Posts Tagged ‘West Hill’

We continue our series where we ask the owners of local businesses what they think about being part of the community in the Seven Dials / West Hill area. Unsurprisingly, most of them yearn for an improvement in the parking situation and an overwhelming percentage think that business rates could be much fairer. Every one of the businesses love the community in which they are based. Final part to follow in the next issue. Meanwhile, please write to The Whistler and let us know what you like most about living in this area and your improvement suggestions.

Fullertons Graham Brown and Howard Abbot have owned this stationery shop for 21 years and 36 days (and counting) since they moved from the Stage Door Café in Sydney Street. “The business was for sale, we lived in the area and liked the location.” They like Seven Dials because “It has a unique sense of belonging and people are proud of their amenities and environment.” Improvement suggestion: the parking charges are appalling and confusing.

GB Guitars in Prestonville Road is owned by Bernie Goodfellow who moved here from Croydon 12 years ago. He always visited Brighton and wanted to set up in the town and he likes the vibe and the people in the Seven Dials. Improvement suggestion: parking could be much better.

Grocer and Grain Hakan Toklu has owned this deli/grocer on Surrey Street since moving from Istanbul to open the shop 10 years ago. He was attracted by the location and the local residents. He likes the convenience of the proximity to everywhere else in town and the different backgrounds of the people who live around here. Improvement suggestion: a Spring event that will attract local people to come together as a community.

Homage Mark Fisher and his wife, Liza Fisher-Zerb, are the husband and wife team who own this home and lifestyle store. They moved to Bath Street in November 2015 from Stoke Newington, as Liza “is a Brighton girl and Seven Dials is her childhood neighbourhood. We’ve always wanted to move back to Brighton so we relocated the shop. Seven Dials has a lovely village feel and yet it is 5 minutes walk from the centre of Brighton. Great pubs, restaurants, cafés, and independent businesses. Friendly, welcoming residents.” Improvement suggestion: parking for visitors and commercial premises.

Jagwa Tracy and Alero Ejuetami are the mother and daughter who run this tiny salon. Based here for 19 years – “It was cheap at the time” – they like the Dials because it’s safe, friendly and interesting. Improvement suggestion: businesses to open later.

The Kitchen Table Stuart Graves has been based here for 4 years, having worked in various pubs and restaurants in Brighton. He was attracted by the feeling that it was a neighbourhood. He runs the café with his assistants Marc and Sophie. Improvement suggestion: some more interesting retail shops.

Latina Adelia Pereira brought her award-winning (for recycling) Portuguese café to the Dials 20 months ago, having come from Brighton University. She was attracted by the good location and the lovely area. Improvement suggestion: fewer drunk people around.

Le Gourmet Deli Silvano Ricci owns and runs this delicatessen since his father, Silvano, retired recently, having moved from Montefiore Road 20 years ago. His second-in-command is Ryan Marchant. They were attracted by the “lovely local community” and like the community feel in the area. Improvement suggestion: free parking for half an hour.

Magdusia the Polish supermarket is owned by Ala Alrousan, with his second-in-command, Claire Alrousan. Ala has been based in the Dials for 12 years, since coming here from Abu Dhabi. He was attracted by “the beautiful look of the city, the sea, and the open-minded, friendly people.” Improvement suggestion: no road works in the summer.

Maple Café is owner Amanda Hoggatt’s first business and has been here for 20 months. She was attracted to the Dials because it is “a lovely area with a real mix of people” and what she likes most about the area is that “it has a small town feel and people are more relaxed and friendly.”

Mermaid Island Guijie Wang and her husband Michael Moore came to the Seven Dials from Saltdean one year ago, attracted by the local community, the adjacent shops and offices. “We like our friendly neighbours and being close to the shops and the sea.” Improvement suggestion: some trees or plant containers.

Michael Paul Insurance Services Paul Phillips owns this business and has been in this area since 1984,  to which he was attracted because it was a busy area, with a good community feel. Improvement suggestion: parking.

Mishon Mackay has been based in Hove since 1987 when owner Alex Mackay set up his business. He was attracted by lots of London buyers and he likes the village feel and independent shops in the Seven Dials. Improvement suggestion: litter can always be improved and fewer cars.

Mr Face Make-up & Hair is owned by Martin Carter, and his second-in-command is Mark Stelfox. Martin was in London before opening the business a year ago, having been attracted by the shopfront, and the fact it was “way away from the town centre.” He likes the good community spirit and his amazing, loyal clientele. Improvement suggestion: free parking permits for customers.




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We asked the owners of local businesses what they think about being part of the community in the Seven Dials / West Hill area. Unsurprisingly, most of them yearn for an improvement in the parking situation and an overwhelming percentage think that business rates could be much fairer. Every one of the businesses love the community in which they are based. Part 1 below, Parts 2 and 3 follow in future issues. Meanwhile, please write to The Whistler and let us know what you like most about the businesses in this area and your improvement suggestions.

The Almond Tree Michela and Claudio are a couple and they run the café together. They have been here since 2013 and they like the area because “it’s quite lively but not as chaotic and busy as the North Laine” where Claudio worked before. “You get to know pretty much all your neighbours and people working in the area”. What they like most about the Dials is the “nice variety of independent businesses, finding many things here and being a quick walk from the town centre.” Improvement suggestion: traffic-free days and street events could bring more people up the hill. (more…)

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Thanks to intrepid 13-year old Abby Hunt of West Hill Street who sent in this montage of West Hill Christmas door decorations. 

West Hill Doors



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From The Whistler archives …

Audio Terrorists

I’d lived in Buckingham Road, West Hill one week and five years before I moved away to more southern climes last month, way beyond St Nicholas Church, down, down the long hill towards the briney.

For my last contribution to the dear old Whistler I want to talk about neighbours. Five years and one week is a long time in one flat and, on the neighbour front, not without its trials. But all in all I think we did pretty well. We had lots of fun, shared a few meals and a few beers, the odd barbecue, an occasional party and it was always nice to run into one another and chat. (more…)

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Jim Gowans’ West Hill Watch…

Street Survey

In February Councillor Lizzie Deane, together with a senior Projects Manager from the City Council and local residents, spent a morning walking the West Hill. The group identified a range of problems: damaged trees, blocked roadside drains, incorrectly positioned satellite dishes and illegal estate agents boards, all of which detract from the character of the conservation area. Sites for communal bins which have minimal impact on those living nearby were also considered, whilst it was also noted, with some dismay, that some residents continue to dump rubbish and unwanted furniture on pavements rather than disposing of such items more thoughtfully. (more…)

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Concluding The Whistler archive interview from 1980 with Charles Attwater, who lived in West Hill Place

I married in 1934 and our first home was a flat in 85 or 87 Buckingham Road.

By then I had finished my apprenticeship, gained experience and started my own business as a French Polisher. I had a workshop in Guildford Road. It’s not there now, it’s a block of flats. In 1941 I became Churchwarden at All Saints under Father Cockerill and was then living in Goldsmid Road. (more…)

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Waste, recycling, anti-social behaviour, Station Gateway, paving over front gardens…these are just some of the topics discussed at the last West Hill Action Team (WHAT) meeting held on 2nd July.

The WHAT is the Local Action Team, generally known at LATs. These were originally a local police initiative, designed to bring local people together, along with other agencies, including the council, so that everyone has an input into making their communities better and more neighbourly.

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