Grange Road history>>Residents of Grange Road
What was the makeup of Grange Road households?
Census entries from 1871 show that some households included families (husband, wife and children), a live-in servant and also a boarder. Occupations included Railway Signalman, Tin & Copper Smith, Butcher, Master Carpenter and Corn Merchant. The butcher employed a man and a boy whilst the Corn Merchant employed eight men.
House deeds, census records and street directories begin to tell us who the early residents of the road were. Oral testimonies add more details about the lives of people in the road. Some houses have changed hands frequently whilst others have been occupied by just a few families since they were built. A number of local businesses have family connections with the road.
Pike’s Lewes, Seaford & Newhaven 1907 Street Directory (click to enlarge)
Forty years later in 1911, the variety of jobs had expanded. Residents worked as:- Artist, Law Clerk, Land Surveyor, Private Governess, Head Teacher, Milliner, Pharmacist, Horse Dealer, Education Officer, Upholsterer, Brass Founder & Finisher. Lodgers and live-in servants continue to appear on the records. Some residents are described as being retired or having private means.
The 1911 census details here show the record for 2 Grange Road where the family of Edward Sandals lived. Alison Benton’s book Men of Southover 1 describes how Edward grew up in the road, living at 18 and later moving to 2 Grange Road. Edward died in 1915 on the battlefield of Hooge, near Ypres.
One late resident who moved to the road in 1957 reminisced about the occupations of his neighbours:- “when we first arrived, artisans from the family houses opposite were largely employed in town industries (eg cement, iron works, railway). Most had no cars and did not need them. Children would play in the street without much danger.” However even though people’s jobs changed and commuting to London became more common, he felt that “the underlying community spirit remains unchanged and strong”.
One resident remembers her family’s business. It was “a drinks company called County Town Mineral Waters started by my great grandfather.” The factory was in Malling Street. Natural spring water was used to make the drinks. Unfortunately the business’s book of secret recipes was lost when the factory became uneconomic and folded in the early 1950s.
Although not comprehensive, the street directories offer further details about businesses conducted in Grange Road – for example, builder, decorator and undertaker, piano teacher, insurance agent, signwriter and driving instructor.
Entry for Grange Road in Pike’s Lewes, Seaford & Newhaven 1907 Street Directory (click to enlarge)
World War 1 and Grange Road
The First World War took its toll on the residents of the street. The Roll of Honour for Lewes in 1914-1918 includes eight men with Grange Road connections. They are remembered on the town’s war memorial. Benton 1 details the lives of five Grange Road residents killed in the war whose names are on the memorial outside St John the Baptist Church, Southover:-
- Edward Roland Sandals – 2 Grange Road
- Charles Walter Hall – 5 Grange Road
- George Ernest Peel – 10 Grange Road
- Sidney Selby – 32 Grange Road
- Frank Beagley – 36 Grange Road
The other three men were:
- Alfred Alexander Dean – 10 Grange Road
- Herbert Stewart Vinall – 2 Wallington Villas, (No. 46) Grange Road
- Ernest Hubert Ware Williams – 14 Grange Road
- Alison M. Benton: Men of Southover : the lives and deaths of the sixty-eight men named on Southover’s two war memorials, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945. Uckfield : Moira Publications, 1998. The stories of those lost in the two World Wars, and the families they left behind in Southover, Lewes. [Lewes Library, 940.467 LEW]