Names on the buses

712 Sir George Robey




Connections with Brighton and Hove : The comedian Sir George Robey, popular on the stage and screen for 50 years, was known as the Prime Minister for Mirth. Unlike many entertainers, he came from a middle class background and was born George Wade in 1869. He took the name Robey from a firm of builders - and it stuck. He often appeared in top hat and frock coat, looking like a funeral director, or with a collar and crumpled hat that made him resemble a vicar. He had trademark raised black eyebrows. If the audience started to laugh, he would bellow at them 'Desist' which made them laugh all the more. Robey’s voice was so loud that he never needed a microphone, not even in the Albert Hall, biggest venue of the age. He was a fine singer and his duet with Violet Lorraine, If You Were the Only Girl in the World, was a huge hit. He collected Chinese porcelain and Japanese antiquities. When he moved from London to Hove, he had to sell many treasures because there was no room for them in his flat at Rutland Court in New Church Road. During the First World War, he raised the amazing sum of 500,000 for charities, Robey raised even more during the Second World War - 2 million for war savings. He accepted a knighthood in 1953, the year of his death. Eighteen months before he died, Robey moved to a Spanish style home at Arundel Drive East in Saltdean. Robey’s wife was Blanche Littler, a theatrical producer from a famous show business family. As a widow, Lady Robey moved back to Hove and lived at Grand Avenue. She was a frequent visitor to events and concerts until shortly before her death aged 83 in 1981

712 Scania Omnicity - carried name since delivery in January 2009. Bus repainted into standard livery June 2013. Sir added to name January 2015. Bus sold in February 2018.