Daring Hearts QueenSpark books lesbian gay queer LGBT

Daring Hearts – Lesbian and Gay Lives of 50s and 60s Brighton e-book


This ground-breaking book highlights an important part of Brighton and Hove's LGBT history from the 1950s and 1960s.

Backyard Brighton e-book


Backyard Brighton is a collection of photographs and reminiscences based on material gathered by Brighton Borough Council with the intention of creating a record of houses that were scheduled for demolition during the 1930s. Originally published in 1988, this was a seminal book for QueenSpark Books, produced in association with the Lewis Cohen Urban Studies Centre. [...]

Blighty Brighton QueenSpark books

Blighty Brighton e-book


Blighty Brighton is all about memories of Brighton during the First World War. Through an examination of personal recollections and ephemera such as posters, photographs, pictures, songs, it portrays a collective memory of the city. Photographs are central to this work; for example Brighton Museum, Preston Manor and Brighton Reference Library are all featured pictorially. This [...]

Brighton: The Graphic Novel e-Book

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 of death and mysterious sea forces, the stories – complete with historical footnotes – will ensure that you never look at Brighton in the same way again... As Bryan Talbot, 2013 Costa Biography Award winner, says: "This is an original anthology of entertaining and intriguing tales, at times funny, chilling and poignant - a mixture of fact and fantasy, told in a wide and refreshing gamut of illustrative styles, but all firmly rooted in the history and culture of Brighton.”

The Town Beehive – A Young Girl’s Lot in Brighton, 1910-34 e-book


This new ebook was first published in 1975 and was so popular that it quickly sold out. Brightonian, Daisy Noakes, tells her story from the age of fourteen, when she went into service. She gives us an insight into the life of a woman born and brought up in Brighton. Daisy documents – with humour - her inevitable trials and tribulations in the often physically demanding world that she inhabited during her working life. The autobiography covers her childhood, as one of a family of ten, living in Prince’s Road and Vere Road, and her working days in service in different parts of the town. This is a special insight into Daisy’s world and is a shining example of true grit and fortitude! You can buy copies of the books using Amazon Kindle, Google Play, the Apple store, and otherAndroid outlets - just go to your chosen website and search by title for the books.

Brighton Behind the Front QueenSpark books

Brighton Behind the Front: Photographs and Memories of the Second World War

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First published in 1990, Brighton Behind the Front brings together a collection of Brighton World War Two reminiscences and documents how ordinary people were affected by the war. This was a challenging time in British history, giving rise to moving accounts of individual lives set against a society undergoing profound changes. Using personal recollections, contemporary photographs, letters, [...]

Brighton’s Graphic War e-book

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 [...]

The crowd roars Great Omani

The Crowd Roars: Tales from the life of a professional stuntman The Great Omani (PDF download)


In his 1998 memoir Ron Cunningham, alias 'The Great Omani', presents tales and adventures from the life of a professional stuntman. Ron’s inspiration was the renowned escapologist, Houdini and in describing the exploits that he undertook as part of his unusual career, echoes of Houdini’s famous tricks can be spotted. Ron once travelled from Hastings [...]

Shops Book – Shopkeepers and Street Traders in Brighton 1900-1930 (PDF download)


The 1875 directory for East Brighton listed 35 bootmakers, 3 breweries, 19 dress-makers, 15 tailors, 2 watchmakers, 2 tinners, 2 brushmakers and 2 basketmakers. By 1974 they had virtually all disappeared, apart from one jeweller and one costumer. This 1978 book is about shopkeepers and street traders, based on interviews with people whose families had [...]

Pullman Craftsmen (PDF download)


This work records the reminiscences of three craftsmen who were employed in the Preston Park Works of the Pullman Car Company during the fifties and sixties. As well as giving the reader a flavour of life in the railway engineering industry in those times, it also provides fascinating details of Brighton’s post-war history and some [...]

Pullman Attendant (PDF download)


In 1935, fifteen year old Bert Hollick signed on at Brighton Station for his first shift on a Pullman Train. Working on the midnight shift from Victoria to Brighton including the famous Brighton Belle, he learned to ladle soup from a tureen at seventy-five miles per hour and serve a three-course lunch in a speedy fifty-eight [...]

