Thursday, 30 October 2014

Poles Apart, Thirties Steps and One Brighton

"Poles Apart" :- It's odd the way some things become iconic and a stronger symbol of what they once were. These cast iron posts on Brighton beach signify a time long since gone. They once carried the deks of the West Pier and held aloft Victorian Ladies and Gentlemen as they took in the sea air on an afternoon stroll. This is where Richard Attenborough filmed most of "Oh! What a Lovely War" (1969), a film that many regard to be his greatest. Tony Curtis and Sir Roger Moore fimed an episode of "The Persuaders" titled "Sporting Chance" (1973) in Brighton with a few key scenes shot on the pier. It was also the location shoot for two of the very British 1970's "Carry On..." films as both "Carry on at your Convenience" (1971) and "Carry on Girls" (1973) had scenes shot on the West Pier. Now all we have left are a few of the supports (many were recently removed to make way for the i360) and the old frame of the Theatre standing out to sea.

"Thirties Steps" :- These are the steps that lead from the promenade to The Whitecliffs Cafe and the tunnel that leads through the the Lido at Saltdean on the south coast of England. The steps, cafe and tunnel were all built in the 1930's. The undercliff walk was completed in 1933 and the building of Saltdean Tunnel commenced on March 27th 1933. The cafe dates from somewhere around 1937 as the previous building on the site was demolished around 1935/36. Because of all that information we can ascertain that this set of concrete steps was also built in 1933.

"One Brighton" :- This was once a very run down area of Brighton. I remember it as a child in the 70's. It was full of ramshakled looking warehouses and old railways sidings. The two warehouses that have stuck in my mind (for some unknow reason) are the old "COMET" warehouse (electrical goods store) and "John’s Camping" both of which were in New England Street, Brighton. So this shot is of private apartments and offices that that were built as part of the regeneration of the area now known as the "New England Quarter". It's hard to find something nice to say about the architecture and new, modern designs employed. They lack character and are nothing more than blocks with windows. Unfortunately Brighton is seeing a lot of this type of architecture which is a shame as none of it is in keeping with the historical elements of the City which made it famous. Bland and souless. The offices on the ground floor were empty at the time of shooting this but have since been sold and are now (finally) in use.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill