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Reconstruction of the railway bridge

The original bridge was built about 1839 when the railway from Brighton to Shoreham was under construction. At that time Sackville Road was known as Hove Drove and was merely a farm road connecting Hove Street with the Old Shoreham Road. Doubtless it was of the same width as the bridge about 16 feet. Sackville Road south of the bridge was built during the 1870s and 1880s, and the upper portion about 1900.

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The bridge photographed in September 1926

For many years the old bridge remained as a great hindrance to traffic. As buses could not pass through the bridge, development to the north was restricted and the houses stopped at the top of Sackville Road. Reconstruction of the bridge started in August 1926.

The bridge photographed in March 1927

The new steel bridge was installed in just a few hours one Sunday morning, with the remains of the old archway underneath. Soon after the old bridge was removed the level of the road was dropped about 18 inches so that buses could pass below the new steel bridge.

The bridge photographed in March 1927

As a condition of making a grant towards the cost of the new bridge the Ministry of Transport stipulated that the level of the roadway must be lowered by 12 inches to provide minimum headroom of 16 feet. After the remains of the old brick bridge had been removed this work was put in hand; the camber of the old roadway was also flattened out.

The bridge photographed in 2012

Comments about this page

  • Completely off-topic, but looking at the bottom photograph, I remember buses stopping here to enable the crew to nip into the public loos at the side of the building on the left! Funny the things you remember!

    By Janet Beal (06/02/2013)
  • I lived at number 34, Sackville Road in the early ’60s in a house called Eversley. How lovely to see photos of before the time that I lived in the area, and especially photos of the bridge. I hate to be a bit pedantic here but the dates on the second and third photos might be a be out looking at the leaves on the trees. Mike Peirson.

    By Mick Peirson (06/02/2013)
  • Well spotted Mick! The third photo is actually undated in the James Gray Collection, but is clearly later then the second one, which appears to be correctly dated March 1927.

    By Alan Hobden (07/02/2013)
  • You are not the only one Janet, I also remember the buses stopping there to use the loos. I used to live on Princep Road in the ’50s and have many memories of that area as my mum always shopped at the grocers and the butchers. I also remember the barber’s shop used to go with my dad when he went for a haircut. I remember the post office/newsagents, owned by two brothers I think.

    By jenny bainbridge (08/02/2013)
  • Janet and Jenny – I was a bus conductor in the mid 1970s and I can tell you those loos were a Godsend as there wasn’t anywhere else on the 5 / 5B routes to “spend a penny”! The routes started and ended in residential areas so there wasn’t anywhere to get a cup of tea either (which was why most crews always had a thermos flask of tea with them!).

    By John Wilkin (18/02/2013)

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