On Monday 21st January 1980 the merchant ship ‘Athina B’ ran aground on Brighton beach due to engine failure in bad weather. The following photographs were taken during a day trip to this South Coast resort on Saturday 26th January 1980. We had a trouble free journey on the A23 and parked on the Western Promenade near West Pier. As you can see by this photo it was a bright sunny day with many sightseers making their way to the eastern end of the promenade where the Athina B had beached. All the beachside cafe were open including the seafront Volk’s Electric Railway to cash in on the large number of sightseers. It was more like a Summer Bank Holiday rather than a winter’s day in January. My parents with the Athina B in the background. The crowds viewing the ship. A local artist recording the event. The crowds viewing the wreck from the middle promenade. Making our way back to the car along with the many hundreds who enjoyed this unexpected day out in the winter sunshine.
Spent many happy family holidays here in my childhood and later years.
We stayed here at Corton Caravan Club, just a short walk to the long sandy beach. We first traveled up by train to Corton Station and later by car, a Standard 10 and Austin A40. Times change and both the camp and the beach has gone. The caravan club was demolished to make way for a new sewerage treatment works and the beach washed away by the sea. The following images are ‘before’ and ‘after’ showing these changes.
This is a postcard showing the modern chalets.
This photograph was taken in 1990, the camp was abandoned and derelict.
The Clubhouse at Corton Caravan Site.
Here is a photograph taken in 1990 showing the ruined clubhouse.
This postcard from the 1960’s shows the wide expanse of sandy beach.
This photo taken in 1967 shows coastal defense work being undertaken.
This photograph was taken in 1990 from the base of the ramp.
This photograph taken in 1995 shows the beach now overwhelmed by the sea. This ramp was later washed away and replaced by a steel staircase.
And this photograph of 2012 taken where the base of the ramp and seawall was. The sea is now on the other side of the breakwater and the cliff is now badly eroded. This area is under continuous change but the fond memories of happy childhood holidays remain.
Sometimes it’s not the subject matter in the foreground, it is what is captured in the background.
This photo (above) was taken on 22nd February 1937 in Whitechapel High Street to record water main improvement works but the information in the background is just as interesting. Look at the enlarged details below.
This shows Mr. N. Steingold Diamond Merchants shop window in great detail.
And this shows Mr. W. E. Humphries shop window, corsets for sale, with price shown 4s 11d and 6s 11d (that would be 25p & 35p).
The photo below, taken 31st August 1959 shows water main diversion works in Wandsworth High Street.
Now take a closer look at the advertising board in the background.
After 60 years we still have a break with a Kit Kat.
And finally this shows the head office of the Metropolitan Water Board near the Angel Islington. Taken during the First World War on 11th January 1915.
Now look at the enlarged detail below showing the Wartime army recruitment posters.
Follow the Flag and Fall In.
So dear reader next time you view a photograph take a second look, you may find an interesting item of social history. Bye for now….keep you eyes peeled !
Scans from original Metropolitan Water Board Photographs.
When a house is cleared the furniture sometimes ends up in a second hand shop. All that remains of a past life are a few photographs tossed in a drawer. I was able a purchase those few discarded photographs from such a shop. The former house owner was a lady by the name of Ann Boon. She had a few photographs of stage acts of the 1950’s and my guess is that she also performed on the stage but I have been unable to trace any information about her on the internet. Here is a photograph of her from the 1950’s, the other photographs are the act’s she probably performed with, three have been autographed. Freddie Sales was born on 27th November 1920 in Hull, Humberside. He was an actor and writer who appeared in Variety Bandbox, also The Top Hat (1950). Known for Educating Archie (1958), and Dick Emery’s Comedy Hour (1979). He died on 15th November 1994.
Larry was in the Comedy Band, Dr Crock & His Crackpots. He was the Main Comedian in the Band for over 20 years. Walthon & Dorraine (Comedy & Balancing Act). After working in Australia they came to Britain in 1950 and signed up with Lew and Leslie Grade appearing with such stars as Laurel & Hardy, Max Miller, Kay Star, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. They also appeared with Billy Cotton, Dickie Valentine, Norman Vaughan and many others.
Pharos and Marina (Eddie Pharos & Enid Phillips),a thought reading act in the 1950’s. And finally a Magician, have no name or information. That completes my photograph’s. I would welcome any additional information you could provide. I have no doubt that these performers inspired many during their time on the stage and this is now my tribute to them.