19 December 2019

Portslade Urban District Council 1894-1974

Judy Middleton 2003 (revised 2021) 

 copyright © A. Robins
In 1955 Captain Irvine Bately designed the handsome badge of 
office worn by Chairmen of Portslade UDC. It seems he might 
have derived inspiration from an earlier Portslade crest created 
by P. J. W. Barker who ran a business at 110/112 Trafalgar Road 
where he sold china souvenirs sporting the Portslade crest. 
Barker’s crest  included a Roman galley, a cornucopia, 
a bunch of grapes, six Sussex martlets and an oak branch. 
Captain Bately chose the galley, which alludes to 
Portslade’s supposed antiquity as the Roman Portus Adurni
 although today this theory is not held to be correct

On 4 December 1894 the first Portslade Parish Meeting was held. But obviously the men did not think a lowly parish meeting gave them enough clout to be worthwhile, and therefore they sought to acquire more powers by becoming an urban district council.

 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Brighton Herald 17August 1895
On 7 August 1895 an Inquiry was held at Hove Town Hall into the proposed conversion of Portslade Parish into an urban district council. East Sussex County Council appointed the committee. Mr W. P. G. Boxall, barrister, appeared in support of Portslade’s application, while Mr J. J. Clark (Hove landowner) Mr E. Cripps (clerk of Steyning East Rural District Council) and Mr Joseph Cash (manager of the Brighton & Hove Gas Company) opposed the application.

The Inquiry was given the following interesting statistics:

Portslade’s population in 1894 was 4,236 people
In 1894 there were 868 buildings
There were six miles of metalled roads
There was one mile of unmetalled road
Portslade’s rateable value was £24,267

Possibly the most important statistic was Portslade’s enormous rateable value, and no wonder Steyning wanted to hang on to the revenue. But there was also the thorny question of fairness because although Portslade represented nearly half of the rural district, Portslade felt swamped because they were only allocated two members out of seven on Steyning East Rural District Council.

Joseph Cash, of the Brighton & Hove Gas Company, objected to Portslade becoming an urban district because his company had to pay nearly half of the rates from Portslade. Should Portslade attain this status, no doubt municipal buildings and recreation grounds would be wanted – with the cost coming from the rates. Mr Cash also raised the question of drainage – there still being cesspool drainage in Portslade, which he thought was a disgrace to the United Kingdom.

Mr Boxall, on behalf of Portslade’s application, was quick to point out to Mr Cash, that he had just given one of the strongest reasons why Portslade should manage its own affairs. He also remarked somewhat acidly that although gas was produced in Portslade, its residents had to pay a higher price for it than people living in Hove and Brighton. Other witnesses in support of Portslade’s application were Mr William Dudney of Lindfield House, and Mr Mews of Portslade Brewery.

The matter of the exact boundary between Portslade and Aldrington was decided upon, and deemed to run down the centre of Station Road, around where the tramway rails were situated. 

 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
This 1909 map shows the boundaries of Portslade UDC. The Old Village was just within the northern boundary.
Portslade's - North Road, Southdown Road, North House Farm, Easthill Windmill, Foredown Forge, Foredown Hospital & Mile Oak were all within the Steyning Rural District Council's administration area.

Portslade's Manor was in 'Portslade UDC' while its ornate gardens in Manor Road were in 'Steyning RDC'
In Victorian street directories Southern Cross was classed as a hamlet in Portslade.

Although this Inquiry did not find in Portslade’s favour, a subsequent Inquiry did. It is interesting to note that the new urban district did not encompass the whole of Portslade, but only stretched from the seashore to the north side of High Street – the rest of Portslade north of this boundary was still part of Steyning Rural District.
 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Brighton Herald 2 April 1898

The first meeting of Portslade Urban District Council took place on 1 April 1898. 
The Brighton Herald (2 April 1898) reported 3014 had voted for councillors of the new administration with just over a 60% turn out of electors. (it should be remembered that women had not yet been given the vote, neither was there universal male suffrage).

