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

Seafood and Mystery Tours

The Palace Pier: undated photograph
Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove

Looking through the gaps

I have some nice memories of walking down The Palace Pier as a child with my family. I remember looking through the gaps in the wooden floor and seeing the water and seeing the ladies walking in stockinged feet holding their stilletto heeled shoes as they would otherwise get stuck.

The perils of seafood

I remember once when I was about seven years old, we stopped at a seafood stall and there were lots to choose from. I never really liked winkles although we were given them quite regularly in the 1960s for our Sunday teas. Usually they were served between two slices of bread which would go soggy, so I was pleased when my parents did not thrust a paper plate full of them towards me. My parents’ favourite were whelks, a large snail like seafood that didn’t look very appetising. One day I asked if I could try one and to my horror it was like chewing on a small rubber ball, I always joke to my friends now that, ‘My parents gave me a whelk in 1964 and I was still chewing it in 1967’.

A Southdown Mystery Tour

On one of these late Sunday afternoon outings to The Palace Pier, we turned right along the seafront to see all the old green Southdown coaches, lined up opposite The Aquarium offering excursions. I can still see them now, what a glorious sight it used to be on a summers day, does anyone else remember this in the early 1960s? My parents opted for the ‘Mystery Tour’ on this occasion and we ended up in Upper Beeding at a pub called ‘The Rising Sun’. I remember this because at the time ‘The House of The Rising Sun’ by ‘The Animals’ was in the top twenty. I can only imagine it must have been during a school holiday as we got back to Brighton quite late.

Comments about this page

  • I have fond memories of the Palace Pier. My dad worked on the pier in the bar at the end of the pier where they had an open air dance floor which was very poplar. When I was 14 I worked in the restaurant in the kitchen- I really enjoyed working there – it was always very busy with coach loads of people at weekends mostly from London down for the day. Lots of people would go fishing at the end of the pier and there were speed boat rides that went from the end of the pier. The pier hasn’t changed too much over the years but I don’t think they should have been allowed to change the name -  it will always be the Palace Pier to myself and my family.

    By Kathleen Catt (nee cornford) (10/03/2013)
  • My mum used to take me on the Palace Pier during the early 1970s; I cannot understand how the owners were allowed to pull the old theatre down, and replace it will the silver dome monstrosity that is in place to this day. Oh, and to me, it will always be the Palace Pier, not the Brighton Pier!

    By Uncle Protein (11/03/2013)
  • I was born in 1938 so I only remember going on the pier after the war when the missing bit was replaced. I think it was on this pier where, at the end, there was a kind of enclosed pool surrounded by steel decking where steamers would embark from and at low tide a lower deck would be used. In the “pool” there was a stunt diver who would dive through a flaming hoop into the sea. One way to “cool off” I suppose. Another memory was a trip on “The Glengower” to Newhaven and back. This was an old paddle steamer later replaced by a motor vessel named “Anzio”. These boats belonged to Campbells Steamers who had an office almost opposite the fountain in the Steine. On Marine Parade there were mystery tour coaches, not only Southdown but Campbells and others.

    By John Snelling (18/10/2019)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.