First developed in the 1810s

Please note that this text is an extract from a reference work written in 1990.  As a result, some of the content may not reflect recent research, changes and events.

Originally a very narrow road known as North Lane, North Road was first developed on the edge of the town in the 1810s, with the northern side built in the following decade. It was doubled in width by the corporation in 1870, and was made one-way to traffic in June 1976. North Road was once a much more important shopping street for the small terraced streets of the North Laine than now, and in 1931 it had ten public houses along its length. {24,83,115,123}
Near the bottom of the road, approached either through an archway proclaiming ‘Public Baths’ or via North Place, is the Prince Regent Swimming Complex . Costing £2.5 million, it has a 33-metre pool, diving and learning pools, solarium, cafeteria and gallery, and opened to the public on 22 April 1981. It was erected on the site of the corporation’s first swimming-pool, the North Road pool which opened in 1895. The old pool, 120 feet by 33 feet, was initially open to men and women on separate days only; it closed in November 1979. Still standing to the north-east of the new pool is the former slipper bath building, opened by the corporation in 1870 on former barracks land; it closed in April 1976 and is now a nursery. (A slipper bath is similar to a domestic bath, and the building was used by many poor people of the town who had no bath of their own.) The roadway is now called Barrack Yard after the former infantry barracks (see ” Church Street “).  {24,115,123,263}
Standing almost opposite the baths entrance, 104 North Road, now a motor-cycle shop, was formerly the Coronation Cinema. Opening in 1911, it became the New Coronation in 1928, the Troxy in 1934 and the Rex News Theatre in 1938, but it closed in June 1939 having been the last Brighton cinema to install sound equipment, in 1932. It seated 350 people. {68,68a,123}
No.32 North Road was the original store of the Brighton Equitable Co-operative Society, opened on 16 May 1888.

Any numerical cross-references in the text above refer to resources in the Sources and Bibliography section of the Encyclopaedia of Brighton by Tim Carder.

Comments about this page

  • This brought back memories. I remember on one visit they were showing a “3D” film and one was given a pair of cardboard spectacles that had one red and one blue eyepiece. circa 1938.

    By John Wall (23/07/2007)
  • I remember going to the Swimming Pool with classes from school in the 1930s. I enjoyed the diving boards.

    By Rita (Bannister) Buckrell (08/02/2008)
  • The Coronation cinema auditorium actually ran across behind Mojo’s with exits on Cheltenham Place. The entrance was in the building just on the right of Tony’s photo. This recent development is said to have copied the original frontage.

    By David Fisher (18/03/2009)
  • Absolutely wonderful pictures of the Baths.

    By Anne Jessel (04/05/2012)
  • Apparently one of these gentlemen is my great great grandfather William Dallaway who became president of the B.E.C.S in the 1930s. I got this info mostly from the book my Great Aunt Enid wrote called ‘Sunshine, Sand and Sea’ -  the story of her childhood in Brighton in the 30s and 40s. Any more info would appreciated.

    By Steven Dallaway (British Columbia, Canada) (16/11/2012)

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