Co-owner of electrical supplies shop Edwards & Hope
Photo by Adam Bronkhorst
Are you local?
I live in Worthing. I grew up in Lancing and I moved to Worthing about five years ago. I’m one of the partners at the shop, with my mum and dad, but they’re pretty much retired now. My dad has worked here about 53 years – he started when he was 15. Edwards and Hope had a few electrical supply shops and they had a branch in Worthing so he worked there, and then a few years later he came to Brighton. The business was sold, and sold again, and then the last company that owned it said ‘do you want to be made redundant or do you want to buy it?’ and he said ‘I’ll ask the wife’. She said yes. We have a great team here. Auntie Carol - not my real auntie, but I’ve known her forever - has been here even longer than my dad.
When did you join?
It’ll be eleven years in October. Growing up, we used to come in and help out – me more than my sister; she never really had the wanting for it. When I was younger I used to sit on my bedroom floor and count out the little cable clips and fuses and pack them up, and charge my dad 2p a bag.
How has it changed since?
When my parents were here it was more old school – the kind of place where you’d go out the back and you’d find something that had been sitting there 20 years, but it would be something you’d need. My mum and dad decided they were going to go travelling four years ago, and the day they left I ripped out the window display and redecorated. I sent a picture to my dad and he said, ‘I’m getting the ferry back!’ I started to bring more of the lighting in, because at that point it was getting a lot more fashionable to have filament lamps and beautiful cables and pretty lampholders. Our selection of cable was only two colours then – now it’s 29. And where we had two colours of lampholder, now we have seven.
And how has Brighton changed?
It’s got busier, that’s for sure. I mean, there’s good points and there’s bad points. The New Road – going back 12 years ago it was a road, but now it’s nice because you can have stalls and fairs, it’s great if you want to walk down there with your family. At first my mum and dad were really worried, because we had a lot of customers that would drive along and jump out and get their lightbulbs, but now you have so much pedestrian trade – it’s one of the main roads to get to the Lanes or back to the train station – so I think it’s done us well.
Where do you like to go out?
Me and my other half like going to Komedia, to the comedy nights, which must be one of the most popular things to do in Brighton, I’d imagine. You can go there and watch a show and have the set meal and a drink. I like El Mexicano, which is two doors down. I eat in there a lot. And I go to The Sussex quite a bit.
When did you last swim in the sea?
It was when we had that real heatwave a few weeks ago. I’ve got a picture on my phone that will tell me the date… 18th of June. I live right by the sea in Worthing, so you can see the sea from my living room. I walk along the beach every day, but I don’t go in the sea a massive amount.
5 New Road, edwardsandhope.co.uk
Photo by Adam Bronkhorst