Photos and articles about Brighton and Hove in the time of coronavirus. See our collection and add your own!

Palace Pier at war

Repairs to central decking after WWII
Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton & Hove

The Palace Pier is well loved by locals and visitors alike. This very special photograph shows how the pier was part of our seaside defences in WWII.  The pier’s central decking was removed during World War II to prevent enemy landings to be possible. Here you can see the pier being repaired  In September 1945, so that it could once more be ‘business as usual’.

Share your memories?

Do you have any memories of the Palace Pier? How old were you when you first went on the pier? Or did you come to Brighton on a day trip – and loved it – even if it was raining?

Please share your memories by posting a comment below.
All together now! Oh I do like to be beside the seaside


Comments about this page

  • I went to a show during Easter 1939 at the theatre that used to be at the end of the pier and visited the pier many times after the war. The last time I went was in mid 1960 and have since been on it many times since, when we come down to Brighton, having moved away in 1964. It is just not as good as it was having lost the theatre and much of the fun side of it. Do not eat an ice cream in an exposed area or the seagulls will literally attack as we witnessed when a small child had one snatched from her hand and in fact suffered a small wound.

    By Mr K I Ross (20/06/2019)
  • I should add to my earlier comment that there was an open air dance area just beyond the theatre with glass sides to shield the danceree from the wind and a small group played there. Many couples and singles went there in the evenings. Just also to add along the sea front opposite the lift on Maderia Drive, there was a small open air theatre where a regular group of performers played some three shows a day. Many of these performers went on to become stars. I seem to recall that it was mentioned that someone even said they thought that Stanley Holloway was one of the players.

    By Mr K I Ross (20/06/2019)
  • That is an incredible photo. It captures the spirit of the Palace Pier and shows how people were keen to get back the Brighton that they missed. I wonder who these two men were. One is clearly aware of the photographer but the other seems to be caught up in his work. There is a third man, at the back of the photo, who we cannot see. Given the quality of this photo, I wonder if it was posed or just a snap caught by someone watching the rebuilding.

    By Philip Burnard (20/06/2019)
  • The book ‘Brighton & Hove in Battledress’ published in 1946, the author DL Murray [who lived in Palmeira Avenue] states that the Palace Pier was cut south of the Winter Garden , which accords with the image here, it was damaged by a mine in 1941. B&H Cavalcade in 1946 reported that the Palace Pier reopened on June 1st 1946. The West Pier had opened on April 18th.

    By Geoffrey Mead (26/06/2019)
  • Was there a famous brand of tie maker on the pier? My GrandMa talked about balancing across the wooden planks to get to work in the war. Thinking Christian Dior?

    By Cerrie (24/12/2021)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.