The Aquarium

Retrospective imagining

By Jennifer Drury

Here I go again - wandering around the town in my imagination.

Do not have a definite date for the scene - maybe 1930s?

It certainly is a nice change to see this area full of people not traffic.

What do you think?

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Photo:Aquarium roundabout

Aquarium roundabout

Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove

This page was added on 19/01/2018.
Comments about this page

I think the old Aquarium building was demolished in 1927, so the photo must have been taken before the 1930s.

By Alan Hobden (20/01/2018)

Another fabulous photo. The sheer volume of people is interesting. To the left are, at least, two hotels. One appears to be called The Arlington but I can't read the name of the other. It is, though, a 'private' hotel. 

By Philip Burnard (20/01/2018)

The second hotel, Philip, looks like it says,  Marley House Hotel. Also there is another hotel squeezed in between called Pier Hotel. And I agree with you, Jennifer, we can probably see the people more in these old photos as they will have come by train or bus. Lovely picture, thank you. I wonder how many of our ancestors are in this photo alone.

By Sandra Bohtlingk (21/01/2018)

Yes, a very interesting photo Philip. I think the Arlington is next to the Pier Hotel, and then comes what appears to be the Marley House Private Hotel. Note the "A23 London" sign on the tall lamp-post standing in the centre of the circular bed on the left. No Mods or Rockers anywhere though.

By Alan Hobden (21/01/2018)

Also strange to note that there seem to be no sign of any tram tracks in the road.  They ran from 1901 until they were phased out gradually in 1939.  I also note the horse drawn? in front of the Arlington Hotel. Early 1920s would be my guess, but I would also expect to see the tram tracks at that time.

By Peter Groves (21/01/2018)

The car, bottom right below the Aquarium sign with the chauffeur, is almost certainly a Bentley from the late 1920s. Unfortunately the others are too indistinct to identify. The motor bus is quite a lot earlier.

By Tim Sargeant (21/01/2018)

That is Harley House Private Hotel according to Pikes 1936 Directory.

By Geoffrey Mead (21/01/2018)

I love these old photographs you are posting, Jennifer. There is so much detail in this one. Look how beautifully turned out everyone is. They all wear hats, including the children, and the men have suits and ties. I'd say mid to late twenties by the fashions, but I'm no expert. As Alan says, the Aquarium closed for redevelopment in 1927. Not sure that it looks closed in the photo.  

By Janet Beal (21/01/2018)

Did trams travel along Marine Parade? I think they terminated and turned around at the Steine. 

By Peter Barnard (21/01/2018)

I remember in the 1940s, on Saturday afternoons.they used to bring  the two chimps up the steps and have a tea party. The chimps were called Gordon and Steve, after two famous jockeys of that era.It used to be packed with kids, watching their antics!

By Harry Atkins (22/01/2018)

To Peter Groves: Peter, although the destination boards on the trams read "Aquarium", the tram tracks actually stopped at the Old Steine, which was the later southerly terminus. The first terminus was at the southern end of Victoria Gardens, just north of the Royal Pavilion. Regards, Alan.

By Alan Hobden (24/01/2018)

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