Incorrect Photo Captions
My 1946 Southern Publishing Booklet “Brighton & Hove Under Fire” states on the front cover “Photos the Censor Would not Pass”. It’s probably for this reason many of the captions on Brighton WWII photos are incorrect. I fell victim to it myself with my 2008 story of the bombing of Stapley Road, which you can see here the photo turned out to be Olive Road. I think that with most of the Brighton bomb damage photos being censored, at that time they were not well catalogued, and when they were released for publication in 1946, mistakes were made; in particular buildings that looked similar were muddled, and then incorrect captions published.
Marine Gate or Portland Gate?
The bombing of Marine Gate seen here is in fact not Marine Gate, but Portland Gate in Hove. Although it was demolished some time back I remember it well, passing it by bus every day on my way home from school in the early 1960s. At the time I was impressed by the art deco building, thinking it very grand, although in fact by then it was already in decline. I later heard a story that it was owned by Nicholas van Hoogstraten, who allowed it to deteriorate on purpose; in truth probably the bomb was the start its demise!
A Whitehawk tall tale?
I heard a lovely story regarding the bombing of the real Marine Gate. Someone I worked with, who had lived on the Whithawk Estate during the war, told me that it was evacuated straight after it was bombed, and his parents told him and his mates to “go and see if there is anything worth having”? They got into many of the ‘posh’ flats and raided the kitchens and for many weeks afterwards they feasted on tins of preserved meats, jams, fish, and other delicious foods. I am not sure if this story is true or just Whitehawk bravado, but I hope it is. it would be good if some benefit came for needy families from the bombing. My photo of Marine Gate is the true photo of Marine Gate!