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Looking for photographs and memories

This photograph shows the brick arch, which carried the Brighton-Kemp Town railway, line across Hartington Road. This was built in 1868/9, long before any houses were built here and when the surrounding area was farmland. Hartington Road Halt, discontinued before the Great War was just south of the bridge.
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Ran from 1859 to 1971

I run a local history group on the internet, and some of us are very interested in the old Kemp Town railway which ran from Brighton Station to Coalbrook Road in Kemp Town from 1869 to 1971. We are particularly interested in the line at the Elm Grove end. We have exhausted photographs from books and the internet and wondered if anyone here would have old photographs or memories of the Elm Grove end that they could share with us?

Hartington Road Halt

Particular interest would be the Hartington Road Halt and the tunnel mouth that ran under Elm Grove school playground. So we were wondering anyone who lived in Bonchurch Road and Seville Street whose houses backed onto the railway may have personal photographs they might like to share with us all? Either from times when it was up and running or during its disused days.

We would love to hear from you on here or via email



Comments about this page

  • There is a nice booklet about the Kemp Town branch which contains lots of images as well as text. ‘The Kemp Town Branch Line’ by Peter A.Harding. 1999. ISBN 0 9523458 4 6. I am assured by a ‘railway-buff’ that it is a good account.

    By Geoffrey Mead (28/05/2013)
  • I remember the bridge over Hartington Road very well, I grew up in Hartington Road (near the cemetery gates) in the 60s & 70s and went to Fairlight School so I went under it pretty much daily for a few years. On wet days, it made a useful sheltering point from the rain on the walk to & from school. The photo above would be in the 60’s, I guess, so is a scene I would have been familiar with. I remember the bridge echoed and also being fascinated from quite early on by the unusual brickwork – I seem to recall that before it was demolished that the students from the Seconday Tech (see elsewhere on this site) used to come to Hartington Road to study the brickwork and that attempts were made to get the bridge listed because of its unusual design. I may even still have a piece of the brickwork recovered from the demolition debris hidden away somewhere. I believe the demolition took longer than expected as the structure was so solidly built. To the right of the photo was an area where a turf firm (whose name escapes me now) used to park a couple of lorries and sometimes store small amounts of turf. The lorries were green and the area was pretty overgrown with a lot of bushes etc. The fencing was wire mesh but hardly strong and it was pretty easy to get through the gates. I remember a couple of times going through the gates and climbing the bank up on to the railway line – there wasn’t really much to see up there but on one occasion I was startled to be on the track when a train came around the bend from Brighton – we scarpered off down the bank pretty quick. At that time, I think the train normally came from Brighton towards Kemp Town around lunchtime – I don’t remember it being at exactly the same time every day though. I do still have my ticket from the last day a passenger train ran along the line – 26 Jun 1971, (I was on the 10.00 working) and also a ‘last day’ cover carried on the last train from Kemp Town. I remember seeing the site of Hartington Road Halt as we passed – the platform was, I’m sure, still there but my attempt to take a photo was unsuccesful – it was a dull day and neither the 12 year old me nor my camera were good enough on a moving train!

    By Geoff (31/05/2013)

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