Books In Print

Out Now: Seaside Stories – A People’s History of Brighton & Hove’s Seaside

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"My wages were five shillings a week with the working week consisting of six days, although a couple of years later shops decided to close one afternoon a week and we chose to have early closing on Thursday afternoons. I remember spending many of my half days accompanying my Auntie Mabel to the band concerts on the Palace Pier when weather permitted. These expeditions were the highlight of my week for we used to hire a deckchair, buy a cup of tea, and spend about three hours enjoying the music. Unfortunately this came to an end later in the [First World] War when the pier and the seafront became off-bounds and guns were positioned on the seafront in preparation for any likely invasion by the Germans." - Lillie Morgan "When I just started work on the West Pier, I was part-time. Then, after a while, my day started at l0am till 10pm, six days a week. Also I usually worked my day off, plus some of my holidays. Miss Hardy was the head of catering when I started there. She really frightened me. They said she had been in the Army Catering Corps, and even the dog sat to attention when it saw her! She was always fair. If we were sitting down having a break she would say, 'Where else could you get paid to sit down?' and then she would wink and smile. After I had been there one season I was asked if I would like to be on the permanent staff, which meant working all the winter. There was only a skeleton staff on the Pier in the winter: office staff, manager, catering supervisor, Mrs Jones and myself. We looked after customers and fed the staff. We were open Christmas Day and Boxing Day, right through to the next season. That was quite an experience. When it snowed, it was like working on a desert island: toilets frozen up and no water until we thawed some for tea." - Daphne Mitchell

Brighton Photographic Collection

The Brighton & Hove Photographic Collections Volumes I & II

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The Brighton & Hove Photographic Collection – Volumes I and II are a selection of images submitted by the public for QueenSpark’s online Photographic Collection, You’ll find images of lost Brighton landmarks, the piers and historic seaside, farewell to the Goldstone and the building of the Amex football stadium, JJ Waller’s collection of images taken around the [...]

Brighton’s Graphic War

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With tales of Indian soldiers recuperating at the Royal Pavilion, Suffragettes, paranormal legends, conscientious objectors and families torn apart by conflict, Brighton's Graphic War is a graphic novel which focuses on the impact of World War One on home life. Created by 15 new young writers and artists, the book illustrates the huge social changes that [...]

Brighton Transformed

Brighton Transformed

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Trans identities are often neglected, re-written or even erased from formal histories. Brighton Trans*formed features, in their own words, the rich variety of Trans, gender-queer and non-binary lives in Brighton & Hove today; it preserves previously untold stories for future generations, and is a much-needed exploration into the diversity of gender expression within the city. [...]

Brighton The Graphic Novel QueenSpark books

Brighton: The Graphic Novel

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With nearly 300 years of history, twenty eight writers and artists, and fourteen fantastical tales featuring unheralded characters and true events from the city’s fascinating history, Brighton: The Graphic Novel is a unique collaborative collection. Featuring pioneering drag queens, doomed pleasure gardens, smugglers, arsonists, obsessed inventors, aspiring actors, corrupt policemen, cantankerous barbers, sea swimmers, hands [...]

photo collection vol1

The Brighton & Hove Photographic Collection I

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The Brighton & Hove Photographic Collection - Volume I is a selection of 50 colour and black-and-white images submitted by the local photographers for QueenSpark Books' online Photographic Collection. You’ll find images of lost Brighton landmarks, the piers and historic seaside, the building of the Amex football stadium and much more. From the historic to the contemporary, this [...]

The Brighton & Hove Photographic Collection II

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For Volume II of The Brighton & Hove Photographic Collection, we have selected 66 colour and black-and-white images from our Brighton & Hove Photographic website. Magnum photographer Mark Power's curation; JJ Waller's collection of images taken around the closure of the Open Market; the late Leslie Whitcomb's documents of the past; and Peter Chrisp's evocative photos of [...]

Tale of a Boy Soldier Book

The Tale Of A Boy Soldier

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George Parker was born into poverty in Brighton in 1898 and joined up to fight in the First World War at the age of just 15. He fought in the trenches in both Ypres and on the Somme and, although wounded, survived the horrors of the 'war to end all wars'. In 1969 George wrote [...]

Back stage Brighton

Backstage Brighton: Theatre Going in Brighton & Hove

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In 1900 Brighton had more theatres than anywhere in the UK outside London. Backstage Brighton from QueenSpark Books celebrates theatre and theatre-going in the city, past and present. If you ever wondered what once stood on the site of the Brighton Centre or why the Sallis Benney Theatre is so-called, alongside first person memories of venues [...]