Some of the new councillors were familiar faces who had served on the old Parish Council – such as Walter Hillman (merchant and house builder) Walter Mews (Portslade Brewery) and Sundius Smith (Britannia Mills). There were some new faces too like W. H. Dudney, gentleman. Among those who failed to be elected was Revd C. A. Marona, vicar of St Andrew’s Church, Portslade.

Where Councillors Held their Meetings

  copyright © G. Osborne
The St Andrew's Parish Rooms (Tin Hut) wall can be seen on the far right of this photograph.

Although Portslade Urban District Council sounds important, the councillors were unable to meet in a dedicated venue, there being no proper Town Hall until 1959. Instead, they had to make do with what was on offer. For example, one place used for meetings was the Parish Room – in other words the structure popularly known as the Tin Hut, or the Scout Hut, on the corner of St Andrew’s Road and Church Road. Another place was a room on the first floor of Portslade Fire Station, which was built in 1909.

copyright © D. Sharp
The former Portslade Fire Station in 2019

In 1901 there was an intriguing possibility – a Mr Farr wrote a letter to Portslade Council offering a block of buildings known as the Salvation Barracks for conversion to a town hall. But nothing seemed to have come of it. In 1909 a special committee was set up to try and find a suitable place for a town hall. There was a possible site in St Andrew’s Road adjoining the Police Station, and another in Church Road near the Fire Station. But soon St Aubyn’s Road became the favoured spot, and councillors made enquiries with the trustees of the Congregational Church. 

  copyright © G. Osborne
The Council Offices with the white flag pole to the right of the 
Vine & Lee Garage in Station Road
This resulted in the surveyor submitting a sketch plan to the council showing how the Congregational Church Hall might be converted into a town hall for the cost of £4,500. However, nothing happened – most probably the amount of money was more than they could afford.

Eventually, Portslade Council managed to purchase property set back from Station Road to serve their purposes. Council offices were situated at 15 Station Road, while 18 Station Road provided a large space for meetings. The latter building was also called Portslade Hall but nobody seems to know the original purpose of the building, which, incidentally survives to this day. It was definitely built by 1898, being marked on the map, but was not present in the 1875 map.
copyright © D. Sharp
Portslade Hall was used for Council Meeting in the 1920s-1930s
now the premises of Specialist Herbal Supplies
 (on the north side of the present day Tesco's in Station Road)

One old-timer claimed that the spacious basement was used to grow crops of mushrooms, which certainly fits in with Portslade’s market garden past. The purchase of these buildings also included an area of land stretching from Station Road to Gordon Road that was full of mature trees, including chestnut, laburnum and may plus an orchard of apple and pear trees. In the 1930s this orchard was rented by Captain Bately and his wife, and every year they despatched boxes of fruit to local children’s homes.

At first there was a modest staff in one small house consisting of the town clerk, the surveyor, and the rate collector. By 1946, council offices occupied two houses with a staff of fourteen.

In 1946 a dinner was laid on at the Rothbury Hall in honour of the retirement of Ernest H. Kempe who had been clerk to Portslade Council for 36 years. He was presented with an illuminated address. It was remarked that when he first took the post, his salary was £150 a year.

The next clerk to Portslade Council was William Tozer who held the post from 1946 until the amalgamation with Hove in 1974. Tozer was born in Wales, and played rugby for Wales. He always kept an interest in sport by playing football, and he enjoyed a game of snooker at the Sussex Motor Yacht Club. He was also a committee member of Hove & Kingsway Bowling Club, and a regular at the Sussex Hotel, Kingsway. Before becoming clerk at Portslade, he had worked for a year with Hove Council, having previously been articled to a solicitor at Lewes.

