The Leaf Hall, with its conical clock tower, was built in 1864. William Leaf was a rich silk merchant. A strict teetotaller, he was appalled at the drunkenness and lack of opportunity for men in the east end. So with land given by the Duke of Devonshire, he had this Hall built for the ‘Improvement of the Working Man’. The architect was Blessley who designed the town’s Grand Hotel a decade later. The Hall has always played a key role in supporting the local community.
At the zebra crossing across the main road you will find a long bow-fronted terrace, which is listed. It was built in 1851 and designed by architect Henry Currey. Of particular interest is the building called Charlie’s. It bears witness to a long history of one man’s support for people in the area.
Across the road is the Ye Olde Bakery cafe. The bakery located here since around 1780 would have served the Sea Houses area. Very few of the poorer households would have had an oven, so for a small fee the baker would cook roasts and similar dishes.
The tyre depot next to the Leaf Hall was the Co-op until WW2. And then its large and cool cellar was used as a temporary mortuary. Thereafter a car showroom occupied the premises.