 8 o'clock on weekdays but not until 9 or even 10 o'clock on Saturdays; my half day is Wednesday when I finish at 1 o'clock if lucky. I look forward most of all to Sunday -
At this date, the 1930s, she was earning £1 10s (£1.50) per week. Her assistants were earning 5s (25p) per week.
During the war
"We were very busy in my shop during the war as there was an army barracks opposite, sometimes our own soldiers, sometimes Canadians -
German planes overhead
One year during the war, on my birthday (September 15th), we watched hundreds of German planes coming over Brighton. I had never seen so many, we thought of London. It must have been terrible for the people there. We watched dog fights from my shop door and saw some planes falling -
Then and now
As you know, the shop is now Ju-
[Also published in the North Laine Runner, No 211, July/August 2011]
Emily Elizabeth Randall
By Yvonne Dedman
Elizabeth Randall, on the far right