West Pier 1904

These are two beautiful snapshots of the pier head.  These capture something of the grandeur of the West Pier in its heyday.

Interesting details

Lots of detail upon close examination:  the original 1866 Birch kiosks and curved seaward-facing wind shield;  the 1893 pavilion, converted to a theatre only within a year of this photo being taken; the mast; and the bathing station.  The tide is high.  It can be seen how close to sea level the extensive landing stage stood.  There people crowd, looking into the ‘lagoon’.  I wouldn’t mind guessing Professor Reddish is doing some cycle dives.

Brewer’s advertising?

Also of interest, only just visible in the second photograph, is the board over the S.E. kiosk bearing the name “Allsopp’s” … possibly for the West Street brewers of that name?  Concerning the first photo again, I like the distant view of the Metropole, complete with its original spire.  Lastly, I cannot but wonder if a porpoise has caused the strange, darkened area of water?

West Pier, Brighton, 1904
From the private collection of Sam Flowers
West Pier, Brighton, 1904
From the private collection of Sam Flowers

Comments about this page

  • Thank you for these beautiful photos and for your commentary. You have brought these pictures to life. As is the case with many old photos, these don’t seem so much different to more recent ones. I remember the West Pier very well. A ‘Hove’ to Brighton’s ‘Palace Pier’, perhaps! Either way, a fabulous pier.

    By Philip Burnard (21/05/2019)
  • Hello and thanks again, Philip. I’m sure you are really grateful for your memories of times spent on the West Pier … with very good reason. As a ’70s/’80s child I was too late, but from what I’ve heard and learnt, no doubt I would have enjoyed the pier greatly.

    By Sam Flowers (28/05/2019)

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