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.