Leslie Hamilton, senior, said that Tozer ‘was a very efficient and knowledgeable clerk. There was little you could ask him that he didn’t know.’ Tozer Court, a block of flats built on the site of the old Portslade depot in Vale Road, was so named in his honour.

William Tozer died at the age of 69 in February 1981 at his house in Langdale Road, Hove. He left a widow Eileen, and two sons, William and Jim. The funeral was held at St Philip’s Church, Hove.

Meanwhile, the land, offices, and Portslade Hall were sold at auction in 1959 for £31,500. This enabled Portslade Council to purchase the grandiose Ronuk Hall in Victoria Road for £36,500, which then became Portslade Town Hall, and was officially opened on 2 September 1959 by Robert Shields, chairman of Portslade Urban District Council.

   copyright © Brighton & Hove City Libraries 
The Ronak Hall in the 1930s

The 1930s

In the Sussex Daily News (19 October 1935) there was an interesting article stating that the newspaper was glad the public were taking notice of its campaign against ‘the growing habit of the Portslade Urban District Council to transact its business behind closed doors’. The reporter stated that out of six meetings held during the last weeks, four of them were deemed ‘extraordinary’, which meant that only councillors were present. The reporter continued ‘at a time when matters of an essentially and peculiarly contentious character are liable to crop up – there have been several recently – such as Windlesham House, the Cemetery or Recreation Ground question and the Race Track – there is an even greater demand that the representatives of the people who foot the bill should permit their constituents to follow their reasoning instead of forcing them to be content with a bald statement.’

copyright © J. Middleton
A 1970 Rate Demand for the payment of £33 10s per annum.
The average weekly wage for a manual worker in 1970 was £28 0s 11d (Hansard)

End of the Line

Portslade Urban District Council ceased to exist in 1974 because on 1 April 1974 Portslade and Hove were amalgamated.

In the North Portslade Community News (December 2019) Councillor Les Hamilton, junior, wrote that he was probably one of the few people remaining who had actually served on Portslade UDC, and  he describes it as ‘small, efficient and effective.’ Indeed, members of the various committees were given precisely 30 minutes  to come to a decision, which was swiftly acted upon by the officers. Since he has many years of experience in the working of councils, he surely knows what he is talking about. His last comment on Portslade UDC is ‘in terms of performance it was the best council I have served on.’

copyright © D. Sharp
The former Portslade Town Hall in 2019, now under the control of the Brighton & Hove City Council and serves as a Council meeting venue, Housing Office, Sussex Police Community Hub and rooms for hire for local groups

Chairman of Portslade Urban District Council 1898-1974

copyright © J. Middleton
 The 1909 Portslade by Sea Urban District Council badge
on the former Portslade Fire Station in Church Road. 
1898-1909 – C. Rose
1909-1920 – W. Hillman
1920-1921 – E. J. Parker
1921-1922 – J. H. Bristow
1922-1931 – D. F. Sundius Smith
1931-1933 – A. G. York
1933-1935 – H. Durrant JP
1935-1946 – H. F. Parker JP
1946-1947 – G. H. Elphick
1947-1950 – W. E. Phillips
1950-1952 – I. Bately JP
1954-1956 – W. Hunt
1956-1957 – W. H. Bates
1957-1958 – Mrs E. F. Cave JP
1958-1959 – S. G. Baker
1959-1960 – R. Shields
1960-1961 – D. J. L. Taylor
1961-1962 – H. F. Parker JP
1962-1963 – F. E. W. Cannons
1963-1964 – P. E. P. Gladwin, DSC, JP
1964-1965 – L. E. Hamilton, OBE, JP
1965-1966 – R. D. F. Ireland
1966-1967 – R. B. Powell
1967-1968 – N. T. Morgan
1968-1971 – P. E. P. Gladwin, DSC, JP
1971-1972 – R. D. F. Ireland
1972-1973 – C. E. Knight
1973-1974 – A. Robinson

Some Notable Chairmen:-

Captain Irvine Bately (1881-1962)

