Reopening jogs memories of the old Tally-ho

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Reader Anthony Hodge has sent in these photographs from yesteryear as the Old Town pub the Tally Ho prepares to re-open as an eatery.

He writes, “Pictured is the original Tally Ho, built on the corner of Church Street and Green Street in the mid 1860s. It was one of several public houses built in the town for Caleb Diplock, Mr Hodge’s great great grandmother’s brother.

Mr Diplock owned the Lion Steam Brewery, which occupied the site in Pevensey Road that many will recall as the old Southdown Bus Depot. As well as a brewer, Caleb was a wine and spirit importer and his cousin James Peerless, who built the Town Hall, built for him the brewery and malthouse, the Diplock Assembly Rooms and Diplock Hotel, now the Duke of Devonshire, a large mineral water factory on the site that became the old Luxor Cinema and a wine and spirit warehouse on the corner of Pevensey and Terminus Road. This is the Victorian gentleman whose name was given to the 1990s nightclub Caleb’s.

“By the 1920s Caleb’s son had sold the brewery and the Kemp Town Brewery was taking over many of the Lion Brewery houses including the old Tally Ho.

“Next door to the Tally Ho in Green Street was a bakery which was purchased and in 1930 the whole corner site was demolished to make way for the larger Tally Ho we see today. The cost of the new building was jointly met by my father’s uncle, Horace Morgan and the Kemp Town Brewery.

“In 1932 my father took over and ran what was then called the Tally Ho Hotel for another 30 years. My sister and I were born there and the family lived there until my father’s retirement in 1962, making a family connection of 98 years.

Great detail went into the design of the new building including the two gilded metal signs. Only one remains now which is painted. These were chosen for the 1936 Inn Signs Exhibition held at the Building Centre in London.

“This was part of the Keep Britain Beautiful movement that promoted excellence in design and building between the wars. My sister still has the beautifully hand illuminated scroll to mark the sign’s inclusion in the exhibition.

“During World War Two the Tally Ho was a favourite place for the many Canadian troops billeted around the town and there was also an anti-aircraft gun placed on the flat roof, a strategic position from which to fire at enemy aircraft making the low level ‘hit and run’ raids on the town.

“It is good to see the building will soon re-open and has not suffered the same fate as the Archery Tavern, which Caleb built for my great grandparents and which also stayed in the family for almost 100 years.”