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A startling sight

Sputnik looking west. Part of the seafront illuminations in 1967. Photo by Peter Allison
Sputnik looking east
Photo by Peter Allison

Comments about this page

  • Very cool. Just so you know, this sign is a Roto-Sphere. More about them here:

    By Debra Jane Seltzer (26/06/2008)
  • When did it go? As young teenagers we thought it looked like something from the small ads in the back of dirty magazines and we always called it the ‘sex aid’. I had forgotten all about it until I was watching Quadrophenia and there it was spinning around in front of the beach. I don’t remember ever seeing it with the neon tubes working though.

    By Bill Freestone (01/09/2008)
  • I think its a real shame that the illuminations have all gone now – it makes Brighton seem a dull and boring place compared to other seaside resorts. Considering the council tax they charge everyone in the B & H city area you would think they would have been maintained and kept up to standard – assuming they really Do want to attract people to the area…

    By Paul Edwards (21/10/2009)
  • I wasn’t born when these were taken, but do remember them when I was growing up. BRING BACK THE SPUTNIK!

    By Martin Fuller (20/11/2009)
  • I found this on pathe news: from 1973 at the end there’s the Sputnik in all its neon glory, also the peacock illumination.

    By Ian Mcilroy (29/03/2010)
  • Do you reckon there is any chance of the ‘proper’ illuminations ever being brought back including Sputnik (what happened to it?)?  If Blackpool can, why can’t we – and keep the season going? Perhaps businesses could contribute? and the Council – difficult at the moment admittedly. Rather this than the wheel or the [London] Eye thingy!

    By Sarah Saward (05/06/2011)
  • Sarah, unless the illuminations somehow represented ‘diversity’ and ‘multi-culturalism’, there is no way at all that the council would ever spend money bringing them back….

    By Holly Morris (06/06/2011)
  • I fondly remember the ‘spiky’ thing every time we drove to Brighton from Eastbourne, craning our necks to see if it would be spinning (it rarely was). I also remember the peacock. I think it’s fab that the spinning thing was just perched precariously on top of a bus stop! Happy memories seeing this again.

    By Heidi Hurwood (17/04/2012)
  • I am so happy to have found these photos. My grandmother lived in Brighton when I was a child and when we visited in the 60s, early 70s, the first thing I wanted to do was go and see ‘Linda’s star’ on the seafront. It absolutely fascinated me! We’re in Brighton at the moment and I miss the illuminations of yesteryear. 

    By Linda Donovan (07/06/2012)
  • Does anyone know what happened to the Sputnik? Did it get scrapped, sold or is it in a dusty Council warehouse somewhere?

    By Alison Smith (04/04/2015)
  • This photo brings back my childhood memories of the Sputnik, does anyone out there know who owns it now. I did read that someone wanted to restore it – I am considering building a new one for my garden. 

    By Neville Chambers (02/04/2018)
  • The Sputnik was there until at least the late 1970s and maybe until the early to mid 1980s.

    By Alan Phillips (03/04/2018)
  • I agree with you, Alan.  I think the Sputnik stood idle for a few years, then around the mid ’80s was briefly put back into use again (moving and illuminated) before its demolition.  The peacock didn’t survive so long.  There was a lot of colour along the seafront – great photos.

    By Sam Flowers (04/04/2018)
  • I actually remember the Sputnik being there in 1991. It was a landmark I always looked out for as we drove into Brighton. This was the year I’d started going clubbing with a group of friends, we used to be driven in from Worthing by a friend’s dad and dropped outside The Event. I think I saw it spinning once or twice. Such a shame it’s no longer there. I was remembering it this evening and searched for photos of it online, hence coming across this site. Happy memories of that time.

    By Della (10/07/2020)
  • Thanks for giving the year as 1991, Della. A little later than I initially thought, but I can believe it was then … good to have something definite !

    By Sam Flowers (10/07/2020)
  • It was gone when I came to Brighton in 1995, so I guess it must’ve been removed between 91 and 95.

    By Simona (03/03/2021)
  • I was born in 1988 and remember it still being there as a young child, so I would have thought it was taken down a little later – 1992 or 1993 perhaps.

    By Luke (03/03/2021)

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