Bob Irving Bately was born in Gorleston, Norfolk in 1881, the son of Dr Robert Godfrey Bately.
In 1911 he was working as an Art Teacher in a LCC school in Wandsworth. Bately lodged with the Taylor family where he met his future wife Lilian Taylor, they
married in 1913 while still living in London. Lilian worked as a show room assistant and was the daughter of Robert Palmer Taylor a Senior Assistant at the GPO’s Returned Letter Office. Coincidently also in 1911 Robert Thurston Hopkins who was a Bank Cashier at that time before becoming a full time author, was lodging with the Bately family in Gorleston, where he met Bob Irvine Bately’s sister Sybil Beatrice, they were married a year later in 1912 in Lewisham, London. In later years Captain Bately would illustrate some of R. Thurston Hopkins’ books.

copyright © D. Docwra
Captain (Bob) Irvine Bately and Mrs Lillian Bately
He was a veteran of the Boer War as well as of the First World War, and was wounded in France in 1917. In 1921 he moved to Portslade for health reasons. He lived at 12 Vale Road, while his brother-in-law, the author R. Thurston Hopkins, lived nearby at number 6. In 1923 the two men, plus Captain Bately’s wife Lillian, founded the Society of Sussex Downsmen, and for over 30 years Captain and Mrs Bately acted as chairman and secretary respectively. One cause close to their heart was the Society’s opposition to the building of a motor racing track on the Downs at Portslade. When Bately retired from his post as chairman, it was stated ‘the large tracts of Downland that have been preserved and footpaths kept open to the public for all time are a monument to his love of the Sussex countryside.’

When R. Thurston Hopkins published The Lure of Sussex in 1928 he had this to say, ‘I have also to thank Captain Irvine Bately for permission to use his drawing of a sheep-bell and also for photographs of Downland sheep. 
 copyright © A. Robins
Above is the Chairman's Consort badge which
Captain Irvine Bately designed in 1955 along with  
Portslade UDC's Chairman's badge.

Captain Bately is among the most distinguished artists who made a speciality of painting everything which appertains to Downland sheep, shepherds and the rolling Downs and his work is frequently to be seen at the exhibitions.’

Another of his interests was to gather local history information concerning Portslade, in fact he was a pioneer in the field. He produced a handwritten manuscript called simply Captain Bately’s Notes, which later appeared in printed form.

Captain Bately was also a chartered architect, and in 1946 he re-started his architectural practice. He was responsible for the design of many houses built at Portslade, Hove and elsewhere in Sussex. For example at Portslade, he designed some of the houses in Mill Lane as well as the British Legion Hall in Trafalgar Road. It is interesting to note that he designed the Portslade seal of office that the chairman of Portslade Council wore on official occasions.

  copyright © G. Osborne
The Earl Haig Memorial Hall (Royal British Legion Club) in 1930. This building was designed by Captain Irvine Bately and being a Great War veteran, Captain Bately could well be standing amongst this parade of veterans. 
In 1932 an extension was built to the hall. The Portslade War Memorial was affixed to the exterior wall of the hall but the volume of traffic in Trafalgar Road made it impossible to hold a solemn act on Remembrance Sunday and in 1954 the memorial was removed to the more tranquil surroundings of Easthill Park.

As regards his involvement in local government and local activities, the following list is impressive:

Elected a councillor to Portslade UDC in 1928, and with one small break, continued until 1956
Magistrate, and deputy chairman of Hove County Magistrates
Co-opted member of East Sussex County Planning Committee
Deputy Chief Warden in Portslade Civil Defence during the Second World War
Chairman of Portslade Social Club
President of Hove Deep Sea Anglers
Governor of Knoll School for Boys
Vice-president of the Portslade branch of the British Legion
Vice-president of Portslade Cricket Club
Vice-president of the local Football Club
Vice-president of Portslade Rifle Club

All that work and the Portslade air must have been good for him because he reached the age of 80 before he died. His funeral was held at St Leonard’s Church, Aldrington.

