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Name: Steve Bradford
Comment: I worked in the Crawley shop about 1970, I used to phone in the figures for the charts every week. I also remember one of the owners, maybe Richard, had an old two-seater white Jaguar that he would turn up in. Enjoyed working there.
(22 January 2013)

Name: John Desborough
Comment: Yes I worked at Crawley and what a great place to work and listen to some great sounds. From the Crawley shop you had Porl Thompson who found fame in the Cure, Kevin Cohen of Amulet, Vince Rees, Pete Smith, Chris Cullen of T30 Control and later The Red Planet Orchestra. Music changes your soul!
(12 December 2012)

Comment: Also had four of those listening booths that seem so archaic now. Good old racket with four of them going and also the shop music system.
(1 October 2012)

Name: Sheila Wells
Comment: I worked in the shop from 1974 to 1979 usually in the bargain basement. Lots of American imports, lots of classical though too don't forget.

It was a chart returns shop, i.e. it contributed figures for compiling the singles charts.
(1 October 2012)

Name: Janatvan
Comment: I worked at both the Streatham and Croydon branches in the 1970s.
(7 July 2012)

Name: Eric Serebro
Comment: I only dealt with Mrs Cloake on the telephone. You couldn't have asked for a friendlier, more helpful person.
(7 June 2015)

Name: Andy Budge
Comment: That record bag brings back memories, served many a 45 up in one of them. I worked at the Streatham branch 1979-1980 (roughly). I recall working with Sue, Mick and Caroline. Mick the manager had a 30-year habit of over-ordering vinyls, hence the place was a treasure trove of musical nostalgia. It served as a fantastic Saturday job for a 15-year-old, I still remember the friendships which I made and the boozy lunch breaks at The Manor. Great days!
(1 October 2015)

Comment: I remember that shop. I bought blank cassettes there.

Name: Simon
Comment: Cloake's must have been part of a chain - I used to go in their Redhill shop when I lived in Surrey. How many shops did they have?
(28 November 2009)

Name: Mike Atherton
Comment: I worked for RCA Records from 1969 to 1973 selling records to shops in Sussex, Surrey, and Hampshire, L & H Cloake at the time also had branches in The Boulevard, Crawley, and Redhill. It was a family business, I used to deal with Richard Cloake at Crawley, a really nice family concern.
(29 December 2012)

Name: Vince
Comment: From September 1978 a gang of us Brighton Tec students used to religiously go around as many record shops in Brighton as possible, especially on a Monday as it was new releases day! We used to visit the old concrete jungle of Churchill Square with HMV and L & H Cloake. L & H Cloake was hidden right down the back down concrete ramps, but it was also bright and sunny in the shop as I can remember rows and rows of picture sleeves up on the walls. They used to stock picture discs, coloured vinyl and all manner of unusual goodies. God, I spent a bomb in there. I can particularly remember seeing the different coloured 7" vinyls of King Rocker by Generation X on Chrysalis Records. I was aware there was a similar branch in Crawley, but I thought they may have been called H&R Cloake?
(12 December 2012)

Name: Nick Linazasoro
Comment: Nick, I think you're right when we changed from the cheap old paper bags to yellow polythene industrial strength-type record bags.
(12 May 2013)

Name: Alida Whiteborough
Comment: L & H Cloake opened in Brighton in December 1975 - I was their 'Saturday boy' from the start until going full-time with them when I left school the following June. It was the sixth and last store to open in the chain, the others being in Crawley, East Grinstead, Streatham, Croydon and Redhill. The business had been set up by two brothers (L. & H.) in the fifties (I believe), but by the time I started was effectively being run by their respective sons, both called Richard. Eventually they split the chain between them, with Brighton and two others becoming 'H & R Cloake' and the rest 'L Cloake & son'. After a brief flirtation with punk and all the coloured vinyl we could get our hands on, we started to specialize in US disco/funk imports, supplying the burgeoning DJ scene in the town. The now-legendary Mick Fuller started working there in around 1978 and began organising club nights around the county, in particular the never to be forgotten Bognor Boogie Bus. The Brighton store was never a success, being tucked away round the back of the Square (they'd been promised a walkway from the seafront when they took the shop on - it never materialised) and it closed at the end of 1981. The manager, Trevor, went on to open Miles Ahead in Queen's Road, taking me and Mick with him, but this only lasted for a year or so before going to the wall.
(3 February 2014)

Name: Dave Harwood
I became a regular customer at H. & R. Cloake, Croydon from 1987, when I bought the first CD reissue of Frank Zappa’s Hot Rats there. In 2000, one of the sales assistants kindly gave me a couple of promo CDs for being such a good customer.

Name: Sally-Clairew Fadelle
Comment: I worked in the Crawley shop in 1979. Richard Cloake was a self-serving arse wipe but everyone else was nice!
(11 February 2017)

Name: rebel51
Comment: I remember buying Bill Nelson's Red Noise, Revolt Into Style on blue vinyl in about 1978/1979. I was about 9 or 10.

Name: Alexander O'Neal
Comment: Great to see the addition of L. Cloake and Son Ltd. in East Grinstead too. I had almost forgotten about that shop - although now I think about it I clearly remember buying Tubeway Army and Replicas there - records I still have and listen to today!



Churchill Square BN1 Brighton / East Sussex
131 London Road RH19 1EQ East Grinstead / West Sussex
34-36 The Boulevard RH10 1XP Crawley / West Sussex
262 Streatham High Road SW16 1HS Streatham / London
29 High Street CR0 1QB Croydon / Surrey
2 Central Parade, 5 London Road RH1 1LY Redhill / Surrey
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