Teatime tales QueenSpark Books

Teatime Tales: The Pavilion Gardens Café Interviews

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The Pavilion Gardens Café, like the Royal Pavilion across the Gardens, is a unique Brighton institution. Throughout the last seventy years, it has offered refreshment, relaxation and a certain kind of charm to tens of thousands of visitors from around the world. The Café also attracts a fascinating clientele of local people who are regular [...]

Back Row Brighton QueenSpark books

Back Row Brighton: Cinema-going in Brighton & Hove

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Back Row Brighton transports us back to the heyday of cinema-going in the company of those who were there. Alongside evocative archive photographs, names such as the Astoria, the Granada, the Continentale and the Regency are recalled in touching and humorous stories of romance, excitement, grandeur and, occasionally, fleas. Some of these recollections are drawn [...]

Pebble on the Beach QueenSpark books

Pebble on the Beach

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"Back in the 1950s and 60s what the man in the white coat said, stood …" Pebble on the Beach is the true story of one boy’s ability to survive. Growing up in Brighton, England, Tony was subjected to a childhood of physical and mental abuse - including electric shock treatment at the age of [...]

The Landlord Cometh

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The Landlord Cometh is a memoir of the First World War and working class life in London in the early 20th century. Born in 1894 in London, Jack Cummins lived in Brighton from 1959. This book was published on the day of his death – 9th October 1981, so sadly, it also becomes his memorial. As [...]

book ryico Rwanda QPB

Keeping Memories: Rwandans in the UK

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Keeping Memories is in the same genre as our books Missing the Nile and Bangla Brighton and in keeping with our ethos of covering lesser heard voices and stories. It features memories, photographs, paintings and poems from members of the Rwandan diaspora who have settled in Brighton and the wider UK in which they commemorate the [...]

flying sparks QueenSpark books

Flying Sparks

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This autobiography depicts the trials and tribulations experienced by a hard-working apprentice electrician, as well as documenting times of laughter and fun. Tim Wren was fourteen when he left school and started work in wartime Brighton. In time, the opportunity arose to become a full apprentice and ‘go out on the tools’. Tim Wren’s work [...]

brighton on the rocks

Brighton On The Rocks

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Published in 1983, Brighton on the Rocks incorporates a collection of interviews, photographs and statistics, which are used to analyse how monetarism affected the economic policies that were pursued by the city’s local authorities in the 1980s. When local councils imposed financial cuts from 1980 onwards, they argued that the cuts were necessary because of overspending. [...]

A Daughter of the State

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In this poignant book, the author writes with candour about her experience of growing up in a workhouse children’s home in London during the Twenties and Thirties. Kathleen Dalley’s story is told with clarity and sensitivity, yet refrains from sentimentality. She describes an institutionalised childhood where strict members of staff upheld the rules and procedures [...]

The Church Round The Corner

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This intelligently written book examines the social and religious history of St. Anne’s Church, which was located in the heart of Brighton. Maurice Packman, the author, was a choirboy at St. Anne’s in the 1930s and he takes a gently humorous look at the community of his fellow worshippers. The church has been demolished, but [...]

Les Moss – Live and Learn

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Les Moss tells of his lifelong struggle in search of progress, and his personal triumph over adversity. Published in 1979, this fascinating life history describes one man’s involvement in trade unionism and provides a picture of political activism in London and Brighton from the 1920s onward. Also documented are the daily and working lives of [...]

George Noakes – To Be a Farmer’s Boy

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This autobiography tells of George Noakes's childhood and early adult working life before he married Daisy, author of The Town Beehive and The Faded Rainbow, in 1934. George reminisces about his childhood farm memories and forays to the local shops and surrounding areas; for example, when he visited the local bakers, he always knew that [...]

Faded Rainbow

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This autobiography gives a poignant insight into the life and expectations of a working class Brighton girl, who from the age of fourteen, was in service from 1910 to 1934. It describes her life as a young wife and mother, and the isolation she felt living in the countryside surrounding Gatwick Airfield. Daisy examines the [...]

Always a Layman

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This fascinating personal history describes John Langley's childhood in poverty in Hove before the First World War, his apprenticeship at the age of 13 on the railway in Brighton, the progression of his career as a railway carriage painter and the good and bad times of Brighton family life. The account of the harshness of working [...]