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Brighton & Hove History Books in print

Available to buy now through our online shop

Here you can find all of our current books which we have in stock.

Look out for some of our older rare books recently added to our selection!

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price: £4.99
Who Stood Idly By
Poems and Cartoons
Author(s) Alf Johns
Published in 1984, this is a book containing humorous and political poems and cartoons intended for an adult audience. Satirical and witty, exhibiting a wry, often black sense of humour, the subject matter centres around the politics of the government of the day, in particular the policies pursued by the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet. Written by a retired hospital porter, Alf Johns highlights the failures of Thatcher’s government in the 1980s and early 1990s. Alf believed in socialism, which he described as ‘the language of peace and economic success’ and of particular concern to him was the topic of anti-nuclear disarmament.
Rare book

price: £4.99
Brighton on the Rocks
Monetarism and the Local State
Author(s) QueenSpark Rates Book Group
Published in 1983, this book was intended to be the first of a new series, but is the only one that was eventually commissioned. It 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. This text takes the view that monetarist policies are implicated in the decline in public services and critically evaluates the effects of monetarism on working people’s lives, organisations and throughout the welfare state. It poses the question as to whether a different kind of economics was needed that was geared to need rather than to monetarist philosophy?
Rare book

price: £4.99
Hard Work and No Consideration
51 Years as a Carpenter-Joiner 1917-1968
Author(s) Albert Paul
This is the sequel to Poverty, Hardship but Happiness. Brightonian, Albert Paul, left school at the tender age of fourteen and began work as a carpenter, rising from the position of apprentice to that of master craftsman. Albert remained in his job throughout his life, in an era when people usually continued to work for one employer throughout their working lives. This second book vividly describes how he supported his family during his working life as a carpenter/joiner in Brighton from 1917 to 1968. His hard work and commitment throughout his career, which lasted fifty-one years, is an example to us all. This book was written in 1975, one year before the author died.
Rare book

price: £1.2
The Landlord Cometh
Author(s) Jack Cummins

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. Jack was a religious young altar boy who worshipped in the Chapel of St. Anselm and St. Cecilia in Sardinia Street, London. As a boy, he played football for Bourne Athletic Club in Holborn, expressing an interest in physical fitness as well as in spiritual matters. As an adolescent, he became a Labour and suffrage activist and a conscientious objector to wartime activity. As an adult, he surprised everyone, least of all himself, by joining the army in the First World War as, paradoxically ‘the only pacifist who took up arms’.

price: £4.99
Hard Times and Easy Terms
And other tales of a Queens Park cockney
Author(s) Bert Healey

This is the entertaining story of a young cockney, who was something of a ‘wide boy’. Originating from London, Bert Healey’s story begins with tales of his life as a wayward boy, a youth and later an adult. He also describes many aspects of his working life - from his first pay packet, when working as a taxi driver to his times of unemployment during times of illness. Bert tells of the lost acquaintances of his youth, most who have now passed away. His story is especially interesting for young readers, who may not know anything of those times. The book gives an insight into the life and times of the Twenties and Thirties, and is particularly interesting for his tales of Brighton racecourse characters. Those times are often described as ‘the bad old days.’ Bert wonders if they really were so bad after all?
Rare book

price: £4.99
Faded Rainbow
Our married years
Author(s) Daisy Noakes
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 early years of her marriage in 1934 to George Noakes, when she comments that there was ‘no honeymoon period for us’, as her employers would not allow such a luxury and it was like getting ‘blood out of a stone’ even to get a day off to get married. In her twilight years Daisy bravely recalls how she coped with her husband’s terminal illness, when she was left alone to keep her family going.
Rare book

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