Peter Gladwin 
 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums,
 Brighton & Hove
Peter Edward Powis Gladwin DSC JP, 
Mayor of Hove 1981-1982.

He was born in St Andrew’s Road, Portslade. His father was a sugar planter, and Peter spent some time in Mozambique as a child. During the Second World War Peter Gladwin served with the Royal Marines; he was awarded the DSC, and he finished with two years in the Admiralty. After the war he had the interesting task of being Naval adviser for the film School for Secrets, directed by Peter Ustinov.

Gladwin became a Portslade councillor in 1951, a County Councillor in 1961, and after Hove and Portslade were amalgamated in 1974, he became a councillor on Hove Council. His many public duties can be gauged from the following list:

Chairman of the County Education Committee
Member of 9 educational committees in London
Governor of 6 schools
Vice-chairman of Brighton Polytechnic
Member of Sussex University Council

In 1981 he celebrated 30 years in local government, and for a few days in May of that year he was both chairman of East Sussex County Council and Mayor of Hove. His daughter Bonnie undertook the duties of Mayoress because Mrs Gladwin was not in good health. Peter Gladwin had the rare honour of having a school in Portslade named after him. Gladwin was a controversial supporter of the Brighton Bypass scheme at a time when many residents were fiercely opposed to it. As a result he was obliged to leave the Mile Oak Association after being its chairman for 28 years.

The Gladwins lived in a split-level house built into the hillside on the west side of Mile Oak – Peter Gladwin designed it himself in the 1960s. It was called Number One Delfryn, and had four bedrooms plus a large balcony offering panoramic views. In 1980 he put the house on the market for £77,500, but it was quite a while before a buyer came forward. Afterwards, they moved to Somerset.

Leslie E. Hamilton (1918-2000)
 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums,
Brighton & Hove
Leslie Edward Hamilton OBE, JP,
Mayor of Hove 1978-1979 & 1996-1997

He was born in St Aubyn’s Road, Portslade, the middle son of three brothers. The family had moved down fom London to avoid the Zeppelin raids. After service in the Army, his father worked for bus company Thomas Tilling while his mother earned eight pence an hour as a ‘daily’ in a large house along New Church Road.

Les Hamilton was educated in St Andrew’s School, Portslade, but after re-organisation he found himself, along with the rest of Portslade senior boys, at St Nicolas School in the building (now demolished) on the west side of Locks Hill. Some of the masters also made the move, including the headmaster, Mr J. W. Burns, which is why the establishment earned the nickname of Burns’ Academy. Hamilton left school in 1933 at the age of fourteen and went to work in the Co-op Bakery in Portland Road, Hove, where he earned 10/- a week. He became a dab hand at cake making, but when he found he was required to work the night shift, he decided to switch to the Co-op butchery instead. In 1938 he met a young lady by the name of Olive King in romantic circumstances – dancing on Hove seafront to the music provided by musicians in Hove Bandstand.

In 1939 Les Hamilton joined Hore Belisha’s Militia – they were all 20-year old lads. In October 1939 he received his call-up papers and was attached to the 44th Home County Territorials. But he was determined to marry Olive before he was posted abroad. The wedding took place at St Barnabas Church on 3 February 1940. On the wedding day Hamilton received two telegrams, one offering congratulations, and the other ordering his immediate return to barracks. He decided to ignore the latter. When he rejoined his unit on Monday, he found everything packed up and ready to go to Norway. Then Norway collapsed, and so they were despatched to France instead. Hamilton was part of the RASC (509 Company) but the expedition was of short duration and he soon found himself being evacuated from the Dunkirk beaches. Another part of his war service was spent in Tripoli, where he served under General Sir Brian Robertson at HQA1. It was while he was there that he decided he wanted to enter local politics once the war was over.

