North Laine History
Trafalgar Street was originally named Trafalgar Place and was one of the east-
Sheep on their way to the slaughterhouse
A hundred years ago farmers would bring sheep or cattle to Brighton and then drive them to the many slaughterhouses in the area. It was quite usual for butchers to select their own animals for slaughter and indeed to help in the slaughtering of the animals. The butcher who lived at No 16 even had his own slaughterhouse on the premises. No 16 was later bought by the Goldberg family who set up a small garage in 1921 and later established a successful business making coffins and providing transport for burials at Florence Place, Ditchling Road. Their full story is told in We're not all Rothchilds! by Leila Abrahams. You can still see the green tiles and the garage door with the inscription 'Grand Parade Garage -
The 1849 health report
Besides the slaughterhouse at No 16 there were also slaughterhouses nearby in Vine Street, Cheltenham Place and Oxford Place (the other side of London Road). In 1849 the government appointed a commissioner to investigate Brighton's health and particular reference was made by Edward Cresy, the Commissioner, to these slaughterhouses and their difficulty in getting rid of the dung and refuse. It was common practice to sink the dung in the nearest cesspool, with the blood being given to pigs (often kept in the cellars with the poorest of families). These cesspools often contaminated the wells which provided water for the local families, resulting in epidemics of typhoid. Diseases like typhoid, cholera, scarlet fever and consumption were common among the poor and Trafalgar Street was mentioned by Cresy as being one of the worst, although not quite as bad as Orange Row and surrounding areas.
By 1900 Trafalgar Street was entering a prosperous phase. A glance at the trade directories for the period reveals a street that had become a major shopping destination. People came to the area from all over Brighton and indeed from London. Major stores like the Co-
Always a main route to the station
As well as a through route for cattle and sheep, Trafalgar Street has always been a main route to the station. Even today in the early morning and evening the pavements are full of people rushing to catch their trains to often far off destinations. In the early part of the century you would have seen many a church or Sunday School outing to some of the villages in the country like Burgess Hill or Hassocks which had pleasure gardens and plenty of fresh air.
In recent years
Nowadays Trafalgar Street is a very busy street linking the London Road area with the station. It has become dominated by traffic and restaurants. The Council has enhanced the top end of the road where it accesses the station but the rest of the street with its narrow pavements and busy traffic remains an unpleasant street for pedestrians. Much of the original building on the northern side was knocked down to be replaced by Trafalgar Place, an office complex, although there are plenty of examples of Victorian North Laine on the southern side.
The Prince Albert pub
Near the top end by Frederick Place is the Prince Albert pub, a listed building from the 1840s and a live music venue which hosted one of the gigs for the launch of the North Laine Community Association's CD.
For more information on Trafalgar St go to: http://www.mhms.org.uk/content/trafalgar-
16 Trafalgar St today
The top of Trafalgar St today
Going to the station for a Sunday school picnic in Hassocks
The Albert before its current colour scheme