We’re not all Rothschilds! (PDF download)


We’re Not All Rothschilds! Is based around a series of interviews conducted by Leila Abrahams in Brighton and Hove in 1994. The book explores the lives of ordinary working people linked by their Jewish faith. There are fascinating accounts of running Beall’s Cork Shop in Gardner Street, memories of long-gone Brighton shops and discussions around [...]

Life Behind Bars

A Life Behind Bars (PDF download)


Born in 1908 at the Marquess of Exeter public house (now the Chimney House), which was run by her parents, Marjory Batchelor spent her working life as a barmaid and pub landlady in and around the Brighton area. Marjory recalls her experiences of growing up and working through two World Wars and beyond in Brighton, [...]

Deckhand, West Pier (PDF download)


Arthur Thickett’s 1993 memoir is the story of a young man who came to Brighton in the summer of 1970, full of hope and optimism – his goal was to find adventure and ultimately love. On his first day he found digs in Ovingdean, on his second day he walked into a job as a [...]

The other side of the Counter

The Other Side of the Counter: The Life of a Shop Girl 1925-1945 (PDF download)


Marjorie Gardiner’s 1985 autobiography looks at the working life of milliner from 1925 to 1945, including an account of her working life during the Second World War. Marjorie’s story is told in a lively and evocative manner, and describes her experiences as a shop assistant working in a Brighton hat shop, where she met all [...]

Poverty – Hardship but Happiness 1903-1917 e-book


Albert Paul was a retired carpenter who lived all his life in Brighton, and he describes in vivid detail the life of a boy brought up in poverty and his struggle against adversity. Poverty - Hardship but Happiness tells the story of a working class boy’s life in the years between 1903 and 1917, from [...]

At the Pawnbrokers (PDF Download)


This 1991 memoir by Lillie Morgan tells an often shocking story of the grinding poverty faced by working people in Brighton during the First World War. As a teenager she was working at a pawnbroker’s in Edward Street and witnessed first-hand the desperate lengths people went to to find the price of a loaf of [...]

Our Small Corner (PDF download)


This 1994 autobiography is the sequel to Sid Manville’s Everything Seems Smaller. It recalls memories of friends, neighbours and relatives who made up the 'small corner' of Sid’s neighbourhood in Bear Road in Brighton in the Twenties and Thirties. Sid writes with much affection and humour, although he doesn’t forget that this era was also [...]

Boxing Day Baby (PDF download)


Barbara Chapman was born in Brighton on a snowy Boxing Day in 1927. In this 1994 autobiography, she reminisces about her early childhood; focusing on her memories of home and school, and the effects of the Second World War on herself, her family, and the community. Barbara shares her experiences of working life in the [...]

Just one of a Large Family (PDF download)


This 1992 book is a personal account of living in the Tenantry Down neighbourhood of Brighton in the1920s and 30s. Don Carter describes his childhood in the Hartington Road area of Brighton, where nearly all the roads are named after places in the Isle of Wight. Don can claim to be a true Brightonian, having [...]

Brighton Boy: A fifties childhood (PDF download)


This 1994 memoir is a schoolboy’s tale of Brighton in the 1950s, seen through the eyes of Andy Steer. He recalls Brighton characters and shops, swimming at Black Rock and with the “Shiverers” Swimming Club at the salt-water King Alfred pool in Hove; Stanford Road School, the now defunct Brighton Cycle Club and playing in [...]

George Grout – The Smiling Bakers (PDF download)


George Grout was a member of one of Brighton’s best-known family bakers. He learnt the skills and craft of baking from his father and brothers at a young age, and can attest to hard times as well as recalling many happy memories of laughter and fun. In his 1992 memoir. George recalled the years when [...]

Moulsecoomb Days 1922-1947 (PDF download)


In her 1990 autobiography, Ruby Dunn recalls the development of Moulsecoomb, then a rural outskirt of Brighton, into a post-World War One “garden suburb”. The early residents of the community had no school or church, but they were proud of their new electric cookers and semi-detached houses set in a valley with gardens filled with [...]