In 1958 Hamilton was elected as a Labour councillor to Portslade UDC. He went on to chair most of the committees. By this time he was working for Co-op Insurance, and he and Olive had two sons and a daughter. When Portslade and Hove amalgamated, Hamilton was elected to the new council where he was leader of the Labour opposition, consisting of himself and his son Leslie A Hamilton. But the Hamiltons were well regarded for their hard work, even amongst their political opponents. In 1978 Hamilton, senior, was elected as Hove’s very first Labour Mayor. This was a remarkable outcome because there were two Tory candidates, as well as an overwhelming Tory majority. In 1996 Hamilton did it again when the council selection committee made the unanimous decision to chose him as the last Mayor of Hove before amalgamation with Brighton, despite the Tory nominee being the popular Jenny Langston.

Two landmarks occurred in 1994: on 17 February Leslie Hamilton, senior, was created a Freeman of the Borough of Hove, and in May he was chosen to be Chairman of East Sussex County Council – the first Labour chairman in its history. In the 1998 New Year Honours List he was awarded the OBE for his services to the community. The following list is composed of some of his commitments:

Chairman of Portslade UDC 1964-1965
Portslade Councillor for many years, retiring in 1997 at the age of 78
President of Brighton Dunkirk Veterans’ Association
Governor of two schools
Member of many local societies

He died on 23 December 2000 and was given a magnificent funeral in All Saints Church, Hove in January 2001. Adam Trimingham wrote in the Evening Argus (18 January 2001) ‘Hundreds of people attended a highly traditional funeral last week for former Hove Mayor Leslie Hamilton at the parish church of All Saints. They ranged from the great and the good to ordinary people he had helped during the years who wanted to pay their last respects to him. The funeral was a moving occasion because Mr Hamilton was unusually well-liked right across the political spectrum and because he was a regular church-goer, all the clerics who took part in the service, from the Bishop of Chichester to the Vicar of Hove, knew him personally.’
copyright © D. Sharp
The 'Hillman' stained glass windows
in St Andrews Church,
(These stained-glass windows were
 removed in 2003 when the church
 building was converted into a duel
chapel/community centre. The windows
are now stored  in the London
Stained Glass Repository)

His widow Olive received hundreds of letters of condolence.

Walter Hillman

It is fascinating to note that Walter Hillman’s father had once filled the post of Way Warden at Aldrington in the days when there was a toll-gate there.

Walter Hillman became the second chairman of Portslade UDC, and he was already heavily involved in many business ventures at Portslade. In the 1890s he rented Cowhayes Farm for £78 a year. This enabled him to advertise the supply of milk, butter, eggs and vegetables ‘fresh form our own farm daily’ from his premises at 9 North Street, Portslade, - the dairyman, greengrocer and fruiterer side of his business. In the 1898 Directory there was a full-page advertisement that established Walter Hillman as a ‘corn merchant, hay and straw dealer, seeds-man and general carting contractor’. He also had a depot at Aldrington Basin from where he could supply Coomb rock flint, sand and shingle. His other business addresses were at 13 and 29 North Street, Portslade, and at the Portslade steam corn-crushing mills and chaff-cutting mills. There were stores at Camden Place, Chapel Place, and Ellen Street, all in Portslade.

As for his residence – in 1905 it was recorded as being Alexandra House, 41 Wellington Road, which in earlier times was once an up-market Portslade address. By 1908 he was located in St Andrew’s Road, while in 1917 he was living in Killarney, 62 Boundary Road, Hove.
copyright © D. Sharp
Walter & Emma Hillman
Portslade Cemetery

Walter Hillman’s public duties were as follows:

Chairman of Portslade UDC for eleven years
Justice of the Peace for 22 years
Member of Hove War Pensions Committee

Walter Hillman’s wife was called Emma Graham, and the Hillman’s were wealthy enough to allow for their son, Albert William Hillman, to be privately educated at the Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School. In 1907 Emma Hillman died at the age of 54 on 3 July. Walter Hillman also died in July, but not until 7 July 1926 aged 74. They are both buried in Portslade Cemetery where there is a magnificent memorial. There was also a stained-glass window in St Andrew’s Church, Portslade. From the Masonic symbols incorporated into the window, it was evident that Walter Hillman was a Freemason.

