Thursday, 5 November 2015

Bike & Ramp, Beach & Birds and Quarry Garden Steps

Bike & Ramp :- For most of my adult life living in and around Brighton I found myself pondering on certain aspects of the famous seaside resort. A few bits of information came to light regarding some of the buildings etc but I was still searching for facts (and dates) regarding the Victorian seafront and much of its ironwork. The internet was a useful source of info but I kept finding myself in digital dead ends and stumbling on search inquiries. But recently it all fell into place quite by accident due to the Iron Arches on Madeira Drive needing serious repair and maintenence. A lot of people were shouting about how they should have been looked after and how they were an integral part of Brighton itself but nobody knew who'd designed them. What was more to the point was that nobody seemed to be asking who'd designed them... apart from me. So I went off searching. It took a while but eventually I came up with a name and that name unlocked so much more information. The name was Philip C Lockwood and he was the Borough Surveyor for Brighton in the late 1800's. The more I searched the more I found that he was pretty much responsible for Brighton's 'look' and 'style'. The interior and stone entrance of Brighton Museum was designed by him in 1871. Brighton's iconic turquoise iron railings and lamp posts were his too and were put in place in 1880. The iconic and ornate 1884 Bandstand on the seafront was also his design and between 1890 and 1897 Madeira Drive got it's famous filigree iron arches / terraces, lift and shelter hall (now the Concorde 2). All designed by one man (apparently he also designed elements of Preston Park and various other structures around Brighton). Nobody seems to have heard much of him and there's little about him online. We all know the names of Eugenius Birch (responsible for the west Pier and Brighton Aquarium), John Nash (architect of the third and final stage of the Royal Pavilion) and Magnus Volk (Electrical genius and man behind Volk's Railway) but Lockwood seems to have blended into the past whilst his designs went on to be the very things Brighton was famous for. So there we have it ... Brighton's famous iron railings were designed and put in place in 1880 by Philip C Lockwood. Try and remember that name!

Beach & Birds :- An unmistakable view of Brighton. The beach was very quiet due to an odd sea mist that was drifting in and out throughout the day. It created a strange opaque background and light which presented the pier in a rather hard and harsh way. Even the gull were being cautious by choosing to stay around the pier rather than flying out over the sea. The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier (which is it's official and real name) was designed by Richard St George Moore (1858 - 1926)and opened its doors to the public on 20th May 1899. The pier is 1760 feet in legnth and is the most visited in the UK and among the Top Ten visitor attractions in the country.

Quarry Garden Steps :- In order to make and build the 'new' Scotney Castle' house and home they quaried sandstone from the grounds of the 'old' Scotney Castle. This obviously left a large hole in what was to become the garden and grounds so they put it to good use by turning it into a Quarry Garden. Apparenlty there is a 100-million-year-old impression of a dinosaur's footprint somewhere in this sunken garden but I couldn't find it anywhere despite spending quite a bot of time looking for it. Scotney Castle is located near Lamberhurst in Kent.

All Photography Copyright © Justin Hill