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The Christmas Coach to Brighton, 1770

The Flying Machine to Brighthelmston

This image is taken from the 1911 book Brighton & Hove in the Coronation Year of His Majesty King George V, published by Garnett, Mepham & Fisher Ltd, 112 Gloucester Road Brighton.  The caption states that the coach is the “Flying Machine” which ran from London to Brighthelmston via Lewes. 

Messrs. J. Tubb and S. Brawne introduced the Flying Machine in 1762, it was so named because the increased celerity (don’t worry I had to look that up as well) with which it enabled the journey to be made.  This was possible because the coach was hung from steel springs, which was a huge improvement on the old cumbersome vehicles.  It doesn’t look much fun to me.

Happy Christmas everyone!

Editor’s note:
Thank you Peter for this terrific Christmas contribution. Looking forward to any more gems you might find in the book.
Happy Christmas to you and yours.

The Flying Machine to Brighthelmston
From the 1911 book; Brighton & Hove in the Coronation Year of His Majesty King George V owned by Peter Groves

Comments about this page

  • Who needs colour?  What a wonderful  picture. Just look at all the drama described here. The driving snow, the force of the wind, the bowed heads and curved trees, the push of the horses against the wind and the pull needed for such a load. I well remember black and white TV arriving in my youth. I still love the black and white movies. It urges me to look deeper and to use my imagination as to what the colours might be and the option to change my mind about them. Colour seems to fix things with the feeling everything has been done for me. Thank you, Peter and Happy Christmas. Let’s have some more pictures like this please.


    By Sandra Bohtlingk (17/12/2017)
  • I agree with Sandra about the picture, you can see the struggle against the wind and snow by the horses. The picture is alive with the swirling wind and snow. We are pampered today compared to those winters of the past. I wonder what part of the Brighton road the artist got the inspiration from. As Sandra has said,in a way colour would not add anything to this scene.


    By Mick Peirson (18/12/2017)
  • This is beautiful! I’m intrigued because my ggg grandfather, William Adam Maiben was a coach builder in Brighton in the late 1830s – 1840s, just as the coach business was waning, but there was much competition between coaches to see who could get to London the fastest. He was from Brighthelmston, too! His son, Henry Maiben, became a Mormon and took the trek to Utah. A fascinating history! I want to visit his original home someday. I live in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, USA. Cheers!

    By Shannon Borg (29/07/2019)

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