Many eminent men in Hove and Portslade were Freemasons in the 19th century and later – including some clergy – and nothing was thought of it. Indeed, the foundation stone of the extension to St Leonard’s Church, Aldrington, was laid with full Masonic honours. Later on, Freemasonry became a more delicate matter.

Walter Hillman’s son, Albert William Hillman who was Mayor of Hove and Captain of Portslade Fire Brigade, received Grand Lodge honours in 1935. Other prominent Portslade men who were Freemasons were Walter Mews of Portslade Brewery, F. Sundius Smith of Britannia Flour Mills, E. A. Smithers and H. Smithers of Smithers Brewery, and Revd Vicars Armstrong Boyle, vicar of St Nicolas, Portslade, 1899-1919.

 copyright ©  Royal Pavilion & Museums,
Brighton & Hove
Richard Derek Farrer Ireland,
 Mayor of Hove 1976-1977
Derek Ireland

He served for fourteen years on Portslade UDC, and when the two towns merged in 1974 he became a councillor for Portslade on Hove Council. He also held the following posts:

Traffic commissioner
School governor
Chair of the Highways Committee
Councillor on East Sussex County Councillor
Mayor of Hove 1976-1977

He lived in Mile Oak, and he died at the age of 82 in June 1995.

Harry Frederick Parker

He was Portslade born and bred. He lived at 76 St Andrew’s Road and was employed at Portslade Gas Works. He was popularly known as ‘Judge’ Parker – a nickname given to him by the clerk of the court at Hove. According to Les Hamilton, senior, he was something of a visionary, planning for the years ahead. It was he who instigated the compulsory purchase of some of John Broomfield’s farmland in order that Portslade could expand in Mile Oak.

Parker served as Chairman of Portslade UDC from 1935 to 1946, but he lost his seat in 1947 after a shock swing against Labour – he had been a councillor for 21 years. However, he was soon back on board and again became Chairman in 1962. In 1952 he had a shot at national politics by standing as the Labour Party Candidate in the General Election but he lost out to the Conservative Anthony Marlowe.
copyright © 
Royal Pavilion & Museums

The following is a list of his appointments:

A member of East Sussex County Council for 33 years, retiring in 1967
Chairman of Portslade UDC 1935-1946
Chairman of Portslade Spitfire Fund in Second World War – Portslade had 100 collecting boxes
Portslade Councillor for 40 years
Hove County Magistrate

In 1963 a block of 56 council flats in Foredown Road was named Parker Court in his honour, and in August of that year, he went along to name them officially. It was a nostalgic day for him because he remembered how 49 years previously he had been present at the ceremony when the foundation stone was laid for Portslade’s very first council flat.

Parker retired from Portslade Council in 1963, and was presented with an illuminated address. He died in December 1970.

Sundius Smith

Details of this extensive family with the memorable name can be found under Britannia Mills.


Brighton Herald (2 April 1898)
Councillor Alan Robins (Portslade)
Hove Gazette
Middleton J, Encyclopaedia of Hove and Portslade
Mr D. Docwra
Mr G. Osborne
Personal interview
Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove
Sussex Daily News (19 October 1935)

The Keep

DO/A35/1-40 – Portslade Urban District Council Minutes 1898-1939
DO/A49/1 – Portslade Parish Meeting April 1923 to February 1928
DO/A51/1 – Portslade Parish Council 1894-1904

Thanks are due to Mr G. Osborne for allowing me to reproduce three of his wonderful photographs 

Copyright © J.Middleton 2019
page layout and additional research by D.Sharp